It has not been a love story between me and New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Thankfully the relationship is improving as I have recently tasted a number of far more sophisticated examples. This was purchased from Aldi for £9.99 and I admit to being dubious spending this amount at a low cost retailer. As with many of these wines it is difficult to know who produces this. From my understanding this is barrel fermented and blended from 2-3 selected plots across the estate. As such the wine has the opportunity to explore the terroir relative to more mass produced wines.
Aldi, Lot 13 ‘Port Underwood’ Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand, 2015
There is an almost spritzy feeling on first tasting leading in to lemon juice from attack through to the end palate. Searing acidity cuts through to the back of the mouth resulting in good focus. The late palate has spice, warmth and a rounded body from the oak with nutty tones and a buttery mouthfeel. As this wine warmed up it became progressively more savoury with a note of capsicum coming through although this faded on day 2. The finish has a delightful splash of saltiness and stones.
Conclusion: A serious and sophisticated Sauvignon Blanc showing restraint and a giving sense of the terroir. The barrel fermentation adds both warmth and body from the oak but also a slight malolactic flare. This would be marvelous with rich fish or seafood but make sure the flavours of the food are robust.
Score: 89/100 (DT)