Few wines in living memory hit the world as hard and as fast as Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. Speaking as someone living the UK I’d guess that most of my mates, whether they’re wine-o’s or just having a few glasses here and there, will have drunk this eponymous white wine. In the late 90s and throughout the 2000’s it became a wine that even if you weren’t paying attention, you’d still kind of recognised it.
Lots of acidity in there, gooseberry, lychee, tropical fruits, and a lovely texture when you were swilling it round your mouth. I still remember heading down to Majestic Wine a few years back to make sure my stocks of Ned were always topped up. But what do they say about too much of a good thing?
Fast forward to these days and Kiwi wine makers are almost apologetic about it as wine drinkers now give it the same attitude as a shit 80s perm. I mean that’s just daft, that classic Kiwi style is still incredible, but I guess we’ve had our fill of it for now maybe? Well from what I tasted at the NZ Wine tasting last week, they’ve come up with a solution, or eight!
They ran a “Sauvignon Blanc” masterclass. There were 8 different glasses on the list (from what I can remember) and all of them tasted completely different. Well, I say different, they were all still the same grape, but you know what I mean. Some oaked, some smokey, some minerally, and rather than try and copy the Marlborough style to get sales volumes up, different regions round the two islands are pioneering their own take on it. Really great to see.
Keep an eye out for the new styles hitting wine lists near you soon!