Monday, July 23, 2012

Review: Kemblefield 2011 Sauvignon Blanc

Although I typically aim to find "reasonable" bottles of wine, I don't often find wines for $6 that I enjoy (and to be completely honest, I don't usually have any expectation for a $6 wine to be any good). So I took a shot. I haven't seen many New Zealand wines for under $8, so I wanted to see what the 2011 Kemblefield Sauvignon Blanc had to offer.

The nose on this wine was wonderful. Again, very typical of New Zealand SB, with strong tropical fruits including passion fruit and pineapple. I also picked up on some subtle grass and herb notes. Overall, a very pleasant nose with a lot of potential.

After the first sip of this wine, I literally swallowed and said "Wow!" because it was a but unexpected. A subtle tart flavor, with an incredibly smooth finish; this wine was really good. I must admit I was in a bit of shock. This wine wasn't as crisp as some of the other SB bottles I've had, but it certainly seemed very drinkable. With the second and third sip, this wine got smoother, with a small bite lingering at the back of the throat, but otherwise a very smooth, medium length finish and a great wine.

I ended up having two glasses of this wine on the first night and really enjoyed it. I drank this with some pesto prawns for dinner & found it complimented it well. The tartness was a great pairing with the herbs & seafood. I also happened to snack on a bit of a pumpkin chocolate chip muffin & shortly after took a sip without realizing it, and it was lovely. It made me think this would be a great wine with Thanksgiving dinner. For dessert, I had a few bites of a berry pie/crumble and this was a really great choice. It really brought out the fruit notes. Overall, I felt this wine had a wide variety of food potential...a great sign considering I don't often find good food & wine pairings personally.

One note: I didn't have a chance to drink this on day two of being open, but kept it sealed tight with my wine vacuum until day three. By day three, much of the tart bite that it had on day one had dissipated and it was much smoother and sweeter, too. It wasn't very crisp, but the flavor that remained was really wonderful. Knowing this, I suggest giving this a bit of time to breath before drinking, to ease the bite just a bit.

So, would I recommend it? Absolutely. For the price, this is a very pleasant wine. But one other thing I would DEFINITELY recommend this wine for is sangria. At less than $6 a bottle, this would be a fabulous wine for sangria with a variety of fruit; I felt peaches would be a great choice.

Overall, I would say this is one of the best inexpensive bottles of NZ Sauvignon Blanc I've ever had and would highly recommend it. Who says you have to pay a lot for good wine? Kemblefield proves there are good New Zealand Sauv Blancs to fit every budget.

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