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The Better Half Sauvignon Blanc 2011

Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
  • WS87
13% ABV
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3.0 1 Ratings
13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Aromas of lime, melon, and guava mingle with herbal notes. Punchy citrus & guava flavors roll out to a long lingering finish. This wine shows great persistence of flavor.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 87
Wine Spectator
The ripe pear and juicy lemon-lime flavors are fresh and bright, with fragrant notes of flowers and fresh thyme.
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The Better Half

The Better Half

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The Better Half, Marlborough, New Zealand
2011 Sauvignon Blanc
George Elworthy, owner of The Better Half Wines, is an accomplished winemaker, having worked with distinguished company at Marlborough based producers Seresin Estate, Cloudy Bay, Allan Scott and Vavasour. He was also the founding winemaker at The Crossings and has been fortunate enough to learn from and experience a number of vintages in Italy. Certainly a career with an arc towards building character, in branching out with the development of his own brand, The Better Half, that wealth of experience is now on the table for the rest of us. The wine has been crafted with grapes sourced from the fairer side of vineyards in the Wairau and Awatere Valleys in Marlborough.


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Home to perhaps the world’s most easily recognizable Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough has a unique terroir that lends a unifying thread to all of its wines. But despite common misconceptions, the wines from this region at the northern tip of New Zealand’s South Island are anything but homogenous. With well-draining stony soils and a dry, sunny climate, the vineyards of Marlborough benefit from wide temperature fluctuations between day and night, which helps to preserve natural acidity in their fruit.

The region’s specialty, Sauvignon Blanc, is beloved for its pungent, aromatic character with notes of exotic tropical fruit, freshly cut grass, and green bell pepper along with a refreshing streak of stony minerality. These wines are made in a wide range of styles, and winemakers take advantage of various clones and vineyards sites as well as fermentation, lees-stirring, and aging regimens to differentiate their bottlings from one another. Also produced successfully here are fruit-forward Pinot Noirs, elegant Riesling, Pinot Gris, and Gewürztraminer, and a wide range of Chardonnay styles, as well as more experimental varieties like Grüner Veltliner and Syrah.

Sauvignon Blanc

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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.

Perfect Pairings

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.

Sommelier Secret

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.

MTIBETTERHALFSB_2011 Item# 124278