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Wine Reviews - Sauvignon Blanc
2013 / 2014 vintage
by Sue Courtney
Last updated 15 Apr 2015

[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.

2014 Vintage [top] [index]

Aotea Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (sc) Loads of green connotations on the nose, it's pungent, grassy and herbaceous with gooseberry, capsicum and lime that follow through to the full-flavoured creamy palate with an exotic tropical fruit and fume almost tobacco-like tang. Lots going on in this full flavoured wine. 13% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal Tasting. 8Sep2014.

Ara Single Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (sc) Straw gold with a flinty aroma, this tastes dry yet juicy with a tropical fruit vibrancy, tangy citrus and gooseberry and elderflower in the background. Juicy and mouthfilling with presence and length. 13% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal Tasting. 8Sep2014.

Brancott Estate Flight Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (sc) Straw gold. Tropical fruit and elderflower aromas and bright, zesty, clean flavours of tropical fruit and elderflower with a punch of citrus joining passionfruit on the finish. The lighter alcohol does not detracting from the classical pungency of the wine. 9% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal Tasting. 8Sep2014. NZIWS Gold Medal Tasting. 8Sep2014.
The colour is the palest lemon you could imagine, the bouquet is like a bowl of freshly cut passionfruit and the taste is vibrant and tangy with a slightly oily texture. A ‘lighter alcohol’ wine, it is mouthwateringly juicy with flavours of yellow passionfruit, green passionfruit, mango, orange zest, red capsicum and pineapple and a refreshing sweet / sour finish. 9% alc. $16.99. 11Feb2015.

Cable Station Road Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (sc) Light gold with a vibrant aroma of summer herbs, citrus and nettles leading into a full rich and creamy palate, a refreshing dry style with tangy acidity and a crisp zingy finish. 13.2% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal Tasting. 8Sep2014.

Clark Estate Upper Awatere Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (sc) Straw gold. Capsicum and gooseberry aromas. Lovely summer herb flavours of tarragon and fennel with vibrant citrus and tomato stalk notes in behind. Tangy pineapple and lime acidity joins elderflower on the finish. 13% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal Tasting. 8Sep2014.

Dog Point Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (sc) While a light lemonade hue in the glass, the concentrated grapefruit aroma suggests this is a very serious wine and the taste confirms it. A deliciously rich, full-bodied and sophisticated wine with a savoury wild yeast infusion to the rounded tropical fruit flavours with a touch of tarragon to the sweet citrussy finish that lingers in a most harmonious way. 13.5% alc. $22.99. 5Nov2014.

Esk Valley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (sc) Unmistakable Sauv Blanc with its pungent grassy herbaceous scent and subtle suggestion of sweat, this straw gold wine has a soft, almost oily mouthfeel with a grassy undercurrent to the fleshy stonefruit flavours and a burst of tropical fruit and lime on the long, punchy finish. 13% alc. $15.99. 8Oct2014.

Forrest Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (sc) In the glass the wine is a light yellow gold colour and has full throttle aromas of gooseberry, capsicum, lime and powdered dried basil. The flavours are scintillatingly fresh and just so full of punch and verve with juicy pineapple, tangelo, feijoa, honey, capsicum and herbs providing a delicious sweet/sour vibe. The honey is like when you add a touch to a dressing – it balances the tartness of the tangy acidity and at the same time adds a touch of viscosity. The alcohol in this super wine is slightly lower than in many Sauvignons, clocking in at 12.5%. 9Jan2015.

Lawson's Dry Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (sc) Light straw gold with a pungent gooseberry and grapefruit aroma and juicy mouth watering flavours of capsicum, herbs, tropical fruits and lime. Long and lasting with a delicious mouthfilling finish. 13% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal Tasting. 8Sep2014.
Bright and fresh with gooseberry, passionfruit and citrus aromas and flavours, it’s full of punch and verve with a softness to the backbone, a lingering nuance of pineapple and a tangy summer herb edginess while a touch of oak from partial barrel ferment adds to the mouthfeel of this deliciously juicy, vibrant drop. 13% alc. $16.99. 4Feb2015.

