2016 Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand
Brancott Estate is without a doubt, the biggest wine producer in New Zealand, and this is their main product with their ‘entry-level’ Sauvignon Blanc. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing, these guys must know what they’re talking about when they make Sauvignon Blanc because they make a lot of it.
In fact, Brancott (formerly Montana) planted the first commercial vineyards of the grape variety in Marlborough in 1973. Now the Chief Winemaker there is Patrick Materman, who joined the winery in February 1990.
For the context, 72% of New Zealand wines still are Sauvignon Blancs, although the country has been diversifying with Pinot Noir and Gris betwen others. Things have evolved since, but in 2007, Michael Cooper reported that Brancott was producing more than 17% of the entire country’s wine in their Marlborough-based winery.
2016 vintage was particularly good in New Zealand and Marlborough, producing wines of overall great quality.
For more perspective on the wine and the vintage, check out wine review of 2014 Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc.
So how good is 2016 Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc?
This Marlborough Sauv Blanc comes in a lemon-yellow color of mid-to-pale intensity.
The nose however is quite intense. Loads of tropical fruit, passion fruit leading, with ripe pineapple and litchi. A lot of flint, smoke and reductive characters show off on the aroma profile too.
In the mouth, it literally bursts in flavors with powerful retro-olfactive aromas. Fresher fruit aromas than on the nose are displayed, fresh pear, lemon, and lime take control giving a zingy and juicy flavor profile.
The mouthfeel complements this sensation, with solid acidity well balanced by oily texture, and a hint of subtle sweetness, just enough to underline the fruity notes, like in a well-balanced refreshing home-made lemonade where the sugar is just here to sustain the freshness and acidity of the fruit.
A very well made, powerfully-aromatic Sauvignon Blanc, with more fruit characters than grassy ones making it rather delightful to sip without over-complications.
A wide spectrum of fresh and juicy fruity flavors, combined with a zesty and well thought-out balance, make for a serious and concentrated drink, yet one that is easy to approach, comprehend, enjoy, and more importantly relax with.