Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2011

So, after reporting the new release of Cloudy Bay’s Sauvignon Blanc, here’s another Marlborough classic: Brancott Estate.

Until 2010 this was labelled Montana, and as such, it was another wine I grew up with. The 2011 is fabulous – one of the best vintages of this wine that I’ve tried. List price is around £9, but I have seen the 2010 on sale for £5, which makes it a brilliant bargain.

Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Marlborough, New Zealand
Amazingly fresh, combining bright, green grassy notes with lively, precise grapefruit freshness and some generous peach and melon richness. It’s a very pure, fruit-driven style with good concentration of flavour. Brilliant now: I do like drinking these Marlborough Sauvignons young when they are so exotic and aromatic. 90/100

11 comments to Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2011

  • Andrew Halliwell

    I love Marlborough Sauvignon more than any other white. Good for you for re-reviewing a few benchmarks as they are released, the sort of thing that some critics might think a bit old hat and beneath them.

  • James Macdonald

    Is it just coincidence that you have chosen to review the official Rugby World Cup sponsors product the week before you are off to watch a match in NZ?

  • Yes, James, just coincidence. The (unsolicited) sample arrived from Pernod Ricard’s PR agency yesterday, so I popped it in the fridge and tried it yesterday evening before setting off for town, which is when I wrote the blogpost. I thought it would be interesting to compare it with the Cloudy Bay SB 2011 which I reviewed a couple of days ago. It got the same treatment that any wine would have in my hands – a fair and honest assessment.

  • First of all, as Andrew said, well done for writing up a wine such as this.

    To provide a counter-opinion, I realise I am perhaps going to be in a minority here, but in recent years I have come to abhor many New Zealand Sauvignons, especially at the branded level (which, whether you call it Brancott or Montana, this is the level we are talking about). I find the flavours too intense, pungent and forced. Does this come from continued blending of fruit of varying ripeness – including fruit picked early to get that methylpyrazine character, mixed with riper fruit – which has come to typify Sauvignon Blanc for many?

    I have found that *ripe* Sauvignon Blanc is an excellent translator of terroir, and on flint soils from the Loire gives lovely citrus and stone fruit flavours you don’t get in more pungent, borderline-ripe, fruit-orientated wines. And from limestone – the limestone that runs under Sancerre and goes east under Chablis and the Aube – it can give remarkably structured wines. This is when I find Sauvignon Blanc interesting. Like I said, I think I’m in a minority though! :-)

  • shane jones

    Jamie, I have been enjoying your comments, writing and expertise for a few years now. While your input is refreshing and accessible compared with other Industry peers I cannot stress enough the need for you to maintain your credibility and respect. Recently a comment was made regarding the timing of your Brancott Estate 2011 Sauvignon Blanc review aligned with your personal participation at the NZ RWC. The reply you made was valid and acceptable but this is not the issue. The problem exists when the readers perception becomes more important than the message you are communicating. You can’t go past the fact that the review was then matched by photo’s and narrative of yourself being entertained by Pernod Ricard in several locations. Did you also attend Wimbledon earlier in the year with the same company? Considering the relatively challenging state with which the NZ industry finds itself in, would the space be better filled by other stories and wines rather than what Brancott Estate label you had with Oysters. You are one of the shining lights within the ‘New Wine’ media. Please make sure you become one of the leading lights.

  • james

    shut up shane you idiot

  • Sharon Anstey

    Just tried this for the first time (April 2012) in New York.
    Lovely. Agree that it’s fabulous. Thank you.

  • Jonathan Vande

    Ok…I’m not a wine critic or even a connoisseur.
    However…this was on sale at Kroger for $8 (US) and had a big labe “91 pts”.
    I’m not sure what all that means but I have had good luck at Kroger and only buy wine that is under 10 bucks.
    This is pretty decent.
    I am not sure where that fits in with everything but pretty decent at $8/bottle = win in my book.

  • Millie Barber

    Jamie, I’m just reading your blog for the first time. A friend gave me a bottle of the Bancott Estates Sauvignon Blanc this weekend. I thought it was the freshest Sauvignon Blanc I’ve had in years. The wonderful grapefruit note reminded me of some outstanding wines I’ve had in the past. Sorry people seem to have given you a hard time about the review and your NZ trip. Wonderful blog!

  • simon bramwell cole

    Hello Jamie

    well i never. i found myself in unfamiliar territory, on the internet checking out a delicious wine i stumbled across. Brancott Estate Sauvignon blanc and i saw your name come up. Naturally i checked out what you had to say on it and it seems you like it too. Coming from an expert on these matters it seems my inexperienced taste in wines has struck gold.

    Hope is well with you

    Simon (of The Bramwell clan)

  • Steve

    NZ Saugvignon Blanc is and has been mine and my Wife’s favourite wine for many years, particularly Montana, Marlborough, that is until the name was changed to Brancott! the 2012 vintage has in our opinion, been awful so much so that we have been ‘forced’ to purchase the more expensive NZ SB’s such as Ned and Villa Maria etc. We tend to buy from Costco in the UK as the on going and promotional price is much cheaper than the high street retailers. Are we alone in thinking the 2012 year was really bad? if so what has caused this? cost cutting or just a bad harvest year?
    Thanks,
    Steve.

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