This is the fourth and last installment on New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and like the second installment, it is mistitled. The Sauvignon Blanc description from the last blog actually was cribbed from a review of The Crossings so if you want to know what the Crossings tastes like, read the last article. It is fun to mess with you all in these things. In blogging, there is freedom.
Marlborough, the northeast tip of the southern New Zealand island, is the finest region for wine production in New Zealand and 65% of all of New Zealand wine comes from there. Sauvignon Blanc is New Zealand's claim to fame wine-wise and 75% of Marlborough production is Sauvignon Blanc. The Crossings comes from the Awatere Valley which is southeast of the larger, better know Wairau Valley in Marlborough. Awatere, while sunny, is also cooler, drier, and smaller in area (3,000 acres) than Wairau. It gets its name from the Awatere river and the valley surrounds the township of Seddon.
Like most of the world's fine wine regions, Awatere soil is semi-fertile at best. It is loess (clay and silt windblown sediment) over gravel which is both heat reflective and ideal for drainage. In Bordeaux where the Sauvignon Blanc grape originated, the soil is similarly gravelly but with a different minerality makeup. The wine there lacks the intensity of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc but the floral component is heightened and as is always the case, the wines are more food friendly. Loire Valley Sancerre only starkens the contrast.
So here's the rub. The subtext of this series has been that stylistic differences make assumptions of greatness relative. To proclaim New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc to be the world's best, overlooks the attributes of others and the appropriateness for the cuisine on the table. That and "in your face" New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc may win in an intensity dash, but "less is more" may win the marathon.
This Friday (5-7pm) we will be tasting The Crossings Sauvignon Blanc and another white along with four reds which seems to be our norm at this time of the year. Cite this blog and get 20% off on Crossings on the night of the tasting.