Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2009 "Marlborough"

When you are tasting your way through Sauvignon Blanc wines there are basically three styles you can look forward to: "Loire" style which is minerally, "steely", slightly "green" herbal and probably the most elegant style for Sauvignon Blanc, "Bordeaux" style where you get more blends of this grape with Semillon where the wine is a little more "round", hints of citrus, then there is "New Zealand" style where you get excellent expression of gooseberry and grassiness with more steel fermentation to get leanness but not quite the minerality of a Loire. California tends to be all over the map though it seems that quite a few producers lean toward the Bordeaux styles. So here we have Spy Valley's wonderful entry, a definitive New Zealand style Sauvignon Blanc. Compared to the last two of this variety I have to say this one is a powerhouse and gives you a great introduction to Sauvignon Blanc without being expensive. In the glass the wine was very pale straw with just a touch of green showing both varietal expression and youth. The nose was fantastic expressing limes, gooseberry, a little grapefruit and green grassiness. Commit this nose to memory and you will always tell a Sauvignon Blanc. The wine is zippy, medium (+) acidity, lean but not so racy as to make you shudder or hurt your teeth. There is a touch of fruity sweetness that works well with the acidity, hints of lime, tangerine and grapefruit all rolling together to provide a lip-smacking medium length finish that somehow produced the slightest hint of flint. Go get it and see why it earned a Wine Spectator 91... hard to beat for the less than $13 a bottle price.

Number of wines reviewed in 2010: 96

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