We continue our theme of perfect summer wines with this 2015 Sauvignon Blanc from Isabel, one of the oldest producers from the Wairau Valley in the heart of the famous Marlborough wine producing region of New Zealand. The growing season is bright and cool and relatively long; it enjoys sunny autumns which allow the fruit to develop its characteristic intensity. The terroir is unusual for Marlborough as it has a narrow layer of clay in the subsoil, in addition to free-draining gravel. Pruning and thinning of the bunches ensures grape quality is maintained, with a small (20%) portion of the grapes being fermented in small oak barrels. Bright and sparkling in the glass; aromas of green lime and elderflower. Rich on the palate, with more tropical fruits, Isabel nevertheless maintains a refreshing wet-stone minerality, with a long finish. A wine at the pinnacle of NZ sauvignon.
Few white grapes are as universally recognisable. While most are content to aim for no more than citrussy simplicity, Sauvignon Blanc is irrepressible. Its intensely green verve, tart fruit and racy acidity have driven plantings in nearly every cool graperowing region on the globe. Though the south west of France and the more northern Loire Valley both claimed it as their own for many years, it has in the last generation found a new spiritual home in Marlborough, on New Zealand‘s South Island.
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