The Exquisite Collection Single Vineyard Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018 is an $8.49 ALDI import exclusive. Marlborough is located on the Northwest tip of New Zealand’s South Island, most of the nationally distributed NZ Sauvignon Blanc comes from this region. There is a pecking order for the pricing of New Zealand Sauv Blancs. The wines sourced from several contacted (not Estate) vineyards somewhere inside Marlborough sell for around ten bucks. The Estate wines, meaning the producing winery owned the vineyard, sell in the $15 to $20 range, and the single vineyard Estate wines go up from there. So, as a single vineyard wine the Exquisite Collection NZ Sauvignon Blanc is priced at a level that you seldom see.
But, the location and the ownership of the vineyard does not tell the whole story. The $10 Sauv Blancs are produced in a style that allows the wine to come together quickly and is a bright, breezy, young wine. The mid-range Sauvignon Blanc will undergo more complicated winemaking procedures and the expensive stuff gets all the bells and whistles. Style and production methods have as much to do and probably more with the wines price tag than purely the vineyard specifications. The Exquisite Collection may be a Sauv Blanc that went thru the full array of winemaking techniques and is sold off at a low price. Or it could be a single vineyard wine produced in the light and breezy $10 style, just with more expensive grapes than usual. The alcohol content is a subdued 12.5%.
The Tasting Notes
The color is a pale wheat yellow. The nose is typical New Zealand Sauv Blanc, the aromas jump out of the glass, there is tropical fruit, peach, pear, flowers, melon, guava, ripe apple, and lemon. The Exquisite Collection starts like a typical fresh, bright, and bold New Zealand wine, then mellows out on the mid-palate. It is a really nice effect. It tastes of guava, melon, limes, green apple and peach, along with pink grapefruit. The mid-palate adds papaya, soft lemon, and a nutty, salty sensation. The acidity is the lip-smacking kind I like so much, it is hard not to take another sip. The finish is reasonable full and reasonably long.
- I’m not completely positive, but I think this may well be a more expensive wine, maybe leftovers, selling at a bargain price.
- There seems to be some “on lees” fermentation and aging you don’t see in sub-$10 wine, along with a nice transition on the mid-palate.
- There also seems to be a little more weight to this Sauv Blanc than you see in the young, fruitier wines.
- Either way, it’s $8.49, it’s a single vineyard, it’s New Zealand, and it tastes real good.