2016 Brancott Estate Limited Edition ‘Reflection’ Sauvignon Blanc Sauvignon Gris, Marlborough
To celebrate the installation of a monumental piece of art by New York-based designer, Dror Benshetrit, in its historic Brancott Vineyard, famous New Zealand producer Brancott Estate crafted this Limited Edition Sauvignon Blanc called ‘Reflection’.
Dror’s volumetric sculpture fusing art and science and tittle ‘Under/standing’, now stands proudly in the vineyard where the winery first planted Marlborough’s first Sauvignon Blanc back in 1973, facing its modern Heritage Centre facility.
The packaging of this Limited Edition bottle reflects the cutting-edge and intricate geometry of Dror’s Art.
The grapes for this wine were hand-harvested, then very gently pressed. The must was fermented using indigenous yeast (wild) before a “careful use of oak” as the winery puts it.
Brancott also describes its Reflection Limited Edition craft as “inspired by the great white wines of Bordeaux, where Sauvignon Blanc is often blended with Semillon or Sauvignon Gris and barrel-aging used to deliver a rich, age-worthy wine style. Here we have blended Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Gris; both varieties pioneered in the region by Brancott Estate, and both perfectly suited to Marlborough’s growing conditions“.
This Kiwi Sauv Blanc comes in a solid lemon-yellow color, of medium intensity but with delicate shiny orange hues giving its appearance depth and appeal.
The nose is captivating, right from the first smell!
Take a small first sniff, and you’re transported straight away in a universe of tropical fruits and notes of baking. Delicate ripe passion fruit coulis, is combined with dried pineapple and floral aromas of lily, the whole coated with very subtle buttery sour dough brioche scents. I think there is a hint of vanilla too, as well as elegant mixed spices such as nutmeg, and certainly a touch of ginger.
So, like a delicate ginger bread cover in pineapple and fresh passion fruit coulis this Sauvignon Blanc-Sauvignon Gris blend smells like, if that makes any sense, and if you can picture the aromas that would come out of such a bake!
The palate follows suit. It continues to make you travel in this universe of delicacies and tempting flavors. This is a dry wine, but bringing such a smooth and round texture, combined with sweet-tasting flavors, that the mineral and crisp acidity is perfectly balanced.
Flavors of sweet-spices scented honey, doughy brioche, walnut, apricot and pineapple are the dominant tones.
Pungent and powerful it certainly is, but all flavors are delivered harmoniously with a complex and layered impression. The notes of ageing on lees, those of brioche, honey, and toasted nuts, are amazingly and intricately combined with the primary floral and fruity elements. The whole forms an undefinably enjoyable experience.
The wine, full of acidic tension and fruity opulence, delivers a vibrant and crisp finish, with a touch of salivating saltiness, the mark of great terroir-driven wines that not only enchant while you’re tasting them, but imprint your senses with the temptation and the necessity to go for another sip and experience the tasting pleasure again.
A rather stunning and fascinating expression of the Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc Brancott Estate has found and provided here, most probably helped in that by the more tempered Sauvignon Gris, which adds —I would guess— a fair share of tropical notes and contributes to the wine’s overall smoothness.
Dry and mineral, very pungent as well, as we expect from the Marlborough style, this Limited Edition blend brings in ripeness of fruit character, and a layered complexity from a perfectly controlled ageing on lees, for a harmonious and immense rich whole.
‘Reflection’ Sauv Blanc-Sauv Gris somewhat has the tropical exuberance of a Botrytis wine —like a Sauternes—, plus the depth and layers of nutty/doughy notes of a vintage Champagne, yet not having compromised with its roots and the mineral expression of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.
A real master-piece from Marlborough, worth discovering…