Brancott's New 'Icon' Sauvignon Blanc

I didn’t have as much time as I’d have liked at the New Zealand trade tasting today, but I’m glad that Patrick Materman (above) grabbed me to pour an exciting new Sauvignon Blanc into my glass.

Patrick is the chief winemaker at Pernod Ricard’s Brancott Estate (formerly Montana), and for the last few years has been involved in a project to develop an ‘icon’ Sauvignon: the next generation of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. I reported on this some time ago.

A wine was made in 2009 but not released. ‘The wine needed over-explaining,’ said Patrick. ‘It was about learning where the best blocks were.’ We tried this, and I was really impressed: it’s a serious Sauvignon with lovely intensity and purity.

The 2010, however, will be released, although the name has not yet been decided. ‘2010 has a standout factor,’ says Patrick, and he is right. They’ve increased the proportion of wild-ferment, run the vineyard blocks with lower yields, and fermented and matured in large oak (10 000 litre barrels).

It’s a brilliant wine. Expressive, lively and mineral with great concentration and intensity, building up on the palate from a taut, focused entry into a broad, expansive finish. The fruit spectrum spans from grapefruit to nectarine, with lovely acidity. It’s one of the greatest expressions of this grape that I’ve tried.

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