Racy,grassy and limey. Sauvignon Blanc

The Sommelier India Panel tastes Sauvignon Blanc wines from New Zealand
(Right: Zesty, aromatic and dry: New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs tasted by the SI Panel)

The enthusiasm for the Tasting Panel continued with the second tasting in what looks to become a popular feature of Sommelier India. Our regular panelists, Reva Singh, Rukn Luthra, Andrew Steele and Harshal Shah were joined by the very able Australian sommelier, Kavita Faiella, formerly with the impressive Conrad Resort in the Maldives and now Cellar Master at the Aman New Delhi. Kavita is a third level Master Sommelier and a welcome addition to the professional wine scene in Delhi which so far only boasts one actively working, qualified sommelier, Stephane Soret, of The Imperial. Among the range of Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs available in India, we were fortunate to taste eight, thanks to the various importers. There were a couple of standouts for each taster, but on the whole, the quality of the wines – which were tasted blind – was high, with all of them scoring well. Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc was the unanimous favourite but Seresin and Villa Maria Reserve also stood out. The wines tasted represent the best examples of what consumers want from a white wine: fresh aromas and pure structure with the possibility of being aromatically multilayered and complex.
The wines tasted in order of preference:
2007 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc, 13.5 % ABV
Pale lemon with some green flecks in appearance. A typical Sauvignon nose with tropical fruit, citrus (lemons, limes) and gooseberry notes. Some faint, sweaty aromas indicative of Semillon or perhaps even oak ageing. Intense fruit profile on the palate balanced by medium-intense acidity and medium alcohol. Harmonious palate of fruit, grassy characters, acid and alcohol. Long, fruity finish held by clean acidity.
Importer: Mohan Bros.
Price: Rs 3100 incl taxes (Delhi)

2007 villa Maria ‘Reserve’ Sauvignon Blanc, 14% ABV
Pale lemon with some petillance (fine bubbles) in appearance. Intense, varietally distinct fruit on the nose: herbaceous quality with grass and some citrus and tropical notes. Typical Marlborough Sauvignon aromas. Strong citrus fruit flavours on the palate. Medium/high acidity balanced by fruit weight and even fruit sweetness. Long, fruity, acidic finish.
Importer: Brindco.
Price: Rs 1190 plus VAT (Delhi)

2007 Huia Sauvignon Blanc 13% ABV
Clear, bright, pale lemon appearance. Clean aroma with hints of minerality and medium-intense sherbet/green apple notes. Some herbaceous, bell pepper notes also. On the palate, intense, vibrant fruit: ripe lemon and even some melon. Noticeable acidity with a medium finish.
Importer: Amfora Wines & Foods
Price: Rs 2000 plus VAT( Gurgaon)

2007 Seresin Sauvignon Blanc 14.5% ABV
Medium lemon/pale straw in appearance. A sweaty/ stirred lees character indicating perhaps a hint of oak or a dash of oaked Semillon. Perhaps also indicative of a wild yeast ferment, which may be possible given the bio-dynamic nature of this wine. Some lychees and candied fruit notes on the nose. Tropical fruit with hints of grapefruit citrus and gauva on the palate. Some preserved lemon character. An altogether ‘busy’ palate- some texture and complexity with medium to long finish, balanced by medium alcohol.
Importer: Amfora Wines & Foods
Price: Rs 2500 plus VAT (Gurgaon)

2007 Lawson’s Dry Hills Sauvignon Blanc, 13% ABV
Medium lemon in appearance. Some floral notes (low intensity) with citrus (green lime) and herbaceous notes on the nose. Noticeable acidity as well as balance between fruit and alcohol. Medium body with a short to medium length finish.
Importer: Sonarys Cobrands
Price: N/A

2007 Sacred Hills Sauvignon Blanc 13% ABV
Medium lemon with bright gold flecks in appearance. A somewhat subdued nose with hints of herbaceous notes and some kiwi and classic gooseberry fruit aromas. A restrained, medium-bodied palate with low-intense fruit notes: gooseberries, grass and some citrus. A short to medium finish.
Importer: Sonarys Cobrands
Price: N/A

2007 Mount Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 12.5% ABV
Clear, pale lemon to medium straw. Aromas of citrus and tropical fruit- pineapples, passion fruit and ‘bruised’ apple. A hint of confected fruit and ‘yeasty-ness.’ Medium-intense palate with varietal herbaceous/ green notes. Medium acidity with a short to medium length finish, ending with a bit of alcohol ‘heat’ that is somewhat out of balance.
Importer: Sonarys Cobrands
Price: N/A

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