Friday, June 24, 2011

Sauvignon Blanc Day with 2010 Stoneleigh Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

Apparently today is "Sauvignon Blanc Day", though if it is, the buzz hasn't been nearly as potent as last September's Cabernet Day or the Chardonnay Day of a few months ago. Hell, it hasn't been as talked about as "Merlot Day", when I got to taste and tweet about an awesome merlot from Cana's Feast. The premise behind these "_____ Day" events is to taste and talk about the featured varietal by using social media. On Twitter, users will add the "#SauvBlanc" or "SauvignonBlanc" hashtag to their tweets. This makes it easy to search for the tweeps (Twitter users) who are participating.

That didn't stop me from trying to participate, though my tasting notes and general writing style might be a bit lacking. The past two nights have seen me do overnight shifts at work, where I go in at 8pm and leave sometime between 4am and 5am. Maybe I need to start looking for other jobs! Anyone?

I opened a bottle of 2010 Stoneleigh Marlborough sauvignon blanc this afternoon while in the midst of a sleep deprived daze. This was a sample and I have been meaning to taste it for a few weeks now, "Sauvignon Blanc Day" gave me a perfect excuse. But really, do I ever need an excuse to open wine? Of course not!

The Stoneleigh comes in at 13.0% alcohol, a normal amount for New Zealand and other New World sauvignon blancs but higher than Bordeaux or Loire sauvignon blancs.

Right away the 2010 Stoneleigh smells a lot like other examples from New Zealand. The strongest scent was a grassy, herbal note. Underneath that were hints of stone fruit and a tropical aroma reminiscent of freshly sliced passion fruit. While the herbs dominate, those sweeter fruit flavors help buttress the bouquet, preventing it from descending into the hell that is overly acidic sauvignon blanc aromas.

Remember in the previous paragraph when I likened overly acidic sauvigon blanch to hell? If you like riper, more fruit oriented sauvignon blancs like St. Supery, or the JAQK "Charmed" bottling, stop reading. The 2010 Stoneleigh sauvignon blanc is an acid monster, bone dry in a there-goes-my-tooth-enamel-wait-what's-that-pain kind of way. If you successfully navigate past the acidity you're rewarded with beautifully balanced herb and tropical fruit notes with even a touch of minerality. Actually quite good, but the acidity kicks around so much that my palate, at least, felt like it needed to take a break and have some Gatorade.

I actually enjoyed this wine a lot, it's more acidic than something like a Parducci sauvignon blanc but that's what I expect out of New Zealand. Whenever I taste an acid monster, I'm reminded that sauvignon blanc does love to be paired with food, and this is a great sushi wine, or something with pasta. That acidity cuts right through rich sauces and cheese. My pairing was macaroni and cheese, one of my favorite comfort foods ever, and the wine's acidity cut through the rich cheesy goodness, keeping the meal harmoniously balanced.

For about $17 (found on, you get a top-notch New Zealand sauvignon blanc, kudos go to Stoneleigh for making a tasty wine in a tough year. B+. BUY recommendation.

This wine was a media sample for review purposes.

Beau Carufel

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