New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc continues to take the wine world on a journey just as wild and exciting as the country in which it’s grown. And I was fortunate enough to receive three noteworthy wines (as samples) from Brancott Estate, located in the Marlborough region.


Brancott Estate

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The founders of Brancott Estate planted the region’s first ever Sauvignon Blanc, but not without a glitch or two. Seedlings, planted in 1973, met “mixed success” at the Brancott Estate Vineyard and the vines were replanted a few years later. By 1979, Marlborough’s first Sauvignon Blanc, with its unique profile now beloved throughout the world, was produced. Their first release won Gold at the 1980 New Zealand Easter Show and by 1982, their first shipment outside the country was sent to the United Kingdom. At the end of this memorable decade, the Brancott Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc was selected from more than 1100 competitors as the winner of the prestigious Marquis de Goulaine trophy at the 21st International Wine & Spirit Competition.

Of course, royalty was destined to be involved at Brancott Estate; in 1990, Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II planted a vine on Festival Block. The same year, Patrick Materman became Chief Winemaker, a position enabling him to propel forward new expressions of Sauvignon Blanc. Accolades continued with Andy Frost begin named White Winemaker of the Year (currently, head of the Wine Innovation Program) at the London International Wine Challenge. The Brancott Estate portfolio of award winning wines is now vast and boasts a range of Sauvignon Blanc that includes those that are sparkling, organic, oak-influenced, low-alcohol, age-worthy, and late-harvest.

Their eye is firmly set towards the future in order to untap the potential of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Brancott Estate, a founding member of New Zealand’s original sustainable winegrowing initiative, utilizes screwcaps and advocates stainless steel as an alternative to oak. They were the first Australasian winery to “achieve five top international industry standards for quality, environment, health, and safety” for all of their sites.

These initiatives advance their mission, one that is clear: to capture the remarkable, distinctive flavors of New Zealand.

Following are three Brancott Estate wines that are examples of just that.

Brancott Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016 ($10) – The quality for the price is astounding; the wine represents one in a collection that is “fruit-forward and approachable”. Wafting from the glass were powerful aromas of grapefruit, tropical fruits, refreshing citrus, and white and yellow flowers just clipped from the garden. Your palate will be just as satisfied as mine after each sip…I noted juicy, sweet citrus blended with crisp acidity and a refreshing finish. Complement each pour with your best loved tapas recipe or platter of hummus, crudites, and feta cheese.

Brancott Estate
Brancott Estate “B” Letter Series Sauvignon Blanc 2016 ($34) – This stunning wine delivers every distinctive aroma and flavor that true New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc fans crave. The Letter Series highlights wines are “hand-crafted from grapes sourced from top-performing Marlborough vineyards”. Brancott Estate’s intention is to have these wines reflect not only the flavors of the region but the fine art of winemaking, as well. On the nose, I found classic aromas of juicy grapefruit, freshly squeezed lemon, ripe tropical fruit, and a hint of minerality. Refreshing flavors of honey, pink grapefruit, more tropical fruit (guava and passionfruit) and lively acidity led to a brilliantly crisp finish. Find your favorite recipe for shellfish, smoked salmon or mussels for a mouthwatering pairing.

Brancott Estate
Brancott Estate Chosen Rows Sauvignon Blanc 2013 ($53) – There are more than a few reasons that this wine is considered Brancott Estate’s “pinnacle wine” and the “ultimate expression of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc”. Hand crafted using grapes carefully chosen from choice rows from the vineyards, I clearly appreciated each intense aroma of lemon and honey, lychee and spice, stone fruit, minerality, and white flowers. Offered on the palate were rich, complex flavors of roasted nuts, ripe tropical fruit, stone fruit, and baked apple intermingled with mouthwatering acidity, plenty of body, and texture. The pure, bright finish lingered… You need even more reasons why the Chosen Rows is wow-worthy? Pair this exceptional wine with a rich and savory fish dish, grilled pork chops, or a creamy goat cheese for a fabulous taste sensation.

Brancott Estate

Cheers! ~ Cindy

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