I’ll remember The International Sauvignon Blanc Conference, held in Blenheim Marlborough last week, as an event where the ‘Big Producers’ walked harmoniously alongside the ‘Not so Big’ Producers. Brancott Estate took a lead role in the event organisation, and definitely a big swathe of Pernod Ricard Staff were in town. They facilitated a good event.

Brandon and I gladly attended the conference – assisting our own Takaki Okada of Folium Vineyard present and taste with many industry journalists, critics and producers.

I walked away from the conference with one very memorable quote from the charming Marcel Giesen …

“The wines in this conference have definitely shown a perceptible separability.”

He was absolutely right. On the last day of conference, I attended the ‘Wild Bunch – Alternative’ tasting…To my mind this was where the good stuff would be…. and it definitely was.

The Wild Yeast, Reductive styles spearheaded by the Dog Point Section 94, seemed to be in the ascendance – with three different vintages from Section 94. The 2008 shone in its texture and almost Burgundian nose of funky yeast autolysis. However, there were some equally ‘not so good’ examples in this style…it’s a fine line – play your hand and be confident I guess….and know what you are doing…There should be a sign. “Winemakers – Beware Wild Yeast – Maybe you should consider to go and listen to Jimi Hendrix instead and get your fix there!”

Then there was a contingent of more perfumed ripe aromatic styles. A notable example of this type was the Sauvignon Blanc from Hans Herzog – one of the most consistent sites and I believe it is stonier – perhaps this extra warmth has aided in this style.

Takaki Okada of our own Folium Vineyard entered his 2013 Reserve Sauvignon Blanc into this category, and I could help but be blown away at how the wine shone through in the company. Its balance and trademark elegant texture with a refined and broadening palate given a wine of length unmatched by any other.

See More about The International Sauvignon Blanc Conference Here.