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d'Arenberg Broken Fishplate Sauvignon Blanc 2001
Upon release, d'Arenberg's The Broken Fishplate Sauvignon Blanc has a brilliant light green tinged, pale straw color. The majority of the sauvignon blanc fruit for this wine was sourced from the Adelaide Hills region of South Australia. The Hills are particularly suited to this variety, as the delicate fruit flavors are protected and enhanced by the cool climatic conditions that prevail in these elevated vineyard sites.
The nose shows initial lifted, herbaceous, gooseberry, blackcurrant leaf, freshly cut grass and passionfruit as well as a base of more subtle and elegant slightly perfumed lychee and lime aromas. The young d'Arenberg Broken Fishplate Sauvignon Blanc palate is intense juicy with a long aftertaste and crisp dry finish. Although not specifically intended or ideally suited for long-term cellaring, a short-term stint in bottle lets The Broken Fishplate Sauvignon Blanc develop lovely nutmeg, apple, ripe pear and honeysuckle aromas.
Known for opulent red wines with intense power and concentration, McLaren Vale is home to perhaps the most “classic” style of Australian Shiraz. Vinified on its own or in Rhône blends with Grenache and Mourvèdre, these hot-climate wines are deeply colored and high in extract and alcohol, with signature hints of dark chocolate and licorice. Cabernet Sauvignon is also produced in a similar style, as are ripe, tropical-fruited Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
A crisp, refreshing variety that equally reflects both terroir and varietal character, Sauvignon Blanc is responsible for a vast array of wine styles. A couple of commonalities always exist, however—namely, zesty acidity and intense aromatics. The variety is of French provenance, and is important in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley. It also shines in New Zealand and California, while Chile and South Africa are excellent sources of high-quality, value-priced Sauvignon Blanc. High-quality Sauvignon Blanc is also produced in Washington State, Australia, and parts of northern Italy.
In the Glass
From its homeland in the Loire Valley, where citrus, flinty, and smoky flavors shine through in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume, to Marlborough, New Zealand, where it is pungent, racy, and “green” (think grass, leaves, gooseberries, and bell peppers) and tastes of grapefruit and passionfruit, Sauvignon Blanc has something to offer every wine drinker. In Bordeaux, it is typically blended with Sémillon and Muscadelle to produce a softer, richer style. In California, any of the aforementioned styles can be emulated.
The freshness of Sauvignon Blanc’s flavor—from bell pepper and cut grass to passionfruit, gooseberry, and ripe kiwi lend it to a range of light, summery dishes including salad, seafood, and mild Asian dishes. Sauvignon Blanc settles in comfortably at the table with notoriously difficult foods like goat cheese and asparagus. When combined with Sémillon (and perhaps some oak), it can be paired with more complex seafood and chicken dishes.
Along with Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc is the proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. That green bell pepper aroma that all three varieties share is no coincidence—it comes from a high concentration of pyrazines (an herbaceous aromatic compound) inherent to each member of the family.