Part of having this fun filled hobby [wine] is wine education and that means learning about the numerous wine producing regions and of course tasting what those regions have to offer. With such a wonderful global selection at our very finger tips, there is an endless list of wines to try and appreciate. That is one of the many aspects of wine I enjoy – Wine is full of intrigue, attraction, surprise, nuances and things that simply wow the senses. In this hobby you never run out of new things to taste and learn if you so choose to head down the hobbyist/enthusiast path.
So what is so special about New Zealand? Other than being a beautiful and enchanting country, New Zealand has set international benchmarks for their Sauvignon Blancs. In fact, New Zealand has influenced a wealth of winemakers from other wine producing regions to make their Sauvignon Blanc in New Zealand fashion or kiwi style, as it is sometimes referred to. One thing not to be turned off by however, is the screw cap enclosure you will likely find on a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. New Zealand spearheaded the movement of converting from cork to cap and removed the perception (for many) of screw caps often being associated with cheap wines (price & quality). Many others have followed this trend including South Africa, Australia, Spain, U.S., etc. for young fruit forward red and white wines that are meant to be consumed young.
Marlborough, located on the north end of south island, is the largest and well known wine region in New Zealand. Sauvignon Blanc is the most widely planted varietal in the region. Also planted and gaining popularity are Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir - but it indeed was Sauvignon Blanc that put the region on the global map. With that said, lets talk about more Sauvignon Blanc.
Review: The Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc 2006 is a pale straw with a greenish hue color and displays balance and elegance combined. The inviting bouquet offers pink grapefruit, pear and a faint hint of grassiness. The flavors are crisp and refreshing with citrus flavors dominating with nuances of peach, melon and a hint of pleasant minerality. Dezel would use descriptors like vibrant, alive, zest, balanced, concentrated and brilliant to describe this wine. Enjoy this wine on its own or pair it with seafood, spicy ethnic cuisine, grilled veggies, etc – it’s a food friendly wine so try whatever comes to mind that you think may work.
I found this wine at Total Wine for $12.99 (BARGAIN), but have seen the price all over the place. For example, Targets has it for $19.99, Safeway $15.99 (on sale - reg. $22.99), so if you find it for $12.99 get a few to last you through spring and summer! There are a great many New Zealand producers of festive to fine Sauvignon Blanc and prices usually range from $10 to $20 - if you have a favorite producer or find something pleasing feel free to share the find.
So what about Virginia Sauvignon Blanc you ask? From Dezel’s local wine treks, there has not been too much Sauvignon Blanc to taste. However, Linden Vineyards had and might still have a wonderful example of what the Sauvignon Blanc grape can do here in Virginia. Also, Naked Mountain does a Sauvignon Blanc, but it is on the light and subtle side, albeit nice and refreshing. In addition to, Chris Pearmund of Pearmund Cellars has released Pearmund Cellars first Sauvignon Blanc bottling – It is described as being styled in the tradition of a Pouilly Fumé, exhibiting lemon grass and gooseberry flavors in a crisp and tart wine. I do not know about you friends, but Dezel is anxious to taste the latest from Pearmund Cellars; sounds like bliss in a glass.
Stay tuned – Spring time Virginia wine suggestions upcoming!
Also, fellow Virginian and wine blogger Chris, recently visited New Zealand and posted a nice review as well as stunning photos on his blog - Wine With Dinner. Check it out!
Happy Sipping !