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Monday, 2 May 2011

Classic South Nelson Sauvignon Blanc, 2010 - Naked Wines

Let me start by saying this Sauvignon from New Zealand is perhaps the best white wine I have had from Naked Wines so far - certainly, the one I have enjoyed the most.

It hails from Nelson, located at the northern tip of the South Island which, although perhaps not yet quite as well-known as places such Marlborough, is gaining a reputation as one of the best regions in New Zealand.

Winemaker Heidi Seifried says of the area: my mother and father pioneered modern wine-grape growing in the South Island of NZ. This was back in the early 70s when as a young couple they were told Nelson was too far south and that grapes would only ever be viable in the North Island of NZ.

Of all the New World countries, New Zealand perhaps has as much as anywhere to offer in terms of terroir - it certainly seems so in this case; cooler than the regions further north but with high levels of sunshine hours, this results in a wine with 13% alcohol, but a crisp and focused linear acidity - very different from the lusher style of tropical Sauvignon from the warmer North Island.

To me, with its acidity and structure, this wine speaks of a place, of its terroir, so it was no real surprise to learn that Heidi's winemaking philosophy is focused on a mixture of terroir and good practice:

- Let the vineyard speak through in the wine.
- Ideally, winemaking is just capturing and retaining what has been achieved in the vineyard.
- Fruit purity is all important when we are talking about our wines!
- Clean, well-made wines are imperative.
- Keep tasting wine; no matter how many wines you have tasted in the past, or how much you know about wine, there are always more undiscovered wines out there to learn about and enjoy!

The wine itself is pale yellow and translucent in the glass and has a flinty and slightly herbaceous nose with a hint of honey or beeswax.

On the palate it is crisp yet mouthfilling with lively acidity, some ripe, tropical fruit - pineapple, guava and passionfruit - good, honeyed weight and body and a long minerally finish.

It feels technically very well-made and has a superb balance between ripe fullness on the palate, great structure and subtle, elegant fruit expression.

Match with either a traditional goat's cheese or something zesty like saltimbocca.

£9.49, with a 33% discount for Angels (for more on the Angels scheme, see here).


Naked Wines - http://www.nakedwines.com/

Heidi Seifried - http://www.nakedwines.com/winemakers/heidi-seifried.htm

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