Sauvignon Blanc, Mt. Difficulty, Bannockburn, 2012, Central Otago, New Zealand

MTD12SauvBlanc

Central Otago has become a classic New World wine region known for its rich, silky and complex Pinot Noir.

But we discovered this unusual gem of a wine from the Sauvignon Blanc grape, made by one of the very best producers in the region, Mt. Difficulty.

This beautiful region, at the southern tip of the south island in New Zealand, is nestled amongst mountains and shimmering lakes. Bannockburn is one of the most respected sub-regions, where the terroir produces exceptional wines.

Mt. Difficulty is one of the oldest wineries in the area, and yet it was only established in 1998. Whilst a long history of winemaking is important in Europe, many of the top wines of New Zealand have gained international fame in just a few decades. It’s the quality in the bottle that counts, and this boutique winery consistently delivers exceptional Pinot Noir, and now very fine Sauvignon Blanc.

On the nose, the aromatics leap out of the glass with a heady note of cut hay and passion fruit. The palate has just the right combination between dryness and fruit sweetness and a rich mid-palate texture, in a light to medium bodied wine. There’s a tightly wound minerality that spins through wine and into the finish. Delicious!

Food and wine pairing

Perfect for sipping by itself, it also pairs well with seafood, or pasta in a cream sauce. My favorite is with goat’s cheese.

James Cluer, MW, Contributing Wine Editor www.finevintagewineclub.com