2013 Misha's Vineyard "Starlet" Sauvignon Blanc Central Otago (Elsewhere $20+)
30-40% of grapes from low-yielding vines were barrel-fermented to produce a fruit-driven wine with a strong emphasis on texture. Intense stone fruit flavours with a strong mineral/chalk backbone. Bone-dry Sauvignon which should develop well with moderate bottle age.
Bright, very pale straw colour with slight green hues, near colourless on rim. The nose is elegant and restrained in fruit expression, showing subtle green stonefruit and hints of tropical fruits and nuances of fresh herbs, along with a minerally, chalky density. Dry to taste, fine textures are the feature on palate, the fine-grainy extract filling the mouth with excellent weight and presence. Subtly luscious tropical fruits and lantana provide a richness and delicate lusciousness to balance the dry textural elements, and the flavours flow with good drive and underling soft acidity to a wet-stone, dry and mouthwatering, grainy finish. This is a restrained, well-textured Sauvignon Blanc to serve with firm-flesh seafood and creamy poultry dishes over the next 3+ years. Hand-picked, WBP and 37% indigenous yeast fermented in seasoned French oak to 14.0% alc. 1,150 cases made.
Sauvignon blanc can be elegant and refined while exhibiting varietal flavours. A fine expression displaying lemon/lime zest, white peach, dill and green apple notes. The palate is focused and lively with mouth-watering acidity. Lovely poise and balance as well as a long and pristine finish. At its best: now to 2017.
Anyone making Sauvignon Blanc in Central Otago deserves an audience. The decision to grow Sauvignon Blanc in Central Otago's harsh, low yielding climate over other grapes like Pinot Noir or Chardonnay (that fetch much higher prices) isn't taken lightly; these proprietors and winemakers must be truly dedicated to producing something special. I think this wine justifies that decison. It has wonderful concentration, power and minerality. It highlights the regions dramatic diurnal swings in temperature (hot days - cold nights) with its juxtaposed ripe citrus even tropical notes and dry, crisp, mineral and wet stone savoriness. Really intersting wine with layers of intrigue. (Ryan Woodhouse - K&L NZ Wine Buyer) Winemaker's Notes: "A unique expression of this variety showing both ripe tropical fruit notes along with more intense dark aromas of fennel, pink grapefruit and crushed passion fruit seeds. The palate opens with a bright sweet citrus acidity, is fine and tight with great fruit density finishing with touches of boxwood spice. The fruit was hand-picked and whole bunch pressed. The free run and early press portion was settled, racked, then cool fermented in stainless steel. The small remaining juice portion was handled more oxidatively where it is taken to neutral French oak barrels and allowed to go through spontaneous wild yeats ferment. This process whilst tending to take longer to finish gives a more complex ferment character in the wine."