Slightly more than half the people who attend my wine courses don’t like Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. The rest love it. That helps explain the curious phenomenon that occurs when I offer them a young Sauvignon Blanc together with an older wine from the same producer. The wines are usually five or six vintages apart. I generally prefer the younger wine but the majority of students vote for the older vintage. I like Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc so I favour the pungent, intensely fruity characters of the more youthful wine.
My annual Sauvignon Blanc tasting confirmed that the 2012 vintage produced many remarkable wines. If you like this country’s signature wine, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, I suggest you stock up on this excellent vintage.
The tele-documentary “Chateau Chunder: A Wine Revolution” recently shown on ABC1 was immensely entertaining. Writer/director Stephen Oliver deserves praise for telling the story of Australian wine’s success on the world stage so fairly and amusingly. It was great fun watching the old footage, advertising and
During the last 25 years New Zealand has increased its production of wine by more than six times while export sales have gone from $4.4 million to more than $1 billion; a staggering increase. Although growth in quality is harder to measure than growth in volume there is little doubt in my mind that the quality of New Zealand wine has grown faster than the quality of any wine-producing country in the world over the past quarter century.
Like Split Enz, Sam Neill and Keisha Castle Hughes, Sauvignon Blanc was discovered by the wider world before we began to really appreciate it. It took rave reviews from people such as English wine writer and TV wine show host, Oz Clarke, to make Kiwis start to wonder whether we might be making something really special. Clarke summed up the impact of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc in his Wine Atlas when he wrote, “No previous wine had shocked, thrilled, entranced the world before with such brash, unexpected flavours of gooseberries, passion-fruit and lime, or crunchy green asparagus spears . . . an entirely new, brilliantly successful wine style that the rest of the world has been attempting to copy ever since”.