Sauvignon Blanc is often considered a summer wine, and for good reason. It tends to be light, refreshing, and possesses the kind of bright acidity that makes it a perfect complement to a sun-soaked summer day. That doesn’t mean that you can’t drink it in the winter, and a Sauvignon Blanc this good deserves to be enjoyed throughout the year.
Nobilo is the second largest wine company in New Zealand, and has produced wine there since 1943. Their standard Sauvignon Blanc is always a good buy, but it is their Icon series of wines that really shines. From the Awatere Valley in Marlborough, the Icon series is made up of grapes from vineyard sites that are Nobilo’s best, and the difference in quality between their standard series and icon series is unmistakable.
Sauv Blanc from Marlborough tends to have some common characteristics: tropical fruit, acidity, grapefruit, a grassy or “catty” note, and a touch of stone. While Nobilo Icon Sauvignon Blanc possesses all of these qualities, it’s the first one, tropical fruit, that sets it apart.
As soon as you smell this wine, a panoply of flavors spring to mind. Guava, pinapple, pink grapefruit, and most of all passion fruit. These flavors continue on the palate, along with tart key lime and lemon. It’s acidic enough that it remains refreshing, but unlike many Marlborough Sauv Blancs which are bone dry, the Nobilo Icon keeps just a hint of sweetness that accentuates the abundant tropical fruit. The wine finishes dry and crisp, leaving you wanting more.
Expect to pay $20-$22 at the store, $35-$45 at a restaurant.
The Wine: Nobilo Icon Sauvignon Blanc
Appellation: Marlborough New Zealand
Composition: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
Production: 20,000 cases imported
Where you can find it in Fairbanks: By-the-bottle at Gambardealla’s Pasta Bella, off-sale at Gold Hill and Gavora’s Fine Wine.