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.
With a lemon-yellow color, this Kiwi Sauv Blanc is, as expected from the style, pungently aromatic.
Powerful notes of freshly-cut grass, passion fruit and lime dominate the nose. Some white pepper spice things up a notch, while delicate hints of apricot and honey make for sweetening the aromatic profile a little. Yet, overall, it is very typical and characteristic what the Marlborough style sometimes delivered in difficult vintages such as 2017, with a strong asparagus smell that some might describe as a bit ‘invasive’.
The palate features a crisp acidity that underlines the lime/lemon flavors and make them shine. Pungent passion fruit with a hint of pineapple there too. A big burst of grassy character gives a vegetal tone, that develops into a long-lasting tined asparagus finish.
This is a dry wine, with a crisp acidity, well balanced by a round enough body, and slightly bitter phenolics giving a salivating feel to the finish.
A wine to pair with elegant foods, creamy seafood dishes, or creamy vegetable entrees. A tombée of leech with prawns comes to mind as the perfect match…
Check my wine reviews of previous vintages on Brancott Letter Series Sauv Blanc below, with a special mention of the outstanding 2015-vintage.