When it comes to identifying a grape variety by the aromas that waft from a glass of wine I am not the most proficient. I am always willing to give it the old college try but, in all honesty, there are only a few varieties I can reliably identify blind. Sauvignon Blanc is at the top of the list. Admittedly, the gooseberry and green grass aromas characteristic of, say, New Zealand Sauv Blanc are not easy clues to miss. Those that offer more tropical fruit aromas are the wines that might fool me. This just-released addition to Dave Phinney’s Locations wines, which we received as a tasting sample, is one that I could correctly identify by aroma without question.
Locations NZ6 — New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc — pale yellow in the glass with generous aromas of gooseberries, fresh cut grass and crushed rock. Gooseberry flavors are prominent along with green melon and just-mowed hay. The flavors are tart, long lasting and finish with an undercurrent of citrus pith. The body is relatively light and the wine has juicy acidity. 13.5% abv. SRP $19.99
This exuberant Sauvignon Blanc grabbed my palate and gave it a good shake; my salivary glands quickly shifted into overdrive. I appreciate the green melon flavor component as it slightly moderates the tart gooseberry flavors and makes this Sauvignon Blanc enjoyable for me as I am not a big fan of Sauvignon Blanc that is all gooseberries. Pair this Locations NZ6 with herbed goat cheese, grilled shrimp, a variety of salads or vegetable dishes. It is, for me, more a food wine more than a sipping wine. If you enjoy New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc this is one to add to your list of wines to try.
This newest Locations wine is winemaker Dave Phinney’s first vintage from New Zealand. It is 100% Sauvignon Blanc sourced from the South Island’s Marlborough region. Blending is a hallmark of the Locations wines and Sauvignon Blanc from vineyard locations in Wairau Valley, Awatere Valley and Waihopai Valley are included in the 2016 vintage. Each location lends its own flavor profile to the final blend, which is unmistakably New Zealand.