Just when you may have started to tire of the cut grass, gooseberries, asparagus, sprinkling felines and tropical fruit character of “typical” New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, allow us to tempt you back in to the genre with Nick Mills’ outrageously tasty offering from Central Otago –
£17.95 single bottle or just £16.50 case price*
Nick has, quite rightfully, drawn heaps of attention and glowing praise for his Pinot Noirs, but his Sauvignon Blanc is a thing of real beauty too. Rippon Vineyards nest idyllically on the shores of Lake Wanaka in Central Otago – the deep south of the South Island – offering his vines super cool climate conditions (cool climate? – this is New Zealand’s skiing district in the Winter). Nick is passionate about organic/biodynamic viticulture and his wines go though as natural a process as can be managed.
You can read more about Rippon Vineyards in Patrick’s blog piece from a couple of years ago.
The view over Lake Wanaka from Rippon Vineyards
His Sauvignon is crisp and zippy; it is recognisably Sauvignon Blanc but, also, so very different. Hints of bramble leaf, gooseberry and lime on the nose, very bright fruit flavours on the palate with lean and lively white currant, with a note of sweetness followed by a long, dry, mineral finish. So much more complex and edgy than most. What sets Rippon Sauvignon apart is the fabulous balance of ripeness, texture and minerality.
“If you’re bored of identikit Kiwi Sauvignons that taste as if they’ve emerged from the same enormous tank farm, this complex, Loire Valley-like example from one of Central Otago’s best producers will come as a pleasant respite. The estate is much better known for its superlative Pinot Noirs, but this biodynamic white deserves to be (almost) as famous. Fermented in old oak barrels, it has a mealy undertone to set alongside the flavours of lime, cream, grapefruit and gooseberry. It’s a very subtle number that wouldn’t look out of place in Sancerre, thanks to its chalky, palate-tingling freshness.” 92 points Tim Atkin MW
“Pungent, luscious and ripe nose with notes of elderflower and stone fruits. Fruit driven with floral flavours and an amazing stoniness. This is a classy wine that would add value to any wine list. Highly recommended.” Decanter Magazine
“Amazing clarity of scent – vegetal, green bean, gooseberry. No lack of freshness here, despite its comparative maturity. An absolute masterclass in the style – so evocative and enjoyable!”
17.5 pts Richard Hemming www.jancisrobinson.com
Or why not mix this up with some previous ‘Wines of the week’?
* ‘Case price’ refers to the discounted price per bottle which applies to all orders of 12 bottles or more, however mixed and including delivery on all orders over £100.