2016 Brancott Estate Terroir Series Awatere Valley Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough
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.
The Awatere Valley is a sub-zone of the bigger Marlborough area. In fact, it is a different valley, just South of the main Marlborough/Wairau valley. Awatere is cooler, and is reknown and praised by local producer for delivering grassy and even more fragrant grapes, and wines.
With this Terroir Series SB, Brancott aims here at expressing the typicity of the Awatere area.
2016 vintage was particularly good in New Zealand and Marlborough, producing wines of overall great quality.
This New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc comes in a lemon-yellow color of medium intensity, slightly pale like is typical in this style of Marlborough white.
The nose however, is anything but shy with an extremely intense passion fruit and ripe pineapple aromas. A touch of smokiness and flint lift the smell that literally jumps out of the glass.
Of course, we’re used by now to aroma bombs coming out of Marlborough Sauv Blanc, but it seems to be brought here to an outstanding level. Yet the combination of grassiness combined with richness of ripe tropical fruit makes for an enjoyable smell.
Solid acidity but great balance on the palate, with round body and a discrete touch of sweetness that underlines positively the richness of the fruit character.
The whole is fresh, explosively filled with fruity flavors, yet mineral and salivating.
The very cool climate Awatere Valley, renown and appreciated for delivering grassy and super-aromatic Sauvignon Blanc doesn’t disappoint here, and delivers a concentrated bomb of aromatic and flavor intensity
But the ripeness apparent ripeness of the Sauvignon Blanc fruit here makes for a rather unique experience combining flintiness, grassy passion fruit with tropical characters such as pineapple, the whole in a resfreshing and crisp yet balanced acidity.
A very well executed and well controlled piece of winemaking, yes, somewhat representative of its terroir, but more importantly, a very solid example of the Marlborough Sauv Blanc style.