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DIGEST Titirangi

WORDS ON WINE with Lindsay Nash

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You don’t need to believe everything you read in wine columns, not even this one. Some will tell you that New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is best drunk when it is young. Yes, but not too young. Some 2010 Sauvignon Blancs seem to me

to be at their peak right now, while some 2011 versions have yet to blossom in the bottle. Stoneleigh 2010 for example is a beautifully fruity example from Marlborough’s Wairau Valley, giving the passionfruit and melon flavours typical of that area. And then there’s the “sweaty armpit” effect you sometimes detect, not so much talked about these days but nevertheless an accurate description. As the January 2011 Cuisine article noted, the cooler Awatere valley

nearby tends to produce the more herbaceous, mineral flavoured wines, maybe a bit more gooseberry and zingy. The Waihopai Valley style is something in between, as with the 2010 Ned, top in the Cuisine tasting and sometimes great value on a special at about $15. Winemakers sometimes talk about “bottle shock”, the negative effect

on wine straight after bottling. It doesn’t last long but maybe with some screw tops it lingers a little. Meanwhile seek out any remaining 2010 Sauvignon Blancs still on the shelves. Some Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs do age well, Seresin’s

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Marama, for example. It is a fascinating wine, with an enchantingly fragrant bouquet, a weighty, fruity mouth feel, and a rewarding after taste. It’s not cheap at around $40, but worth it for a special occasion. A couple of curiosities at the bottom my cellar concern me, two

Montana Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs, 1994 and 1997. Tinned asparagus is probably what awaits the drinker, but when shall I open them! My mother-in-law’s approaching 90th birthday has set me thinking

about suitable wines. Bubbly, of course. For close members of the family, one of our last bottles of Collard’s splendid 2004 Queen Charlotte Riesling. Then there’s a special bottle my stepson brought, a 2008 Framingham

F-series Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. It’s reputedly a powerful, complex, non-herbaceous style, at the end of the taste spectrum I prefer. This might not get beyond Jared and me. Perhaps this is the occasion also to open those old Montana





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