Cutting back on booze a bit — but not too much? Check out New Zealand-based Brancott Estate’s Flight Song, which is “20% lighter in calories,” thanks in large part to a 9% abv. Brancott doesn’t offer a whole lot of information on how it has lowered the alcohol level of its wines, but we didn’t let that stop us from tasting it. Thoughts follow.
While clearly tropical on the nose, this wine is distinctly watery on the palate, and it feels a bit artificially sweetened in order to mask the ultra-low alcohol level. That’s fine — I respect the effort to lower the abv — but what largely comes across is a fruity (and plenty acidic) pineapple juice concoction, layered with hints of coconut and a finish that runs to tangerine. You won’t find this much brash fruitiness this side of muscat, and while that may work for some palates, I’m generally looking for a bit more depth, even from an otherwise straightforward NZ sauvignon blanc.