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Wairau River Sauvignon Blanc 2008

Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
  • RP89
  • WS89
0% ABV
  • WW91
  • WS88
  • W&S90
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Winemaker Notes

The nose is very aromatic displaying ripe passion fruit, tropical fruits and floral notes. The palate is exuberant and well fruited with a soft mid-palate and refreshing acidity. Savor with high jinks and convivial company.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 89
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2008 Sauvignon Blanc has an attractive grassy nose with touches of gooseberry, lime and a touch of smoke. The palate is well balanced with ripe apply fruit, touches of orange zest and a little elderflower leading to another elegant finish.
WS 89
Wine Spectator
A panoply of classic Sauvignon flavors, starting with lime, gooseberry and passion fruit and picking up green mango notes as the light, deft finish goes on. Drink now. 20,000 cases made.
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Wairau River

Wairau River

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Wairau River, , New Zealand
Wairau River
Established in 1978, the Rose family estate vineyards are situated on the banks of the Wairau River. Low crops and ripe fruit produce wine that has become renowned for exhibiting intense fruit characteristics and classical elegance. “The philosophy that we pursue has always been one of elegance and fruit power with the foundation of the style being drinkability. We put a lot of store in the selection of flavors in the vineyard, subsequent small batch vintning and the final touches of the marriage are created at the blending table."

Santa Barbara

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With a dry and mild climate cooled significantly by breezy ocean fog, Santa Barbara County is a grape-grower’s dream. Part of the larger Central Coast appellation, Santa Barbara is home to six separate AVAs—Santa Maria Valley, Santa Ynez Valley, and its four sub-AVAs Sta. Rita Hills, Ballard Canyon, Los Olivos District, and Happy Canyon. The conditions here provide an opportunity for nearly effortless production of high-quality cool-climate wines. This is also the site of the 2004 film Sideways, which caused Pinot Noir’s popularity to skyrocket and brought new acclaim to the region.

Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are the stars of Santa Barbara, marked by trademark racy acidity, crisp Sauvignon Blanc, and savory Syrah. The region is also home to many young and enthusiastic winemakers eager to experiment with less common varieties including Chenin Blanc, Grüner Veltliner, Trousseau Gris, Gamay, and Cabernet Franc, making it an exciting area to watch.

Rhône Blends

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of spice, Rhône red blends originated in France’s Southern Rhône valley and have become popular in Priorat, Washington, South Australia, and California’s Central Coast. In the Rhône itself, 19 grape varieties are permitted for use, but many of these blends, are based on Grenache and supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre, earning the nickname “GSM blends.” Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape are perhaps the best-known outposts for these wines. Other varieties that may be found in Rhône blends include Carignan, Cinsault, and Counoise.

In the Glass

The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache, which often forms the base of these blends, is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit, a plush texture, and often high levels of alcohol. Syrah supplies darker fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy, and meaty notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume as well as body, tannin, and a healthy dose of color. New World examples will lie further along the fruit-forward end of the spectrum, while those from the Old World taste and smell much earthier, often with a “barnyard” character that is attractive to many fans of these wines.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. Depending on the weight and alcohol level, these can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes—they play equally well with beef, pork, duck, lamb, or game. With their high acidity, these wines are best-matched with salty or fatty foods, and can handle the acidity of tomato sauce in pizza or pasta. Braised beef cheeks, grilled lamb sausages, or roasted squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the Rhône red blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin, and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or even Tempranillo make an appearance.

ULL65333_2008 Item# 103033

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