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WINE OF THE WEEK: Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2020, Marlborough, New Zealand

£21.50–£26.95, The Champagne Company, ND John, Majestic*, Clos19, Laithwaites, Jeroboams

This is the first Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc I've tasted in a few years. I always used to like New Zealand's iconic wine and I've seen how well it can age, but I wasn't expecting to make it a Wine of the Week. After all, it's expensive, it doesn't need a helping hand and you can find other very good New Zealand Sauvignons more cheaply.

But I was really impressed; I loved it. It's got concentration, pizzazz, length and balance and I have no doubt it will age. In fact, it'll be more layered and nuanced in a year's time. In the meantime it's humming with elderflower and lemongrass, tingling, bright passionfruit, gooseberry and lime and has a subtle, flinty, mineral undertow.

Around 4% of the wine was fermented in used French oak barriques and larger oak vats, the rest at cooler temperatures in stainless steel and it was blended from 91 parcels. Whatever else has happened this year, 2020 was an excellent vintage for Marlborough.

It's a brilliantly reviving aperitif for dark evenings and a great match for seafood, especially scallops, crab and griddled prawns, tomatoes (raw and cooked), roast peppers, leeks vinaigrette, roast roots, the herbs and spices of Thai food (as long as you go easy on the chilli) and it makes a good white-wine all-rounder for tapas. 13.2%.

Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2020, Marlborough, New Zealand

£21.50, The Champagne Company; £21.95, ND John; £24, Clos19; £25, Laithwaites; £26.95, Jeroboams

*£22.99, in Majestic stores from next week


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