Most wine lovers these days are fully aware of the amazing quality and popularity of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Common descriptors include ‘vibrant,’ ‘aromatic,’ ‘intense,’ ‘pungent’ and the ever-popular ‘zing.’ Wine writer Oz Clarke has judged New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc as being “arguably the best in the world.” It is a curious and delicious melding of purity and intensity which offers distinctive fruit matched by an appealing and balancing acidity.
It is strange to think that two decades ago New Zealand wine was largely unknown to the international market. Plantings of vines in Marlborough, now New Zealand’s premier wine region, began only in the 1970’s. Today Marlborough, on the northeastern end of the South Island, accounts for 75% of New Zealand’s wine production, and Sauvignon Blanc accounts for 72% of wines made in New Zealand.
It is unfortunate that New Zealand has yet to capture the world’s attention with other varietals. There is a scattered interest in some of their other aromatic whites – Pinot Gris, Riesling, even Grüner Veltliner. Their Pinot Noir has some international following. And there are some very impressive Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon from Hawkes Bay on the North Island which have yet to be discovered internationally.
In the meantime, ABC is happy to offer a new, quality New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc – Sea Pearl from Marlborough – at a very affordable price. Sea Pearl gets its name and its colorful label from the pāua, a type of abalone unique to New Zealand’s cool shallow waters. Its brilliant, iridescent shell – which represents the stars in Māori mythology – has the widest spectrum of color of all abalone and is often used in local art and jewelry. The pāua also produces a most stunning pearl.
Sea Pearl Sauvignon Blanc in the new 2015 vintage is crafted from some of the best sub-regions of Marlborough, including the Wairau Valley. The fruit is harvested at the optimum moment of ripeness and immediately transported to the winery. There it is pressed with minimal skin contact and cool fermented in stainless steel. The resulting wine is full of fresh aromas and classic flavors of citrus and passionfruit, with a pleasing herbaceous note.
It is a real treat. So start – or continue – your love affair with New Zealand’s wines with Sea Pearl Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc!
Bill Stobbs, ABC Wine & Spirits Supervisor
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