No, it’s not from an island off the coast of California, it’s from New Zealand: “The name Catalina Sounds evolved from the majestic Catalina flying boats that played a vital role across the South pacific during and after World War II.” The Catalina is New Zealand’s largest war plane, it seems.
It’s also New Zealand’s newest wine, where this Marlborough-based winery produces, at present, five different bottlings. Today we look at two of the basics, a straight Sauvignon Blanc and a Pinot Noir.
2016 Catalina Sounds Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough – An iconic NZ sauvignon blanc, loaded with pineapple and mango notes, but with a grassy element that tempers what might otherwise be a surfeit of fruit. The finish still feels like it leans a bit heavily on its syrupy-sweet side, but when paired with a spicy dish, it turns out to be just what the doctor ordered. B+ / $15
2015 Catalina Sounds Pinot Noir Marlborough – Licorice-tinged, this is a moderately earthy pinot with notes of black cherry, dark chocolate, and gunpowder. Quite savory on the back end, there’s a brambly blackberry quality that’s quite enduring. B+ / $17