Astrolabe, Marlborough, Durvillea, Sauvignon Blanc, 2010
Gooseberry Fields Forever - fruit so fresh and vivid it feels as thought it had just been plucked off the vines. Crisp and saline as well. (Sept. 13, 2012)
Astrolabe, Marlborough, Voyage, Sauvignon Blanc, 2010
In Israel, the Voyage is synonymous with Astrolabe, but it's not even the flagship label, it's just a step up from the Durvillea, right before the single-vineyard bottlings (which Mersch will be importing soon). Whatever, it's just as vibrant as the Durvillea, but the gooseberry fruit seems deeper, more complex - and the mineral edge more pronounced. It's really lovely, with clarity that will win you over if you have any empathy for the grape at all. (Sept. 15, 2012)
Seifried, Old Coach Road, Sauvignon Blanc, 2011
The last of the three demonstrates the fallibility of the style: the wines are kind of same-y. It's not that easy to tell these wines apart, unless you're tasting side by side - which I wasn't - or you're blessed with a very good memory - and mine is quite good, but it still taxed me to formulate where the Old Coach Road diverges from the Voyage.
It's a better, finer wine, for my tastes, if I look at it holistically. It's more complex, a little more elegant and focused, and more than a little more interesting. Stylistically, they're cut from the same cloth and make use of the same building blocks - although I'd say the Old Coach Road adds a shimmering mint and pink grapefruit tint to the gooseberry. But it attracts me more than the Astrolabes, fine as they were, do. (Sept. 18, 2012)