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Wine Reviews - Sauvignon Blanc
2010 / 2011 vintage
by Sue Courtney
Last updated 7 Jul 2014

[2013][2012][2011] [2010] [2009] [2008] [2007] [2006] [2005] [2004] [2003] [2002] [2001] [2000 and older] [index]

Although some of these tasting notes may be found elsewhere on this site, this page brings together most of my 2010 & 2009 vintage Sauvignon Blanc notes, listed alphabetically by producer. Click here for rating systems and abbreviations.

In my notes 'gooseberry' refers to the South Island green gooseberry unless otherwise specified. Cape gooseberry and Chinese gooseberry (kiwifruit) are different fruits.
Following the wine names, the wine bottle closure is indicated. (sc) = screwcap, (c) = cork, (p) = plastic.

Click here for a historical perpsective of Sauvignon Blanc in New Zealand.

2013 Vintage [top] [index]

12,000 Miles Wairarapa Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) A lighter styled savvy with a retrained citrus and apple aroma and lemonade, apple, capsicum and violets in the palate with a toasty nuance to the lifted finish. Quite rounded yet has underlying zing. 12.77% alc. $21.00. 16May2014.

Ara Marlborough Single Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) Pale straw. Fresh, tangy, mandarin peel and summer herb aroma. Chock full of ravishing pineapple with the fruit sweetness brought into check by juicy accents of lime and mandarin with a lovely twist of tarragon to the tropical fruit finish. Rich and concentrated with terrific length. 4.5 stars. 13% alc. $21.95. 16May2014.

Aronui Single Vineyard Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) Bright and fresh with summer herb, capsicum and pineapple scents, it's quite linear at first in the palate with green apple notes and green melon, and served chilled it reminds me of an ice block with a zesty zing - it's like tropical fruit with loads of orange, lemon and grapefruit zest. The texture is intense and gravelly with seemingly high acid, it finishes dry with some sweaty notes as the flavours linger and has remarkably good length. 12.5% alc. $21.95. 16Dec2013.

Brancott Estate Letter Series 'B' Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) The bouquet is creamy with nuances of funky wild yeast influence here. Smooth textured in the palate with flavours of white peach, passionfruit and funky yeast lees with a smoky intrigue and a punch of citrus zest on the finish. Different from the everyday drinking Marlborough style. 13.5% alc. $37.99. 10Sep2013.

Clearwater Cove Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) Juicy and fresh with vibrant passionfruit and gooseberry aromas. It has a soft oily texture to contrast the vibrant citrus and tropical fruit. Very, very appealing. Produced by Yealands. 13% alc. $10-$17. 10Sep2013.

Cloudy Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) Pale straw gold. A little restrained on the nose for this punchy varietal with tropical fruit, melon and dried grasses coming to mind but makes up for the restraint in the tangy and tasty juicy fruit palate with a soft grassy herbaceousness in behind the vibrant flavours that burst with fleshy citrus vibrancy. Love the way it builds in power and pungency without overpowering. 13.5% alc. $35.00. 16May2014.

Coopers Creek SV Dillons Point Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) There's a toasty nuance to the grassy, herbaceous and subtle lime scent and it is soft and rounded in the palate with tropical fruit, pepino, citrus and melon. Punchy but not OTT finishing with a fleshy pineapple Chantilly cream. Excellent match to Sicilian Cod Stew, the fish highlights the citrus accents in the wine and tomato and basil of the stew is an outstanding match too. 13% alc. $22.00. 27Mar2014.

Coopers Creek Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) A soft oily wine with concentrated richness and terrifically juicy flavours of passionfruit, pineapple and lime with a cut grass nuance and bright tangy herbaceousness. Smooth textured with lovely vibrancy and flow and lingering nuances of pineapple and mango. 13% alc. $18. 10Sep2013.
Ah – if you don’t drink Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc often, the ravishing exotic fruity aromas and exciting vibrant taste will remind you how good it is. This is full of passionfruit, pineapple and lime with a cut grass nuance and bright tangy herbaceousness. Smooth textured, juicy, powerful and long. 13% alc. $15.99. 18Sep2013.

Forrest Marlborough The Doctors' Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) There are good varietal aromatics in the lower-alcohol style with gooseberry, capsicum, a hint of orange and peach. And plenty of punch in the palate. A touch of 'sweat' imparts that classic Marlborough taste. Flavoursome and juicy with passionfruit, pineapple, cucumber and a tangy herbaceousness. A well-balanced, juicy and fulfilling drink with a promising finish. 9.5% alc. $22.00. 13Dec2013.

Forrest Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) Pale green gold. Melon and tangelo peel with a subtle toasty nuance to the scent and lots of grilled grapefruit in the palate. A full, rich rendition of the variety with a fleshy tropical fruit backbone and a long juicy finish accented with the anise-like brightness of tarragon. Acidity is well honed with a honeyed sweetness coming through and the finish is smooth and long. I really like this wine. Good job. 12.5% alc. $22.00. 16May2014.

Giesen Vineyard Selection Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) Vibrant and fresh with classical Sauv pungency to the scent and juicy citrus reminiscent of lemon and grapefruit filling the zingy palate. There's lovely concentration with a touch of oiliness to the texture and a rush of passionfruit on the lasting finish. 12.5% alc. $15.99. 13Nov2013.

Gunn Estate Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) Pale lemon gold. There's a potter's clay nuance to the otherwise citrus tones of the aromas and flavours with juicy grilled pineapple and underlying grassy herbaceous notes that add vibrancy and tang to the long, rich, dry finish that has very good length. 12.5% alc. $19.99. 16May2014.

Kim Crawford First Pick Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) Apples dominate the nose - sweet apples - and it's light, fresh and zingy in the palate but some earthy playdough notes are a slight distraction. But overall it is apple sherbet with a herbaceous zing. Light, fresh and juicy - just what you would expect lower-alcohol wine to be. Perhaps a little short, but hey, it's perfect for sipping at lunch on the deck. There is a nutrition box on the back label too. 244KJ/58Cal per 100 ml. 9% alc. $9.98 on special at Pak 'n Save. 16Dec2013.

Kim Crawford Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) There's a bright citrus tang to this pungent garden salad wine with tomato, capsicum, garden peas and a lemon herb dressing. Exotic fruit flavours come forth on the rounded, creamy, full-flavoured lingering finish – tropical guavas and feijoas come to mind. 12.5% alc. $0.00. 16May2014.

Left Field Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) Made by Te Awa, this youthful wine is full of juicy apple and pineapple with a tangy citrus backbone, it’s soft in the palate yet has a zingy vibrancy. 13% alc. $17.99. 10Sep2013.

Matua Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) Soft and juicy with gooseberry, citrus and tropical fruit. A bright, zingy, crisp, clean summery style. 13% alc. $19.99. 10Sep2013.

Mills Reef Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) Light lemon gold. Bright tropical fruit aromas and punchy tropical fruit flavours with pineapple the vibrant diva. Deliciously juicy and tangy with summer herbs and mandarin filling out the fleshy finish with a perfect touch of 'candied fennel' sweetness. Excellent length. 13% alc. $18.95. 16May2014.

Peter Yealands Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) Vibrant and pungent with juicy flavours of passionfruit, pineapple, summer herbs and lime with a smooth oily texture. Very, very appealing. 13.5% alc. $10-$18. 10Sep2013.
Intense passionfruit on the nose with a twist of lime, concentrated and powerful to the taste with fresh vibrant, vivacious flavours and a soft, mouthcoating texture. Tropical fruit and grapefruit combine in harmony, there's an undercurrent of summer herbs and the finish is expansive and long and feels rounded and complete. 13% alc. $12.99. 27Nov2013.

Rapaura Springs Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) This is a totally different style of sauv with something reminiscent of bath salts on the nose – some yeast lees influence perhaps. The crisp fresh taste has gooseberry, tarragon and apple, white flowers and grass. 13% alc. $18.99. 10Sep2013.

Rapaura Springs Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) Rather more subtle and subdued in its scent, this top offering from Rapaura Springs is complex and intriguing. There’s a dry flinty undercurrent to the juicy apple and tropical fruit flavours with desirable herbaceousness simmering through. A rich wine with power and length. 13.5% alc. $22.99. 10Sep2013.

Rockface Waipara Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) There’s a smoky nuance to the scent and there’s richness and fleshiness to the palate where tropical fruit, stone fruit and citrus combine in harmony with a bright tangy finish. Pungent, powerful and long, yet with a textural softness that is very appealing. Musky, floral notes too. Made by Bishops Head. 13.5% alc. $17.95. 10Sep2013.

Sacred Hill Marlborough Halo Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) Light lemon gold with a slightly toasty, roasted capsicum and citrus aroma and lots of citrus, pineapple, loquat and tomato stalk in the lightly creamy palate where there is an earthy nuance, like you get from clay on a potter's wheel. The finish is bright and zingy with a lacing of zest. 12.5% alc. $24.99. 16May2014.

Sacred Hill Orange Label Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) Water pale. A restrained but varietal scent of capsicum, citrus and a touch of sweat, much more obvious in the palate. Seemingly a lighter bodied style, but ultra juicy with freshly squeezed orange, a touch of tropical fruit in behind and classical herbaceousness to the finish. 12.5% alc. $19.99. 10Nov2013.

Saint Clair Premium Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013(sc) A little more restrained on nose than we are used to from this label but distinctive nevertheless. Capsicum and a touch of sweat on the nose carry through to the flavoursome palate full of passionfruit and peach with freshly squeezed citrus adding zest and zing. 13% alc. $15.99. 27Nov2013.

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 1 Foundation Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) On the nose there's passionfruit, summer herbs and a touch of grapefruit too and it tastes juicy and vibrant with a rounded mouthfeel and terrific fruit intensity with flavours reminiscent of passionfruit, pineapple, limes and mangosteen. Dillon's Point fruit. 13% alc. $25.50. 10Sep2013.
Full of exciting tropical fruit on the nose with the slightest suggestion of BO, it is surprisingly soft with textural complexity in the rounded, mouthfilling palate. There's passionfruit, citrus and grapefruit with underlying herbal notes and a bright zesty finish that lasts for ages. 13% alc. $23.99. 8Jan2014.

