I can’t help but be slightly annoyed at Sauvignon Blanc. For many years, the white wine lovers of the UK merrily plucked bottle after bottle of Chardonnay from their local supermarket’s shelves. Then along came this ‘new’ grape on the block. Our old favourite was left behind in the nineties, much in the same way as we left shellsuits and mullets in the eighties.
Yes, OK, this is an exaggeration. Many of us still enjoy a glass of Chardonnay, without sporting the Pat Sharpe hairdo or dressing like we’re about to go for a jog. But there’s still a sense that it’s had its day. It’s just not fashionable any more.
Sauvignon does undeniably tend to produce more ‘delicate’ wines than Chardonnay. They’re usually the sort of wines that tip-toe across your tongue and slip down the hatch without demanding your attention. Maybe the modern British palate, which will often choose prawns or calamari with some aioli over a chicken casserole, requires this very style of wine.
The problem, I think, is that it’s become too easy to sell this stuff to us. I’ve had many a Sauvignon that’s been shameful value for money. This Cimarosa though, with a fairly modest price tag of £6.49 at Lidl, seemed to be gaining some plaudits. Despite my own experiences, and the branding (which I’m always wary of), I plucked up the courage to part with my cash and give this Kiwi a chance.
My expectations were smashed. And I only needed to swirl and sniff to know that. Imagine a bowl of mango, with a chunk or two of pineapple and passion fruit thrown in for good measure. Add the juice of a lime. Every last drop of it. Now imagine the taste sensation you’re going to get from this exotic, fruity treat, and you’re very close to imagining Cimarosa’s Sauvignon. It packs a real, tropical, punch, and I can’t think of many wines I could pay the same compliment to.
There’s still a temptation to be picky. I’d love it to have a touch more acidity, and part of me feels it’s a caricuture of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Then again, maybe that’s just a snobbish reluctance to accept that a wine at this price can have such a concentrated flavour.
Whether you’ve embraced Sauvignon, or are a secret Chardonnay sipper, this wine simply isn’t to be missed.