2016 Brancott Estate ‘B’ Letter Series Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand
Brancott Estate is without a doubt, the biggest wine producer in New Zealand, and 72% of the country’s wine outcome still is Sauvignon Blanc. So it’d fair to say that Brancott 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.
Brancott’s Letter series are wines made in smaller volumes from grapes sourced from Marlborough vineyards selected for providing a distinctive style, structure and body.
The 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 our review on this wine’s previous vintage with 2015 Brancott Estate Letter Series ‘B’ Brancott Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc.
This NZ Marlborough Sauv Blanc comes in a bright lemon-yellow color of medium intensity, nothing outstanding about the wine’s appearance.
The nose however, does bring in an outstanding aromatic intensity!
There is so much passion fruit aromas stuffed in here that it’s even more intense than a passion fruit itself I’m tempting to think!
Though I have to admit I have more experience with Kiwi Sauv Blanc than I have with the actual fruit.
But yes, it’s insanely concentrated as a smell.
There’s some smoky notes in there too, as well as pear completing the aromatic profile nicely.
The palate is dry and dominated by a crisp acidity, as expected from Marlborough Sauv Blanc’s typical style.
But enough body and enough of an oily texture make it feel overall quite smooth and not aggressive.
Big burst of flavors here too, expectedly this time. Huge passion fruit in the mouth again, but also juicy pear that mellows the whole, like an elegant pear cider in the feel (without the effervescence that is obviously).
Fresh slightly-green peach character is there too. The grassy tones typical of the Kiwi SB style are here, well integrated.
Add some buttery/creamy flavors to smoothen the experience even further, and you end up with a wine with huge flavor power, yet feeling smooth, creamy and balanced.
A juicy, rather complex and hugely aromatic Sauvignon Blanc of a wine, that satisfies from its absolutely typicity, and text-book Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc style.
Long and creamy, it delivers the passion fruit kick some love, and I’d include myself here when it’s at that level of balance with other rich primary and secondary flavors.
When to Drink?
A wine that will probably age well for quite a few years, perhaps tempering the upfront primary vigor of its aromas to leave place to further depth. But just very nice to enjoy now as well taking advantage of its estery pear and peach notes that bring the whole to a high level of fruitiness and approachability.