Greystone Barrel-Fermented Sauvignon Blanc Waipara 2016 – $
13.5% alc. Pale straw colour.
A gorgeous textural wine. Indigenous yeasts and oak handling give this wine complexity and engagement. Perhaps not a classical NZ sav in style, but it still shows tropical fruit notes and open airs of citrus.
Sweet entry on palate, mealy, rich ripe fruit flavours. Golden goodness I say. Unmistakably a savvy, but this is sav+. I think this is fantastic, and a keeper.
A new fav.
Outstanding 95 points.
Sacred Hill Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2017 – $
I have never been in love with this value tier of Sacred Hill wines (orange label). For several years I have found the Chardonnay wines all a bit underdone and bitter and it put me off.
However, this vintage of Savvy earned itself a Decanter Gold Medal at the 2017 Asia Wine Awards, and Winestate gave this 5 Stars, so something sincere must be going on in this bottle…
12.5% alc. Clearest pale straw colour.
Nice grassy and tomato-y and capsicum-y aromas lifting from the glass. Crispness and a sense of open space. Sharp apple.
Sharp and fresh fruit flavours to taste up front. A pleasant citrus tang. Short, bold. Agreeable fruit density.
Recommended 88 Points
From The Cellar: Te Mata Estate Cape Crest Sauvignon Blanc Hawkes Bay 2013 – $$$
I keep banging on about this favourite wine. Vintage to vintage, one of NZ’s finest. Full stop.
14% alc. Greenish straw colour.
An absolutely lovely and unique nose. That’ll be the barrel ferment, in part. Bouquet of orange citrus blossom, gooseberry, and broken tomato vine. Pure and very elegant and refined. Distinctive aroma. So fragrant. Divine.
Smooth, dense and mouthfilling to drink. Such a fantastic expression of NZ Savignon Blanc – complex, layered, and delicious. There is softness and texture from the barrel ferment, generous flavours of golden stonefruit, a touch of tomato sauce. Citrus acid on the finish. A luscious wine, long and long.
I expect to recall this as one of the finest wines I have tasted this year.
Outstanding 98 Points
te Pā Pā Road Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016 – $
Produced by a family-owned winery with an 800-year tangata whenua connection to the land, this mid-tier wine is made from grapes grown on the McDonald home block vineyard near the Wairau River bar in Marlborough.
13% alc. Drought-pale straw colour.
Clean clear citrus aromas of golden delicious apples, light green capsicum. Very attractive.
On tasting, a simple restrained quality sav is revealed. Not an aggressive style. Balanced fruit and acid. Quite sweet throughout the mid-palate with a sharp finish.
Delicious drinking, and v good value for the price point.
Highly Recommended 92 points
Allan Scott Generations Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015 – $$
Pale gold colour – warmer looking than your typical Marlborough Sav. 12.5% alc.
Prescence of oak on the nose. Open and fresh, complex and aromatic. Soft golden fruit aromas, with a hint of flint.
Sweet front on the palate. Full of flavour. Crisp complex acid mouthfeel and a fine fruit finish of apples and lemons and orange peel. A delicious example.
Highly Recommended 90 points
Palliser Estate Sauvignon Blanc Martinborough 2017 – $$
As it appears on the tin, a ‘serious sav’. 12.5% alcohol. Palest clear straw colour.
Intensely aromatic with scents of apples, honey, gooseberries, pavlova (!) and passionfruit. Hints of grass and yellow capsicum.
Sweet and fresh entry, citrus flavours, bone-dry finish, short and stopping/must reload! Intensity again, green apples to the fore, apple pip, lemon pith, gorgeous and layered. Anyone who says that New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc can be a one-chord-wonder should try this wine. And it’s barely pupped from the tank!!
Highly Recommended 93 points
Astrolabe Kekerengu Coast Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015 – $$
From a reference producer of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, this wine is one of their series of wines exploring sub-regional expressions of the varietal, this example from near the southern coast of Marlborough.
Pale green straw colour. 13% alc.
Grassy and green on the nose. Green capsicum and gooseberries. Apples. A lichen salinity. Ascetic and austere.
Intense and long flavours. Limes and citrus, green tomatoes. Astringent. A grassy long note. Yet still full-flavoured within the confines of the style. Liking the expression of austerity very much!
Highly Recommended 91 points
Dashwood Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016 – $
Another fantastic Savvy, and cheap too!
Pale straw colour. 13% alc.
A cheery and lively nose, this wine boasted the strongest expression of passionfruit I have ever smelt in a Sauvignon Blanc. There was more to smell every time I went back to the glass: lemons, limes, green apples, hops. Remarkable.
It was crisp and full-flavoured to drink, with a dry apple pip finish.
Highly Recommended 94 points
A trio of notable Sauvignon Blanc wines for the cellar:
Grove Mill Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016 – $ – drink now-2021. Rated as Outstanding in the Decanter 2017 review of NZ Savs.
Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc Martinborough 2016 – $ – drink now-2021. Bought at a recent tasting of Ata Rangi wines. Outstanding.
Grove Mill Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016 – $
The weather is turning warmer, and sunnier, and my palate cravings are in turn turning towards cool, crisp, craven Kiwi savs. To every season, turn, turn, etc.
This one should be a good’un – rated 96 points in a recent review in Decanter.
Pale straw colour. 12% alc.
Crisp apple and lemons on the nose. Green grass and crushed tomato leaf aromas, but not overbearing. Smells cool and clean.
Crisp and acidic on palate. Lively, intense zesty limes and gooseberries Lengthy, big, mouthwatering. This is a new benchmark for a value Sav. I have to agree with Decanter.
Outstanding 95 points