Villa Maria Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2006
WINEMAKER’S COMMENTS Clifford Bay’s cooling influence has an intensifying effect upon varietal flavours from vineyards at the eastern end of the Awatere Valley. This wine shows powerful aromas of currants, wild grass and fresh lime. It has a generous, fleshy mouthfeel and long, steely finish. VINTAGE The 2007 vintage was characterised by moderate yields and ideal growing conditions. Marlborough experienced poor flowering in December, resulting in a ‘tempering’ of yields. From the end of January to harvest rainfall was low and the days were sun-drenched allowing for fruit to be harvested in prime condition and at the ideal point in its flavour development and balance. VINEYARDS The Clifford Bay region of Marlborough produces intensely flavoured and ripe fruit. Many of these vineyards are close to the sea, with the sea breeze moderating vineyard temperatures during the growing season. Free-draining stony soils overlie mudstone subsoils, allowing irrigation to be carefully controlled during the season, restraining vegetative growth whilst providing good fruit exposure. Additional vineyards from further into the Awatere Valley were selected this year to blend with the coastal Clifford Bay vineyards. In warmer years, such as 2006, these vineyards can produce full flavoured wines. WINEMAKING Small parcels of fruit from the carefully managed low cropping vines in the Lower Dashwood and the northern banks of the Awatere River were harvested at optimal ripeness. The parcels were processed separately, where gentle juice extraction and clean racking of juice prior to fermentation maximised the aromatics. The use of neutral yeast strains and cool fermentation techniques has ensured the fresh and intense aromas from the grapes carried through into the wine.
Screw top? No problem. (Love natural cork though). Serve below chilled! First nose: fruity (citrus) Secondary nose: herbaceous (some coriander and parsley) Taste: melon, lemon, passion fruit and peach (or apricot). Sorry, no banana or gooseberry (I think, definitely no banana) Finish: smooth velvet, a bit complex/soft mint-peppermint finish Good with oven cooked mustard salmon with black pepper and lime zest accompanied with baked potatoes and carrots. Try not to use garlic butter (or too much butter) as it ruins the finish. Wish to try with some rosemary oven roasted chicken with lots of cherry tomatoes and ginger/honey potatoes!!
This New Zealand wine was sold by the bottle at a restaurant that I waited tables at in Melbourne, Australia. It is an extremely good value. I have found it in wine shops in Manhattan. Don't let the screw top put you off. This is a wonderful Sav Blanc with a mild but wonderful floral bouquet.
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