8 Nov 2013
Has Sauvignon Blanc run its race?
The roaring success of Marlborough Sav Blanc over the last twenty years has been amazing to witness.
It's hard to think of another wine regional variety that has risen to such heights from nothing so quickly. Beaujolaise did a huge promotion job in the seventies and eighties and achieved similar growth. Who buys them now?
The strong varietal character of Marlborough Savi made it possible for every L plate wine drinker to recognise their first wine. This made it everyone's favourite. Now that those millions of new drinkers have got off their L plates and even past their P plates as drinkers the simple in your face style of Sav Blanc has started to wear a bit thin. The new generation of advanced drinking course graduates are looking for something more subtle and interesting.
The ever inventive Kiwis have responded in two ways, by finding new drinkers in new markets like Asia and the Baltic States and they have added more dimension to their premium wines by barrel fermenting and lees stirring which cuts back on the loud button and introduces some other flavours to their wine.
For Australians this means we get less of the old cats pee and asparagus juice wines and smaller volumes of more sophisticated wines that us Wine Wankers can enjoy. We are now revisiting our own Sav Blanc from our best areas like the Adelaide Hills which produce wines of ripeness and complexity often lacking in the NZ examples.