Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc can, on the surface, seem quite uniform in style, notwithstanding some notable exceptions. That it’s one of the most recognisable wines has much to do, I’m sure, with its success. It also causes me to wonder: if I were going to make such a wine, what would I be aiming for? Would I seek to out-Marlborough other wines, with even more up-front regional character? Or would I seek to tone down the style, maximising inoffensiveness and, presumably, appeal?
This wine’s answer is to combine the obviousness of the style with a few tricks to enhance drinkability. It certainly doesn’t hide its origins; on the nose, there’s enough pricky herbaceousness and gooseberry tartness to declare immediately what it is. But it pulls back from engaging a truly vulgar expression of the style. Whether you warm to this will depend very much on your affection for Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc; what’s evident, though, is the smart line drawn here; it’s not too much of any one thing and, given the style, that’s impressive.
The palate confirms the approach suggested by the nose, and in particular shows a sense of weight, if not overt residual sugar, that helps the package slip down oh-so-easily. On entry, lively acidity and passionfruit flavour promise satisfaction. The mid-palate is where the slippery, unexpectedly viscous mouthfeel appears, taming the wine’s acidity and helping flavours to show greater generosity. The after palate and finish thin out as one might expect, though there’s a trace of intensely aromatic passionfruit on the finish that is quite persistent.
A smart wine with a clear purpose.