2014 Spy Valley Johnson Vineyard Envoy Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough
The Envoy Range represents the highest level in Spy Valley offering, a winery famous and respected for its aromatic wines in particular.
Sauvignon Blanc being classified as an aromatic grape variety, and (obviously) the Marlborough region being famous for delivering some the world’ best Sauvignon Blanc wines, expectations are high for Spy Valley’s flagship Sauv Blanc.
This Envoy Sauvignon Blanc is sourced from the Johnson Estate River Block, in the Wahopai valley, a sub-zone of the larger Marlborough region of New Zealand. This vineyard has shallow and stony soils that is excessively draining.
To make it, the grapes were hand-picked from selected rows planted with Bordeaux-based clones. The fruit was pressed and the juice slowly fermented in wood barrels. The wine was aged in wood, on lees for 11 months before blending and bottling.
So how good is this Top-of-the-range Marlborough ‘Savvy’ by Spy Valley Winery?
As always, the answer is in the tasting notes:
A powerful yet subtle Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc in a rather unique style.
The nose is restrained, with powerful notes of stonefruit that are rather unusual for the style. The palate reveals the wine’s story: ripe, refined, and concentrated Sauv Blanc grapes were fermented in oak barrels, with clear characters of lees contact as well, giving flavors of dough that are more commonly associated and found in Chardonnay wine rather than SB.
The wine feels, dry, yet rich, fairly full-bodied for a white, and definitely textural.
The flavors of stonefruit are complemented with an enjoyable grassiness, plenty of citrus notes, and definite oaky tones of vanilla, clove, and nutmeg.
A restrained wine filled with many layers and loads of complexity.
A rather refreshing style, figuratively, because it is focused on the minerality and the layered complexity rather than on the sheer explosiveness.
The wine is really quite unique for a Sauvignon Blanc, being filled with so much the stonefruit notes which are not obvious for the grape variety. It is also barrel fermented which is (unfortunately, as a personal taste) not very common in New Zealand.
It displays great concentration as well as intriguing complexity which certainly makes an interesting tasting experience.
Match with refined entrees, fish or white meat dishes: a grassy or lemony creamy dish, or fresh-herbed chicken (e.g. glaised with chive or oregano).