02 March, 2011

New Sauvignon Blanc Vines

Conventional wisdom is that wine gets better as the vines grow more established.  Wine writers will say that "such and such a new winery is very good  - but - it will certainly be better as the vines get a little older."  But is that in fact so ?

A friend from just three kilometers away came for a barbeque bringing with him some bottled delights with one unlabeled bottle from the new small vineyard he established around his house. So they can add Sauvignon Blanc to the range already offered.

It was great !  I sat up.  Fresh and green but just wanting to make you enjoy summer!  "Wow" I said. "That was just what I used to like about the great Savs of Malborough." (Marlborough being a wine region far north of here that became famous for it's Savs,   --   but now seems to have lost that.

"Exactly" he said  "they used to do those"  We had a rare moment of agreement.
The mystery wine.  No label yet.
I have developed a heretical theory.  The Sav won't get better as the vines mature.  The best wine will come from young vines. Of course it will become better with time in the bottle.  But that's different.

Before I am burnt as a heretic, possibly on a pile of vine clippings,  I have to point out Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is not as regarded as it was earlier on.  By a number of people.

These 950 vines were planted in late 2006 and the first crop was picked at three and a half years in April 2010.  Only 56 cases were made.  (672 bottles)  With a well known winemaker.

Anyway I retrieved the bottle from the recycle bin and took this photo.  50 cases will go to London with labels. Look out for a bottle with this "H" on the cap.   There's a task!  Let me know. Is the new theory correct?


  1. It's frustrating to find a wine you really like, then not be able to find it again. My sister says the vintners are ripping out the vines up there in Marlborough and putting in fruit trees. Too much wine and not enough buyers.

  2. Certainly the wine industry is a bit cyclical. But additionally the Marlborough Savignon blanc is not the wine it was ten years ago. To me anyway.

  3. Is what you're on about the deadening or blunting of that lemony sharpness.
    I suspect it a question of how the vine grows and also exactly what it is growing in. If you take your SB from Marlborough, the reason they were planted there had nothing to do with the French concept of 'Ground' and all to do with the climate. So beyond the soil surface check for compatibility. What that little thug would find below ground wasn't contemplated at all. And really who knows what it has found. Given that the SB pretty much says what it is on the tin. 'Savage' 'wild' means it will grow in soil conditions where that sulky little whelp the pinot noir will shrivel.
    Oh, I did a bit of horticulture in a past life. So I've bit about the growing of the things. The alchemy in the middle less so. But on the sausage principle and the beauty regimen of women. I'll leave that aspect for the time being.

  4. MMmmmmh. Think you are right. could be the lemon.

  5. I don't know much about growing the grapes, tried that once at my other home but did't stay there long enough, but I do know that I like Sauvignon Blac. In fact I have a bottle in the cooler for this weekend's dinner party. Hope they work out into a great wine for you. May join you for a glass! Jack

  6. I follow a very interesting SA Food and Wine blogger (The Squashed Tomato) - you might enjoy checking out her blog to get some insight on our local vineyards and wines :) I'm sure she'd be interested in knowing about you, too!


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