Matua Single Vineyard Awatere Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (sc) Straw gold. A little flinty on the nose with gooseberry, tropical fruit, herbs and stonefruit pushing through. Full, complex and textural with a full rounded mouthfeel, bright tropical, gooseberry and capsicum flavours and a punchy zing of citrus on the tight yet deliciously juicy, vibrantly fruity finish. 13% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal Tasting. 8Sep2014.

Mount Brown Estates Waipara Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (sc) Light gold with a vibrant, zesty bouquet and full and rounded in the palate with stonefruit joining citrus and tropical fruit with elderflower in the background and bubble gum esters of youth. Juicy and vibrant with a zesty tang. Very exciting, full-flavoured, beautifully balanced wine. 12% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal Tasting. 8Sep2014.

Mount Vernon Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (sc) Straw gold. Vibrant tropical fruit and summer herb aromas, then juicy citrus and tropical fruit with a vibrant burst of zest and a punch of gooseberry in behind. 13% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal Tasting. 8Sep2014.

Peter Yealands Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (sc) Straw gold. Juicy and tangy with fume grassy characters, summer herbs, citrus, passionfruit and pineapple. Deliciously fruity, soft, rounded and easy to drink. 12.5% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal Tasting. 8Sep2014.
The lemonade hue is a clue to a new vintage wine and with its pungent herbaceous aroma and bright tangy, citrus, herb, flint and grilled pineapple flavours it couldn’t be anything other than our nation's number one white variety. Fresh, lively, perfect served ice cold as a quenching and delicious summer sipper. 12.5% alc. $12.99. 5Nov2014.

Rapaura Springs Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (sc) Passionfruit leaps out of the glass of this juicy exuberant wine and joins vibrant tropical fruit and citrus in the palate with tangy summer herbs in the background. A delicious, thirst-quenching wine with a lightly oily texture that is smooth and satisfying. 13% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal Tasting. 8Sep2014.

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 1 ‘Foundation Block’ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (sc) Almost the polar opposite of the Premium wine, this is pale straw in hue, the bouquet is dried pineapple and purple basil (that smells a little like cats pee) and the taste is so much more sweaty and saline with citrus that’s like a combination of lemonade and grapefruit. There’s a fleshy stonefruit richness that ripples through but it is the scintillating tartness and the flinty undercurrent that steals the show. A well-balanced combo of sweet/sour/dry that is not so much of a carefree sipper but would be a humdinger match to fresh oysters or mussels. 12.5% alc. $22.99. 18Mar2015.

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 3 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (sc) This straw gold coloured wine is bright, fresh and pungent with vivacious passionfruit and feijoa aromas and juicy citrus binding together the exuberant passionfruit and pineapple flavours. It’s vibrantly fruity and deliciously quenching with a long, tangy finish that lingers for ages. 13% alc. $23.99. 25Feb2015.

Saint Clair Premium Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (sc) Light straw gold with vivacious aromas of tropical fruit, pineapple, green passionfruit and summer herbs that pave the way for the lightly oily textured palate that has a spicy peppery zing like you get when you chew mountain pawpaw seeds. It’s smooth, flowing, almost creamy with tasty melon, citrus and tropical fruit, a zingy herbaceousness and great acid spine. Super bright, bouncy, great tasting sauv. 13% alc. $15.99. 18Mar2015.

Saint Clair Wairau Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (sc) Unmistakably sauvignon blanc with a new vintage pale lemon hue, this is as fresh as a daisy pushing up through just cut grass, the pungent aroma simply leaping out of the glass. Bright, tangy and herbaceous tasting with a vibrant fruitiness reminiscent of old-fashioned gooseberries (goosegogs) and passionfruit, it’s powerful and flavourful with a zesty brightness to the long zingy finish. Deserving winner of the Sauvignon Blanc Trophy, AirNZ 2014. 13% alc. $31.99. 26Nov2014.
Light golden coloured with a powerful and inviting aroma of tropical fruit and zest and a texture in the mouth that’s bordering on oily / creamy that gives such beautiful mouthfeel and flow. There is a myriad of tropical fruit, stonefruit, apple, citrus and herb flavours that bounce off each other and the result is vibrancy and balance. Full-bodied, rich, long and super tasty, it’s top notch Marlborough sauvignon blanc and hard to resist. 13.5% alc. $29.99. 18Mar2015.

