Last year I was fortunate to taste Villa Maria Estate‘s 2011 Sauvignon Blanc with thirstygirl®. This year I was invited to taste the 2012 Villa Maria Estate Reserve Bin Sauvignon Blanc and the 2011 Villa Maria Estate Reserve Bin Pinot Noir and asked a friend to join me. The 2012 vintage of wines marked Villa Maria Estate’s 50th anniversary vintage.
2012 Villa Maria Estate Reserve Bin Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand (Average SRP $13.00, wine-searcher.com)
As a child, I was one of those kids who loved eating lemons and limes. I also ate grapefruit without sugar. In retrospect, I believe I was destined to love Sauvignon Blanc. This wine took me back to those childhood memories of grapefruit, lemon, and lime running down my chin. The wine is a very pale, greenish straw color with medium body. I love the bright, crisp tart flavors and acidity. My friend and I paired it with salty, aged cheddar and fresh bread dipped in olive oil with kosher salt. Both appetizers brought the fruit flavors to the forefront. Today I paired a glass with a puff pastry-like appetizer filled with spicy risotto and cheese. This wine would also pair well with chicken, shellfish, grilled veggies, and spicy Asian foods.
2011 Reserve Bin Villa Maria Estate Pinot Noir, Marlborough, New Zealand (Average SRP $18.00, wine-searcher.com)
Most Pinots that I have sampled lately tend more towards the bright, red-fruit style. Not this Pinot. It is ruby red in color with a medium body. It is earthy and spicy with dark fruit and savory mushroom flavors. My immediate thought for a meal pairing was Holy Shiitake Pie from Mellow Mushroom, whose primary toppings are Shiitake, button, and portobell0 mushrooms. Of course, I will use any excuse to have that pizza, but in my mind this would have been the consummate pairing. Alas, my friend’s olive oil and kosher salt dip and aged cheddar served as substitute pairings. Last night I sipped the remainder of this wine without food, so I could further explore its funkiness.