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 2 Swamp Block Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) The bouquet emanates gooseberry, capsicum, mangosteen and flinty nuances then in the mouth the lovely rounded texture makes it seem so smooth. Full of delicious, tasty tropical fruit with a pungent gooseberry undercurrent and a long, rich, vibrant finish. Plenty of oomph and lots to enjoy here. Dillon's Point fruit. 13.5% alc. $25.50. 10Sep2013.

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 3 43 Degrees Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) Citrus ripples through this seemingly more flinty, leaner style of Sauvignon Blanc, but there is a juicy, almost honey character creeping in. Lime, a touch of peach and exciting tropical fruit vibrancy tending towards pineapple, and a long silky finish. Dillon's Point fruit. 13% alc. $25.50. 10Sep2013.

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 18 Snap Block Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) There’s a juicy, succulent stonefruit, sweaty character to the aromas and flavours with zesty citrus balancing peach and nectarine fruit and vibrant summer herb characters too. The slightly oily texture makes it seem so smooth and the finish is long powerful finish. Dillon's Point fruit. 13% alc. $25.50. 10Sep2013.

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 20 Cash Block Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) A touch of citrus on the nose with a slightly smoky fume nuance wafting through. The taste is youthful with estery bubblegum characters and port wine magnolia florals, then the flint and pithy citrus and stonefruit characters shine through. Dillon's Point fruit. 13% alc. $25.50. 10Sep2013.

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 24 Arthur Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) There's a fumé nuance to the bouquet that evokes a suggestion of a dry river bed, summer herbs and apples. Deliciously juicy and fruity in the palate with apples, limes, passionfruit and tarragon and a crisp, dry, refreshing finish with a flinty undercurrent. Lots going on here. Woodbourne fruit. 13% alc. $25.50. 10Sep2013.

Saint Clair Marlborough Vicars Choice 'Bright Light' Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) Saint Clair's introduction to the lower-alcohol scene has aromas of juicy red apple and tropical fruit carrying through to the oily textured palate. It has the sweet/sour varietal profile but just seems a little 'short' and dilute with a flavours reminiscent of homemade freshly squeezed watered-down orange juice. Juicy, pleasant and definitely 'light'. 9.5% alc. $19.50 16Dec2013.

Saint Clair Vicar's Choice Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) Creamy white gold in hue. Bright and zingy on the nose with capsicum, summer herbs, pineapple and melon, and juicy, fresh fruity flavours of citrus, gooseberry and tropical fruit infused with a candied angelica sweetness and a toasty cut grass punch to the tangy finish. Tasty and long. 13% alc. $19.50. 16May2014.

Saint Clair Wairau Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) Concentrated and powerful with a hint of tomato joining the scent of summer herbs like basil and tarragon. A subtle sweaty note too. This is complex Sauv with tropical fruit, citrus (lime, lemon, orange), a vibrant herbaceousness and flinty nuances too. Lovely mouthfeel and length. 13% alc. $34. 10Sep2013.

Sileni The Straights Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) A little sweaty perhaps, lots of spice and zest. Juicy and fresh with citrus, gooseberry and apple, and classical summer herb pungency too. Bright and tangy with loads of zest, passionfruit on the finish. Yes, a very zingy fresh finish, almost spritzy. 13% alc. $18. 10Sep2013.
There's plenty of grass and sunshine in this tangy drop, together with tropical fruit that's brimming with passionfruit on the long flavoursome finish. The soft oily texture makes it skip down very easily. 13% alc. $16.99. 25Sep2013.

Stoneleigh Latitude Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) Grapefruit aromas and bright tangy citrus flavours with a flinty undercurrent, a touch of salinity. There’s appealing summer herb vivaciousness and apple, pineapple, passionfruit and a fume note. 13.5% alc. $27.99. 10Sep2013.

Spinyback Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) Light lemon gold. Citrus and toffee apple aromas, and a judicious touch of sweetness to the tangy citrus and tarragon flavours with some lovely pungent gooseberry, bean and cut grass in behind. Fleshy with a zesty flourish to the long rich finish that lingers quite engagingly. 12.5% alc. $17.99. 16May2014.

Stoneleigh Marlborough Rapaura Series Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) There's a little funky yeast lees character to the grapefruit scent that adds complexity and richness to this creamy wine that has a smoky cut grass pungency infusing the lemon, candied herbs, gooseberry and pineapple flavours. A harmonious, mouthfilling combination with a toasty layer and fleshy grilled peaches coming forth on the finish that is rich, powerful, and long. Very satisfying wine. 13.4% alc. $30.99. 16May2014.

Stoneleigh Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) In an 'old school' high-shouldered clear bottle, this light straw gold wine has a zingy lemon and summer herb aroma and lashings of citrus in the palate, more in the grapefruit spectrum however, together with a touch of green apple joining banana passionfruit and tarragon-like herbs as the flavours linger. High-toned and zingy with a flinty undercurrent and a long, lingering finish. 13.5% alc. $25.99. 16May2014.

Te Mata Estate Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) Straw gold coloured with a bright, tangy, citrus and sweet pea aroma and crisp, fresh, concentrated flavours with softness to the finish. Fruit is in the banana passionfruit, cantaloupe melon and mandarin spectrum with sauvignon's classical pungency in behind and while the fruit is ripe and sweet, the wine is bone dry. 13.5% alc. $22. 14May2014.

Tohu Mugwi Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) The bouquet of this 'white gold' coloured wine is reminiscent of wild yeast barrel ferment – that lemon bread freshness combining with a sweet nutty mealy savouriness. Then in the palate it has a tangy tropical fruit vibrancy with a fleshy stonefruit softness and the finish is steely dry with the mealy characters from the bouquet re-emerging in the juicy long lasting finish, all the while in behind an intriguing salty (herbaceous) citrussy tang. A very 'alternative' style – give it a try. 13% alc. $19.99. 11Jun2014.

The Ned Waihopai Valley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) Ah, grapefruit on the nose and vibrant citrus in the palate with tropical fruit so juicy and appealing. Lots of zest and tang with tropical fruit and summer herbs in the background. Simply summer and so juicy and delicious. Passionfruit, mango, spice. 12.5% alc. $16. 10Sep2013.

The Sisters Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) Juicy citrus, gooseberry and passionfruit aromas and vibrant punchy aromatic flavours. There’s lots of power and pungency in here. A more traditional grassy Marlborough style. Lots to like here, including the stylistic label. 12.5% alc. $19. 10Sep2013.

Triplebank Awatere Valley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) A tome of grapefruit freshness on the nose, and juicy flavours packed with a zesty citrus vibrancy - lemon, lime, mandarin and a fleshy pineapple juiciness too. Fresh, juicy, delicious with love-it-or-hate-it Marlborough sweat! 13.5% alc. $26.99. 10Sep2013.
This smells so ravishing and bright and it tastes so juicy and refreshing with its zesty citrus vivaciousness - there's grapefruit, lemon, lime and mandarin with fleshy pineapple, a classic Marlborough sweatiness and a long pungent finish that lingers deliciously. 13.5% alc. $21.99. 2Oct2013.
This is a great example of 'leap out of the glass' aromas – the pungency can be smelt when it is poured to the person next to you. Passionfruit, melon, gooseberry and cut grass aromas carry through to the bright zingy palate with underlying snow pea, tomato stalk and summer herbs and a refreshing crisp dry finish. A stunning wine to accompany to tomato, rocket, feta and basil salad. 13.5% alc. $21.99. 15Jan2014.

Urlar Gladstone Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) Light gold. Quite restrained on the nose – there's a flinty earthy character with melon and Watties fruit salad also coming to mind. The taste is poles apart from the 'classic' Marlborough style, but this is not Marlborough. It is also organic and partially oak fermented. It has quite an oily texture and seems savoury and a little toasty to start with powerful green bean flavours but delicate tropical fruit bursts through and reminds me of custard and fruit salad with a tangy citrus zing to the much brighter finish. The earthy flinty character is again noticeable as the flavours linger. 13.5% alc. $24. 16May2014.

Vavasour Awatere Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) Powerful in its aromatic expression – no doubt as to the variety here – this is fresh, fruity, bright and zingy with mouthfilling tropical fruit where pineapple is the hero together with tomato leaf, candied fennel and a crisp, flinty back note. 13.5% alc. $18.99. 9Apr2014.

Villa Maria Reserve Wairau Valley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) This has a honking Sauvignon Blanc nose of dried grass, passionfruit, citrus and flint and the fruit is so juicy and delicious in the palate. Passionfruit, spice, citrus, herbs and perhaps some wild yeast funk that adds complexity and richness to the texture and some old-fashioned methoxypyrazine notes too. 13.5% alc. $27.99. 10Sep2013.

Waimea Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) Straw gold coloured with a slight BO nuance to the herb flower aroma and light, bright, fresh, tangy flavours with citrus, pear, apple and a subtle but attractive musky floral note. A touch of lemonade-like spritz adds to the freshness of this hot summer day thirst quenching style. 12.5% alc. $20.00. 16May2014.

Wild South Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) Light lemon gold coloured with a lemon herb bouquet and tangy citrus flavours following through to the palate with grilled pineapple, sweet pea, capsicum and beans. A bold pungent style with a grainy texture over a flinty backbone, and a powerful and satisfying finish that is rich and long. 12.5% alc. $19.99. 16May2014.

Yealands Estate Awatere Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) Juicy smelling with passionfruit, pineapple and gooseberry. More typical Sauvignon Blanc as we know it. Lots of juicy tropical fruit and in the background crisp apple, a slightly oily texture and a punchy fresh finish. 13% alc. $24.95. 10Sep2013.

Yealands Estate Land Made Series Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) Powerful, concentrated, a little smoky (tobacco) fume with loads of zesty citrus and summer herb flavours, a lovely touch of zingy pineapple and gooseberry, and a long, harmonious finish. 13% alc. $19.95. 10Sep2013.

Yealands Estate Single Block 'M2' Awatere Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) A powerful wine on the nose, a little flinty (rocks/gravel) with some kind of tropical fruit – babaco maybe – and creamy as well. Complex and textural in the palate with an exciting citrus and tropical fruit vibrancy, an infusion of tomato stalk and summer herbs. Very delicious, juicy wine. Some winemaking mastery here. 13% alc. $27.95. 10Sep2013.

