Older New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc: can it age? Should we cellar it?

While I was in New Zealand I got to try quite a few older New Zealand Sauvignons. Of course, most punters want the latest vintage of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, and this is really the main point of the style: bright with lovely aromatic interest and a fresh, zippy palate. That’s what made it successful. Young [...]

In New Zealand: Oz Clarke's remarkable paean to Sauvignon Blanc

So, the Sauvignon Blanc conference. Two and a half days focusing on this grape, which New Zealand has made its own. Talks and tastings; dinners and parties. And welcoming Blenheim (above), shy at first, but then opening up to receive a few hundred guests and locals. Two establishments in particular deserve mention: Ritual, for its [...]

Cotat Chavignol La Grande Côte Sancerre 1989 Loire, France

In advance of the Sauvignon Blanc symposium, Mike Weersing of Pyramid Valley opened this oldie for us when we visited. Sauvignon can age! Not always, but Cotat makes Sancerre in an ageworthy style. You might find these wines a little underwhelming in their youth, but give them some time and they can be lovely.

Cotat Chavignol [...]

Brancott Estate Chosen Rows 2013, and a recap on the 2010

Brancott Estate’s Chosen Rows Sauvignon Blanc is the result of their desire to make a high-end Sauvignon. I’ve been following this since its inception. Back in 2009, then chief winemaker with Montana (which is now Brancott) Jeff Clarke came to London to present a tasting of high-end Sauvignons from around the world, and to tell [...]

Craggy Range Avery Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Very impressed by this. It’s the Craggy Range Avery Vineyard Sauvignon, and it’s a very stylish, refined expression of the Marlborough style. It’s from a mature (22 year old) vineyard planted on stony soils between Blenheim and Renwick (in the Rapaura subregion), and it’s a relatively warm site.

Craggy Range Avery Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Marlborough, [...]

So it's Sauvignon Blanc day

I don’t really like grape variety days all that much. There are, I am told, some 1400 grape varieties grown commercially in the world. So that means that you’d have to share each and every day among at least three varieties, if their allocated days are spread evenly through the year. That could be boring.

It’s [...]

Tscheppe Green Dragonfly Sauvignon Blanc, amazing Austrian wine

This is quite special. It’s a Sauvignon Blanc from Sudsteiermark (south Styria) in Austria, made by Andreas Tscheppe. He’s one of a group of five producers working biodynamically in this pretty region, and I was introduced to his wines by Doug Wregg of Les Caves de Pyrene. Doug had just visited the region, and was [...]

Two amazing wines from François Cotat

He’s the total star of Sancerre. François Cotat (note, there’s a relation, cousin Pascal Cotat, and the wines of the two shouldn’t be confused) is one of the Loire’s most revered producers. Based in Chavignol, he has just three hectares, of which 0.5 ha is Pinot Noir. The Sauvignon is picked quite late, and then barrel [...]

New releases from Aussie star Shaw & Smith

I’ve reviewed the wines of Shaw & Smith before, here and here. I got to taste some of the latest releases, and I’m once again pretty impressed. The Sauvignon Blanc pays the bills for the other wines. The Chardonnay is probably the true star in the line up, but everything’s good here.

Shaw & Smith Pinot [...]

Springfield Life From Stone Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Now this is a wine I have struggled with in the past. I have found it to be excessively dominated by those green methoxypyrazine characters, to the point of unbalance, while everyone else has raved about it. But I’m an open-minded sort of guy, and trying this 2014 – well, I actually liked it. It’s [...]