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Wine of the Week for week ending 6 Mar 2011
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Nautilus Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Marlborough, New Zealand

We opened this sauvignon blanc the other day and it immediately proved it had the wow factor. Tasted blind, in a line-up of sauvs that ranged from boisterously aromatic to tight lean young things, I said to Neil, "This is the kind of sauv that everyone will like."

Nautilus Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 is water pale in hue. It's the colour of those white lemonade iceblocks when they drip down your chin when they are melting.
The aromas are inviting and fresh with loads of classic gooseberry, a little cut grass, summer herbs, tomato stalk and lemon.
Gooseberry and capsicum fill the fresh, tangy palate together with lime, tangelo, herbs and a zesty finish. And despite the refreshing and piercing lemonade and lime acidity, there's a textural softness to this wine that will have wide appeal.
Last but not least, it's absolutely delicious and thirst-quenching when chilled, which is how it really should be enjoyed.

We chose sauvignon blanc to accompany the wine because snapper was the catch of the day. I love fillet of snapper with vine-ripened, sweet juicy Campari tomatoes, basil and sauv. Campari tomatoes are bigger than cherry tomatoes but smaller in size than the smallest hothouse tomatoes most usually seen and while they cost a little more, with their burst of vine-ripened flavour, they're worth it. The basil is homegrown and so intense, it's s shame we have to compete with the caterpillars for it.

Another treat was a snapper pate made with smoked snapper (mixed mainly with cream cheese and lemon juice) served on little squares of toasted bread, it's a terrific finger food option for sauvignon blanc. Accompanied with the Nautilus, it let the snapper be the snapper with out overpowering it and the wine stayed true to its varietal definition.

Nautilus Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 was a deserving gold medal winner in last weekend's Easter Show. The wine wins gold medals regularly, though not often in New Zealand because it's usually made in a more austere kind-of European palate-centric style. This is the best they have made yet, I'd say, because it will suit both the European palates as well as the locals who drink Kiwi sauv blanc nearly every day.

The wine has 13.5% alcohol and is available internationally. In New Zealand it costs around $25 a bottle. Find out more from costs around NZ$25 a bottle.

© Sue Courtney
27 Feb 2011

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