When we first started drinking wines on a more regular basis (it was a long time ago), Kiwi Sauvignon blanc was one of our firm favourites, possibly even more so than French Pouilly-Fumé, Sancerre and Menetou-Salon. Cloudy Bay's version, during Kevin Judd's era, was one of the iconic few that was used as a benchmarking tool for quite a lot of savvy (an endearing term for Sauvignon blanc in NZ) producers, and in some ways, it still is.
So when a friend brought out a bottle of the 2020 Cloudy Bay SB yesterday evening, we were frankly quite stoked to try the wine, almost akin to meeting a long-lost friend we haven't seen for decades. Pale lemon yellow in colour, there was plenty of golden honey passionfruit, gooseberry, cut grass and tropical fruit aromas. Crisp, tart and lightly herbaceous on the palate with bright citrus fruits at its core. Its finish was not as long as we remembered it to be but for a late afternoon drink just before the skies were painted in swashes of tangerine and summer fruit hues, we couldn't be happier.
Wine textbooks and educators will typically tell you to pair New Zealand SB with green asparagus and salmon (how boring is that?), but we'd recommend trying this with sausage rolls (try the ones from The Lokal), minced pies, smoked trout roe and grilled tandoori chicken. If you fancy trying this latest release from Cloudy Bay, they are available at all major supermarkets, wine shops and online retailers. But if you can find them at $35+ like our friend did, it'd be truly sweet-as!