There are those, I suppose, who will continue to trash Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc because there are so many (figuratively) watered down examples of the style. But we don’t write off Australian Shiraz because of [yellow tail]; a style owes more to its best examples than to its mass-market derivatives. That’s self-evident, but I’m amazed how often many wine lovers use Oyster Bay and its ilk as a crowbar with which to trash a key member of wine’s stylistic lexicon.
Try this instead. As with the 2010 version previously reviewed on this site, this is a great example of the refinement, complexity and transparency a good Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc delivers. Firstly, it smells clearly of what it is. Ferns, capsicum, passionfruit, citrus; this is a catalogue of correctness and, more importantly, balances its aromas so that no one element dominates. It’s also a delicate aroma within its style, avoiding the shoutiness than can plague lesser examples.
In the mouth, textbook balance and structure. I particularly like the way the acid line is completely folded into the fabric of the wine — helped by some weight on the mid-palate — which means the wine is bright without any harshness. Flavours continue their delicate presentation and show really remarkable complexity. Again, I’m reminded of how Riesling can be when it’s young – so transparent, refined yet full of flavour. This is definitely a wine that rewards close tasting. A decent finish, all things considered.