As part of the recent launch of Brancott Estate’s Chosen Rows Sauvignon, we were treated to an amazing tasting of top Sauvignon Blancs from around the world. You can read about the launch in full, but here I’m just going to post notes on these wines.
They were quite a varied bunch in terms of style. My favourites included the high-end white Bordeaux with its classy oak use and the Dog Point Section 94 which flirts with reduction quite beautifully. The Dagueneau was pretty smart, too, and I think Chosen Rows itself is spot-on.
Can Sauvignon be great? Is it a serious grape variety? I think so.
Viña Morande Edicion Limitada Sauvignon Blanc 2010 Casablanca, Chile
Very richly aromatic nose: melons, pear, peach. Lovely pure, rich open fruit. Bold, rich and tropical; lively and full. Subtle greenness in the background. 90/100
Cape Point Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2010 South Africa
Lovely focused grapefruit, herb and melon nose with subtle oak influence. Fine and expressive. The palate is delicate with lovely poise and weight. Nice ripe fruit combining with freshness and precision. 93/100
Dog Point Section 94 Sauvignon Blanc 2010 Marlborough, New Zealand
Fine, nervous, taut nose of spice, grapefruit and a hint of mineral/matchstick reduction. The palate is taut, textured and reductive with flint, minerals and spice. Stylish with lovely precision: an amazing Sauvignon. 94/100
Cloudy Bay Te Koko 2010 Marlborough, New Zealand
Rich with mango, peach, nuts, spice and grapefruit characters on the nose. Lively and intense on the palate with real richness. Supple, open and broad with peach and melon notes. Rich style. 92/100
Brancott Estate Chosen Rows Sauvignon Blanc 2010 Marlborough, New Zealand
Fine, nervous green herbal notes on the nose with some spiciness. The palate is fine and focused with broad green herby notes as well as textured citrus, white peach and pear characters. Still noticeably Marlborough Sauvignon, but very fine and linear with real finesse. 93/100
Henri Bourgeois Sancerre d’Anton 2010 Loire, France
Pure, linear and quite mineral with smooth texture. Rounded and fine with some melony richness, but also some fresh citrus and pear notes. Lovely smooth texture here: such a pure wine showing linearity and finesse. 93/100
Alphonse Mellot Sancerre Generation XIX 2010 Loire, France
Rich, almost tropical nose with sweet white peach and pear fruit and some oxidative notes. The palate is open, appley and melony with a hint of nuttiness. Textured and round with some baked apple character. Distinctive in a slightly oxidative style. 91/100
Domaine Didier Dagueneau Silex Pouilly Fumé 2010 Loire, France
Textured, full, broad Sauvignon with white peach and melon fruit. Broad and full, fine and seamless with lovely concentration and depth of flavour. 93/100
Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc 2010 Graves, Bordeaux, France
With 5% Sauvignon Gris and 5% Semillon in the blend, this is super stuff. Lovely precise, aromatic nose with open melon and grapefruit characters. Great finesse and purity. The palate is fine and expressive with some nutty notes as well as lively grapefruit and herbs. Really precise, complex and elegant. 95/100
Brancott Estate Chosen Rows Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Marlborough, New Zealand
70–80% of this wine was made in foudres. Amazingly intense, exotic nose of grapefruit and citrus with a bit of spice and some subtle green pepper notes. Speaks of its place. The palate is beautifully judged with hints of melon and citrus, as well as lively grapefruit notes. Stylish with precise fruit and lovely complexity. 94/100