Every so often, you taste a wine that — to borrow a word from beer circles — is a “session” wine. You can drink it aaalllll day— in sessions by the pool, on the patio or on the couch. Sip after sip, it keeps on giving and never gets tedious. Occasionally, Sauvignon Blanc can hit this sweet spot but often these crisp grogs, especially those from the particularly chilly New Zealand wine region, taste way too tart to fall into the “session” category for me. Crowded House Sauvignon Blanc is a strong exception to this New Zealand rule.
Crowded House Sauvignon Blanc is an estate-grown wine, crafted by Peter Jackson (not the director, mind you) and vineyard manager Fraser Brown, who work with vines planted in 2004 in the Waihopai Valley of Marlborough. The first release was in 2006 and they’ve been rock stars in Australia and New Zealand for some time. But pretty much unknown in the U.S. Until now, perhaps?
An amusing aside is that the name Crowded House doesn’t come from the band name (Jackson makes fun of the misconception in this charming video), but from the fact that the Marlborough wine region is crammed full of vineyards now, instead of the sheep grazing fields of 30 years ago. Might as well face the stiff competition head on, right? Smart.
Crowded House Sauvignon Blanc 2016
Tart and lovely grapefruit flavors blended with aromatic peach, tangerine and crisp lemon. Refreshingly full of New Zealand personality and verve but the acid is balanced with a slight touch of sweetness. An absolutely perfect summer day grog — at the beach, poolside or patio. The finish is calm, cool and slightly tart. A lot of delicious wine for not much money too.
Sweetness: 2 out of 10
Occasion: Enjoyed on the patio one cool evening with some fresh goat cheese. Sample sent from winery.
Availability: Available nationally but have more distribution on the west coast.
Food Pairings: Chèvre goat cheese, Mahi with Lemon Caper Sauce, Lemon and Herb Marinated Grilled Chicken