2012 Vintage [top] [index]

900 Grapes Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (sc) Tropical fruit, capsicum and bubble gum on the nose, concentrated to the taste and full of tropical fruit, herb and cut grass flavours. Flinty, spicy, vibrant and exuberant. Fantastic summer drinking. Lovely balance of fruit sweetness and acidity. 13% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal review. 10Sep2012.

Ara Single Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (sc) Intense and concentrated aroma, a little sweaty maybe. Classical cut grass, herb and sweaty flavours. Smooth oily texture, loads of richness, pungency and flavour. 13% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal review. 10Sep2012.

Ara Marlborough Single Estate Select Blocks Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (sc) Pale straw lemon. Aromas of snow pea and toast give some indication this wine, at two years of age, is starting to wander down the sauvignon blanc garden trail where it pauses at the asparagus plot then continues to the orchard where tropical fruit (lots of pineapple) and lemon add a vibrant tangy overlay. 13.5% alc. $25.95. 16May2014.

Aronui Single Vineyard Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (sc) A deep light gold colour, it seems a little toasty and honeyed on the nose and also imparts a slight earthy apple note with stonefruit in that background. Full-bodied and intense to the taste, it oozes varietal character with pineapple, capsicum, zingy citrus, a tangy herbaceousness and a subtle smoky nuance to the long pungent finish where the texture seems almost creamy. 13% alc. $21.95. 16Dec2013.

Boundary Vineyards Rapaura Road Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (sc) The exuberance of youth has softened the bouquet and the taste is full-bodied and smooth with wonderful textural complexity and sizzled stonefruit flavours balancing tangy citrus that imparts such a lively zesty finish. Lovely infusion of flint and tarragon too. 13% alc. $22.99. 10Sep2013.

Brancott Estate Chosen Rows Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Pale straw in hue with a European rather than NZ aura to the bouquet that's scented with a sweet wild ferment yeast character and smoky nuances. "Complex sulphides," states Patrick. And the taste emulates the aroma – leesy with palate texture and concentration without the mouth-awakening bright explosions of fruit we are used to. It's a smoky, fumé style of wine with a delicate lemongrass, lemon balm, lemon cream, lemon zest infusion. Guava also comes to mind and wild salad greens, and there's a nutty sweetness as the flavours linger. It seems a little sweet but Patrick says it is bone dry with higher alcohol that imparting the sweet impression, and true to that statement the lingering taste is indeed bone dry. Definitively takes the Brancott Sauvignon Blanc to another level. The packaging is very impressive too. 14% alc. $80. 15May2013.

Brancott Estate “Flight” Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (sc) The label says “Naturally lighter in alcohol” yet presents all the classical gooseberry, grapefruit and sweet summer herb flavours with a flinty backbone, juicy orange zest and a touch of passionfruit rounding out the incredibly tantalising end. Not too overpowering, a delicate fresh juicy summer drink. 9% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal review. 10Sep2012.

Brancott Estate Marlborough Letter Series 'B' Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (sc) This light gold coloured wine has a rather subdued scent for the variety - it's floral, perhaps sweet herbs / hay with a funky wild yeast / barrel ferment infusion. The zest, spicy oak flavours come through in the bright, fresh palate which is initially characterised by citrus with a juicy tang of feijoa. Transferred to a big glass which allows the aromas to expand it’s warm, rounded zingy and vibrant and a delicious accompaniment to garlic prawns. 13.5% alc. $27.99. 16Apr2013.
A surprisingly shy bouquet, a subtle suggestion of armpit maybe. Dry and restrained on first tasting, then a revelation of flavour as the wine traverses the palate revealing fruit that's in the stonefruit rather than tropical spectrum but finishing with sauv's typical fresh brightness – there's grapefruit, lime and a pineapple zing. Also a smoky character as the wine lingers, perhaps from the touch of oak that also imparts a pleasing textural complexity. 13.5% alc. $25.99. 15May2013.

Churton Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (c) A restrained style with fresh aromas of melon and hints of tropical guava. Crisp, fresh and dry with gooseberry and herbs to the fore. A very good match to Pepperdews stuffed with feta. 13% alc. $26.00. 29Jun2013.

Cloudy Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (sc) Concentrated and intense from the outset, inviting tropical fruit and grapefruit on the nose, dry and restrained in the palate with benchmark Marlborough tropical fruit, gooseberry and a touch of grapefruit. Stylish and long with a toasty richness and spicy zest, outstanding in a blind tasting line up – and one of the best Cloudy Bays, I think, for several years. 13.5% alc. $32. 11Feb2013.

Crossroads Milestone Series Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (sc) Gooseberry, capsicum and citrus on the nose. Lovely smooth attack on the palate with vibrant citrus and pineapple flavours, just a touch of zesty spice and a seemingly everlasting finish. NZIWS Gold Medal review. 10Sep2012.

Forrest Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (sc) Bright, fresh and grassy – the exuberant aromas prepare for the fresh juicy favours. Citrus, tropical fruit, green melon and a touch of peach nectar are layered over a summer herb backbone with a touch of tomato stalk and a lemon tang to the finish. 4.5 stars. 13% alc. $22.99. 11Feb2013.

Forrest The Doctors' Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (sc) This lower-alcohol style has a nose that at first seems more akin to Pinot Gris than Sauvignon Blanc, It has a slight smoky nuance too. Definitely a salad wine with flavours of celery, capsicum and cucumber mingling with slightly spritzy citrus reminiscent of orange and lemonade. Good texture and mouth feel, the only distraction being a slightly earthy green apple note to the finish, but this counterbalances the toffee like sweetness that emerges on the finish. 9.5% alc. $22.00. 16Dec2013.

Giesen The Fuder Single Vineyard Matthews Lane Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (sc) This is quite golden in colour and stands out in a lineup of sauvignon blanc because of this. It’s creamy on the nose with hints of butterscotch that carries through to the palate where there is classical citrus brightness but a fleshy peach softness too. An 'alternative style' that is complex and full-bodied wine with funky wild yeast and barrel ferment flavours from the German 'Fuder' barrels. $59.99. 10Sep2013.

Invivo Marlborough Belle Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (sc) The nose of this lower-alcohol style is not what I was expecting. It has the scent of tropical fruit salad and sweet citrus without SB's tangy varietal punch. Very fruity and tropical to the taste with a slight viscosity to the texture - it seems off-dry to medium in style with a twist of herbaceousness to the tangy finish that's moderately expansive and long. I like it even though it first it seems atypical, but the more I sip the more pungent it becomes. Great summer day wine. Nutrition label on the back states 200KJ/53Cal 100ml with 30% less calories than the 2010 Invivo SB. 9% alc. $19.95. 16Dec2013.

Invivo Marlborough Organic Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (sc) Light gold. Typical grassy herbaceous and zingy fresh fruit aromas with lime and pineapple but there is a chalky aura to the scent too. A restrained style in the palate, not in pungency but in fruit vibrancy - perhaps because of partial oak aging. A layered Sauvignon with of green-coloured fruit interwoven with wet potter's clay and a zesty vibrancy to the finish. Was not excited about this wine - but it is ok. 12.5% alc. $21.90. 16Apr2013.

Jules Taylor Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (sc) Gooseberry on the nose with the fumé character of freshly cut grass. Vibrant and exuberant tasting with tantalising flavours of tropical fruit, pineapple, summer herbs and citrus. Lots going on. A potpourri of everything you want in Sauvignon Blanc. 13% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal review. 10Sep2012.
Straw gold coloured, vibrant aromas of gooseberry, capsicum and cut grass and crisp, fresh flavours of lime, capsicum and tomato stalk and exotic tropical fruit like kiwano (prickly pear). Very steely, yet there is an oily richness, a hint of lemon honey and a fresh tang to the pungent finish. 13% alc. $19.99. 17Oct2012.

Kate Radburnd Bud Burst Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (sc) Light gold with fresh vivacious tropical fruit and summer herb aromas and vibrantly juicy tropical fruit salad flavours – there's pineapple, passionfruit and a healthy squeeze of citrus, just the right amount of sweet and sour, and a long tangy finish. A radiant sauv made from Awatere Valley fruit. 13.5% alc. $15.99. 19Apr2013.

Little Goat Creek Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (sc) Certified organic grapes. Powerful and flavoursome from the get go. There’s candied exotic tropical fruit, a touch of honey and orange, and exuberant gooseberry and passionfruit that builds in flavour on the long, tasty and very pungent finish. Loads of herbaceous flavours too. 13% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal review. 10Sep2012.

Mahi Boundary Farm Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (sc) Immediately funky wild yeast characters emit from the nose and mask any grassy characters – if indeed there are any. A full-bodied, textural, savoury wine that's so atypical from what one expects from Marlborough. With oak in the flinty background and fruit heading towards an apple and melon spectrum, it is more what you would expect from the Loire. 13.5% alc. $27.99. 5Mar2014.

Moncellier Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (sc) Bright and tangy with gooseberry, apple, passionfruit, grapefruit and lime. Very dry in style with a crisp flinty backbone well balanced to the exuberant fruit flavours, and a touch of sweetness emerging as the flavours linger. 13% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal review. 10Sep2012.

Mt Olympus Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (sc) Floral, bubble gum aromatics. A slightly sweeter style of savvie, and seemingly gentle, perfect for those who don’t like something exuberant and aggressive. Floral, a little honeyed, loads of tropical fruit, gooseberry, cut grass and citrus. 13% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal review. 10Sep2012.

Mud House Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (sc) There's a silvery lustre to the hue of this bursting out of the glass Sauv. There's capsicum and gooseberry scents and vibrant tasting juicy tropical fruit flavours, perfectly balanced edgy summer herbs and a lightly oily texture that rounds it out nicely. 13% alc. $14.99. 21Nov2012.

Nautilus Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (sc) Roasted peach and tarragon/basil on the nose and full-bodied and fleshy in the palate with underlying complexity. Rich and savoury with funky nuances and a long juicy finish. Very rounded and complete with a typically vibrant and pungent finish. Lovely wine. I like the way the fruit is subdued without loosing varietal expression. 13% alc. $23.

