w/b 2 Nov 09
NEW Zealand's Marlborough region and Sauvignon Blanc have been virtually synonymous for the past 30-something years, and one of the best vintages was this year's when vineyards were bathed in sunshine throughout the ripening period and dry and clear conditions carried through to end of harvest.
At Essenze Wines, winemaker Corey Ryan chose fruit from the region's Awatere Valley for its steely and racy minerality, and from the Wairau Valley for its intense passionfruit and refined melon-citrus flavours, so creating a beautifully-flavoured 2009 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
This is a beaut summer wine for alfresco dining, and at $18.99 it's ideal to match with pan-friend barramundi and salad – or as personality chef Peter Howard suggested to me, with a Mediterranean char-grilled salad.
ONE FOR LUNCH: A couple of really interesting and rewarding reds out of Annie's Lane in the Clare Valley in 2008 are a Cabernet Merlot blend and a straight Shiraz.
The Cabernet Merlot is medium-bodied with plum, mulberry, fig and cassis aromas from the Merlot component, leafy characters from the Cabernet and a palate of rich fruit and lingering tannins. At $19.99 a nice one to match with a tangine of duck and green olives.
The 2008 Annie's Lane Shiraz is a great wine now with dominant plum and anise and lingering strawberry and raspberry aromas, and a palate of dense fruit, nice oak and chalky tannins – and its one that will improve beautifully with age.
Pay $19.99 for this as well and don't look past enjoying with Osso Bucco, mashed potatoes and braised spinach.
(NEED A FOOD/DRINK IDEA? Check out http://www.vintnews.com )
 A KIWI to take to an Aussie barramundi lunch
 ENJOY now with Osso Bucco, or tuck away for a bit more cellaring