edited by Sue Courtney
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Wine Reviews - Sauvignon Blanc
by Sue Courtney, copyright
Last updated 30 Oct 2005
Although some of these tasting notes may be found elsewhere on this site, this page brings together most of my Sauvignon Blanc tasting notes from the 2002 vintage, listed alphabetically by Producer.2002 Vintage [top] [index]
Allan Scott Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Ripe and warm, there's a lovely texture to this wine and after all the acidic numbers tasted prior to tasting this wine today (at the Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc celebration), this simply floats across the palate. 13% alc. 4.4g rs. 5Sep2002.
Alpha Domus Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Pale straw, fresh grassy aromas, firm, fleshy and lively fruit, lots of juicy green gooseberry and juicy herbaceousness and a delicious lingering flavour of banana passionfruit accompanied by smoky cut grass. It's a great expression of the variety and shows that in the right year Hawkes Bay can be a serious contender to Marlborough. NZ$17. 1Aug2002.
Artisan Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Upfront herbaceous style with gooseberry and a touch of sweat. A fresh, crisp, new world savvie with slightly oily flavours giving way to a touch of sweetness on the good lingering finish. 3gms rs. 19Aug2002.
Astrolabe Marlborough Sauv Blanc 2002 Sweaty, capsicum and gooseberry nose, perhaps a little vegetal. Concentrated flavours in palate with plenty of sweaty, musky character and capsicum, gooseberry and musky passionfruit tending toward stonefruit in spectrum on the ripe fruit finish. 13.5% 14Sep2002.
Ata Rangi Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Herbal aromas. Good palate weight with flavours of herbs, spearmint, musk, red apples, capsicum and a touch of gooseberry. Quite a complexly flavoured wine with a toasty richness that comes from fermentation of 20% of the wine in old oak. Crisp apple flavours linger. 9Sep2002.
Babich Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 (sc) Water clear. Herbal grassy nose, lime and lemon flavours give a citric herbaceousness, grassy finish with passionfruit and gooseberry emerging. 18Aug2002.
Black Barn Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Ripe apple aromas, good acidity with limey zest and a hint of capsicum. Lively bright and refreshing. Serve slightly chilled for summer drinking. 2gm rs. A new label with wines aimed at restaurant market. Also available at the cellar door. 23Sep2002.
Bladen Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 A riper style with a whiff of peach on the nose but very grassy and zesty citrus in the mouth. Crisp finish. Long and full of fleshy guava-like fruit. 13% alc. 3.3g rs. 5Sep2002.
Burnt Spur Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Smoky 'fumé' nose with a hint of tobacco and a suggestion of sweat. In the mouth there's some classic sauvignon blanc characters. It's grassy, but not overly so, with ripe passionfruit and hints of kiwano. Juicy yet lovely and dry. Passionfruit lingers on the toasty finish. 14% alcohol. 1.1gms rs. Very good. 16Oct2002.
CJ Pask Roys Hills Hakes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Ripe banana passionfruit flavours with a sprinkling of lime and a hallmark sauvignon blanc pungency to the long tropical citrus fruited finish. < 1 g/l residual sugar so very ripe fruit. $14.95. 7Apr2003.
Cairnbrae 'The Stones' Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Spicy style with lots of lemon and spritz with underlying gooseberry and herbs emerging. Dry finish. Long and lively. NZ$19.95. 22Jul2002.
Carrick Cairnmuir Road Central Otago Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Fresh and fruity nose but a toast richness in the palate although the wine has seen no oak. Spicy with peach, passionfruit, and gooseberry. Tons of interesting flavours. Apples and herbs come forth on the finish and the wine lingers well. Nice mouthfilling wine that is sweet, ripe and deliciously flavoursome. 13% alc. 4.7g rs. 9Sep2002.
Chard Farm Sauvignon Blanc 2002 - Central Otago A fruity wine with lots of citrus, lemon, orange and pear, a touch of honey and perhaps a faint suggestion of bean, it seems to lack varietal definition at first but the zingy full-bodied vibrant finish has strong gooseberry and passionfruit flavours so typical of sauvignon blanc, with just a touch of asparagus starting to creep in. 12.5% alc. $22. 27Aug2003.
Charles Wiffen Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 A rich toasty savvie with a lovely palate weight. Rich and ripe with citrus, stonefruit and classic 'green' characters we associate with Marlborough sauvignon blanc. I like the textural complexity. 18Aug2002.
Chancellor Estate Waipara Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Aggressively acidic, fresh and herbal with a pungent finish. Quite tight at this stage. Would like to try again in about a month. 18Aug2002.
Church Road Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Toasty, grassy, citrus aromas with a hint of passionfruit. Rich and full-bodied in the palate with mealy yeast characters, citrus, melon and a touch of hokey pokey ice-cream on the rich, ripe finish. Made from a blend of 57% Marlborough and 43% Hawkes Bay fruit. 13.5% alc., 0g rs. 11Sep2002.
