Tag Archives: New Zealand

Sauv Blanc from Down Under

21 Sep

Saint Clair Family Estate Vicar’s Choice Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Marlborough, New Zealand.
from Mayfair Wine & Liquor; $15/bottle.

I picked this up locally upon a recommendation from a trusted vendor (John, the owner of Mayfair Wine and Liquor, is a kindred soul and we have been sharing tasting notes for two decades now.) Color of light straw. The nose features citrus and some underlying minerals, while the palate is strong with lychee, gooseberry, passion fruit and secondary notes of fresh grass, herbs and a chalky-meets-sandstone minerality. Crisp and light, delicious and inviting.

Had I not seen the label, I might have mistaken this for a classic country French sauv blanc or a new world Cali from a small producer: it is classic, straightforward, and a great introduction to the grape.  Allow me to say this is one more example of some excellent winemaking going on “down under”,  not like that is any news.  Perhaps in time, I might learn to recognize the characteristics of the specific winemaker’s blends due to secondary notes, but in the meantime buyers should know that Saint Clair provides an excellent value in their entry-level wine, and that means they have some really great wines in reserve that I can’t wait to try.

If you like sauvignon blanc, this is absolutely one to taste and gift at this price. I’ll be going back for more, and looking at the rest of their line. So should you! Hey, Saint Clair, I want to meet the Vicar. He’s got good taste!


à votre santé!


Friday Night Whites

11 May

From the “What I’m Tasting Right Now” files:

Moillard Bourgogne Tradition Chardonnay Bourgogne 2009


A basic white burgundy I found while trolling wine shops near Columbus Circle. Color is deep straw. Nose has citrus and a touch of oak. In the mouth, a basic chardonnay, some fruit, a little cream as it warmed plus the classic wood finish as expected, but sadly there is little else of note here. I know that Maison Moillard was purchased in 2008 and is a huge producer but I had high expectations from this vintage. Perhaps as the second or third wine from this producer, my expectations were too high. $14/ half bottle (.375 litre).

Cupcake Vineyards Marlborough, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc 2011

After a dozen mentions from my wine friends & followers, I took the plunge and tasted several Cupcake wines. I found most of them good, solid values. I recently picked up a bottle locally to try over several days with different food pairings, here are the results:

Color: light straw. Nose: lemon, grapefruit, sweat. (Really. Don’t stick your nose in and drink the bouquet without being ready for a little underarm funk on the end. Sniff gently and enjoy.) In the mouth, tons of grapefruit, with a little key lime sweet & tartness, more tight, tart lemon on the finish. Nice acidity, this is a lovely apertif on a hot day, pairs beautifully with light appetizers- fresh fish or sashimi, salads, veggies- and just strong enough to work with asian or eastern entrée flavors. It cut through and cleaned the palate beautifully when tasted after castello blue cheese. But keep the wine cold or it loses some of its delight. For $11 this screwcap wine is a good value, and one you can trust will please your friends but won’t break the bank. Here’s a link to Cupcake Vineyards if you want to find out more.


I leave you with my usual toast, and a picture from my friends Charles and Lynnette, who shared the picture below.

à votre santé!

Sante Wine

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