2014 Elephant Hill Sauvignon Blanc Hawke's Bay (Elsewhere $20+)

SKU #1228424 92 points Bob Campbell

 Made from seven separate hand-picks over an eight-day period. Juicy, fruity sauvignon blanc with ripe nectarine, mango, tropical fruits and a hint of lime zest. A silken-textured wine, with concentration and a perfect balance of sweetness with fruity acidity.

91-92 points Raymond Chan

 Fruit from seven different hand-picks from the Te Awanga vineyard, WBP and indigenous yeast cool-fermented in stainless-steel. The wine aged 6 months on lees. Bright, very pale straw-yellow colour with slight green hues, near colourless on the rim. This has a finely concentrated and tightly packed nose with fresh and intense aromas of cut grass, gooseberries and subtle notes of passionfruit, and suggestions of savoury stonefruits. The fruit has richness, but retains a refreshing minerality and clarity of expression. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, juicy and up-front flavours of luscious passionfruit, gooseberries and refreshing cut grass are interwoven with fresh herbs. The palate is open and accessible, and has a rounded core, with vibrant acidity enlivening the mouthfeel. The wine follows a fine phenolic, textural line leading to long, tight finish of herbs and gooseberries. This is a fresh, juicy, up-front Sauvignon Blanc with lush fruit, freshness and a fine line. Serve with seafood, poultry and Asian cuisine over the next 2 years.

K&L Notes

A fantastic Sauv Blanc from the cool coastal region of Hawke's Bay. These vines have ocean front views and the saline minerality shows through in the wine. All fermented in stainless steel for focus and purity but the wine does spend some months on fine lees for textural complexity. Quite citrus dominant with other elements of stonefruit, wet stones, sea salt and white flowers. Super crisp and refreshing...perfect oyster / shellfish wine. (Ryan Woodhouse - K&L NZ Wine Buyer)

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Price: $14.99
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By: Randy Hagerman | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/16/2016 | Send Email
Classic, albeit subdued, NZ Sauvignon Blanc styling for under $15? Yes please! This wine offers up traditional gooseberry and slightly grassy notes on the nose. The palate is light to medium-bodied with citrus fruit notes approaching pineapple on the long, focused finish. This is a very well made bottle of NZ Sauvignon Blanc!

By: Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/27/2016 | Send Email
A refreshing alternative to most of our Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs. Ripe fruit, without going tropical, fresh acidity that is not tart, and textured, thanks to some sur lees aging. Nicely balanced, the wine dances on the palate with citrus, mineral and just a whiff of green.

By: Dave Genevro | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/11/2016 | Send Email
One of my favorite Hawke's Bay producers, gives us yet another bright, elegant, fresh and clean all-stainless Sauvignon Blanc. When I poured this wine for Guests at an in store tasting...this is one of those bottlings that stole the show. The proximity of the vineyards to the ocean in Hawke's Bay, and just the lack of holding back on seeking out top-of-the-line winemakers and equipment, truly helps give this wine its own sense of place. The characters are in sync and the amount of wine you get for the price is too much not to try a bottle!
Top Value!

By: Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/26/2016 | Send Email
The ripe gooseberry and grapefruit notes really shine through but never too aggressively. This is pure and fresh and will surely give those Marlborough SBs a run for their money.

By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/22/2015 | Send Email
A very pure and authentic expression of Hawke's Bay Sauvignon Blanc. Not all New Zealand Sauv Blancs are created equal, and this wine is a perfect example of why shoppers should keep their eyes open beyond Marlborough. Hand-picked from Elephant Hill's cool, coastal vineyard block just a few yards from the crashing surf in Te Awanga. The gravely soils and saline atmosphere show themselves in this crisp, dry, refreshing, mineral infused Sauv Blanc. The slightly warmer conditions of Hawke's Bay replace Marlborough's herbal pungency with a slightly riper broader profile, although the acidity is still very fine and racy. A mouthwatering, moreish wine that represents an exceptional value.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Sauvignon Blanc

- One of the best known "international" varieties originally cultivated in France and considered the parent of, with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon. Sauvignon's wonderfully distinctive aromatics generate some of wine's most colorful descriptors, among them "cat pee," herbaceous, grassy, citrusy the world over. In France, the apex of Sauvignon Blanc production is the Loire Valley, in the appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, where the terroir expresses itself most beautifully through the grape. Sauvignon Blanc is also the leading white grape varietal in Bordeaux, where it is paired with the fatter, richer Sémillon to varying degrees. Relatively easy to cultivate, though more suited to cool climates, Sauvignon Blanc has made inroads in Europe outside of France, especially in Northeastern Italy's Friuli and Alto Adige, but also on the Slovenian border. These lovely wines are often overshadowed by Sauvignon Blanc's achievements in the New World, namely New Zealand, South Africa and California. New Zealand's Sauvignon Blancs, more conspicuously fruity than most French examples, landed the small island nation on the world wine map in the late-1980s and 1990s. South African Sauvignons are one of the most successful international varieties produced in that country and are often quite elegant and affordable. In California, Robert Mondavi managed to, almost single-handedly, created a market for Sauvignon Blanc by renaming his oak-fermented version Fumé Blanc. While some wineries still use the name, California Sauvignon Blanc has secured its place in the California wine pantheon, particularly those from the Napa Valley. Washington State, Chile and Argentina also have considerable plantings of the grape.
Country:

New Zealand

- New Zealand is an extremely diverse wine-growing nation. The long history of producing wine started in the 1830s with wineries such as Mission Estate (1850) and Te Mata Estate (1896) still producing wine today. The two islands hold a multitude of different growing climates ranging from warmer areas such as Hawke’s Bay to very cool regions such as Waitaki, and Awatere. Most regions are defined as Maritime with the exception being Central Otago that has a moderate Continental climate with the high elevation creating dramatic diurnal swings in temperature. The plethora of grapes grown in New Zealand reflects this diverse microclimate make up. Everything has a place here, Bordeaux varietals and Syrah in Hawke’s Bay, Chardonnay and Pinot in Nelson, Pinot Noir and Riesling in Central Otago , aromatic whites in Waipara and pretty much everything you can imagine in Marlborough. New Zealand is also one of the “greenest” wine producing nations on earth (94% of wine certified sustainable in 2013) with a strong focus on organic and Biodynamic farming.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.5