I gather the previous vintage was well rewarded at wine shows. Presuming the 09 is made in a similar style, I can see why. This is a generously flavoured wine, quite different in style from, say, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, despite a similarly vivid outlook.
The nose is as cuddly as Sauvignon Blanc gets, with pungent yet soft aromas of unripe passionfruit, crushed leaf and gin. Somehow, it puts in me in mind of Smith’s Salt and Vinegar Chips, undoubtedly the best salt and vinegar crisp on the market. It’s not a seawater thing; rather it suggests the morish deliciousness of salt combined with the raw astringency of vinegar and the addictive sweetness of potato.
The palate is quite gentle in the context of the style, though it takes until the middle palate for this to register. The attack is actually quite tight and crisp, acidity creating the greatest impression. Things broaden as the wine progresses, mouthfeel becoming thicker and flavour becoming sweeter. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a hint of well-judged residual sugar, though it could just be the fruit. The acid rises again through the after palate, bringing back some zing and whisking the wine away to a clean finish. No great length, but that’s not a surprise considering the variety.
A really crowd-pleasing style at a good price. Not my style, mind, but that’s neither here nor there.