Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Saint Clair 2006 Vicar's Choice Sauvignon Blanc
Marlborough, New Zealand
Winemaker: Matt Thomson
New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs are considered some of the best in the world right now, so I decided to put that reputation to the test. I bought the Saint Clair Vicar's Choice 2006 vintage, produced in the famed Marlborough Region, the region attributed with starting the New Zealand wine industry in the 1970s.
The power happened to be out in my apartment that day, so I couldn't really chill the wine (the refrigerator had warmed up too much). Since white wines are traditionally served chilled, this could have proved to be disastrous. However, the situation turned out to be an unexpected boon. Gary Vaynerchuk is always saying that drinking any wine chilled makes it more difficult to taste everything it has to offer (and also hides the flaws), and I think I am starting to come around to that. At room-temperature, this wine was bursting with complexity of flavors, while the next day, when I had it chilled, it seemed uninteresting and rather common.
The color of this wine is about average for Sauvignon Blanc: a pale, delicate yellow. On the nose, the characteristic grapefruit is very strong, but there are also hints of dill and more tropical fruits, like mango perhaps. The mouthfeel is really quite lovely, with a nice, clean acidity balanced with a hint of sweetness. On the midpalate, there is a really clean burst of lemon or tangerine rind, and the finish is bright and clean. This is a super refreshing wine, even warm!
On a side note, this bottle (like most bottles from New Zealand and Australia) is sealed with a screw cap instead of a cork. I found this very interesting Wikipedia article about cork alternatives that talks about the various benefits and disadvantages of cork and the alternative sealing devices. Check it out!