This dog has got a point!

OK so I’ve slagged off New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs.  Well actually, far from having slagged them off, I’ve merely suggested that French Sauvignons, and in particular, those from the Loire Valley should be given a 2nd chance.  But I’ve always expressed my admiration for NZ Sauvignons, and Cloudy Bay is my favourite so far.

So when I was offered the chance to buy a mixed case of Kiwi SBs from 2006, including a bottle of Cloudy Bay for only £109, I jumped at the chance to make a few comparisons.  An opportunity to retest my theory that the French are moving ahead again in quality and VFM.

The first bottle I tried was Dog Point 2006.  But this was no dog!

No dogs here!  Dog Point..with a juicer (for some reason)

I love the label – simple, simple, simple and classy.  And I love the almost ubiquitous (amongst Kiwi SBs) screw cap.  For wines that should be drunk young, why oh why use a cork?  This is one feature that stands New Zealand head and shoulders above the antiquated, conservative and obstinate French.

Back to the wine.  Whilst it is a cliché that Sauvignon Blancs smell of cat’s piss, this particular dog was almost certainly well into feline urolagnia.  What a stink!  However, whilst cat’s piss on a gooseberry bush is the usual claim, this one had an aroma and intense taste of peaches, maybe caramelised slightly.  I loved it but suggest drinking with a peg on your nose (unless you are a sexually deviant dog).

Trinity Hill with a picture of my mum at the Café de Paris in London in 1954 (for some reason)

The second bottle I opened was Trinity Hill “by John Hancock” from Hawkes Bay.  Another very impressive label – simple and attractive.  That’s one thing most Kiwi wines seemed to have learnt from Cloudy Bay.  The reverse of the bottle claimed to offer “typical characteristics of passion fruit, nectarine and citrus blossom with a hint of gooseberry evident”.  I thought the gooseberry was the most prevalent flavour maybe with a touch of grapefruit and apricot, but very drinkable.  I am impressed with the case so far!

Things were going well, so I went for the hat trick.  Wither Hills by “Brent Marris, Winemaker”. The label said “fresh herbal aroma with ripe gooseberry overtones”. By this point in time I was so weak I simply agreed.  Touch of coriander?  Perhaps a little sage.  Oops I’ve run out of thyme…

Drink chilled - Wither Hills on my icemaker (for some reason)

8 Responses to “This dog has got a point!”

  1. Sylvain Says:

    I have been so lucky to even visit these wineries (Cloudy Bay, Wither Hills, Trinity Hill) and actually meet John Hancock -such a great guy- so I confirm from lived tasting -what a case you’ve got here- you have sourced really great wines. I am French guy from the Loire Valley but I really love NZ Sauvignon Blanc. Plus I agree, the labels are really neat.

    For more kiwis labels, check my website:
    http://www.sowine.com/Inspirations_vin_NZ1_ENG.htm

    For landscapes, it there:
    http://www.sowine.com/Imagination_NZ_1_ENG.htm

    Cheers,
    -Sylvain

    PS / The Pinot Noir from Dog point is also brilliant.

  2. Alastair Bathgate Says:

    Hi Sylvain

    I think the case came from the Wine Society so I guess I am not really responsible for choosing the list but I’ve enjoyed every one I’ve tasted so far. I’ve been meaning to try a few Pinot Noirs from NZ too, but hey, there are only so many drinking hours in the day. I’ll get round to it soon!
    Talking of which, I note you have Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir on your site – how did you find it?
    Nice site by the way. I may ask permission to borrow a photo from time to time!
    Alastair

  3. Anonymous Says:

    New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs and deviant dogs…

    This wine blog takes a light hearted look at the world of wine and food.
    This is a good example of a review of three Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand. Don’t expect to see Parker points mentioned here though!…

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