Drift Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (Marlborough, NZ)
$17, Screwcap, 12.5%
Source:Someone else’s bottle, I just had a snifter
It may sound surprising (to somebody) but I don’t think that Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is that evil. Or at least the good stuff isn’t evil. In it’s authentic form it’s a highly aromatic, vibrant white wine that is super intense, varietal and refreshingly crisp. On a warm evening, good Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is far from evil, it’s drinkable.
But the problem with Marlborough Savvy, and most ANZ Sauv Blancs for that matter, lies not with the authentic form, but with the boring/poor iterations of it. I’m talking of the hundreds of own-label, sweet & ordinary Savvies out there that are created not to be good drinks, but rather to be serviceable, if soulless products.
The sad fact perhaps is that I myself have peddled such drinks, so I can’t say I am entirely clean in this whole savalanche debacle either.
Anyway, the inspiration for this babble is the Drift Sauvignon Blanc in my glass. In truth it doesn’t really deserve to be a negative conversation starter, because it’s not terrible, yet it is average enough to have you questioning who made it. That process then leads you to the back label winery address – which is listed as Tanunda, South Australia – which only serves to reinforce exactly why it is so ordinary.
Quite yellow in colour given it’s youth, the wine itself has a quite attractive nose of lifted, varietally correct, passionfruit and nettles, herbaceousness meets ripeness fruit. Lots to like on the nose actually.
In fact, the wheels don’t even look wobbly until later in the piece, with a palate that starts off ripe and full and perfectly ok, with a crisp, sweet edged passionfruit juice entry and sufficient acidity. But after that things get cheap, with a finish that is sugary, blunt, spiky and cheap, with a cask wine like like, 10 tonne to the acre, strung out finish and aftertaste that literally leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
In the end, it’s probably 7 or 8 tenths of a good wine, but that doesn’t really help when the remainder is plain ordinary. 15.0/83