Brancott Estate ‘Chosen Rows’ Sauvignon Blanc 2010
This month saw the New Zealand release of Brancott Estate’s icon Sauvignon Blanc named ‘Chosen Rows’. The wine, from the outstanding 2010 Marlborough vintage was made from selected fruit from specially chosen rows in the company’s ‘Brancott’ vineyard. It is billed as the culmination of over 35 years of experience in viticulture and winemaking from the planting of Sauvignon Blanc in Marlborough in 1975. Brancott Estate’s chief winemaker Patrick Materman led his team to craft an ageworthy and complex style that they consider "sophisticated and thought-provoking”.
The wine was revealed earlier this year at tastings for select media in the U.K, and in New Zealand (that I did not attend), where it was served alongside high profile Sauvignon Blanc wines, such as New Zealand wines Dog Point ‘Section 94’ and Cloudy Bay ‘Te Koko’, highly regarded examples from Chile and South Africa, a Ch. Smith Haut Lafitte white Bordeaux and Loire wines including the likes of Henri Bourgeois ‘d’Antan’ and Didier Dagueneau ‘Silex’, all from the 2010 vintage. The project for ‘Chosen Rows’ began in 2004 with wine being trialled from 2008. At the U.K. launch, the experimental wines from 2009 and 2011 which were not bottled under the ‘Chosen Rows’ label, as well as the yet-to-be released ‘Chosen Rows’ 2012, were served.
As discussed in a previous ‘Tasting Review’ article on the latest Brancott Estate ‘Letter Series’ Sauvignons on this site (click here to see), the company has worked towards developing its own distinctive style, which I see as one of subtle fruit expression with plenty of complexities built in, the wine possessing considerable, fine textures. Such a wine is eminently suited to food pairing. It is interesting that Brancott Estate has gone down this path, as it is a more international one in style, avoiding the overt methoxypyrazine or thiol expressions, as well as reductive complexity-laden or richly oaked styles that are more commonly regarded as superior bottlings. It will take a particularly focussed wine enthusiast to appreciate Sauvignon Blanc at this level, and the ‘Chosen Rows’ wine of Brancott Estate will be one that requires even greater attention. With a recommended retail price of $80.00 and a limited production of only 3,500 bottles, it will not be experienced by many regular Sauvignon Blanc drinkers. But it is a wine that should be. Here is my review of the wine. www.brancottestate.com
Disclosure: No fee was paid for this ‘Feature Review’. I reserve the right to publish an assessment as a ‘Feature Review’ instead of in the ‘Tasting Reviews’ section of the website if I consider it of significance.
FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW
Brancott Estate ‘Chosen Rows’ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand - MarlboroughReview Date : 23-Apr-2013Brilliant straw-yellow colour, pale an rim. This has a very fine and tightly concentrated bouquet with driven but subtle aromas of nectarines, spices and savoury greengage fruit. The aromatics have a firm rawness which reveals details of smoke, flint and green beans and white florals. Dry to taste, the palate is elegantly proportioned, with tightly bound and packed with nectarine fruit, fresh savoury herbs and spice elements. This has real concentration and depth with a stylishness. There is considerable mouthfeel and presence, with fine textures balanced by lacy, steely acidity providing brilliant cut and tension. Nuances of smoke, minerals and hints of secondary bean-like flavours emerge in the glass, and carry through to a very concentrated, lively, textural finish with very long, lingering flavours. This is a powerful and concentrated Sauvignon Blanc with tightly restrained flavours and textures along with the acid cut for elegance. It will reveal more layers of interest over the next 3-4+ years. Match with seafood and poultry dishes, and with creamy cheeses. Hand-picked Sauvignon Blanc fruit from chosen rows in the ‘Brancott’ vineyard, WBP using the company’s ‘Coquard’ Champagne press, 50% fermented in French oak cuves and foudres, the majority of ferments by indigenous yeasts to 14.0% alc. and 3.0 g/L rs, the wine aged on lees for 8 months. 3,500 bottles made. 19.0-/20 Apr 2013 RRP $80.00