The Better Half Sauvignon Blanc 2011
When George Elworthy decided to dust off his winemaking hat to create a new range of wines from Marlborough, a friendly rivalry arose. His wife, Jules Taylor, is also a winemaker with her own well established brand and so The Better Half seemed like the perfect tongue in cheek moniker to attach to his new project. George is an accomplished winemaker with more than 18 years of experience in Marlborough. He’s worked with distinguished local and international wine companies, and gained recognition as the founding winemaker at The Crossings in Marlborough’s Awatere Valley. Having been on the scene throughout Marlborough’s rapid transformation as a wine growing region, he has an intimate knowledge of the area and its future potential, something that he’s keen to showcase with The Better Half.
An icon and leading region of New Zealand's distinctive style of Sauvignon blanc, Marlborough has a unique terroir, making it ideal for high quality grape production (of many varieties). Despite some common generalizations, which could be fairly justified given that Marlborough is responsible for 90% of New Zealand's Sauvignon blanc production, the wines from this region are actually anything but homogenous. At the northern tip of New Zealand’s South Island, the vineyards of Marlborough benefit from well-draining, stony soils, a dry, sunny climate and wide temperature fluctuations between day and night, a phenomenon that supports a perfect balance between berry ripeness and acidity.
The region’s king variety, 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, vineyard sites, fermentation styles, lees-stirring and aging regimens to differentiate their bottlings, one from one another.
Capable of a vast array of styles, Sauvignon Blanc is a crisp, refreshing variety that equally reflects both terroir and varietal character. Though it can vary depending on where it is grown, a couple of commonalities always exist—namely, zesty acidity and intense aromatics. This variety is of French provenance. Somm Secret—Along with Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc is a 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 (herbaceous aromatic compounds) inherent to each member of the family.