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August 5, 2013 | by  | in Opinion |
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Bacchus Knows Best – Yeasty Goodness

Yeasty goodness… This is usually a term associated with beer; however, a few months ago I got the chance to sneak over the hill to Martinborough and get a behind-the-scenes look at some of the ‘magic’ happening in a few wineries that make some gloriously perfumed and textural wines. As a wine connoisseur, I spend a lot of time talking about the uniqueness of different wines, with the focus being about where they come from, how much sun the vineyard gets, the structure of the soil… and so on and so forth.  What is often overlooked is what a different strain of yeast can add to the end result. A lot of winemakers (our friends at the big companies) use specific strains to get a desired result—whether it’s to raise or lower the alcohol content, or produce softer, rounder fruit flavours. But those who let fermentation happen naturally, with whatever yeast is on the grapes out in the vineyard, or is kicking around in the winery, are the ones who make the truly exciting wines. With this in mind, be on the lookout for wild fermented wines, as the juice in the bottle will be slightly more unique and less like its more generic, commercially made neighbour.

In saying that though, there are a couple of commercially made wines which are absolute stunners, and have served me very well over a number of years.

Stoneleigh Sauvignon Blanc:

My number-one go-to if I have to get something for my lovely lady; it screams Marlborough, with crispy crunchy notes at the back, a wonderfully aromatic nose and the classic passionfruit flavours up front. Safe as houses!

Roy’s Hill Merlot by CJ Pask:

A classic Hawke’s Bay Merlot which is driven by plush red plummy fruits, and can sometimes have a slight hint of vanilla and chocolate running through the palate. Soft and generous tannins mean it can be drunk on its own or with a wide variety of food.

So store these gems in your memory bank, sit back and wait for them to come on special at your local, and stock up!

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