THE ADVOCATE V O L . 7 5 P A R T 2 M A R C H 2 0 1 7 229 dos of Sauv Blanc now see it as limiting innovation, given all the other ways the grape can be expressed in a wine. This is especially due to the dominance that NZ versions have in the world’s markets and the consequent link consumers have between the grape name and the Kiwi style. Although not a major player as a white wine in the Okanagan or Similkameen, Sauvignon Blanc does grow well in the right sub-climates. When I planted my vineyard in Osoyoos in 1998, I put in about three acres and never regretted the decision. It has a somewhat later bud break, after most spring frosts, and I found it a steady and early-ripening grape. The plants can be quite vigorous and needed more “hacking back” and leaf-pulling than some others, but as they grew older the vines settled down (rather like dogs and children). One interesting harvest technique sometimes used was to do two “passes”, harvesting one side at an early date to enhance the acidic and green profile and then doing a second “pass” a week or ten days later to get more tropical rich fruit flavours. Fermented separately and then blended (perhaps with the later-picked grapes getting some barrel fermentation and aging) it made for a more complex wine in the Mondavi style. Wine styles change, and I expect this will occur with Sauvignon Blanc as producers continue to look for interesting new ways to put their signatures on it. But whether the French versions regain prominence or there becomes more of a diversified playing field for all styles, or changes occur in the New Zealand style itself, I am sure Sauvignon Blanc will continue in its wide popularity. JARDIN EN FLEURS SAUVIGNON BLANC 2014 A.O.C. Touraine, Loire Valley, France #569723 $19.99 Interestingly, the wine is made in glass-lined, thermo-regulated tanks at 19 degrees Celsius, a much-protected environment in which the winemaker strives for preserving aromas and freshness. It is then aged on its fine lees (the sediment of spent yeasts and particulates from the grapes that falls out of the wine after fermentation), which generally adds a certain roundness and complexity. It works. There is green pear, lemon-lime and cut grass on nose. The flavours again are green pear and apple mixed with lime, and it has a bright, racy, long finish. “Garden in bloom” is a rather fitting name. It will pair with well with a number of dishes, including fish and chicken, particularly in a cream sauce. Like many Sauv Blancs, it is a good option for salads, or with asparagus or artichokes, foods that are usually difficult to pair with wine. It is also a good wine to pair with appies like crackers with goat cheese.
March Pages 2017
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