Danville Express

Living - September 7, 2007

The Wine Guy: 2005 Giesen Estate'Adams Block'Single Vineyard SelectionSauvignon BlancMarlborough, New ZealandCostco - Danville, $13.79

by Gregory Peebles

New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc: Retail shelves are bursting with different choices from this phenomenon's epicenter, Marlborough. Located near the northern tip of the South Island, Marlborough defines this "new world" style varietal. The challenge and fun in purchasing Sauvignon (New Zealanders often omit the "Blanc") from this appellation is discovering a wine which reflects true Kiwi character, yet offers something a little different to set itself apart from the masses. Behold, Giesen Estate.

The color is muted. Very pale straw with a faint tinge of lime green.

Aromatics are where "Adams Block" begins to show its individuality. A blast of super aggressive citrus? Nope. Jalapeno pepper? A bit later.

Winemaker Andrew Blake nurtures aromas which begin with atypical honeyed melon, lemon grass and mineral. Peel back the first layer and prototypical aromas shine through, red ruby grapefruit and jalapeno pepper. The aromas are certainly in proportion and not overpowering or offensive.

Its mouth feel is surprisingly round and heavy without sacrificing a bit of the necessary, typical and refreshing acidity. For my readers who avoid Marlborough Sauvignons because of the often tongue scorching, sky high acid profile, rejoice and give this selection a whirl. A terrific wine that's at its peak and ready to drink now.

Furthermore, the palate is satisfied by a mouth-watering combination of kaffir lime, Eureka lemon and passion fruit. Unique and tangy notes of Granny Smith apple dominate the finish.

Sauvignon Blanc - especially from New Zealand or an "old world" Sancerre from France's Loire Valley - has a perfect food pairing: Goat cheese. If Forrest Gump drank such Sauvignons and enjoyed chevre, I'm sure he'd say they go together "like peas and carrots." Don't forget the fresh, pan seared sea scallops either. Sensational!

Let your palate be the judge.

Have comments or questions about wine? Gregory Peebles, wine industry professional and East Bay resident, can be contacted at caledoniawine@sbcglobal.net.

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