New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc: panel tasting results
Yealands, Reserve, Awatere Valley, Marlborough 2011
Decanter average score: 18.5pts/20 (95/100pts)
Individual judges’ scores: Melanie Brown 18.5 Roger Jones 18.5 Peter McCombie MW 18.5
The concentrated grassy, tomato-leaf and mineral flavours of Awatere Valley are occasionally heroic wines which give a nod to Sancerre. At Peter Yealands’ 1,000-hectare vineyard and hi-tech winery, winemaker Tamra Washington retains integrity while enhancing texture and flavour with judicious fermentation and maturation in oak barrels.
Melanie Brown Upfront and well balanced. Ripe, tropical fruit, such as pineapples, with a silky texture and a subtle oak integration. A fresh acidity and a flinty nuance make this wine complex and elegant.
Roger Jones A lovely, creamy, white-peach nose, complex and multilayered. It has a great balance of acidity. Delicate tropical fruits quietly coming through. Overall a lovely, fine wine with great oak integration.
Peter McCombie Subtle and gently toasted, intertwined with fresh grass and ripe gooseberry. The palate is taut, but well balanced. There is a good concentration with finesse and bite. Perfect to match with food.
Price £12.95–£15.50 Carruthers & Kent, Enotria, Fine & Rare, Swig, The Secret Cellar, Wined Up Here