Nobilo Icon Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Medium yellow color with green hints; bell pepper, citrus, floral notes on the nose; white stone fruit, lemon, grapefruit, tropical fruit, minerality on tangy palate.

Rich in the mouth, clean, classic Marlborough crispness; intriguing complexity. Icon is Nobilo’s flagship label, and this reflects that attention to quality. Very pleasing, palate-cleansing, long finish. Medium-plus weight in the mouth

Nobilo’s story begins in 1936 when war clouds gathered and Nikola Nobilo immigrated from Croatia to New Zealand. In 1943, Nikola planted his first vines, drawing on more than three centuries of family wine making experience. Nikola was early advocate for premium varietals, pushing New Zealand wine makers to compete with the world. He also fought New Zealand’s bizarre booze laws that prohibited wine being served with meals in restaurants (the United States does not have a monopoly on idiocy when it comes to alcohol-related law).

In the 1970s, Nikola pushed New Zealand into focusing on sauvignon blanc and pinot noir and played a leadership role in developing Marlborough as a wine region. For his efforts, Nikola was awarded the Order of the British Empire in 1994.

David Edmonds maintains Nikola’s tradition today, using grapes from Marlborough, Hawkes Bay, Gisborne and other regions; grapes for this effort came from Awatere, Upper Wairau, and Rapaura Marlborough vineyards. Mega-wine company Constellation Brands owns Nibolo now, but regular readers know of my admiration of Constellation’s penchant for allowing acquisitions to continue to do what made them attractive to acquire in the first place. Fellow New Zealand Constellation brand Kim Crawford is another example.

Nobilo Icon Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016 is classic Marlborough with excellent acidity; not exactly knife on the tongue because the fullness and fruitiness, but delightfully complex, and I love the weight that contributes nicely to the long, rich finish. Will pair well with milder flavored fish, shellfish and mussels–scallops, goat cheese, green vegetables. $19-22

Nobilo website

Photos: Nikola Nobilo; Nobilo winemaker David Edwards; Nobilo vineyards; Nobilo winery.