Ribbonwood Sauvignon Blanc 2010

 Summer time is the right time for a white wine. Poetic little nugget, huh. (imagine Gilda Radner in her Baba Wawa voice saying that….a bit less elegant.) But true, though. I scored a bottle of Ribbonwood Sauvignon Blanc, 2010, from among the Special Purchase, Super Saver, Bonus Stacks in The Store for $7.99 (750 ml) recently, and opened it last night to have with take-out Chinese outside at the picnic table by the romantic glow of Citronella torches. Warm evening, well chilled wine, lightning bugs, the dog begging for some Lo Mein….perfect.

Ribbonwood is a product of Framingham Wines LTD., from the Marlborough region of New Zealand. This area, Marlborough, has become one of the world’s most popular Sauvignon Blanc producers. Marlborough is in the Northeast corner of New Zealand’s South Island. There is an often repeated wine axiom that grapes must struggle to achieve greatness, and here the thin layer of sandy soil over shale makes for such a struggle. ( There is a metaphor for life in that viticulture truth, isn’t there.) The proximity to the Ocean allows for a moderation of temperatures, which makes for happy (though struggling) grapes. One interesting aside here…while reading up on New Zealand wine, I ran into the cork versus screw cap debate. It seems New Zealand has been among the early adapters in the use of screw caps on wine bottles. There is, in fact, a logo on Framingham’s website indicating they are a “New Zealand Screwcap Wine Seal Initiative Member”. That’s an issue with strong opinions on both sides, which perhaps we’ll explore more closely another time.

After unscrewing the cap, we discovered a citrusy, soft, very light and refreshing wine. Sauvignon Blanc, like all varietals I guess, varies a lot from area to area. Some are described as “grassy” or “vegetal”. Not so this New Zealander. There is pineapple, and apricot (ok, that’s not citrus.) It tasted familiar, and I searched my brain for association…Sunny Delight…Tang. Wife said, and I agree, this is a good “beverage with food” wine, but not necessarily a wine you’d chose for a non-mealtime, evening sipper. We both lean hard, in that setting, toward the bigger, bolder reds. It is, though, easy to drink, was a great complement to the pineapple fried rice, etc., and would likely please an only occasional, less than enthusiast wine drinker.

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