Aromatic purity from a Kiwi sauv

2012 Rimapere, Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand (£14.95, Hailsham Cellars, 01323-846238, www.hailshamcellars.com).

I vividly remember my first tasting of Cloudy Bay sauvignon blanc back in 1987. Used to the wines of the Loire, nothing prepared me for the aromatic purity of the wine from this far-flung, and soon to be recognised as iconic, sauvignon blanc producer.

Since then, the classics in the Loire (Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé et al) have raised their game, sauvignon is grown all over the world with varying degrees of skill and Marlborough has been transformed from a huge and varied Elysian market garden to a hulking vinous monoculture. For this reason, Kiwi sauvignon seems to have lost its ability to shock.

So, the first time I tasted Rimapere, meaning ‘five arrows’ after the emblem of the Rothschild family (Baron Benjamin Rothschild and local entrepreneur Terry Peabody are owners), I nearly fainted from what I call acute smell memory.

Like the scent of an old girlfriend’s perfume on a passer-by, this wine catapulted me back 27 years to the magical aromatics of the pioneer of the region. Hailsham Cellars is taking pre-orders of Rimapere in advance of the stock arriving towards the end of this month. Get in quick – this is a game-changing wine.

• Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (www.matthewjukes.com).

Merryn

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