TN: 2004 Ra Nui Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough New Zealand. 13.2% alcohol. Beekman Wines, Glen Rock, NJ; $18.00. (The other two candidates for the month were sold out and I was to lazy to shop further in all our heat.) Imported by Michael Skurnick Wines, Syosset New York.
Pale gold color, clear hue, aggressive citrus aroma with hints of a unusual but pleasant musky smell -- is this what New Zealand reviewers like Sue Courtney call "sweat" -- very lively taste of citrus and pineapple, a subset of melon and apples, but basically a sort of battle between grapefruit and pineapple with pineapple triumphing in the end game, medium mouth feel, firm acidity with good balance; long single note finish. 3*.
I served this wine with steamed mussels using a recipe taught to me by a fellow from South Africa who calls it Thai, I suppose because of the coconut milk. A very nice match indeed.
5 pounds mussels
1 3 1/2-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
1 1/2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups fresh cilantro sprigs
[Enough water to cover mussels.]
Scrub mussels well and remove beards. Squeeze enough juice from limes to measure 1/3 cup. In an 8-quart kettle boil lime juice, coconut milk, wine, curry paste, garlic, fish sauce, and sugar over high heat, stirring, 2 minutes. Add mussels, tossing to combine. Cook mussels, covered, stirring occasionally, until opened, about 5 to 8 minutes. (Discard any unopened mussels.) Chop cilantro and toss with mussels.
Joel Mitchell's comment: "This is my favorite New Zealand Sauvignon." The website is very informative, with a nice tasting note on this wine by Sue Courtney: http://www.ranuiwines.co.nz/sav_2004.htm
Note: this is a cross post from the Netscape Wine of the Month feature: http://community.netscape.com/n/pfx/for ... winelovers
Note: edited to correct a typo in Joel Mitchell's quote and pointed out by Sue Courtney down below. Bob