The 2010 Chasing Venus Sauvignon Blanc is sourced from 4 locally owned family vineyards (each vineyard’s grapes bring a different texture and flavor to the wine) in the Marlborough growing region in the northeast of the South Island in New Zealand. This is a label owned by Crew Wine Company, who also produce Match Book, Mossback and Sawbuck wines. When Captain Cook began is voyage of discovery in 1769, the cover story for his endeavor was he was on a scientific mission to plot the course of Venus across the sun. But what he found was New Zealand and Australia, so he was Chasing Venus when he bumped into land. This Sauvignon Blanc was aged and fermented in stainless steel tanks, no oak is used and the alcohol content is 13%. The current vintage is the 2012, so while the new vintage lists for $16, I found the 2010 vintage at $5.99 (Binny’s in the Chicago area, get it while you can).
The color is a bright, shiny golden yellow. The nose jumps out of the glass, this is not a shy wine, there are aromas of melon, grapefruit, peach, kiwi with a beautiful floral edge. There is some nice weight to this Sauvignon Blanc, along with strong supple flavors. It starts with grapefruit, very dry lemon/lime, a grassy taste, dried apricots and orange juice. The mid palate adds very tart tangerine mixed with key lime. The acidity is in good supply and is well balanced with the body of this wine. The finish is strong and long.
The 2010 Chasing Venus Sauvignon Blanc manages to hit all the things that are good about New Zealand Sauv Blancs, a firm body, a beautiful grassy note, a little cat pee (but not too much), just enough to let you know this is New Zealand Sauv Blanc and tons of rich, crisp flavor. It is February in Chicago, but the Chasing Venus has me thinking summer. This is a terrific bottle to bring along to a BYOB that features spicy Asian or Spanish/Latin American seafood dishes, it has the body, the acidity and the flavor to stand up to just about anything you can throw at it.