Brancott in New Zealand planted the first commercial vineyards in Marlborough more than 30 years ago. In 1979 they made their first vintage of Sauvignon Blanc. This is particularly noteworthy when you consider what an important role that varietal plays in the history, evolution and world-wide recognition of New Zealand’s Wine Industry. Today I’ll look at two of their current release wines, not surprisingly one is in fact a Sauvignon Blanc. The Brancott 2008 Reserve Sauvignon Blanc is made from fruit sourced at two vineyards. This offering is comprised completely of Sauvignon Blanc. The suggested retail price for this wine is $19.
Melon, gooseberry and lemon zest are prominent in the nose. They carry through the palate which also features peach characteristics and hint of grass. Mineral notes, white pepper and some mouth puckering tartness emerge on the finish. Crisp, abundant acidity frames everything and makes this a Sauvignon Blanc that lends itself quite favorably to food.
What stood out most about this Sauvignon Blanc is that even with its hint of grassiness it leans away from the style that normally comes to mind in New Zealand. While that typically grassy Zealand style is often great, I like seeing something different and well done.
The second wine from Brancott is the 2007 Terraces “T” Marlborough Pinot Noir. This wine is of course 100% Pinot Noir. Aging was accomplished in French oak; ages ranged from new to two years old. The suggested retail price for this Pinot Noir is $32.
Black cherry and vanilla dominate the nose of this Pinot Noir. Throughout the palate, raspberry, clove nutmeg and white pepper are prominent along with subtler but present hints of cocoa. The finish of this classy Pinot Noir has an avalanche of deliciously pleasing sour cherry. The structure of this wine is framed by terrific acidity. This is one of those Pinot’s you can order at a restaurant when everyone at the table is eating a diverse array of foods.
What impressed me most about this selection is that it’s clearly age worthy. It should really come together and improve in the short term (2-3 years) and drink well for a couple of years after that. Good and great Pinot Noir is not inexpensive. This is an excellent one at a reasonable price.