|The Crossings (New Zealand) Suvignon Blanc 2001
Marlborough in New Zealand is renowned as a centre of excellence for Sauvignon Blanc. It carved its reputation through gloriously vivacious and aromatic Sauvignons that were quite unlike the wines of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, the variety's spiritual home. In recent years however, Marlborough Sauvignons seem to me to have pulled back on their uniquely pungent style, in favour of a more restrained, classic balance. That may not be good news for one of the world's most individual styles, but it does make the wines more food-friendly and might find a wider fan-base if they can retain enough difference. This example has elegant white fruit and pepper on the nose, lots of citrus and just a suggestion of oily green bean. A little zesty, glimpse of grapefruit and lychee, but all very cool and stylish. On the palate there's a searing core of tongue-tingling mineral acidity which is razor sharp rubbing against keen citrus fruit. The wine has plenty of weight and a fine, rich texture which broadens out these steely flavours. The impression in the mouth is further softened by a subtle tropicality, but the verve and length of this wine is all about crisp, apple and mineral flavours and purity of fruit into a long, lingering finish. No dazzling display of Marlborough fireworks, but classic European-style Sauvignon blast with just a bit more oomph than most. Lovely stuff, and very well priced.