Cuisine : Cuisine, Issue 144
www.cuisine.co.nz 126 CUISINE Wines qualify for Best Buy if they offer an outstanding combination of quality and price. PEBBLE ROW MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANC 2010 $12-$15 TROUT VALLEY NELSON SAUVIGNON BLANC 2010 $10.90-$15.90 BOATSHED BAY MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANC 2010 $10-$16 DASHWOOD MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANC 2010 $10-$16 REDWOOD PASS MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANC 2010 $12-$16 WHALEBONE BAY SAUVIGNON BLANC 2010 $11 BEST BUYS THE "BEST SINCE 2007" was a recurring theme in discussions around the 2010 vintage. Wine producers nationwide heaped praise on the fruit plucked from their vines, none more so than in Marlborough. The Sauvignon Blanc harvest in our largest wine region benefited from cooperative weather gods and greater commitment to lower cropping levels. But as is the way, it's what ends up in the glass that counts. The Cuisine panel tackled 228 Sauvignon Blancs at this tasting, of which 185 represented the 2010 vintage and all but one (from Nelson) were grown in Marlborough. With just 24 wines receiving four stars or more, the results suggest that overall the vintage did not quite match the pre-release buzz. "I expected more," said Anna Flowerday. "Many wines had a good front palate that didn't carry through." Said John Belsham, "In many cases, the fruit was let down by the winemakers. That said, the top wines are well made and classy." TASTING RESULTS 5 STARS OUTSTANDING 9 41G2 STARS EXCELLENT 3 4 STARS VERY GOOD 12 3 STARS GOOD 44 NO AWARD 160 TOTAL 228 TOP THE NED SAUVIGNON BLANC 2010 $20 SUMMERHOUSE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2010 $21-$23 VOLCANIC HILLS MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANC 2010 $19-$21 PEBBLE ROW MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANC 2010 $12-$15 STONELEIGH MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANC 2010 $22.95 INVIVO SAUVIGNON BLANC 2010 $18-$20 TROUT VALLEY NELSON SAUVIGNON BLANC 2010 $10.90-$15.90 WITHER HILLS SAUVIGNON BLANC 2010 $14-$20 VILLA MARIA PRIVATE BIN SAUVIGNON BLANC 2010 $20 MONCELLIER SAUVIGNON BLANC $20-$25 10 CELLARING It is generally considered that New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs are at their best within one or two years of their vintage. But the more complex styles emerging have the ability to age gracefully for several years. TASTING PANEL Helping panel chair, and winemaker- owner of Foxes Island Wines, John Belsham (second from right) take soundings of the incoming Sauvignon tide were a pair of experienced Aussies. Gary Baldwin (second from left) is a Victoria-based wine judge and consultant, while Anna Flowerday (left) is winemaker and co-proprietor of Marlborough winery Te Whare Ra (so she's really more of a Kiwi these days). Associate judge was Jane Boyle (right).
Cuisine, Issue 145