Last night I went to a brilliant dinner at Tredwells. Food by the talented Chantelle Nicholson was paired with a fabulous range of 12 Sauvignons from New Zealand, selected by Mel Brown of The New Zealand Cellar.
The great things about this selection is that explored just about all the major regions of the country. Of course, Marlborough is the home of Sauvignon and made the variety famous with its distinctive style. But here we had wines from Waiheke Island, Central Otago, North Canterbury, Nelson and Martinborough joining in the party. And these wines were all really good.
Marlborough was represented by some very interesting wines. Dog Point’s Section 94 is a complex, barrel-fermented style that really works and ages beautifully. Greywacke’s Wild Sauvignon is also made in a more complex style with lovely intensity, as is Seresin’s thought-proving, detailed wine. Perhaps more typical but still nicely complex is the Kim Crawford Spitfire, and Villa Maria’s Clifford Bay really captures that lovely Awatere Valley intensity and perfume.
The most European-styled of the bunch is Rippon, from Wanaka. This is so linear and mineral. I also really liked the bright, focused style of Man O’War from Waiheke. The most decadent of the bunch was the Pegasus Bay Sauvignon Semillon, with lovely sweet fruit.
Nelson seems to make tight, bright Sauvignons, and the Seifried Aotea and Neudorf were both very linear and pure. Martinborough was well represented with the complex, linear Ata Rangi and the very aromatic, pure Craggy Range. I didn’t take any notes, alas, but I really enjoyed experiencing the diversity of Kiwi Sauvignon matched with such good food. Sauvignon is a superb variety.
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