Award for sauvignon with complex flavour

DEBORAH WALTON-DERRY AND PETER MORICE
Last updated 11:41 27/12/2012
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When Winestate magazine awards a wine its highest accolade, there is cause for celebration.

David Clouston, an Awatere born and bred winemaker, has done just that after the announcement that his Two Rivers Convergence Sauvignon Blanc 2012 won the Winestate Sauvignon Blanc of the Year award.

An impressive trophy he calls his "morning coffee cup" is now on display at Wino's, the specialist wine shop in Blenheim.

Two Rivers Convergence Sauvignon Blanc is made from a blend of Wairau and Awatere Valley fruit. It has attention-grabbing flavour, texture and complexity that sets it apart.

Look into how this was achieved and, apart from the obvious fruit quality, a portion of the wine has been subject to three months ageing on natural yeast lees in French barrels.

The Two Rivers label was launched in 2004 and has gone from strength to strength since that time. Some of this success comes down to David's winemaking background, which encompasses working in Western Australia, Oregon, Chile, Spain, France and Corsica.

He is now back in Marlborough's Wairau Valley and is doing great things for New Zealand's sauvignon blanc reputation.

Two Rivers Convergence

Sauvignon Blanc 2012 ($22-$24)

Very pale in the glass, this has a powerful, zesty tomato leaf and gooseberry notes on the aroma. These are cut through by mineral and savoury notes.

The bright, crisp and intense palate makes it easy to understand why this wine has wowed the judges at several shows.

The depth of flavour coupled with the wine's full-bodied mouth-feeling and perfectly poised acid and fruit balance result in an attention-grabbing and altogether satisfying sauvignon blanc.

Ara Marlborough Single Estate Pinot Noir 2011 ($24.99)

This is clear, ruby red in the glass. The aroma is tight, with a suggestion of oak, plum fruitiness and a whiff of tobacco leaf.

Light, sweet fruitiness dominates the palate. This is a soft, fresh easy-drinking wine well suited to a gathering around the barbecue.

Ohau Gravels Sauvignon Blanc 2011 ($21.95)

Sweaty, mineral with some floral notes on the aroma, this has a pleasing dustiness, with gentle stonefruit notes overlaid by apple and citrus.

The crisp, cleansing palate has zingy acidity. It's herbaceous and quite citrusy.

Delightful aromatics complement the flavours on the full-bodied palate. The richness eases up towards the finish, which is a little light but very juicy.

See ohaugravels.co.nz

Saint Clair Family Estate Pioneer Block, Strip Block Pinot Noir 2010 ($33.50)

Deep ruby red, this has mushroom, plum and feral notes that combine seamlessly in the aroma.

The palate is bright with excellent fruit expression. Plums, oak and spice are delivered with a deft touch.

With silky, fine-grained tannins and just enough acid for balance, it is leafy towards the finish and quite simply very good drinking.

Grasshopper Rock Earnscleugh Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010 ($31.99)

This wine is the top wine of the tasting in Cuisine magazine's Christmas issue. There were 326 pinot noir entries and 15 of those qualified as best buys.

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Deep crimson red and slightly opaque, this has a soft, spicy aroma laden with dark fruit, violet and smoky notes.

The intense yet supple palate has fruit and herbal flavours backed by floral aromatics, some nutmeg spiciness and well-handled oak work. Here's the complete package - get it while you can.

This Cuisine magazine five-star-rated wine can be bought at grasshopperrock.co.nz.

Brown Brothers Vintage

Moscato Sparkling ($17.99) Here is one for those hot summer days - a sparkling wine with the classic Muscat aroma and taste. Sweet, floral and raisin notes smell delicious and then comes the bubbly, fruity taste we love.

The palate has soft acids, a fresh, ripe stonefruit flavour and a creamy, rounded mouth-feeling. Sherbet-like with perfumed aromatics, this sweet, moreish wine is good fun. It has a screw cap for easy access and, at 6 per cent alcohol, it's not going to bowl you on a hot day.

Riverby Estate Marlborough Single Vineyard Noble Riesling 2011 ($34)

This stellar dessert wine has a massive 219 grams of residual sugar, so we were keen to see what this late, late harvest (May 27) wine delivers.

Start with the gorgeous old-gold colour complemented by a fruity, rich, ripe and waxy aroma. Powerful floral and honey notes are supported by a hint of kero.

Unctuous, rich and luxurious were all words we used to describe that first taste.

A crisp citrus line underpins mandarin, floral and waxy honey flavours while the finish is clean, citrusy and accompanied by a sweet kick. We loved this wine.

See riverbyestate.com

Greywacke Marlborough Late Harvest Riesling 2011 ($37.95)

Attractive lemon straw in the glass this has an outstanding aroma - lemon meringue, honey, vanilla and blossom, with a slight hint of kero hiding behind the more dominant notes.

This unctuous wine has a captivating blend of honey and delicious lemon-lime acid-drop notes. The satiny texture and rich stonefruit and caramel notes cruise out to a crisper finish with lingering sweetness. It is another excellent wine from Kevin Judd.

Greywacke has quickly established itself as one of our finest boutique producers.

- The Marlborough Express

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