This week we taste an emblematic wine from the New World: Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. With this popular style, you will see how a seemingly simple white wine can be a great roller coaster ride.
What is a tasting challenge? With 34 wines from 12 countries, you can improve your wine taste every week – the wine tasting challenge.
This week we are tasting the Kia Ora Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
Trial Challenge: Sauvignon Blanc New Zealand
The rivalry between the Old World Sauvignon Blanc and New Zealand is intense. Okay, so maybe it’s not really a street fight. Maybe it’s just an intense fight, but there’s definitely a line drawn in the sand.
This is partly due to the enormous volume that kiwis grow: more than 24,000 hectares of sauvignon blanc in an area the size of Oregon.
So if you want to know about Sauvignon Blanc, you can hardly move to New Zealand.
With this in mind we went to an area perhaps better known as New Zealand: Marlborough. It’s a place where you can find wine of any quality and price, but it still screams New Zealand.
Getting an award-winning book
Discover the wine with this incredible visual guide. Winner of the James Beard Award.
Moreover, we have found the vintage 2020! It is as fresh as possible at the moment, although we hope it will not taste as good as this year.
2020 Kia Ora Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
Appearance: a pale straw
The smells: Gooseberry, kiwi, herbs, honeydew, chopped herbs, guava, chamomile, grapefruit and a hint of paprika.
In the palace: The greenest citrus! Grapefruit and grapefruit peels are in almost equal proportions. Bitter herb, very spicy. A hint of peach at the end.
Sorted food: I immediately thought of the Pad Thai, which I recently had for dinner, and I regretted that it had disappeared. The goat’s cheese would be excellent. Not to mention the fresh seafood.
What we have learned about Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc has a lot in the glass. In the beginning, the New Zealand style hits you with big fruit and you assume that’s all it has to offer.
And then it starts green. Bitter herbs and herbaceous notes that give the impression of having eaten a grapefruit, with the leaves, the trunk and possibly the bark of the tree.
It is reminiscent of the tones often found in Caribbean cuisine: spicy herbs surrounded by an abundance of tropical fruits. On paper you don’t think it should work, but it all fits together so well.
This ripe fruit is a big part of what people like so much about New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.
It is a much louder and more dynamic style than, for example, the more subtle styles of cold climates in the Loire region in France. This explains why the dividing line between Old and New World fans is so divided.
In any case, it is a unique grape that produces both fruit and skins to the same extent.
This is also one of those wines we recommend to beginners. He’s tall and friendly, like a golden retriever. But if you stop and really pay attention, it has its own complexity. So, as a golden retriever who can play chess.
That’s pretty cool.
Can’t you find the wine? You don’t have to taste the exact same wine. So, if you’re looking for alternatives to do your job, you can search for options on Wine Access.
So, what did the Sauvignon Blanc taste this week? Did you cross the line and try something from France? What about South Africa – again, good examples! Tell us about the scores in the comments below.
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