New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc has always been a tricky wine for me. It is a huge wine category and many of our top-selling white wines are from there. However, if I am grabbing a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, I usually look to France, California, or even South Africa. I am not a huge fan of all the grapefruit acidity that typically dominates New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Also, in the back of my head, I am thinking that with approximately 275 million cases of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc produced each year, there must be a dip in quality. Regardless, there are New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs that I do enjoy, but they tend to get close to the price of a good Sancerre - which leads me to today's featured wine. For over 10 years, we have sold the Sancerre's from Henri Bourgeois, yet somehow I had no idea they had a property in Marlborough, New Zealand.
"Our ultimate objective is to offer a wine that tells you the story of its origin, whispers he is not French but Marlborough and voices he is a craft from the specific Clos Henri terroir.”
Arnaud Bourgeois, General Manager
For ten generations, the Bourgeois family has produced top Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Noir, just a few hours from Paris, in the Loire Valley. The family settled in Chavignol, one of the finest terroirs in Sancerre. As the popularity of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc grew, the family knew they had a unique opportunity to capitalize on their centuries of knowledge of this great French varietal, in an up and coming region. In 2000, the family found just under 100 acres of unplanted farmland in the southern foothills of Marlborough’s Wairau Valley, thinking it was the perfect location for "Clos Henri."
Their first vintage was 2003 and the wines have steadily tasted better in this youthful soil. As the vines grew older and more land was purchased, they added a second Sauvignon Blanc, today's "Petit Clos.” As grape vines grow in age, they generally produce less but more concentrated juice. The Bourgeois family loves to showcase young, vibrant Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, so they chose to make "Petit Clos." This wine is refreshing and juicy while also adding some minerality and flintiness you may find in their Loire Valley wines. Since 2013, the estate has been 100% certified organic in hopes of preserving healthy soils for future generations.
These are in stock at all of our locations. This is a perfect wine to not only enjoy at the beach or on your deck, but it will fit in great at your dining table. There is freshness, minerality and balance here that will work great with everything from oysters to fried cod fillets.
94 Points - Wine Enthusiast & “Editors’ Choice”
"Another stellar wine from this quality-driven producer and an excellent vintage, the bang-for-buck factor delivers extra strong here. Think Pouilly Fumé-meets-Marlborough. Notes of soft gunflint and seashell tuck beneath bright citrus and stone fruit, grass and dried green herbs. The palate strikes a lovely balance between texture and zingy acidity. Flinty, mineral nuances run beside juicy citrus right to the long finish. This may be less ageworthy than Henri’s upper tier Sauvignon, but it’s utterly delicious drinking right now." - Christina Pickard (11/2020)
92 Points - JamesSuckling.com
"This has a very fresh lime and herb nose with gooseberry and minerally notes, too. The palate has a very rich, fleshy and piercingly acidic fruit core with a taut, herbal edge." - James Suckling (11/2020)
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