Spy Valley 'Easy Tiger' Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (sc) Bright punchy aromatics and fresh punchy flavours of grapefruit zest, tomato stalk and basil So zesty and zingy the texture has a tickly spritzy feel and the finish is fresh and light. Fabulous with tomato salad. 9.5% alc. $22. 27Jan2015.

Spy Valley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (sc) Pungent, spicy and zesty on the nose - you know what you are going to get with this cool little number. The taste is rich and powerful with flavours of gooseberry, grapefruit and a lighter touch of cucumber. It's a warm, rich wine with a full-bodied pungent finish and a light sense of oiliness to the texture. Best with food. 13.5% alc. $22. 27Jan2015.

Stoneleigh Latitude Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (sc) Straw gold. Full-bodied and complex with pungent herb and tropical fruit aromas, concentration and fruit sweetness. Tropical fruit joins citrus with touches of pineapple and a vibrant zingy finish with hints of tarragon coming through as the warm rounded flavours linger. 13.5% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal Tasting. 8Sep2014.

The Doctors’ 9% Alc Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (sc) It’s a straw gold colour with racy citrus aromas that are absolutely brimming with zest and a tangy herbaceous note adding brightness. Lots more of the citrus with touches of gooseberry recur in the palate with a little honey – a bit like you get in a home made lemon and honey drink. I love this lighter style. It has Sauvignon Blanc's pungency but it has a Riesling-like vibe. A spritz to the texture becomes apparent on the finish. Gorgeous summer day drinking served chilled to the bones. Made by Forrest. 9% alc. 9Jan2015.

Two Rivers of Marlborough Convergence Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (sc) Straw gold. Tropical fruit and pineapple on the nose. Bright and punchy flavours of tropical fruit, dried banana chips and juicy stonefruit with lashings of grapefruit and lime. A tangy grassy, herbaceous, gooseberry undercurrent adds to the long pungent finish. 13% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal Tasting. 8Sep2014.

W5 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (sc) Straw gold with an aroma of pink bubble gum, this is packed with the vibrant taste of summer beside a rocky South Island stream with water tumbling over the rocks – so cool and refreshing. Mandarin, summer grasses, lemons, capsicum and a burst of pineapple freshness. A fresh, lively wine that is not too overpowering. 13% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal Tasting. 8Sep2014.

Waimea Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (sc) Straw gold. Juicy apple and summer herb aroma. Warm, rounded and mouthfilling with hints of peach infusing the classical gooseberry and tropical fruit flavours and spicy apple notes on the vibrant zesty finish. 13.5% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal Tasting. 8Sep2014.
Bright fresh aromas of tropical fruit with a suggestion of passionfruit and succulent mouthfilling juicy fresh flavours with tropical fruit in abundance, a touch of apple, a hint of peach and a classical gooseberry and tangy herb pungency to the punchy fresh finish. 13.5% alc. $14.99. 24Sep2014.

Wairau River Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (sc) Unmistakably Marlborough as we like to know it, this is pungently aromatic and full of tangy vibrant flavours of passionfruit, mango, pineapple and sweet pea. Ultra juicy, fresh, thirst-quenching and delicious. 13% alc. $14.99. 21Jan2015.

Yealands Estate Single Block L5 Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (sc) Straw gold. A little earthy/estery on the nose. Deliciously juicy to the taste with tropical fruit, tarragon and lime and a tight, focused, flinty undercurrent. Vibrant and long with and exciting lifted finish. Fumé characters impart heat to the finish that’s very dry, with a a touch of grapefruit emerging as flavours linger. 12.5% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal Tasting. 8Sep2014.

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 this 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 Lands & Legends Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Glossy lemon gold with a bouquet that is abundant with fresh green fruit - there’s green passionfruit, green apples, green gooseberries and limes with a hint of pineapple and a herbaceous tang. It tastes crisp and fresh with a light oily note to the texture and bright tangy zesty fruit flavours with lots of bounce and verve. Everything on the nose repeats in the palate and more. Very concentrated, powerful, juicy and long. Predominantly from the Squealing Pig vineyard in the Awatere, this is an excellent example of how Sauvignon Blanc develops with a year or so of bottle age. 13.5% alc. $19.99. 15Apr2015.

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.

[2014] [2013] [2012] [2011] [2010] [2009] [2008] [2007] [2006] [2005] [2004] [2003] [2002] [2001] [2000 and older] [index]

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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