All Whites from New Zealand

Reviewed offers by Absolute Blizzard Resources, Le Vigne, The Local Nose and Wine Exchange Asia

You learn something new every day. The standard rule for sauvignon blanc is to drink it within 2 years, maybe 3 years right?  Well, maybe not. I just saw James Halliday’s review of 2008 / Domaine A / Lady A / Tasmania / Sauvignon Blanc in his May newsletter and the recommended drinking is out to 2018. So surprised by it that I double-checked. Yep, 2018 it is – more of a Bordeaux style apparently (and with a limit of 6 per customer from the winery).

By sheer coincidence, everything I reviewed this week came from New Zealand and here’s the pick of the bunch:

2009 / Desert Heart / Central Otago / Pinot Gris / S$35 at Wine Exchange Asia. 86 points from Bob Campbell (“above average”) with a RRP of NZ$24. This price puts it into the “terrific value” BBI.

2010 / Rockburn / Gibbston Valley / Pinot Gris / S$32 at Wine Exchange Asia. 85 points from Bob Campbell, still in the “above average” category, still in the “terrific value” BBI. RRP of NZ$25.

2010 / Sacred Hill / Marlborough / Sauvignon Blanc / S$26.67 by the half case at Le Vigne. Slightly less points from Bob Campbell (84) than the other two wines but still “good”. The price is stunning though. With a RRP of NZ$22, I don’t know how they do it at S$26.67. Outstanding value.

Frankly, it’s a toss up between the Rockburn and the Sacred Hill today.

The way things were: 1978, when champagne didn’t necessarily come from Champagne.

Today’s passing note:

“During a visit to a Hunter Valley winery which really should know better, and in fact enjoys a reputation better than most of its competitors, we observed a volume of dark liquid labelled  ‘ESSENCE OF OAK CHIPS’. We had only recently got used to seeing oak chips in sacks in winery outhouses, and now this. We presume it would be illegal to call such ‘wooded’ wine oak-aged.” – Winestate magazine, June 1983



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Wine quotations

"A good bottle of wine contains more philosophy than all the books in the world" - Louis Pasteur

“The unexacting palates of the masses…are content to ask no question [on origin] so long as a florin or half-a-crown will purchase a roomy flagon of strong , full-bodied, fruity wine” – CE Hawker writing in 1907