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Whether you call it gooseberry, grapefruit, or fresh mown grass, the unmistakable herbal aromas that characterize the best New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs are all alive and well in the 2003 Lawson's Dry Hills Sauvignon Blanc. Throw in a dollop of ripe melon and a couple of figs along with clean fresh fruit and the wine's herbal cachet and the flavor profile of this wine stands to greet you. On the finish, the Lawson's finishes dry, with a touch of citrus, but without any of the after burn so typical of lesser renditions of this illustrious varietal. We suggest you serve the Lawson's Sauvignon Blanc well chilled (no more than 40º F) on a hot sunny evening. Enjoy!
By nearly all accounts, summer and seafood were made for Sauvignon Blanc, so what better accompaniment is there to the 2003 Lawson's Dry Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc than seafood? And in New Zealand, and around the tasting panel's table as well, shellfish in all its abundant glory is the preferred seafood companion to fine Sauvignon Blanc. Steamed green tipped mussels, served in a tasty, herb infused broth, Prince Edward Island oysters, raw or lightly sautéed, a Maryland style lump crab cake, and a good old-fashioned jumbo shrimp cocktail, complete with a mild cocktail sauce, are just some of our favorite selections with the 2003 Lawson's Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Black snapper sashimi, a yellow fin Carpaccio, and most sushi dishes provide other fine accompaniments to the Lawson's Sauvignon Blanc as well. And if seafood just doesn't stir your gastronomic waters, why not try this wine with a mixed nut crusted goat cheese that is served warm over mixed greens? Yum!
Now here is a winery that consistently fashions high quality wines and has one heck of a story, not to mention more than the usual cast of colorful characters. Founded in 1992 by Ross and Barbara Lawson, a charming and witty couple with a great sense of timing and the uncanny knack of knowing what consumers like, Lawson's Dry Hill was one of the first small boutique wineries in Marlborough to receive international acclaim for it's estate bottled wines. Committed solely to the production of premium Marlborough wines, the Lawson's have distinguished themselves in less than a dozen years as serious producers of tasty, fruit driven wines of true renown. Add the young, very talented Mike Just to the picture at Lawson's Dry Hills and you have one unbeatable team. Devoted to traditional cool climate varietals: Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir, Riesling, and most especially Sauvignon Blanc for which Marlborough is most celebrated, Lawson's winemaker Mike Just knows just what to do. Mike spent a considerable amount of time in Germany studying cool climate viticulture, followed by several years working at top German estates, before returning to his native New Zealand. In Europe Mike acquired a deft hand with cool climate grapes, which he has turned into Lawson's Dry Hills award-winning style with the help of the formidable terroir of Marlborough. While in Europe, Mike also gained an extensive knowledge of medieval armor, culture and music, which he has readily transplanted to New Zealand. In addition to possessing considerable talent as a winemaker, Mike is fun, upbeat, and immensely interesting. With Mike, Barbara and Ross around, you can be sure there is nary a dull moment at Lawson's Dry Hills, and we haven't even mentioned the winery's most esteemed character - Tomi.
Tomi is Ross Lawson's golden retriever and by all accounts she possess the premier palate at Lawson's Dry Hills estate. Instead of playing in the yard or retrieving prey like most four-year-old golden retrievers, Tomi has a more promising career. She decides when to harvest at Lawson's and what grapes to pick, and when. With one sniff of her supercharged olfactory she can determine the brix (brix is a measure of sugar, most notably in grapes). Intuitively, Tomi knows when the grapes have attained physiological ripeness or at the very least a minimum of 22 brix - essential information to any winemaker even remotely interested in the production of fine wine. Many famous and not so famous wineries pay huge sums of money for technical equipment and consulting oenologists to tell them precisely what Tomi already knows, and does best. Essentially, Tomi just loves grapes, but only when they are perfectly ripe. At first, Ross Lawson could hardly believe he had a grape dog on his hands, but after extensive testing and verification with expensive equipment, Tomi's uncanny and unfailing talent have been borne out and have now become legendary. And lest you think we are concocting a ruse or somehow embellishing a story, we can assure you to the contrary. In fact, we are not the first to report Tomi' s oenological prowess. This canny canine already enjoys celebrity status in Marlborough because of her unfailing ability to find and, if permitted, consume copious quantities of only the most perfect grapes. Moreover, her fame is spreading. The editor of the magazine Wine New Zealand has actually dedicated part of the periodical's recent vintage report to Tomi. Without simile or metaphor or some other saccharin slop, Tomi can say all that needs to be said about a vintage with just one appreciative slurp. Now that is our kind of dog! In the future, we may, perhaps, see a whole new breed of dog? And how much you want to bet there will be a long line in Marlborough for one of Tomi's pups?
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