It’s enigmatic how a wine or a particular grape variety captures the general public’s imagination. It seems to rise from nowhere, then, suddenly, opinion formers are drinking it – and the variety takes off. And so it soars, only to fall at some indeterminate time later, seemingly condemned by all. Liebfraumilch, Chianti, Beaujolais, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay …. Sauvignon Blanc?
Sauvignon is everywhere. We all hear about its freshness, its New World vibrancy and its origins in the Loire Valley. We hear of its subtlety in France and its more obvious qualities in New Zealand. The tastings I’ve attended recently have revealed it to be hollow, short, over-acidic, light and unmatchable with any food. So, as an opinion former, it was good to redress the balance with a Chilean, Leyda Valley, wine. This was Majestic’s Santa Ema Reserve 2012 Sauvignon Blanc.
Its pale yellow/green colours hints at its origins in a cool climate the freshness is confirmed on the nose. However, it has a restrained nose, floral with lemony acidity and more than a hint of peppery quince.
The palate is rich and deep for a Sauvignon – with good length. There is a mineral finish keeping it taught but, I suspect, this would be helped by drinking it quite chilled rather than letting its richness become too broad and fat. Yes, it is more obvious than the French style but it hasn’t the sometimes one-dimensional qualities of the New Zealand style.
It’s on promotion at Majestic at the moment. Great value and a good match for non-too delicate or acidic starters