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December 23, 2016 Wine Pick of the Week

Sunday, 18 December 2016 16:42

Matua Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc Picmonkey

2015 Sauvignon Blanc

 

Matua

Marlborough (New Zealand)

Alcohol: 13.%

Suggested Retail: $ 13

“Your reviewer remembers chatting with Evan Goldstein at a tasting in San Francisco years ago. There were many wines being poured that afternoon, and not just from California, but around the world. Did anything in particular stand out, he asked? Well yes, I replied. I thought the Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand were really exciting. They were a totally different style from anything I’d experienced before—especialy vivid and bracing. Evan had become the world’s youngest Master Sommelier not too long before that time and I was pleased to find that this acknowledged expert felt just as I did.

“Today’s Wine Pick of the Week may not have been among those we sampled that day, but it was Matua that produced the first Sauvignon Blanc in New Zealand back in 1974 so you might say that this company ‘invented’ the style. Though Matua grows grapes in several parts of the country, this wine comes from grapes grown in the Marlborough region, which is at the northern part of New Zealand’s South Island.

The 2015 Matua Sauvignon Blanc exudes herbal and citrus aromas, as well as some fresh pineapple.  We find these aspects reprised in the flavor, along with some crisp green apple and what we call ‘Kiwifruit’ in the U.S. (just as you won’t find ‘French Fries’ in France, where they’re known as pommes frites, New Zealanders refer to this same fruit as ‘gooseberry’ or sometimes ‘Chinese gooseberry’).  There are consumers who find the boldest examples of the New Zealand style with this grape variety to be overpowering. For them we think the 2015 Mantua might be a good compromise as it is somewhat lighter than the full-blown, slap-you-in-the-face NZ style.

We’ve reviewed the 2015 vintage here, but it will soon be supplanted by the ‘16s in the marketplace.  If that sounds awfully young, remember that in the Southern Hemisphere harvest happens in the spring so it’s half a year older than an American or European wine bearing that same vintage date on its label.”

Food Affinity:  “We suggest a simply grilled piece of white fish (ling cod, halibut, branzino?) would be perfect. However, those of you who like to enjoy preparing sauces might experiment with some more exotic pairings.”  

 

Editor’s Note:  Wines reviewed in Taste Washington Travel are encountered by our staff in several ways. They can be discovered at trade tastings or visits to wineries. They may also be purchased by staff members for their own tables or be those sent by wineries for possible review. This is an editorial feature, not advertising, and appearance cannot be secured by payment. More information can be had by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Last modified on Wednesday, 28 December 2016 19:07

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