O:Tu Blend 102 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (sc) There's a lemon chantilly aura to the aroma and initially quite austere in the palate – but opens up with some power with those pungent sweaty methoxypyrazine characters fulling the mouth. Grassy and citrus flavours come through, but overall it seems to lack the punchy fruit weight we are used to. Perhaps it is designed to be a more restrained style. 13% alc. $28.99. 11Feb2013.

O:Tu Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (sc) A bouquet of lemon, apple skin and tropical fruit with a sherbet-like nuance – the sherbet zing more obvious in the palate. There's a touch of sweetness to the wine but overall it seems to lack some weight. I found it short for Sauvignon Blanc and just a little disappointing. 12.4% alc. $23.99. 11Feb2013.

Peter Yealands by Yealands Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (sc) Gooseberry and herb aromas with a fresh cut grass nuance. Quite spicy and zesty in the palate, the crisp fresh acidity brought into check by the vibrant apple, and tropical fruit, especially pineapple, flavours. Juicy and thirst quenching on a hot summer day with classical pungency. 13%. NZIWS Gold Medal review. 10Sep2012.
Straw gold with a bright fresh bouquet of a lush grassy summer together with SB's signature herbaceous zing and the taste so juicy and tangy with a seam of freshly squeezed tangelo and oodles of tropical fruit salad crammed with pineapple, passionfruit and mango. Outrageously impressive and tasty. 13% alc. $12.99. 12Apr2013.

Rapaura Springs Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (sc) Capsicum on the nose yet a sweeter style in the palate with bubble gum, summer herbs, honey, orange zest and lime. Spicy, zesty and long with a fumé nuance on the lasting finish. 13% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal review. 10Sep2012.

Rapaura Springs Marlborough Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (sc) The summer herb, citrus and tropical fruit aromas are fresh, tangy and powerful but in the palate, where gooseberry, grapefruit and capsicum flavours combine, it's seemingly more restrained than the typical flamboyant Marlborough styles. Deliciously juicy and fresh when served chilled. 13% alc. $23.00. 12Jan2013.

Sacred Hill Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (sc) Excitingly zesty and tangy with bold punchy flavours of tropical fruit and gooseberry layered with classical of cut grass, herbs, orange zest and lime. 12% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal review. 10Sep2012.

Saint Clair Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (sc) Classical Saint Clair, rounded and balanced, passionfruit, citrus, honeysuckle, summer herbs, gooseberry and tropical guava combine in a taste ecstasy of delight, leaving behind a juicy, flirtatious memory 13%. NZIWS Gold Medal review. 10Sep2012.

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 3 43 Degrees Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (sc) Passionfruit and green bean aromas and controversial love-it-or-hate-it sweaty like flavours. It’s dry, crisp and flinty with capsicum, bean, pulsating citrus and tropical fruit, and a flamboyant zing and pungency lingering on the end. 13% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal review. 10Sep2012.

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 18 Snap Block Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (sc) Straw gold coloured, powerfully aromatic, bright, fresh, pungent and juicy with capsicum, tomato stalk, tropical guava and gooseberry, and a ripple of citrus zest to balance the concentrated tropical fruit flavours impeccably on the fabulously long finish. 13% alc. $23.99. 3Oct2012.
Now this is vibrantly fresh and aromatic with all those 'in your face' characters you expect from Marlborough. With juicy citrus and ravishing passionfruit flavours, a nice twist of zest, tangy summer herbs and a mouth-watering dry finish, it's a stunning example of how this good variety can be. 13% alc. $23.99. 6Mar2013.

Saint Clair Vicar's Choice Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (sc) Pale in colour with capsicum and bean on the nose, seemingly not too aggressive with an oily textured palate, but in typical savvy fashion there's a pungent explosion of tropical fruit with tangy citrus and a tart gooseberry undercurrent to keep the juicy fresh fruit in check. 13% alc. $13.99. 9Jan2013.

Saint Clair Wairau Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (sc) Lovely pungency and concentration to the aroma and full of mouthwatering flavours. Grapefruit, tangy lemon, cut grass, summer herbs and a sweaty character emerging – it's big, rich and juicy with tropical fruit sweetness to the tantalising finish, this brilliant Sauv is hallmark Saint Clair. 13% $32. 11Feb2013.

Sileni The Straits Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (sc) Aromatic and fresh with a suggestion of pink bubblegum to the bouquet and vibrant, juicy, deliciously quenching flavours. There's a touch of peach joining tropical fruit salad with a lovely twist of citrus and a vivacious summer herb brightness. 13% alc. $17.99. 26Sep2012.

Starborough Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (sc) Apples on the nose. A little grassy in the palate with lemon and capsicum and classical herbaceous pungency on the finish. A delicate hint of anise-like chervil comes through. 13% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal review. 10Sep2012.
Lively and fresh, vibrant and distinctive gooseberry and tropical fruit aromas with joining apple, citrus and capsicum in the palate with classical herbaceous pungency and a delicate hint of anise-like chervil on the lasting finish. 13% alc. $16.99. 19Sep2012.

Te Mania Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (sc) Dehydrated apple slices, both on the nose and in the palate, with tropical fruit, a zing of grapefruit, gooseberry, a delicate hint of chervil-like anise. Enriching in flavour, becoming bolder and sweeter yet harmonious all the way through. Concentrated with a little bit of a flinty fumé character too. 13% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal review. 10Sep2012.

Te Mata Estate Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (sc) The 'new Woodthorpe', as with all the 'estate' labels, but no longer solely Woodthorpe fruit. There's bean and day lily pods on the nose with some toasty flinty nuances even though the wine is unoaked, the flintiness carrying through to the bone-dry palate. Distinctly sav with green bean, citrus, almost ripe peach and green passionfruit with underlying herbaceousness and a zesty kind of spiciness that's fresh and bright. 13% alc. $19.99. 13Mar2013.

Te Mata Cape Crest Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (D) In contrast to the 'estate' sauv, this has a soft oak impression to the more floral, tropical fruit bouquet and the oak from the 100% barrel ferment is savoury and creamy with a vanilla nougat-like nuances coming through. There's juicy peach and tropical fruit with a splash of passionfruit, a soupcon of pineapple and a exciting youthful freshness with that very appealing oak twirling on the lingering full-bodied finish. 13.5% alc. $27.99. 13Mar2013.

Thornbury Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (sc) Ravishingly fresh and citrussy with salad herbs complementing the green passionfruit scent and a quenching passionfruit, pineapple, pink bubblegum and grapefruit taste. Punchy and tangy with a powerful presence and a long juicy finish that has the fumé character of fresh cut grass. 13% alc. $12.99. 25Jul2012.

Tohu Single Vineyard Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (sc) Juicy tropical fruit and summer herb scents carry through to the exuberant, lively palate that’s filled with citrus and flint. Tantalisingly dry and fresh with classical herbaceous pungency as the flavours linger. 12.5% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal review. 10Sep2012.

Triplebank Awatere Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (sc) Straw coloured with a touch of lemon. Ravishingly scented with exotic tropical fruit, freshly squeezed citrus and grass and a juicy taste that's so full of flavour – there's green passionfruit, fizzy fruit sherbets, grapefruit peel, clay in the background and tangy summer herbs. Intense in flavour yet soft, almost creamy, on the finish. 12.5% alc. $19.99. 15May2013.

Two Rivers of Marlborough Convergence Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (sc) A bouquet of juicy tropical fruit and apples. Quite dry and flinty tasting yet vibrantly juicy and building in power and concentration to a full-on flavoursome finish. Fruit comes from both the Wairau and Awatere Valleys. 13% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal review. 10Sep2012.

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (sc) Grassy, flinty, freshly apple skin scents. Juicy fresh flavours with the sweet and sour of citrus, pineapple and capsicum combining in harmony. Blend of Awatere and Wairau Valley fruit. 13.5% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal review. 10Sep2012.

Whitehaven Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (sc) There’s an elderflower nuance to the aroma and flavour with summer herbs like basil and coriander. Spicy and zesty with a chalky texture and a crisp flinty finish, layered with a tropical fruit sweetness. 13% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal review. 10Sep2012.

2011 Vintage [top] [index]

Astrolabe Province Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (sc) Initially restrained on the nose and neutral and flinty in the palate, then it simply gushes with flavours of snow pea, tomato stalk and lime with a zesty infusion to the backbone and sweet summer herbs on the finish. Seems like a beaut style to accompany a tomato and basil salad. 13.5% alc. $21.99. 4Jan2012.

Brightwater Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (sc) Vivacious, slightly musky scent, perhaps a nuance of apple peel with citrus and tropical flavours underpinned by herbs and green bean. A pungent, full-bodied style with a lasting vivacious finish. 13% alc. $20. 15Aug2011.

Dog Point Vineyard Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (sc) Pale straw. A racy, complex and alternative Sauvignon Blanc style with grapefruit aromatics and fresh acidity humming through the palate, yet a textural softness even though there is no oak. There's a toasty capsicum nuance throughout and the super long finish is infused with passionfruit and peach. 13.5% alc. $27.99. 11Jan2012.
Straw gold with a bouquet of citrus and summer herbs and an abundance of grapefruit in the palate, this seems crisp and flinty to start yet fills out with nectarine on the expansive and tangy finish where the tropical fruit that Marlborough is so renowned for lingers assertively. 13.5% alc. $27.99. 11Jul2012.

Forrest The Doctors' Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (sc) Lightly herbaceous on the nose with the oily character of coriander, and soft and gentle in the palate with hints of pineapple, juicy orange, summer herbs and sweet pea. This was my favourite of three 'lower alcohol' styles tasted together. "I would drink this," I wrote. And I think people who want a paring back from the full throttle styles of Sauv will drink this too. 9.5% alc. $20.00. 22Nov2011.

Giesen The August 1888 Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (sc) A barrel fermented Sauvignon but oak adds textural complexity rather than flavour. It’s the chardonnay of Sauvignon Blanc with its soft full-bodied flavours – it's the tropical fruit on the terrifically long finish that is the varietal clue. 14.5% alc. $39.99. 10Sep2013.

