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Two new wine reviews


Here are two new reviews. Both wines are from the Marlborough, New Zealand winery, Duck Hunter, that’s been getting good reviews in the American wine press. The prices listed are the official ones from the importer, but I’ve seen both wines online for sale at considerably lower cost. Both the Sauvignon Blanc and the Pinot Noir are what you could call “food wines.” They’re super-easy to drink, with good varietal flavor, and versatile at the table.

Duck Hunter 2018 Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough): $20. What a lovely wine: crisp and low in alcohol (12.7%), with plenty of flavors: passionfruit, papaya, gooseberry and citrusy limes, although the spectrum is so broad, different tasters will find all kinds of different things to rave about. However you describe it, the wine is elegant, refined and simply delicious. There’s a little residual sugar in the finish, not enough to make it overtly sweet, but rich and mellow. With no oak, what you get are ripely succulent grapes. The wine has none of those infamous “cat pee” aromas sometimes associated with Marlborough Sauv Blanc. I’d happily drink this as a house white wine. Score: 88 points.

Duck Hunter 2018 Pinot Noir (Marlborough); $30. The word I immediately came up with, tasting this Pinot, is “pleasant.” It’s on the light side, color-wise, with a pretty garnet-golden color that’s clear enough to see through. The texture is silky, and the tannins are fine and gentle; with alcohol of only 13.3%, it has something of the crystalline purity of mountain water. There’s nothing light about the flavor, though. The raspberry newton, cola, cranberry, orange zest and baking spices are tangy and delicious. The tech notes say only “limited oak” has been applied. I can barely perceive any wood—maybe that slight smokiness is the only clue. There’s a nice bite of acidity to balance the fruit, and the finish is totally dry, if a bit short. On the whole, a very nice wine, drinkable immediately and for the next few years. Try with roast duck, mushroom risotto, pork, chicken or beef tacos. Score: 89 points.

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