Thursday, 26 July 2012.
A tasting of Sauvignon Blancs for the Fellows of Downing College, Cambridge; led by Mr Richard Stibbs, President and Fellow Steward of the College. Stockist and retail prices are indicated where known.
NV Lindauer Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc
Waitrose £9.49 | B+
Clean citrus fruit, slight hints of greenness, limes perhaps - rather surprised that the green leafy varietal note from the Sauvignon Blanc hasnt come through at all. Feels well made, cheerful wine; bright acidity and fresh mousse (as all Lindauers are), but was expecting more varietal note to come through.
2010 Domaine de Rablais Sauvignon Blanc, Touraine
Cambridge Wine £8.99 | faulty, not rated
The nose wasnt clean or bright, quite ashen and stalky, smells musty and no fruit - pretty sure its a dodgy bottle.
2011 Caliterra Reserva Sauvignon Blanc, Curico Valley
Cambridge Wine £7.99 | B+
Green nose - asparagus and leaves, with ripe gooseberry and tropical notes too - lively, overtly fruity and unmistakably new world Sauvignon Blanc. Ripe fruit on the palate, citrus abounds; gentle and fat acidity; easy drinking / gluggable wine. Not the most complex, but it does what it says on the tin, wont be disappointed.
2011 Mirror Lake Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough
Cambridge Wine £8.99 | B+
Again, unmistakably Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc to me - very green, cut asparagus and freshly mowed grass, blackcurrant leaves; theres fruit too, guava and the like. Higher acidity, fruit isnt as opulent / ripe; feels more linear, perhaps a hint of minerality showing.
2010 Vergelegen Sauvignon Blanc, Stellenbosch
Cambridge Wine £10.99 | A-
Green varietal characters showing, with a more earthy and stalky edge (as oppposed to leafy), almost sappy nose to it; also some sulphur compounds thrown in, hints of burnt rubber - may not sounds very positive, but I do like this wine. More assertive and big on the palate, good load of fruit; ripe aciddity and minerality too, all leading to filling mouthfeel and texture. Persistent finish, very well made wine.
2010 Sancerre, Domaine Sautereau
Cambridge Wine £14.99 | B+
Flinty and chalky nose, almost no Sauvignon Blanc varietal characters showing; wet pebbles and stony nose. On the palate, searing high acidity with minerality; very nervy, cutting and lean; fruit is hidden behind the acidity, not sure thats the best way around.
2006 Sancerre, Domaine Jean-Paul Balland
Mid gold in colour, almost honeyed and floral nose, also mature Burgundy like nose of slight oxidation, sweet oak and straw. On the palate, the acidity is muted; felt far more rounded and generous, no edges on the palate, very yielding; fruit is fading away, the finish is a bit short. Very interesting to taste a more 'mature' Sancerre.
2010 Pouilly Fume, Domaine de Bel Air
Cambridge Wine £14.99 | B+
Quite fragrant on the nose - lime zest and pineapples, with hints of green guava and leafiness, very nice aromatics, suggestive of ripe fruit. On the palate the acidity is searingly high, very linear and mouth contorting; unfortunately not backed up by fruit. Felt disjointed, the nose promised much but the palate disappoints.
2011 Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough
Cambridge Wine £15.99 | A-
Voluptuous fruit on the nose - tropical fruit of mangoes, passionfruit and guava; then comes the 'green' tinge of blackcurrant leaves and asparagus, very attractive nose. Bags of ripe fruit on the palate, tropical passionfruit with citrus too; fat acidity; structured on the palate, flavour persists on the finish. Great stuff, worth every penny.
2011 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough
Waitrose Wine £18.99 | A-
Good fruit on the nose, its showing more green edges (leafiness and grassy) as opposed to the sweet tropical fruits. Very clean on the palate, slightly more minerality showing; fruit is restrained, isnt quite as generous. I somewhat get the feeling that they held back with this wine.
2010 Sauvignon Blanc Moelleux, Rene Favre et Fils. Chamoson, Switzerland.
For the Love of Wine (UK importer) rrp ~£20 | A-
Sweet floral on the nose, tinned pineapples and sweet apples. Not much acidity on the palate but the sugar isnt that high either; feels clean and fleeting on the mid palate but does linger on the finish. A novelty of a wine.