Invivo Belle by Invivo Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (sc) The lower-alcohol style smells like Sauv with citrus, passionfruit and herb aromatics although restrained in comparison to the pungency of some. But the taste is soapy with a bitter lemon confectionary character, the texture is oily and the finish is short. I wanted more. More calories? Maybe. More alcohol? Maybe. More flavour. Most definitely. 9% alc. $21.90. 2Nov2011.

Invivo Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (sc) Fantastically expressive with tropical fruit aromas and expansive flavours of pineapple, passionfruit, apple, citrus and a bounty of grass and summer herbs. Refreshing and juicy, the wine is textural and dry and the flavours linger deliciously with the acidity keeping the fruit in check. One of the best from the vintage. 12.5% alc. $19.90. 2Nov2011.
Full of flavour and pungency with mouthfilling green apples, juicy grapes, tomato, capsicum, lime, gooseberry and passionfruit, a bright tangy finish and a toasty richness to the lingering aftertaste. A terrific wine. 12.5% alc. $15.99. 25Jan2012.

Jackson Estate Stich Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (sc) A little grainy in texture with punchy flavours of lime, musk and herbs infused with nectarine and sherbet that adds to the appeal. Bright and tasty, strong and long, with a deliciously fresh and tangy finish. 13% alc. $22.50 22Nov2011.

Jules Taylor Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (sc) Pale straw coloured with a bright, punchy aroma full of passionfruit and lime and fresh, juicy, flavours of gooseberry, tropical fruit, grapefruit and summer herbs. Oily textured with a tangy, refreshing finish. Vibrant and long. 13.5% alc. $19.99. 16Nov2011.

Kim Crawford Regional Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (sc) A hint of grapefruit on the nose carries through to the almost creamy palate where lime, summer herbs, star fruit and green melon abound. With lovely mouthfeel and richness, the flavours linger deliciously. 13% alc. $17.95. 15Aug2011.

Lawson's Dry Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (sc) Initially a little 'sweaty', yet the Air NZ judges obviously didn't mind this when they awarded it a gold medal. Compounding in flavour with classic grassy herbaceousness, grapefruit, passionfruit and juicy lime on the lasting finish, it's deliciously long. 13% alc. $20.00. 22Nov2011.

Marisco The Ned Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (sc) Pale lemon coloured with a vibrant scent of passionfruit and sweet pea and deliciously fruity flavours of passionfruit, pineapple and green melon with tomato stalk and bean and a pungent grassy finish. There's a slight viscosity to the texture and chilled to about 12 degrees, it's just so quenching. 13% alc. $15.99. 29Feb2012.

Matua Valley Reserve Release Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (sc) Vivacious juicy green fruit scents - like crushed kiwifruit infused with pineapple and herbs like tarragon and basil. That follows through with juicy tropical fruit flavours, vibrant orange juice-like acidity, a touch of honey and a long lasting finish that lingers like you've just eaten a passionfruit. 13% alc. $14-$18. 18Apr2012.

Maven 'Premier' Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (sc) A smoky, cut grass and green passionfruit bouquet introduces this flinty tasting wine with tomato stalk and guava-like fruit characters, loads of tangy citrus, a tickle of ginger and white pepper and a touch of musky sweetness and candied mint on the pungent finish, which tapers off gently. 12.5% alc. $16.99. 1Aug2012.

Maui New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (sc) Quite grassy and herbaceous with gooseberry and pineapple, initially quite flinty with a musky fruit sweetness then exotic tropical fruit that morphs into more classic herbs and gooseberry with a citrus zing to the tangy finish. Powerful as it lingers. Made by Tiki Wines and labelled 'New Zealand' but fruit is from Marlborough. 13% alc. $16.95. 15Aug2011.
Straw gold coloured with a tangy and distinctly varietal scent and crisp, fresh, grassy herbaceous flavours with gooseberry, pineapple and exotic tropical fruit, a citrussy zing and a deliciously tasty, long powerful finish. 13% alc. $14.99. 7Sep2011.

Mills Reef Reserve Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (sc) Concentrated on the nose and in the palate, this has funky yeast flavours underpinned with grapefruit and a full-bodied, savoury finish flushed with tropical guava, rosehips, gooseberry and herbs. The grapefruit flavours linger with a slightly bitter edge. 12.5% alc. $24.95. 22Nov2011.

Richmond Plains Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (sc) Herbs on the nose and in the palate with plenty of green pea-like methoxypyrazine characters but they don't overpower the dominant citrus. Juicy on the finish and lingering flavours of greengage plum. 13.5% alc. $19.99. 22Nov2011.

Rockburn Central Otago Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (sc) Enticing aromas of honey roasted nuts, with a type of smoke from the partial barrel ferment that adds richness and complexity to the creamy texture. There’s a whack of citrus acidity in the background that’s beautifully balanced by the fruit and the oak. 30% fermentation in old oak barrels. 12.5% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal review. 10Sep2012.

Saint Clair Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (sc) Tantalisingly fresh aromas of passionfruit, pineapple and lemon grass and succulent tropical fruit flavours with a well-balanced citrussy tang and a flourish of herbs on the juicy, pungent lingering finish. 13% alc. $15.99. 24Aug2011.

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 1 Foundation Block Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (sc) This is so much more restrained on the nose and in the taste - lots of green connotations here - new mown grass, tangy herbs, angelica, tropical fruit, a creamy texture with a honeyed layer to the finish. Full-bodied and mouthfilling without being overpowering yet typically long and lingering. 13.5% alc. $22.99. 30May2012.

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 3 43 Degrees Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (sc) Fresh tropical fruit salad aroma and juicy exotic fruit flavours - tropical guava, banana passionfruit and tangy citrus with a vivacious undercurrent of summer herbs and a vibrant finish of gooseberry. Sweet and sour, Yin and yang balanced to perfection. Nice palate weight too and joyously long. 13.5% alc. $22.99. 10Aug2011.

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 18 Snap Block Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (sc) A bright punchy aroma of passionfruit, herbs and citrus and a fresh vibrant punchy flavour. Full and rich and exciting, a lovely rendition of snappy Sauvignon Blanc with grapefruit, herbs and tropical fruit. 13% alc. $25.50. 15Aug2011.
Bright punchy powerful aromas of passionfruit, herbs and citrus and fresh, vibrant, punchy, zesty, tangy flavours with grapefruit, herbs, tropical fruit and a touch of stonefruit too. Full-bodied, rich, juicy and texturally satisfying. 13% alc. $22.99. 24Aug2011.

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 21 Bell Block Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (sc) There is abundant citrus, capsicum, tropical fruit and herbs in this slightly more restrained style than the Block 18. It has textural richness and complexity with tangelo, melon, herbs and a bright zesty and tangy finish. 13% alc. $25.50. 15Aug2011.

Saint Clair Vicar's Choice Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (sc) Strikingly pungent aroma of tropical fruit, capsicum and summer herbs - smelling so fresh and juicy and tasting even more so with its exciting, vibrant flavours. Lovely grapefruit-like acidity keeps the passionfruit fruit sweetness in check - a touch of pineapple too. Fruit bowl in a glass. Terrific wine. 13.5% alc. $12.99. 30May2012.

Saint Clair Wairau Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (sc) Lovely pungency and concentration to the aroma and full of mouthwatering flavours. Grapefruit, tangy lemon, cut grass, summer herbs and a sweaty character emerging – it's big, rich and juicy with tropical fruit sweetness to the tantalising finish, this brilliant Sauv is hallmark Saint Clair. 13% alc. $32.00. 11Feb2013.

Selaks Heritage Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (sc) With a little green bean and capsicum on the nose, it’s a bit of an old-fashioned style. Rounded and smooth in the palate, a citrus zest spiciness joins tropical fruit with a classical Marlborough pungency on the full-bodied and lasting finish. 13% alc. $19.99. 15Aug2011.
With fresh, ripe, juicy and tantalising aromas of passionfruit and candied herbs, this initially soft gentle style compounds to a long bright tangy finish with lingering flavours of passionfruit and cape gooseberry. 13% alc. $15.99. 4Jan2012.

Shingle Peak Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (sc) There's a touch of grapefruit to the scent that follows through to the palate that has vivacious flavours of tropical fruit, citrus and gooseberry with a creamy mouthfeel and a long focused finish. Stylish, sophisticated, mouthfilling and long. 14% alc. $19.90. 15Aug2011.

Sileni Estate 'The Straits' Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (sc) Pale lemon coloured with a punchy tropical fruit and herb aroma and a soft, creamy palate. Radiating freshness with citrus, tropical fruit, herbs and a hint of honey adding a smidgen of sweetness to the end, it's everything you expect in Sauv and more. 13% alc. $17.99. 14Dec2011.

Spy Valley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (sc) Fresh and racy crammed with juicy passionfruit, pineapple and zingy taut citrus with classic flavours of summer herbs and a long pungent tasty finish. Still very exuberant and exciting at one year of age. 13.5% alc. $15.99. 5Sep2012.

Squealing Pig Awatere Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (sc) A flinty wine both on the nose and in the palate, it has those classic Awatere tomato stalk and herbaceous characters. A fresh cut grass character adds richness and complexity and the finish is rounded and long. 13.5% alc. $19. 15Aug2011.
When chilled this straw gold coloured wine has a vivaciously fresh bouquet and tangy pineapple and tangelo combining with summer herbs. A little flinty, fumé and grassy, the flavours compound in richness and the finish is powerful and long. 13.5% alc. $18.99. 31Aug2011.
This juicy and vibrant smelling Sauv is crammed with bright punchy flavours of pineapple, passionfruit, gooseberry, yellow capsicum and summer herbs. It's crisp, fresh, pungent and flavourful with great mouthfeel and presence. 13.5% alc. $18.99. 15Feb2012.

Stoneleigh Latitude Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (sc) This restrained smelling Sauvignon Blanc is a pallid straw gold and tastes dry, flinty and steely but with a viscosity that adds richness and warmth, and the tangy finish is sustained and long with typical herb, grass and tropical fruit flavours emerging to linger. Described as almost a little Sancerre in style. 12.5% alc. $16.99. 28Sep2011.

