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Wine of the Week for week ending 1 July 2001
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House of Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc 2000
Marlborough, New Zealand

Perchance I happened to be in Auckland City the other day and took the opportunity to pop into Seamart on the way home to pick up some fresh fish for dinner. The smell of the smoking fish that filled the air around the street and car park proved irresistible and so I was drawn to smoked fish section of the store. There were many varieties of fish in the cabinet. "Which is the most recently smoked?" I asked. "Snapper" replied the salesperson. "Oh, and this hapuka", she said pointing to the honey gold coloured fillets. So the hapuka was the one I chose and when I arrived home I decided to make smoked fish in a white sauce which I filled into vol-au-vent pastry cases.

But what about a wine to accompany this food? I decided a sauvignon blanc might just be the thing.

Image of 187ml Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc label And indeed, the House of Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc 2000 went fabulously with the dish, especially as I had used plenty of fresh sweet herbs - chives, parsley and coriander - in the sauce.

The House of Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc is just one of the stunning Sauvignon Blanc wines in the Nobilo / Selaks portfolio. I had been besotted with the Selaks Drylands Sauvignon Blanc 2000 earlier in the year and this seems almost just as good.

There's plenty of herbaceous flavours in this crisp clean wine with citrus, gooseberry and a hot flinty, smoky flavour that goes so well with the fish. The wine has not seen oak however, it's just a character the wine has picked up as it develops in the bottle almost a year on from bottling.

There's a grassy pungent flavour that lingers in the mouth. That's one of the things I like about Sauvignon Blanc - you get value for money with the flavours remaining so long after the wine has been swallowed.

And there is plenty of value in this wine that sells for a mere snip at anywhere from NZ$13.50 to NZ$17 a bottle depending where you shop.

I also like the fact that at the Nobilos winery in Huapai just 20 minutes drive north west of downtown Auckland, you can buy this wine in 187ml screw-capped bottles. While these small bottles were made for the airlines, they are handy to have for the picnic basket, while the empty bottle is great for preserving left-over wine.

Never mind that it is mid winter here in New Zealand. The 12.5% alcohol content in this wine will soon bring a glow to your cheeks.

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