Left Field Sauvignon Blanc

(TORONTO, ON) – Yes, another free sample was delivered to my door today. Dylan the Westie is a mere 20 pounds, but barks up a storm, so the poor courier quickly dropped off the bottle and made a hasty retreat to his car.

Today, it was a delivery of Left Field Nelson 2016 Sauvignon Blanc.

Now, that I have disclosed I am reviewing a freebie, I have disclosed a possible conflict of interest. Since it was free, and I am so grateful, I will give the wine an inflated review. Oh, these technicalities.

The wine is platinum coloured and, as soon as I opened it, I could smell sweet white grapefruit. On the nose, it brings back smells of the tropical fruit I was recently eating in Vietnam, namely dragon fruit, papaya, mango, and pineapple.

These aromas are strong and forceful.

On the palate, zippy acidity with guava, grapefruit, and white pepper, all delivered with some heat.

A short finish, although it is intense. It’s crisp and clean taste points to stainless steel tank fermenting.

If you are no fan of acidity, decant 15 minutes prior to serving. It will neutralize the acidity to some degree.

Like Jo Don Baker, this wine stands tall.

Due to its acidity, this wine should be paired with a white-fleshed ocean fish and oysters. It would also suit lamb marinated in olive oil, lemon, and a mixture of herbs. A wonderful match for Vietnamese and Thai chicken dishes.

I would also venture to say a great match with Vietnamese Pho sprinkled with coriander and freshly squeezed lime juice.

Many wine writers have hinted New Zealand better be careful that it is not seen as a one-horse town. The popular taste could move away from Sauvignon Blanc and leave the Kiwis exposed. However, thank goodness they have shown us they can produce excellent Pinot Noirs and Pinot Gris.

Although this Sauvignon Blanc was made available as a LCBO general listing on May 21, Left Field Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Rosé will be available later this summer at the LCBO Avenue Road location in Toronto. I have yet to try those, but if they are good it is possible your LCBO can arrange a transfer of these wines to your local outlet.

About the name Left Field.

Te Awa winemaker Richard Painter said, “This collection is about showing the world how Te Awa Winery does things differently. Every bottle of wine is created in an unconventional manner. From the taste to the label, it is truly an out of left field experience.”

This concept of the unexpected is also replicated in the wine’s unique label. Designer Aaron Pollock created whimsical creatures fueled by imagination. The label on the Sauvignon Blanc is part flying fish and part flower, looking quite like something out of a biology text book.

(Left Field Nelson 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, Te Awa Winery, Hastings, New Zealand, $18.95, 13%, 750 mL, LCBO #487496, Square Media Group Rating 89/100)

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About the Author

Robert Stephen (CSW)
Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he loves The Square. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write." Email Robert Stephen