- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Redcliffe, Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand, 2004, $11

It’s hard to believe no one made sauvignon blanc in New Zealand before the early 1980s. Since then, grape growers and winemakers there have demonstrated such mastery with this grape variety that their wines have become global benchmarks. Few countries have risen to the top with a single type of wine so quickly.

Good New Zealand sauvignons, especially when coming from Marlborough, at the northern tip of the South Island, taste vibrant and racy. They exhibit a pronounced citrus (primarily grapefruit) character, with herbaceous undertones. Although packed full of flavor, these white wines seem light and refreshing — making them ideal warm-weather choices.

Redcliffe’s 2004 sauvignon displays classic Marlborough flair. Pungent without being aggressive, it is very satisfying on its own and when paired with food. A great partner for shellfish, it also will complement seafood, poultry and other dinner salads nicely. (Imported by Palm Bay.)

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