Monday, November 28, 2011

Italian wine from New Zealand: Mount Nelson Sauvignon Blanc

Italians are some of the best cultural influencers on the wine world. French abroad tend to either shoot for greatness or discover the true meaning of the local terroir, and both are admirable. But Italians abroad, in my experience, tend to try to make wines that go with dinner.

I discovered the latest example of this by accident. I had a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc that was superb: delicious, food-friendly, without the "look at me, I'm a cough drop!" herbaceousness that some Marlborough wineries take over the top these days. It was a Sauvignon Blanc I couldn't have placed if I hadn't known the region, for it had the minerality of Bordeaux and the fruit of the best of California.

Turns out it's a product of the Antinoris, one of Italy's leading wine families. Marchese Antinori and his brother Piero bought the estate vineyard in 2003. The vineyard is just 18 meters above sea level, near the mouth of Cloudy Bay, which is pretty famous for its Sauvignon Blanc. The soil includes deep, stony river deposits, and maybe that accounts for the strong minerality of the wine.

Sometimes a wine blogger just has to blog about a wine he likes. Happy Monday.

Mount Nelson Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 ($19)
Imported by Wilson Daniels
Point score: 93
This wine engages the appetite with its intense aroma of lime pith and passion fruit, and then delivers a thirst-quenching rivulet that opens with passion fruit and finishes with chalk and lime pith. There's plenty of fruit, but the more you drink this wine, the more the minerality lingers on the palate; it stays interesting until the bottle is empty. 13% alcohol.

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Wilson Daniels said...

Thanks, Blake. We are so glad you liked it.

Anonymous said...

Cool, thanks for sharing. Will have to check it out.

Pietro said...

I first discovered this one when Antinori had not yet bought the property but had bought the wine.
Outstanding. One of my favourite wines but a bit pricey in Italy ( much more than in the U.S.)

Unknown said...

Hi. I used this wine as one of my three ,new zealand sauvignon blanc, selections for my first week of sommelier training.. It has a strong citric flavor, acidic,with herbal notes and strong alcohol.. Great minerality and flavor that both hang on for a long time. Was great paired with ,cordon bleu, and white cheddar.. Choa; Jonny Walker..