New Zealand "Sancerre" Special: Mount Nelson

Posted by CrushWine

New Zealand "Sancerre" Back Up the Truck!
2008 Mount Nelson Sauvignon Blanc
Our Most Popular Sauvignon Blanc is BACK!
*Special Pricing this Week*

An old-world take on electrifying New Zealand "Zing."
An elegance and finesse put the wine far above its peers.

I'm happy to announce that the newest vintage of last year's most important Sauvignon Blanc discovery has just arrived.

Exciting news for many of you, given that the 2007 had the highest re-order rate of any Crush email offer, ever.

It's clear that so many of you found an elegance and finesse usually reserved for more expensive winesYes, Mt. Nelson has the rare combination of complexity, delicacy, and terroir that a solid Sancerre effortlessly delivers.

We're proud to offer the 2008 -- a wine that equals, and may even exceed the quality of the 2007 -- as low as $13.98, so it again deserves the "Back Up the Truck" moniker. Special case pricing at $167.76 ends Friday.

Mount Nelson has an old world sensibility to it, filtered through the non-stop, sunshine-induced vivacity that top New Zealand fruit delivers. (See below for more on Marlborough and what makes it special.)

While it isn't the first nor the last Sauvignon Blanc to strike a rewarding balance between "elegance" and "zing," it has to be the most impressive, seamless and finessed Sauvignon Blanc from the southern hemisphere under the $25 mark.

It's always nerve-wracking to taste the latest vintage after the previous year's effort has bowled you over -- oftentimes when a wine is at the top in one vintage, there's only one way to go....

But the 2008 delivers in spades: it's still as fully fruited as you'd expect from New Zealand, though the finish also delivers this intensity with a balanced restraint, a complex citrus fruit that is unified and even elegant. There's a wonderful fresh florality and a dusting of fresh-cut grass and dried herbs that adds great complexity to the bright citrus. There's even a nice core of wet cool stones that (gently) tips its hats to the mineral-driven Sancerres of Chavignol.

While it'd be VERY easy to just focus on the impeccable pedigree and ownership of Mount Nelson (covered, briefly, below), we first tasted it before knowing the story. Yes - the truth was, and is, in the bottle.

With the prices of Sancerre at an all time record high due to exchange rates and the historical repute of the region, this wine delivers a more elegant than normal expression of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc while still remaining bright, refreshing and... yes - absolutely gulpable!

Due to our support for the wine last year and its Crush status as "most loved New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc," we have been able to secure this new batch at a razor-sharp price. Though please understand, once this parcel is gone we will have to return to normal retail pricing.

To take advantage of this "Back Up the Truck email" before the wine runs out, please email us at or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Tom Stephenson
General Manager
Crush Wine & Spirits

2008 Mount Nelson Sauvignon Blanc

Net / No Further Discounts
Wine Arrives this Week

The Zource of New Zealand Zauvignon Blanc's Zing

Marlborough has quickly (very quickly in fact) become New Zealand's undisputed home of Sauvignon Blanc. Consider that the grape wasn't even planted here until as late as 1973. Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson write in their World Atlas of Wine that "the special intensity of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc was too obvious to ignore." By the mid-1980s Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc was brought to world-wide fame by David Hohnen's Cloudy Bay, which still remains one of the region's premier bottlings.

Marlborough contains a unique microclimate well suited to Sauvignon Blanc. Days are cool. Even through the summer average daily temperatures rarely top 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Simultaneously, the sunshine here is immense, and intense. Autumns are most often dry, allowing for longer hangtimes and good ripeness. Match all this to cool nighttime temperatures which preserve, like an ice-box, the acidic crackle of Sauvignon Blanc and you get the ripe, focused zing that has made Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs world famous.

The (famous) Men behind Mount Nelson

For a value-driven white wine from this renegade region, Mount Nelson has a shockingly old world and aristocratic ownership - none other than the Marchese Lodovico Antinori and his brother Piero Antinori. Though the Marchese is most often thought of in association with the Italian Super Tuscan "Ornellaia," the two brothers bought about 35 acres of the Meadowbank vineyard in 2003.

The site is about 60 feet above sea level, on the banks of the Taylor River near Cloudy Bay. The soil is largely alluvial deposits and the winemaking is overseen by Helena Lindberg (pictured right).

Harvests take place early - early! - in the morning to assure the fruit's freshness and to preserve the natural acidity. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks and there is some extended lees contact - but not too much - to give the wine a more elegant weight and profile. There is no malolactic fermentation so the acidity has an energetic cut to it.