The second International Sauvignon Blanc conference in this country was held in Marlborough in late January this year as a celebration and tasty investigation of one of the great classic white grape varieties in the wine world.
The three day event offered wine lovers and winemakers a chance to see Sauvignon Blanc in its many different guises, including complex dry, oak-influenced (either fermented or matured) wines, as well as all the fruit driven, upfront and fresh dry whites we know and love as Sauvignon Blanc.
One of the Sauvignon Blanc producers that we stock widely at Regional is a family whose wines we greatly admire - the Bourgeois family from Sancerre, in the Loire Valley, France.
The Bourgeois family has been making wine for 10 generations in France and, in 2000, Remi and Jean-Marie Bourgeois decided to buy land in Marlborough, New Zealand, to try their hand here at making top notch Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.
The result of their decision to step outside France led to the formation of Clos Henri (pronounced ‘klo enree’) - the New Zealand outpost of their French winemaking in Sancerre.
Their Marlborough grapes are organically certified and their vineyard is modelled on traditional French methods of close planting rows, low to the ground vines and relatively low cropping levels.
The use of older oak for a portion of their Sauvignon Blancs provides softness and attractive complexity in all of the wines from this humble, modestly priced ‘Le Petit Bourgeois’ upwards.
Each wine is a step up in quality, representing a different style that highlights the differences possible with one grape variety. Well, okay, with two grapes actually, since they also make a very good quality Pinot Noir.
Pop into Regional to buy these interesting wines from New Zealand and France.
Speaking of which, the New Zealand range includes...
2017 Le Petit Bourgeois Sauvignon Blanc
2015 Clos Henri Sauvignon Blanc
2015 Clos Henri Pinot Noir
The French wines from the Bourgeois family include...
2016 Bourgeois Le Petit Bourgeois
2016 Bourgeois Pouilly-Fumé Abbaye
2014 Bourgeois Sancerre Baronnes
2014 Bourgeois Sancerre Monts Damnes