A Delicious Sancerre Alternative For Less
It's going to be a tricky few years for Sancerre. Poor weather conditions devastated the region in 2017, resulting in a sharp downturn in overall production, along with greatly increased demand. Less wine + more demand = oh no!
What's left of the 2017 vintage is sparse and while the 2018 vintage is marginally better in terms of production, it's still not great and it's only just beginning to trickle into the marketplace. This means two things -- very limited availability and steep prices which just might make you gasp. There isn't a wine professional worth his or her salt who isn't talking about this serious issue.
If you're a fan of this sensational, mineral-driven white wine you'll need to be extra clever this year and purchase what you want for the season early if you don't want to run out in August. We anticipate there will be a market correction in pricing sometime down the road, but definitely not this year. Prices will most certainly be high.
Now for the good news! We have an outstanding Sancerre alternative for a whole lot less money. Those of you familiar with Sancerre might think we would direct you to the Touraine region in the Loire Valley, which is Sancerre's much more wallet-friendly neighbor. While that region is always a source of delicious (and less complex) every-day Sauvignon Blancs, today we can do a whole lot better!!!
We recently tasted an OUTSTANDING Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand which doesn't have the classic New Zealand profile (and there's a reason for that). Close your eyes while your sip or blind taste this wine and you'll feel like you're drinking a very well known $30+ bottle of Sancerre (mind you, for a fraction of the price!).
Most Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand have classic aromas of cat's pee (for real, it's a thing), gooseberry, bell pepper, jalapeno and grass. While Kevin loves them, Leslie is super sensitive to any green notes in wine (she calls them evil pyrazines) and avoids them like the plague. So, why is she drinking this wine at home?!?
The vast majority of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is grown on the southern island in a region called Marlborough. There's a flood of it. Here you will find juggernauts like Oyster Bay. Today's wine is actually from the North Island, in a small region called Wairarapa in Martinborough.
Our Sancerre alternative is called Paddy Borthwick Sauvignon Blanc and it's pretty fantastic. If Leslie is actually drinking it at home, let's just say that's not only unusual but completely unprecedented. Sancerre, yes, but New Zealand has been a very hard NO for her from day one.
Wairarapa is known for producing more round and lush whites with intense aromatics and brilliant minerality and you can really sense that in this wine. Paddy Borthwick is lush, round, elegant and high-spirited with pretty acidity, lovely minerality and subtle herbal notes.
Before we jump into the details, we have some exciting news! The winemaker for this and several other beautiful wines from New Zealand will be flying over to the United States and hosting a winemaker's tasting lunch with us on the Cape in early June. More details to follow.
Paddy Borthwick Sauvignon Blanc 2017
"Lively redcurrant aromas emerge on the nose of the 2017 Sauvignon Blanc. There's pink grapefruit as well in this medium-bodied, slightly creamy-textured Sauvignon Blanc. It avoids any vegetal notes, delivering a mouthful of bright, refreshing citrus and a long, crisp finish. Nicely done." (Wine Advocate)
Wine Advocate: 91 points
$19.99/bottle or just $15.99/bottle in a solid or mixed case of wine. This is a serious bargain for white wine lovers!
This outstanding winemaker also produces an even more wallet-friendly Sauvignon Blanc from a more northerly region of the North Island called Hawke's Bay. Hawke's Bay is the oldest wine region in New Zealand. It's known for making more tropical, fruit-forward Sauvignon Blanc and that's exactly what's in the bottle. Less like Sancerre and more like sunshine in a glass!
Te Awanga Estate Wildflower Sauvignon Blanc 2017
This lovely Sauvignon Blanc has powerful aromatics and a full, rich palate with passionfruit, guava and lime aromas which lead into a juicy flavor profile with purity and concentration. It finishes crisp and clean with a lingering finish.
"Juicy and bright, with peach, mandarin orange and Key lime notes that are effusive and expressive on the sleek frame. Drink now. 615 cases made." (Wine Spectator)
Wine Spectator: 88 points
$14.99/bottle or just $11.99/bottle in a solid or mixed case of wine.
When you start exploring variations in terroir with the same exact grape grown in slightly different appellations of a region with different soil and exposure to sun and sea, things can start to get pretty fascinating. That's why we do this thing. Enjoy!
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Town Center Wine & Spirits
Cape Cod's Most Trusted Wine Merchant
4550 State Highway
North Eastham, MA 02651
(Next to the Royal Thai Restaurant in the Town Center Plaza)
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