Saturday, June 23, 2012

Grapefruit and Kaffir Lime? Yes, Please... just hold the Cat Pee

I wanted to take a moment to share one of the most delicious wines I've tasted in some time with you all.  I'm a huge fan of New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs... acidic, citrusy, slightly grassy... but sometimes they have these unpleasant tinges of asparagus or well, cat pee.  Yes, cat pee is an acceptable wine term and is often used as a descriptor in defining the aroma of my favorite summer varietal.  Since my first sommelier course, I've managed to wrap my brain around adjectives such as barnyard, pencil shavings and wet cardboard to describe the bouquet of my wine, however cat pee still alludes me.

In the world of New Zealand SB, you have your major players... Cloudy Bay (the undisputed benchmark), Kim Crawford, Serasin, Saint Clair, Whitehaven, Matua, and I can go on and on.  Each as their strengths and numerous aspects which make them quite delectable paired with a crisp garden salad on a hot day, however they all share that afore mentioned back note that I'd rather not continue to discuss.

But alas, I've discovered a small batch producer out of Marlborough, the heart of SB country, that has managed to capture everything that is incredible about New Zealand SB's without any of the characteristics that aren't.  Astrolabe Wines has extracted a bright, balanced, complex wine with strong notes of grapefruit, gooseberry, lemongrass and kaffir lime.  Although their "Voyage" SB isn't the easiest  to come by, it's completely worth the search.  Also, at under $20 a bottle [retail], it's an exceptional value.  If you happen to be in the New Hampshire area, check out the Copper Door in Bedford for a bottle.

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