Friday, June 03, 2005

2 Whites: NZ Sauvignon Blanc, Australia Marsanne

SHINGLE PEAK SAUVIGNON BLANC 2004, Marlborough, New Zealand, 13.5% XD, #309591 $16.95

Vintages release April 30, 2005. Vintages says, "Showing good weight, depth and roundness, it's an instantly attractive, dry wine, with an array of tropical-fruit and herbaceous flavours, fresh, vibrant and strong. **** (out of 5). (Michael Cooper, Buyer's Guide to New Zealand Wines, 2005)" The Matua website says, "Distinctive and vibrant aromas of gooseberry, passionfruit and floral citrus dominate the nose. These well-proportioned and concentrated ripe tropical aromas flow into the palate and linger on the refreshing and lively finish. Further cellaring, up to eighteen months, will develop more mature sauvignon blanc characters. Match this zingy Sauvignon Blanc with Oyster Soup garnished with sprigs of watercress." My notes: An intense, rich and warm, tropical fruit nose. Gooseberry, orange with passionfruit complete with seed tang, astringency coats the throat. A long stalky citrus finish. Have with raw or smoked oysters, spicy mussels, etc. Should compliment most seafoods, or poultry and although extra dry may have sweet highlights with some foods. Has a screwcap.

TAHBILK MARSANNE 2002, Central Victoria, Australia, 12.5% XD, #117945 $13.95

Vintages release November, 2004. Cellared and tasted November 20, 2004, Marsanne offered a different nose and flavour... easy to sip with or without a meal.... was rated 90. Pair with something light - grilled seafoods, cheesy vegetable casseroles/pastas - but not salmon or other strong flavours. My notes: Cellaring has softened what little raw edges there were - still light fresh nose but lighter honey and citrus still with balanced acid. This is a 'drink now' white and cellaring has not improved drinkability. My conclusion is that Marsanne doesn't have the body of a Chardonnay or French Sauvignon Blanc - closer to a Pinot Blanc. "Wine & Spirits" says "Marsanne is one of the 12 "Great & Undervalued" wines in the world". Tasting now it's an uninteresting sipper and, with a salmon steak and salad, was too light to add to the meal.

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