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Elephant Hill tasty wine for summer

There’s nothing like a fresh, cool glass of crisp sauvignon blanc from New Zealand when the temperatures hit 110 degrees. Elephant Hill is the perfect wine to drink right now with its fresh fruit zest.

I have sometimes come across a very lovely sauvignon blanc from what is really one of the best areas in the world for this white grape varietal.

Most of the top New Zealand wines I have reviewed here have been from the Marlborough region of the South Island, but Elephant Hill comes from Hawkes Bay, which is a top area of the North Island. It is cheaper than wines from the south, but just as flavorful.

In the glass, Elephant Hill Sauvignon Blanc is a very faint citrine-yellow color with a clean, clear appearance and completely translucent core going out into a water-clear meniscus and medium viscosity.

On the nose, the wine is brimming with summer fruits such as white nectarine skins, peach cobbler, apple sauce and pear juice, followed by hints of crushed white currants and slight minerality.

In the mouth, it is fresh and zesty with green mango, more white currants, stone fruit, star fruit and some key lime notes as well. The midpalate is rounded and the acidity is in complete balance and harmony with the white fruit, offering just enough ripeness, despite its relative youth, to give a nice lip-smacking finish that lingers a bit.

This is a great wine for summer and can be enjoyed slightly chilled to 52 degrees Fahrenheit. Serve Elephant Hill by itself or with any kind of fresh shellfish. Drink it now through 2009.

Wine: Elephant Hill Sauvignon Blanc

Grape: Sauvignon blanc

Region: Hawkes Bay, North Island, New Zealand

Vintage: 2007

Price: $14.99

Gil Lempert-Schwarz’s wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89016-0749, or e-mail him at gil@winevegas.com.

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