Te Kairanga Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2005 Tasting Notes
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Te Kairanga Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2005 Tasting Notes

New Zealand seems to be leading the New World in the Sauvignon Blanc department. You can tell that you've got a live one with this offering from Martinborough on the southeast corner of the North Island; the first greeting to the nose, even before you pour the wine, is a combination of cat's pee and clay (just enough, mind you).

The fruit takes the nose over quite quickly: lychee, pineapple, banana and lime. The light straw wine has a sensible touch of residual sugar to match the acidity you know is coming. Notes of orange, melon, kiwi and rose make a beachhead on the palate then fan out to support a long mineral finish couched in satisfying grapefruit.

In character, the $13 Te Kairanga is what I call an “adult” Sauvignon Blanc. It has plenty of friendly fruit and stimulating acidity, but it lacks the impishness of some of its New Zealand cousins, perhaps because of its full body and abiding minerality. Every element plays its part in this high quality, well integrated effort.


Verdict: Model of its type
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food writer Elliot Essman James Beard Foundation Journalism Award
James Beard Award Nominee Elliot Essman

food writer Elliot Essman James Beard Foundation Journalism Award

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