Just the other day, I was reflecting on the nature of quality and Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, on how to tease apart a bunch of wines whose obviousness of style tends to cause them to be lumped into a single, undifferentiated lump (I’m just as guilty as the next wine writer on this count). Along comes this wine to provide some answers.
It really is excellent. I’ve always liked Dog Point wines and feel they are especially sophisticated expressions of their regional styles. And it’s sophistication that immediately lifts this wine above any number of others. It’s complex, aromatically, with honey and grass and capsicum and gooseberry and, well, you get the idea. Typicité in spades, then; what’s rarer is how this almost magically balances each element and has them weave in and out of the overall profile, all with the most beguilingly supple liveliness. It’s what separates a great dancer from a merely good one, such nuance and seamless transition between attitudes. A pleasure to smell.
The palate is in no way a let down. Crisp and quite minerally, it again shows amazing complexity for such a simply made style. Here, I’m reminded of the best Rieslings and the way they can at times possess an infinite, fractal-like depth of flavour; do we underestimate this varietal? The more vulgar aspects are kept in check, but not through any artificiality in the vineyard or winery designed to pull back the style; there are no extremes here at all. An intriguing, slightly candied finish rides what has become by this stage a drying, chalky mouthfeel.