Te Mata Cape Crest Sauvignon Blanc 2011 - Hawkes Bay (D) There's a tantalising smoky nuance to the peach and classic grassy scents and the flavours are deliciously juicy with grilled peach, pineapple, grapefruit, pear, a glimmer of tarragon and a toasty, grassy finish. A blend of 85% Sauvignon Blanc, 11% Semillon, 4% Sauvignon Gris barrel fermented in French oak, 30% new. 13% alc. $27.99. 14Mar2012.

Tiki Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (sc) Perfumed and musky, this is a well-balanced and nicely focussed style with richness to the texture and punchy herb flavours infused with fleshy peach. With its rich full finish, it's rounded and complete. 13% alc. $19.95. 22Nov2011.

Tohu Mugwi Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (sc) Light gold. Smoky, toasty, passionfruit and asparagus scents. Lovely smooth rounded creamy flavour with added complexity from barrel aging and wild yeast ferment, filling out with peach and passionfruit on the pleasing finish. Awatere Valley fruit. 13% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal review. 10Sep2012.

Two Rivers of Marlborough Convergence Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (sc) A more subdued Awatere style aroma, initially quite flinty smelling with aromas of herbs, green bean that carry through to the palate. Tomato stalk and capsicum underpin the now dominant gooseberry flavour with tropical fruit and citrus emerging on the bright punchy finish. Rounded and textural. A blend of Awatere and Wairau Valley. 13% alc. $20. 15Aug2011.

Urlar Gladstone Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (sc) Straw gold coloured with earthy, savoury nuances to the scent with wild yeast action and barrel ferment. Subtle in its power, not overly varietal at first but the Sauvignon Blanc notes are much more obvious on the finish as the wine in the mouth builds in power. A lightly sweet finish too. Certified organic grapes. 14% alc. $22.50 10Nov2013.

Villa Maria Reserve Wairau Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (sc) Citrus and tropical scents lead into a vibrantly flavoured and textural palate with classic flavours of passionfruit, underpinned by tangy gooseberry and citrus and summer herbs. 13% alc. $24. 15Aug2011.

Waimea Nelson Naturally Low Alcohol Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (sc) Smells bright, racy and distinctive – like Sauvignon Blanc oughta. It has the typical varietal edginess the juicy tangy flavour but nowhere near as powerful as the full alcohol versions, finishing soft and sweetish and leaving behind a taste that's reminiscent of pink flavoured bubble gum. 8% alc. $19.00. 2Nov2011.

Waimea Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (sc) it smells fantastically herbaceous with abundant tropical fruit and is packed with tropical fruit, herbs and gooseberry. Flavour, intensity and length are the keys to the 'wow' tasting wine. Deserving gold medal winner. 13% alc. $19.00. 10Nov2011.

Yealands Estate SV Awatere Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (sc) Initially quite a restrained aroma, with nuances of tomato stalk and green bean. In the palate the green bean characters join tangy citrus, gooseberry and herbs. A dry flinty wine with a mouth-watering finish. 13.5% alc. $25. 15Aug2011.

2010 Vintage [top] [index]

Alexia Wairarapa Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) A bright fruity scent with lime and sweet pea so it's a surprise that it's so subdued on first tasting. Then the flavours explode with zest and zing . There's melon, tropical fruit, grapefruit peel and underlying herbs. Rich and powerful with a long-lasting finish. 13% alc. $17.99 15Apr2011.

Astrolabe Discovery Awatere Valley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Powerful aromatics are like a tropical fruit medley infused with tangy citrus and the flavours are bracingly fresh and deliciously juicy, crammed with passionfruit and peach with a zesty citrus undercurrent that adds vibrancy and tang to the lasting finish. Tomato stalk notes balance the fruity sweetness. 13.5% alc. $24.00. 18Feb2011.

Astrolabe Discovery Kekerengu Coast Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) A powerful aroma of sweet tropical fruit, citrus and concentrated passionfruit promises much, so it's a surprise to find this is an 'alternative' style that has been wild-fermented in French oak and while texturally rich, the flavours initially seem subdued. However it's hard to subdue good Sauvignon Blanc for long and, true to form, the fruit punches through and it finishes vibrant and tangy. 13% alc. $27.00. 6Jun2011.

Astrolabe Voyage Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Powerful and fresh with distinctly varietal aromatics and bright, tangy flavours of grass, lime tangelo, tarragon and passionfruit. A light sense of oiliness imparts roundness to the mouthfeel and there's a zesty kicker to the long lasting finish. Delicious. 13.5% alc. $21.99. 16Feb2011.

Bella by Invivo Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) While not overly boisterous, the aromas of gooseberry and capsicum leave no doubt as to what the variety is. It's fresh, bright and juicy to the taste with a lovely seam of lime and mandarin citrus underpinned by classic gooseberry flavours and tangy summer herbs. Most sauv blancs clock in around at around 13.5% alcohol but this only has 9% but on tasting you would have no idea this was a lower alcohol wine. 9% alc. $22. 4Oct2010.

Cable Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) A touch of oak in this wine subdues the punchy character of this young Savvy. Picking up some dried hay and apple notes with lingering juicy tangelo and a backbone of summer herbs, it's not too brash at all and drinking nicely now. 13.5 % alc. $24.00. 30Oct2010.

Catalina Sounds Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Plenty of tangy acidity with a bubble-gum oiliness to the texture and bright flavours of citrus, pineapple and summer herb. Fresh and juicy with lots of grassy connotations and a flinty finish. 13% alc. $22.00. 8Apr2011.

Church Road Reserve Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) In a Bordeaux bottle, it certainly seems like an 'alternative style' both in bottle and taste. Creamy scents are infused with passionfruit, vanilla and corn. Plenty of oak. Texturally complex with a long, rich, mouthfilling finish. Fermented in French oak with wild yeast. 14.5% alc. $36.95. 8Apr2011.

Churton Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (D) Bone dry with a slightly smoky nuance to the scent from the 10% oak. It's rich and stylish with an earthy, savoury backbone from aging on lees, with well balanced bright acidity, a herbal inflection and heritage apple lingering. 13.4% alc. $27. 22Jun2011.

Crowded House Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) It seems like an 'old-fashioned style' with some development as there are some canned pea characters coming through. On the nose there's herb oil, plasticine, apple and lime and the apple and lime carry through to the palate, which seems quite earthy too. I much prefer this as a food wine – best to match to salads. 13% alc. $18.00. 8Apr2011.

Dusky Sounds Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Light gold coloured with tantalising passionfruit, gooseberry and lime aromas. Powerfully flavoured with loads of juiciness, it's classic sauv with gooseberry, grass and fleshy ripe tropical fruit balanced by racy acidity. Undeniably good. 12.5% alc. $9.99 11May2011.

Esk Valley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Perfumed, a little musky, perhaps some sweat. In the palate it is initially quite flinty, racy and dry. A citrussy wine with an underpinning of gooseberry, tomato stalk and herbs with a musky nuance to the expanding finish. A blend of Wairau Valley and Awatere Valley fruit, it is a great expression of the leaner style 13.5% alc. 6Sep2010.

Hay Maker Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Lots of fresh, grassy flavours accompany juicy citrus and tropical fruit and there's a lovely pungency to the rounded finish. Builds in power and complexity while a touch of succulence gives it all round appeal. 13.5% alc. 6Sep2010.

Hunter's Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Served chilled, as it should be in summer, has such a deliciously fruity aroma that emanates Sauv's characteristic pungency, that pungency so distinctive in the palate too. Juicy and zesty with lime, herb and tropical fruit, roundness to the texture and tangy acidity on the finish, it really hits the spot. Love the tarragon that emerges on the finish. Just delicious. 19.5/20. 13.5% alc. $16.90 . 21Jan2011.

Jackson Estate Marlborough Stich Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Capsicum and tropical fruit aromas and grassy flavours with a steely backbone to the tangy apple and juicy tropical fruit and a touch of oiliness to the texture that adds roundness to the mouthfeel and richness to the finish. 13.5 % alc. $22.50. 30Oct2010.

Jules Taylor Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Exotic tropical fruit and dried cut grass aromas, and packed with classic gooseberry, herb and citrus flavours with a hint of BO and tropical fruit surging through on the lasting finish where hints of stonefruit emerges. Dry in style with a flinty backbone to provide tension and a texture that is seamless. 13.5% alc. $19.99. 25Nov2010.

Kate Radburnd Bud Burst Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Bright and fruity, not a leap out of the glass and grab you around the throat type of sauv with acidity that makes your eyes pop while etching your teeth. It's soft and easy with fruity flavours of peach and nectarine with a backbone of green gooseberries and tangy herb flavours that linger. 13.5% alc. $17.00. 6Jun2011.

Kim Crawford Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Initially dried hay, then bean apple and passionfruit burst forth on the nose and apples abound in the palate. Quite linear, a little grainy in texture, quite steely on entry with methoxypyrazines characters of green bean and day lily come through. But the finish is brightened with a squeeze of pineapple and a zing of lime 13.5% alc. $22.99. 15Apr2011.

Lawson’s Dry Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Rich and pungent with tropical fruit, herb and bean aromas that carry through to the beautifully balanced palate that has intense citrus, passionfruit and hints of green bean with lovely roundness and length. Lots of tangy appeal. 13.5% alc. $21. 6Sep2010.

Mahi Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Fermented in both oak and tank, 100% wild yeast, but it doesn't taste too oaky or leesy at all. The aromas are all grass and green bean and the powerful flavours are stonefruit, citrus, apple and bean. The mouthfeel and texture are rounded and the finish is bright and zingy. 13.5% alc. $19.95. 16Apr2011.

Man O' War Gravestone Waiheke Island Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2010 (sc) So overtly fragrant with sweet mealy wild yeast aromas infused with toast and lemon. Creamy and savoury to the taste with Sauvignon's vivacious pungency subdued by the use of yeast lees and oak. The fruit has a citrus seam, but it really is more melons and sweet juicy nectarines. Then the hammer hits the rock and smoky flinty nuances embrace the wine and linger. 10% Sauvignon Blanc with 40% Semillon that's been fermented in old oak. 14% alc. $36. 18May2013.

Moncellier Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Gooseberry, capsicum, lime and tropical fruit - grapefruit and green apple. Seems a little green to start but as the afterglow kicks in, it certainly is quite acceptable. 14 % alc. $24.99. 30Oct2010.

