100% Sauvignon Blanc
- Today I realized that this is the first New Zealand wine I’ve ever reviewed. Pretty crazy that it’s taken me this long, right? So what could have possibly caused this 2 year procrastination?
Short-and-sweet, the sole reason is I’ve become bored of Southern Hemisphere Sauv Blancs and that I feel New Zealand has developed a reputation as “one trick pony” because of them. Most NZ SB’s taste so similar, one can hardly tell them apart.
If anything, I firmly believe that if you really want to experience the true future of the New Zealand wine industry, you need to seek-out some of their small production Pinot Noirs. Sadly, most of the better ones are difficult to find. Do yourself a favor and at least try though!
- Long Boat pays homage to the Polynesian explorers who sailed thousands of miles in long boats before reaching what is today called New Zealand. This is the only wine produced by the winery.
- Long Boat specializes in grapes grown in higher altitude vineyards (up to 1,000 feet above sea level), in order to extract the most aromatics. The cooler parts of Marlborough give the grapes more of a green bell pepper aroma, with grapes from the warmer parts showing more tropical fruit.
- A small portion of the Long Boat Sauvignon Blanc was fermented in old French oak barrels (the majority is stainless steel vats) to add just a touch of spice character and soften the herbal green characters inherent in Sauvignon Blanc. The only reason I’m making the effort to feature the Long Boat is that this short-time in oak adds an element of uniqueness to the wine.
- The Cloudy Bay winery (now owned by Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy) is most responsible for the surge in New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc onto the market, particularly in the U.S. and U.K.
- Click here for the Long Boat website…not that there’s much there..
- Wine-making in New Zealand dates back as early as 1836; but most of the early vineyards didn’t even know what Sauvignon Blanc was, instead focusing on Port and Sherry-style wines, due to most New Zealanders being either beer or spirit drinkers.
- Most New Zealand vineyards are to be found within 20 miles of the east coast in order to protect them from the harsh storms coming in from the west.
- Over 2/3 of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc comes from the South Island, and more specifically the Marlborough region.
- The reason you’ll see most wines from New Zealand being packaged with a screw-cap is that they’re usually made for early consumption.
The only reason I find the Long Boat to be a little “ahead-of-the-rest” is the partial fermentation in oak. It definitely adds roundness and complexity to the wine.
The telltale NZ Sauv Blanc notes on the nose with grapefruit, lemon and lime, wet stone and delicate floral highlights. Green apple, fresh cut grass, hints of tropical fruit and pink grapefruit. The citrus acidity is certainly there, but not so much so that I feel like I’m sucking on a lemon.
Finishes very clean, with the lime and mineral flavors really coming though at the end. All my slandering of NZ SB aside, you can’t deny they’re some of the best summertime wines available!
Try fried oysters, scallops or shrimp with pasta, crab, citrus fruits, lobster or swordfish. Just make sure if you’re serving it with salad, keep the vinaigrette to a minimum, or the high acidity in this wine will clash.