"A perfect wine!". This is how the Decanter judges described Vavasour Sauvignon 2010 shortly before awarding it the International Trophy winner for best Sauvignon Blanc over £10. Need I say any more?
"Very clean gooseberry fruit, a hint of lime, grassy but not too vegetal with nettles and a touch of mineral too - beautifully elegant - a perfect wine!" - Decanter World Wine Awards 2011
North Island (NZ)
Drink now + 2 years
Decanter World Wine Awards 2012
Decanter World Wine Awards 2011
International Trophy - Best Sauvignon Blanc over £10
Decanter World Wine Awards 2011
Regional Trophy - Best New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc over £10
The North Island (NZ)
region of New Zealand
New Zealand’s North Island is warmer than its southern counterpart, and is especially famous for volcanic springs.
Martinborough lies on the southerly tip of the island and is the hub of Pinot Noir production, where mountains to the west of the region shelter the region from any significant rain and moisture. The region gained a serious winemaking foothold in the early 1980s.
Moving north, on the island’s east coast is Hawkes’ Bay, New Zealand’s prime location for reds other than Pinot Noir, and so many a good Syrah and Bordeaux blend of Cabernet and Merlot can be found on this sheltered spot which arcs around the cities of Napier and Hastings.
The furthest east region is Gisborne. This is not so widely known, even if it has one of the largest areas under vine in the country. It’s wet and warm here and hangs its hat on white grapes, mostly Chardonnay, Semillon and sometimes Chenin Blanc too.
The largest region of the north island in land mass is Waikato and Bay of Plenty, these are not as well known for the reason that grape production here is more tricky thanks to its wetter climate.
Finally, the northernmost region, Auckland, is the commercial hub of some larger wineries due to the city but in vine growing it is less unsuccessful than other NZ regions, mostly due to its high rainfall.
Traditionally it could be argued that the home of Sauvignon Blanc are the Loire Valley and the Bordeaux region. Due to their cool climate this late budding and early ripening varietal fits in perfectly, but due to the fact that it is a superb traveller it is now producing fantastic whites in New Zealand, Chile, California and South Africa. Many now deem Marlborough, New Zealand, as the new home of this varietal where the greatest Sauvignon Blanc can be found.
As Sauvignon Blanc is of the aromatic variety, it is generally at its best when young and unoaked. Due to this very few Sauvignon Blanc wines age well, with those that do tending to have a touch of Semillon as a blend and oaked slightly.
When planted in cool regions Sauvignon Blanc will develop classic green, herbaceous flavours. In warmer regions it can fail to develop much aromatic character and just have hints of peach. Generally the wines have high acidity and are normally rather dry.
Salads & Vegetables
This wine is best suited to asparagus and avocado. Throw in some goat's cheese, olives and spinach and you'll have your dream salad.
Fish & Seafood
Shellfish and delicate white fish such as sole, skate and plaice are the perfect match for this wine. It would also work well with clam chowder and smoked fish.
Pasta & Other Sauces
Tartare sauce is a great accompaniment to this wine as well as Beurre Blanc or a light cream and fish based sauce.
Steamed, baked and casseroled chicken are a must for this wine but it works equally well with pork or veal.
Herbs & Spices
Pair with chives, coriander, dill and ginger. It also works well with lemongrass and lime.
A great wine to have with Thai dishes as it works with the lime and lemongrass qualities present in this aromatic cuisine.
Team this wine with high acid cheeses such as Chavignol and pecorino.