Mount Riley Limited Release Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc)Ripe, rich and oily smelling with a touch of sweet and green bean. Dry to the taste with an oily texture, spice and zest and bountiful flavours of citrus, herbs, gooseberry and capsicum and a powerful, concentrated flinty finish. 13.5% alc. 6Sep2010.

Mt Hillary Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Aromas of pineapple, herbs and flint and followed by tangy, fresh, juicy, tasty flavours. There's a lovely bright tropical fruit infusion of pineapple and passionfruit with a well-balanced citrusy zing and the texture is pleasingly creamy too. The finish is long. A veritable crowd pleaser with its roundness and ease. 13.5% alc. $19.00. 6Jun2011.

Mud House Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Flinty with plenty of sweet pea, grass and summer herb flavours and an increasing oily richness that adds to the mouthfeel. Floral nuances too and perhaps even a hint of musk. 13.5% alc. $21. 28Aug2010.
Flinty aromas lead into a palate that seems quite steely and lean at first with capsicum and riverstone, then rich flavours of passionfruit and citrus burst through with a touch of green bean. It's dry in style with loads of tangy summer herbs on the finish. 13.5 alc. 6Sep2010.
This wine is delicious when served very chilled. There's a lovely, almost floral fragrance to the bouquet and a flinty nuance to the flavour with powerful passionfruit and citrus, loads of juicy apple and tangy summer herbs. 13.5% alc. $14.99. 29Sep2010.

Nautilus Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Water pale in hue with fresh, inviting aromas of classic gooseberry, a little cut grass, summer herbs, tomato stalk and lemon. Gooseberry and capsicum fill the fresh, tangy palate together with lime, tangelo, herbs and a zesty finish and a textural softness that will have wide appeal. Delicious and thirst-quenching when chilled, which is how it really should be enjoyed. Accompany with snapper. 19/20. 13.5% alc. $15-$25. 18Feb2011.

Nobilo Icon Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) With an almost creamy tropical fruit and gooseberry aroma this is a full-bodied, mouth-filling style with tropical fruit and melon then gooseberry and herbs adding line and length to the long flinty finish. 14.5% alc. $24. 15Aug2011.

Opawa Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Grass, herb, capsicum and lemon scents become more tropical as the cold wine loses it chilly edge. A dry, crisp, style that is steely and flinty at first with a touch of sweet apple and pineapple and softness to the finish where some lovely tarragon notes come through on the expansive finish. 13 % alc. $19.99. 30Oct2010.

Palliser Estate Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Very fresh with salad greens and herb-infused citrus aromas and a lightly oily texture that gives a rounded mouthfeel with a creamy apple flavour and typical grass, tropical and herbs. Powerful yet not overpowering, with lovely balance. 13.5% alc. $25. 18Feb2011.

Pebble Row Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) There's no doubt as to what the variety is here with such aromatic, punchy aromas and the flavours are crisp and fruity with bright acidity underpinning the tropical fruit and nectarine flavours with hallmark summer herb grassy characters and a dry flinty finish. Made by Vavasour. 13% alc. Screwcap. $12.99.

Pegasus Bay Waipara Valley Sauvignon Semillon 2010(sc) The scent of this wine is all wild yeast and French oak in harmony with concentrated tropical fruit and a kind of sewing machine oil character too! The wild yeast characters set a fuse running into the core where the fruit flavours explode. Vibrant, creamy, toasty and delicious with a touch of grapefruit zest on the end, yet all the time a harmonious underlying savouriness too. Only the Semillon portion saw oak but both rested on the wild yeast lees for 6 months. 13.5% alc. $27.95. 18May2013.

Pencarrow Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Some smoky leesy aromas float away to let the green melon and delicate summer herb scents coming through. A medium-boded wine in the palate, it doesn't assault rather it's more of a gentle caress. The texture is the star of this wine, there's a fume note and leesy hints that you get in the alternative styles. With flavours of lime, passionfruit and delicate 'fines herbes', it gets better and better with every mouthful. Outstanding match to smoked snapper pate. 13.5% alc. $19.72. 15Apr2011.

Ra Nui Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) The scent is grassy and pungent with hints of gooseberry and the taste is mega-citrussy and edgy with juicy tangelo, pineapple, grass, herbs and capsicum. The acidity is racy and just a little drying but the juiciness wins through to give a smooth mouthfeel impression and the bright finish is herbaceous and long. Available off website in NZ. Sold mostly overseas. 13% alc. $17.99. 6Jun2011.

Richmond Plains Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) On the nose there's capsicum, green melon and playdough and there's a slightly smoky (cut grass) nuance coming through too. Quite tropical in its flavour profile with warmth and richness to the texture and some pleasing pineapple notes. A soft style yet with lots of tang. Banana passionfruit lingers on finish. A great match to tomato-based dishes. 12% alc. $19.99. 8Apr2011.

Sacred Hill Halo Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) A soft smelling wine with scents of apple, passionfruit, herbs and green bean. Apple flavours abound in the palate with bean, capsicum and citrus tending towards grapefruit with a touch of tropical fruit on the finish where sweet citrus abounds. Powerful and long. 13% alc. $24.90. 15Apr2011.
Aromatic and vibrant, fresh, grassy and edgy with unmistakable varietal green-coloured fruit characters such as feijoa, gooseberry and lime joining juicy pineapple and an underlying classical herbaceousness. 13% alc. $19.99. 21Sep2011.

Sacred Hill Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) The pretty and lightly floral scent smells of pink bubble gum and juicy red apple that makes me think Pinot Gris rather than Sauvignon Blanc. A soft textured wine with a toasty richness coming through and although there's a typical green herbal edge, the flavour is more subdued apple and pears. 13% alc. $21.99. 8Apr2011.

Saint Clair Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Sporting a black label this year instead of deep royal blue, was my No. 1 pick in a small line-up of Sauvs. It has concentration, power and richness with flavours of passionfruit, sweet pea, summer herbs and tangelo, but is the seductive mouthfeel that gives this wine the x-factor. 13.5% alc. $21. 28Aug2010.
Vibrantly aromatic and full of punchy flavours of passionfruit, sweet pea, summer herbs and tangelo but is the concentration, power and richness and the smooth seductive mouthfeel that gives this wine the x-factor. 13.5% alc. $16.99. 15Sep2010.

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 3 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Punchy tropical fruit and summer herb aromas and bold, full flavours. Quite oily textured, which adds a pleasing lushness to the mouthfeel and fresh, juicy flavours of grass, passionfruit, pineapple and citrus. Quintessential Marlborough. 13.5% alc. $22.99. 12Jan2011.

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 18 Snap Block Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Capsicum and flint characterise the bouquet while on first tasting the palate is dry and flinty with underlying citrus. Grapefruit, sweet pea and herbs compound in flavour, richness and mouthfeel. It seems a more richer, more rounded wine than the Block 21 tasted alongside it. 13.5% alc. 6Sep2010.
Surprisingly, especially for a Saint Clair wine, this is a little more restrained on the nose with hints of capsicum and sweet pea but there is nothing restrained about the delicious flavour. There's passionfruit, lime, a hint of tangelo zest and summer herbs with a nervy edge to the flinty undercurrent and a long juicy finish that compounds in flavour, richness and mouthfeel. 13.5% alc. $22.99. 13Oct2010.

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 19 Bird Block Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Vibrant and alive with tangelo and tropical fruit scents, this is a full, fruity Sauvignon Blanc exploding with vivacious flavours of gooseberry and passionfruit. It's deliciously pungent with power and length, with racy acidity perfectly in balance. Tasted alongside the Saint Clair Premium as well as Block 18 and Block 21, this was my favourite of this quartet. 13% alc. $22.99. 6Sep2010.

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 21 Bell Block Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Vibrant and alive with grass, apple and sweet pea scent, initially tight, restrained and linear in palate, yet typically Saint Clair as it compounds in richness and bursts with flavour. Full of apple, tangelo and bean with a delicately musky nuance to the grassy finish. 13.5% alc. 6Sep2010.
Cor! The bright zingy aroma and the mouthwatering refreshing taste says it all. When chilled there's a lovely oiliness to the texture with grapefruit, passionfruit, green apple, gooseberry and loads of summer herbs having a raucous party in the mouth. 13.5% alc.. $22.99. 6Oct2010.

Saint Clair Vicar's Choice Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) There's a flinty undercurrent to the bright focussed flavours of gooseberry, apple and lemonade citrus with exotic tropical guava creeping in too. 13.5% alc. $18.95. 28Aug2010.

Saint Clair Wairau Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Powerful aromas and tangy flavours with racy acidity that sends shivers down the spine on first tasting but the flavours evolve beautifully with stonefruit, passionfruit and pineapple joining grass and herbs and citrus. Delicious, concentrated and incredibly juicy, like biting into fleshy tropical fruit. Deserves its status as Saint Clair's top wine, just needs that evolution in the glass right now. 13% alc. $31.50. 25Dec2010.
A complex aroma of dried orange and tarragon. Richly flavoured, a year on from vintage but drinking so beautifully right now. Creamy texture, tropical fruit flavour and a long powerful mouthfilling finish. 15Aug2011.

Satellite Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Punchy, vibrant, fresh and tangy, with grassy aromas and juicy flavours with apple, pineapple, passionfruit with grapefruit-like acidity and an underpinning of edgy summer herbs. The second label of Spy Valley. 13.5% alc. $12.99 17Nov2010.

Sea Level Awatere Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) As pale and as clear as water, this is fresh and fruity though not overpowering on the nose, oily in texture and fresh and fruity in flavour. With ripe apple and lime, the crisp acidity is balanced by the softness of the texture and sweet fruit expands to pineapple on the finish. Tasted on release, it is like burst of flavour you get when biting into a pellet of Juicy Fruit chewing gum. $15.99. 18Jun2010.
Served well chilled, this is crisp, spicy and pungent with tropical fruit, herbs, citrus, apple and a distinctive grassiness. Long and rich with an oily texture and a juicy aftertaste. 13.5% alc. 5Jan2011.

