edited by Sue Courtney
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Marlborough, New Zealand
After a week of tasting some of the best wines currently available in the country, endorsed by their show successes, the palate was pleased to find the excellence in wine continuing with this totally gorgeous, previously unrated, Craggy Range Avery Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2001 from Marlborough.
The sauvignon blanc had been opened on Friday night. It only took a moment, for it is sealed with a screwcap wine seal.
I tried the wine and was impressed.
Pale lemon in colour, with initial passionfruit, peach and oily summer herb flavours, this is a rich, full-bodied sauvignon with plenty of herbaceous zing, then limey citrus emerges to linger with gooseberry pungency on the flavoursome finish that has the sweetness of fully ripe fruit.
While writing my notes I poured a second glass, then tightly resealed the cap with a simple twist.
Then Sunday arrived. Although the first day of our daylight saving, the day dawned wet and blustery, more like autumn than mid-spring. Certainly a suitable day to laze on the couch watching Australia's famed V8 saloon car race being televised live from Mt Panorama in Bathurst. But with a warmth in the air, it was fitting to sip on the remainder of this sauvignon blanc with the late lunch I prepared.
The wine was just as gorgeous as it was on Friday night, with zingy flavours of lemon and lime citrus-poached peaches, oily summer herbs, pineapple and passionfruit, underlying gooseberry and that hallmark Marlborough sauvignon pungency with plenty of balanced acidity to carry the flavours on the length of the warm sweet fruit finish.
It is the style of wine that suits spring sipping, just great for lunch and the cafe scene.
When I reviewed the Saint Clair Wairau Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2001 three weeks ago, I said I couldn't wait for the new season's asparagus to come into the shops. Well the asparagus is here, so for lunch I prepared one of my tried and tested simple spring solutions, fresh pasta with asparagus and tomato. It only takes 5 minutes and can be prepared while the ads are on or while the safety car is out on the track. Check out my food file 'Simple Spring Solutions for Sauvignon' for the recipe, then pile the prepared pasta into a bowl and serve into individual serving dishes from the couch.
Craggy Range has a philosophy that all their wines will be single vineyard releases and new to the portfolio in 2001 is the stony greywacke vineyard of Richard and Linda Avery, which supplied the grapes for this wine.
For further information about the company, check out www.craggyrange.co.nz. Info about this particular wine was not available on the website at the time of writing, though. So for those readers who are interested in such technical details, the vineyard yield was 8.13 tonnes per hectare, the grapes were harvested at 22.7 brix and the wine has 13.4% alcohol by volume, wine acidity of 7.1 and a pH of 3.14.
Craggy Range guarantees to replace any wine that exhibits even the slightest indication of cork taint. If you experience this problem, call them on 0508 CRAGGY and they will send a replacement. Of course it will be impossible to come across this problem on the screwcapped Craggy Range Avery Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2001.
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