The StoryThe Wildsong Hawke's Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2018 is sourced from the Wild Flower Vineyard located in Mangatahi one of the highest elevated regions in the Hawke's Bay growing region on New Zealand's North Island. Most of the Sauvignon Blanc you would typically see on store shelves comes from Marlborough on the South Island.Wildsong is one of Te Awanga Estate line of wines. About half of Te Awanga's vineyards are certified organic with the other transitioning to organic.Hawke's Bay is located on the North Island is more well-known for producing Syrah, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon than Sauvignon Blanc. They have more Chardonnay under vine than Sauv Blanc, so if you are used to the wines of Marlborough on the South Island, this will be different.This Sauvignon Blanc was fermented in stainless steel and then aged “on lees” for a few months before bottling. “On lees” refers to the winemaker keeping the dead, spent yeast in the tank with the wine while aging. The lees (dead yeast) can be stirred occasionally to often. The more the lees are stirred more the wine takes on a creamy character.Though they usually do not stir the lees too much with Sauvignon Blanc, they are normally looking for a combination of ripe and tart citrus, not cream. On lees can also give the wine a salty, cashew like flavor. If you pick out a bit of salt with White wine that is a pretty good indicator that on lees took place.I think I found this wine for $12.99, which is an excellent price for a single vineyard, somewhat boutique Sauvignon Blanc. This is a young wine, virtual all Sauvignon Blanc in this price range is made in the drink-it-now style. And that is just fine since Sauvignon Blanc made in a young, bright, fresh style is delicious. The alcohol content is a mild 12.5%.Wildsong Hawke's Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Tasting NotesThe color is a pale wheat yellow. The nose is pretty, there are scents of melon, peach, Altoid's mints, tropical fruit, Anjou pear, orange blossom honey, and lime. This Sauv Blanc is a little subdued from the stuff on the South Island, still good, but different.It starts with pineapple mixed of ripe apple, and peach, then a slight slap of spice. The mid-palate offers light melon, tart grapefruit and that salty cashew thing described above. The acidity is very well-balanced, enough to support the flavors and to entice you to take another sip.The Summary* The Wildsong Hawke's Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2018 is a very tasty wine.* It is not big and bold like Marlborough, it does not have that edge, it is softer, more rounded and still tastes great.* This is a Sauv Blanc well worth seeking out, a single vineyard wine priced the same of the multi-vineyard wines.
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