Shingle Peak Reserve Release Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Distinctively varietal, full of juicy fruit and vivacious tangy flavours, a lovely rendition of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Nicely balanced, rounded and not too tart with gooseberry, apple, tropical fruit, herbs, musk and bubble gum. Good. 14% alc. 6Sep2010.

Sisters Ridge North Canterbury Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Grassy citrussy aromas with a subtle suggestion of tarragon. Initially tangy and bright then softness to the mid palate which seems rounded and fat. Rock melon joins zest citrus, there's a nice zingy feel to the finish and honey and orange combine. A good match to smoked snapper pate. 14.5% alc. $14.95. 15Apr2011.

Soho White Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Intense, grassy, green bean and celery aromatics with gooseberry, herbs and citrus oil. Quite lean and linear on entry to palate building in intensity and richness with flavours of grapefruit, orange zest, tangy herbs, bean and gooseberry. A powerful expression in a dry tangy style with a toasty nuance to the finish. 13% alc. 6Sep2010.
Fragrant, slightly floral, a little oily – chilling restrains the aroma and its initially quite restrained in the palate, but not for long as the intensity of the variety comes through with zesty summer herbs, juicy apple, tangy citrus, and an abundance of passionfruit on the long, pungent almost toasty finish. 13% alc. Screwcap. $14.99.

Soljans Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Initially flinty on the nose then a burst of ripe tropical fruit. Fresh ripe fruit and floral, bubble gum musky characters characterise this medium-bodied style. It's juicy and off dry with a zing of refreshing citrus on the finish. A good restaurant style. 13.5% alc. $19.00. 6Jun2011.

Squealing Pig Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) A little dull on the nose and grainy textured in the palate. Apple, gooseberry, flint & lime. More of an old-fashioned style. A lightly oily texture adds richness. Tropical fruit and herbs are more pronounced as it lingers. 13.5 % alc. $24.99. 30Oct2010.

Spinyback Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) With aromas of apple and, fruit salad, there's plenty of acidity in this tangy number. And what the apple-like nose didn’t infer was the richness, intensity and pungency in the palate. Creamy textured and rounded with a juicy fruit finish, it lingers nicely with hints of tangelo and vibrant summer herbs. 13.5% alc. $15.95. 6Jun2011.

Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Aromas of pineapple, herbs and flint and followed by tangy, fresh, juicy, tasty flavours. There's a lovely bright tropical fruit infusion of pineapple and passionfruit with a well-balanced citrusy zing and the texture is pleasingly creamy too. The finish is long. A veritable crowd pleaser with its roundness and ease. 13.5% alc. $17.30. 6Jun2011.

Stoneleigh Rapaura Series Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Beautifully perfumed with grassy, cats pee, gooseberry, herbs, citrus and a subtle floral intonation. Rich, full-bodied, and dry with fresh racy acidity perfectly balanced to the to the flavours of grassy herbs, citrus and passionfruit. A powerful wine that delivers a satisfying taste experience. Excellent. 12.5% alc. 6Sep2010.

Stoneleigh Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Perfumed and floral with a hint of summer hay, then passionfruit and citrus flavours fill the palate. There’s a hint of musk and the wine finishes with a distinctive herbaceous tang. A more delicate version of the Rapaura Series. 13% alc. 6Sep2010.

Te Awa Hawkes Bay Left Field Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) This is a distinctly different style to the Sauvs I am used to, perhaps because it is made from Hawkes Bay fruit, but perhaps because of something else because it seems a little unbalanced and unripe. Quite a vegetal wine, very much in the green methoxypyrazine spectrum, I get green onions, capsicum and a leafy character with underlying lemon and lime. Not my preferred style. 12v $20.00. 8Apr2011.

Te Awa Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Semillon 2010(sc) Intriguing bouquet of roasted peaches with the sugars starting to caramelise as well as lanolin, wet potters clay and summer herbs. The savoury earthy characters carry through to the palate that's layered with creamy oak, a touch of wood smoke, vanilla and rocket (arugula) juice. Warm and harmonious without any overpowering pungency with the freshness of grapefruit and melon on the finish. 61%, Sauvignon Blanc, 39%.Semillon 12.5% alc. $26.95. 18May2013.

Te Mania Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) A more flinty, earthy style than stablemate Te Mania but quite rounded in the bright, tangy palate with a lovely herb profile and Thai basil and tarragon - like liquorice staples from my childhood - and a nuance of spearmint too. Very bright, fresh and juicy with a rich, pungent finish. 13.5% alc. $18.99. 8Apr2011.

Te Mata Cape Crest Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (D) This is a rich Sauvignon with a sweet mealy, slightly funky and oak-tinged lemon scent and bright, powerful, zingy flavours of citrus and stonefruit with a creamy undercurrent to the French oak flavours. A serious style with a long full finish. 13.5% alc. $26.99. 9Mar2011.

The People's Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) A sweeter style but acidity sets a pulsating back beat. The flavours explode with tropical fruit, freshly cut grass and passionfruit on the well-rounded finish that has no sharp edges. 13.5% alc. 28Aug2010.

Tiki Single Vineyard Waipara Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Wow – profuse aromas of grapefruit (perhaps this is signature Waipara) carries through to the palate. Intensity and focus are the drivers of the delicious mouthfilling wine with pineapple, cut grass and summer herbs adding to its appeal. Dry in style and very delicious. 13.4% alc. 6Sep2010.

Tiki Single Vineyard Wairau Alpine Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) An intense, rich, pure, tangy vibrant expression with rounded, mouthfilling flavours that hints of stonefruit, melon jam and gooseberry. The finish is long and powerful with tangy tangelo-like citrus on the lingering finish. 13.5% alc. 6Sep2010.
Smoky and flinty with capsicum and tropical fruit aromas, this is bright and tangy with softness to the texture but lots of oomph and power as the juicy flavours explode on the palate. Rich and long with citrus, pineapple and herbs, and just a suggestion of the controversial BO. 13.5 % alc. $24.99. 30Oct2010.

Tiki Wairau Alpine Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) This is so bright and tangy with punchy aromatics and delicious juicy flavours with plenty of tangelo and summer herbs with gooseberry and tropical fruit and a lovely rose petal muskiness to the finish. White label. 13 % alc. $19.99. 30Oct2010.

Tohu Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Powerfully aromatic and deliciously juicy with a lightly oily texture, a zesty vivaciousness and increasing palate richness. The flavours are full of passionfruit and grassy summer herbs and there's a peachy nuance to the finish. 13.5% alc. $15.99. 13Oct2010.

Tohu Mugwi Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) A sweet-fruited and floral smelling wine with a hint of snow pea that's joined in the palate by juicy banana passionfruit and honeydew melon. With a little age and a touch of oak to add a mellow complexity there's nothing at all brash about this wine. The texture is harmoniously smooth and the finish is rounded and long. Very nice and popular on the night. 13.8% alc. $22.99. 1Feb2012.

Vavasour Awatere Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Powerful, cut grass, herbaceous aromatics with nuances of tropical fruit. Full-bodied and powerful with herbs, grass, gooseberry, lime and tropical fruit. An explosion of flavours and a lasting finish. Builds up beautifully and lasts for ages. Very good. 13% alc. 6Sep2010.

Vidal Reserve Series Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) A little bit of a grassy nuance to the scent. A hint of oak and lees aging adds a mellow complexity to the smooth texture and stonefruit and citrus flavours with gooseberry and herbs the kicker on the finish and tropical fruit lingering. Organically grown. 13.5% alc. $23. 15Aug2011.

Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) A gorgeous fresh sauv with a bright fruity aroma and oily textured flavours brimming with tropical fruit, pineapple, tangelo and tangy summer herbs with a juicy richness and unmistakable pungency as it lingers. Several vineyard sites, both in the Awatere and the Wairau, provide the fruit for the delicious tangy wine. 13.5% alc. $13.99. 19Jun2010.

Villa Maria Reserve Clifford Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) There’s a toasty richness that adds complexity to the aroma while exotic tropical fruits, guava, green passionfruit, flint and lime characterise the flavour. Dry, focussed, powerful and long with some very appealing musky notes coming through too. Delicious wine and my favourite of a quartet tasted together from the Villa Maria stable (VM Clifford Bay, VM Wairau Valley, Esk and Thornbury. 13.5% alc. 6Sep2010.

Villa Maria Reserve Wairau Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Passionfruit, bean, apple and pineapple fill the bouquet of this dry, lean, focused Sauv. In the palate apple and lemonade citrus build up in concentration and power. A little musky sweaty note comes through on the flinty finish. 13.5% alc. 6Sep2010.

Waimea Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Abundant citrus and green bean on the nose and perhaps a hint of cat's pee. There's a definite pea/bean character to this full-bodied Sauv with a touch of mandarin on the juicy finish. A powerful wine, the flavours last and last but with the peas and beans, it's a bit of an 'old-fashioned' style. 13.5% alc. $18.90. 15Apr2011.

Waipara Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Powerful, flinty aromas with lemon curd, passionfruit and a hint of sweat. Dry on entry, this is fresh and bracing but the acidity is tempered with orange juice, honey and tangy summer herbs. The finish is a little smoky and the whole package is very refreshing. 13.5% alc. 6Sep2010.

Whitehaven Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Fruity aroma with capsicum, guava, a hint of sweat. Very dry, linear, focussed and steely with river stones, flint, hints of lime and tropical fruit adding to its appeal. 13.5% alc. 6Ssep2010.
Aromatic with herbs, gooseberry, guava and muskmelon and flavours of Royal gala apples, herbs and tropical fruit. Not an overtly flamboyant savvy, it is the lovely slippery texture and the rounded mouthfeel that sets it apart. 13.5% alc. $17.99. 30Mar2011.

Wingspan Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Light straw gold in colour with apple, pear and a floral sweetness to the scent – a little restrained for Sauv but bright and tangy to the taste with capsicum, honey, gooseberry, bean and plenty of juicy citrus-like acidity. With its rounded mouthfeel and long fruity finish, it should have wide appeal. 12.5% alc. $11.99. 19Jan2011.

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Index to Varietal Tastings
Chardonnay Gewurztraminer
Pinot Gris Sauvignon Blanc Other Whites
Bubblies Sweeties Pinks
Cabernet dominant Merlot dominant Pinotage
Pinot Noir Shiraz Other Reds

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