Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cellarmistress Tastes Live---From New Zealand!

No. I didn't actually go to New Zealand but I am forever honored to have tasted four very different and well-received wines that will forever stick in my mind! In October, I was given the opportunity to do TasteLive once again--this time from New Zealand. There were two tastings--Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. I chose to do the Sauvignon Blanc tasting as I live in the Midwest and it was earlier in the evening. The later tasting was for the west coast. I love surprises! Once everything was finalized, I received a box of samples via DHL Global from Nautilus Estate in New Zealand and one wine to complete the collection of four from Bin Ends Wine, here in the US.

Myself and my fellow blogger, David Honig (New York wine blogger and founder of Palatepress--The Online Wine Magazine) were the two wine bloggers to do this Sauvignon Blanc tasting. Originally, we were told our Tweets (on Twitter) would be seen by people attending the Marlborough Wine Weekend in New Zealand. But a slight snafu (due to that pesky German hash tag) caused us to be pretty much be tasting by our lonesomes... I don't think they were happy the next day. They didn't see our Tweets! (Note to all involved--I certainly hope this didn't hurt our chances of doing this again. It was an amazing experience. We just need to work out the bugs, which I believe we are doing...) There was a lot of "Hellooooo! Are you there?" going on. It certainly was a crazy night, but I'm glad I did it because after the fact, I looked at my notes and realized why these wines were chosen---they were all unique and different. (That would be the supertaster in me saying that!)

As I write this, staring at my notes, I am hypothetically tasting them again and I am not sure I am tasting them in order, but who cares--let's just taste them...

2007 Lawson's Dry Hills 2007 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc--Ah, the Lawson's Dry Hills--I say this as I stare at an old cork with their name on it. However, they haven't done cork for a very long time. Ten years ago when I first began my wine tasting journey, this was the first Sauvignon Blanc I ever fell in love with. For as long as I can remember, this Sauvignon Blanc always stood out in my mind as the prototype I would know and love for the next several years. That grassy, gooseberry flavor. They've never really steered away from that formula. And theirs was the first wine I ever saw that had a screwcap as opposed to cork. It seems to work. (All the bottles I received had screwcaps.) They have stuck to their tried and true formula. The wine was pleasant, easy to drink, delicious, full of gooseberry and grass and I truly enjoyed it! (I really wanted some sushi but didn't have time to stop and get any!)

The 2007 Nautilus Estate Sauvignon Blanc was a bit different than the other. More on the herbaceous side. It has a pleasant nose and a lot of green pepper and grapefruit flavor. Very spicy and crisp finish. Zing! I totally wanted sushi with it at that point. It would really pair well with other fish dishes or even Asian foods. Spicy foods? Not a problem. Perfect! This wine, made by winemaker Clive Jones, has won many awards over the years. Kudos to Clive for all his hard work and it shows! Really a nice find!

Holy mango! Can you say tropical? The next wine was the 2007 Highfield Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. The mango flavor was incredible--passionfruit, mango, wow! There still was a bit of the herbaceous, green pepper thing going on the end but the mango was big enough to overpower it to the end. Believe me, any hint of green pepper gets forgotten. Very nice. I dream of a day I can have this wine in my cellar full-time! Loved it!

2007 Seresin Marama. This is the Sauvignon Blanc like no other I've ever experienced. It says it goes through partial malolactic fermentation. Holy buckets! It's a Sauvignon Blanc impersonating a Roussanne impersonating a Chardonnay. Every moment of this wine was encompassed by richness, medium-full mouthfeel, tropical center, creamy caramel came next with a crispy finish. It's like trying three different wines in one shot! Fantastic!! And amazing... Motherlode! I've been waiting ten years for something like this. It's a real escape!

If you visit the wineries and their respective websites, you can find out if they distribute in your area. These are all worth tasting.

I want to thank all the people that made this possible for me: Taste Live, Craig Drollett, Wines Of Marlborough, Seresin Estate, Nautilus Estate and all the New Zealand wineries that follow me on Twitter and Facebook. This tasting has definitely inspired me to sample more Sauvignon Blancs! I'm looking forward to sampling more of your wines in the future!

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