Churton Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Another savvie with 'leap out of the glass' aromas. What I can smell is typical Marlborough in a glass but the way I describe is not typical, the effect of the season, I guess. It's a sweet smelling wine reminding me of cape gooseberry jam enhanced with a touch of banana passionfruit. In the mouth it's very dry though very juicy with lots of limey citrus and a full bodied richness with grassy gooseberry and passionfruit flavours. That dry limey flavour takes over and lingers on the grainy finish which turns quite lemony and I can taste the freshly squeezed juice with it nutty influence from the pips. It's crisp but rich and complex and much riper and fuller as it lingers. Another very good flavoursome Marlborough savvie. 14%. 22Dec2002.
Claddagh Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 A very full, rich and ripe sauvignon blanc with melon fruit flavours and a zippy acidity. Developing a honeyed and toasty richness. Lingers well with rockmelon and tropical fruit flavours on the ripe finish. Claddagh recommend salmon or chicken. 14.5%. 0rs. I asked about the alcohol and was told it was high because the fruit was kept out as long as possible. 16Oct2002.
Clifford Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 (sc) Quite lemony flavour combines with grass and herbs. Rich in texture and lots of acidity and a herbal gooseberry finish. 18Aug2002.
Cloudy Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 a pre-release taste. It's a little delicate and prickly when first in the mouth but I love the ripe passionfruit flavours that carry through to the finish and linger well. 5Sep2002.
Cloudy Bay Te Koko Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Creamy textured, wild yeast influenced with nice development though not at all peasy with toasty oak and caramel adding a softness to the pear, stone and tropical fruit. Well made and nicely balanced with good fruit and good acidity coming through on finish. One of the better oak-aged styles of Sauvignon Blanc and possibly the best Te Koko to date. 13.5% alc. $33.95. 2Feb2005.
Corbans Fern Label Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Softer style again but good flavours come forth with stonefruit, apples and a hint of gooseberry. 11Sep2002.
Craggy Range Avery Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2002 (sc) Some petillance showing in the glass. Faint musky aromas. Good limey, salivating savvie flavours. A full rich wine that really opens up in the mouth and carries through very well indeed. Terrific long and juicy finish with many classics nuances of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. A very good wine and the best of the line-up in the November 11th tasting. 18.5+. 11Nov2002.
Craggy Range Old Renwick Road Sauvignon Blanc 2002 (sc) Show some petillance in the glass and I wonder if it has a screwcap (I find out later that it does). Lean and herbal on entry, this becomes a rich grainy sauvignon with flavours of apples, gooseberries. There's lots of acidity but some classic SB characters emerge and linger on the finish which in fact is quite powerful. I think this wine might be better in 2 to 3 month's time. Finish is very good and long but lacks some 'oomph' at this stage. 17.5. 11Nov2002.
Craggy Range Te Muna Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2002 - Martinborough Aromatic and crisp with juicy apple aromas, there's a slight metallic note but the palate fills out well with gooseberry, stonefruit, passionfruit and green capsicum. Quite broad, not overly aggressive with a creamy texture and a long toasty/grassy/asparagus finish, this would fit in well as a food wine. $18.95. 2Apr2003.
Crossroads Destinations Series Sauvignon Blanc 2002 is a pungent smelling weighty wine with spicy acidity, lemongrass, hints of gooseberry, and a ripe citrus finish. Drinking well.Later had become quite broad with fleshy melon flavours adding the melange. $19.95. 15Mar2003.
Daniel Le Brun Terrace Road Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Grassy nose with lots of pungency and a touch of sweat. Sweaty in the palate, quite perfumed, lots of capsicum, then a rich finish with sweet passionfruit lingering well. 13% alc. 3.3g rs. 5Sep2002.
Dog Point 'Section 94' Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Yellow gold in colour, this barrel-fermented style of sauvignon has mealy, wild yeast aromas mingling with passionfruit and ginger carrying through to the palate and grapefruit peel lingering on the finish. It's full-bodied, weighty and toasty, an interesting wine from the new partnership of ex-Cloudy Bay employees James Healy and Ivan Sutherland, and slightly reminiscent of Te Koko, which Healy was the catalyst for at Cloudy Bay. Te Koko has a further year in bottle before release. This is more tropical and without the richness and maturity, I feel. Very good if you like the style, which I do. 13% alc. $31.95. 5May2004.
Domaine Georges Michel Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Grassy style with a developing complexity in the mouth. A sweeter style, perhaps to counteract the searing grassy acidity. 13.5% alc. 5 g rs. 5Sep2002.
Dry River Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 More herbal at first than I would have expected from this Martinborough producer but then lifted sweet fruit emerges. Rich and oily in texture, ripe, a little musky with some apple zippiness that lingers, the length and lift of this wine is phenomenal. A delicious tasty drop. 1Sep2002.
Drylands Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 There's a cardboardy, peasy character on the fairly closed nose of this wine. At first I think it is an older vintage, but no, it is from 2002. In the mouth it is richly flavoured with lemon, herbs, a hint of a sweaty character and some sweet pea as well. The wine becomes pungently aggressive as it fills out in the mouth and the full-on rich powerful finish goes on and on and on. Seems very dry on the finish too and the texture is quite grainy. Good wine. 11Sep2002.
Fairhall Downs Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Toasty with ripe fruit, quite rich and powerful, musky in fact. Soft and balanced with a very long finish. 18Aug2002.
Fiddlers Green Waipara Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Good pungency with classic gooseberry,. Quite sweet fruit in the palate with 3.5 grams r.s. making it a very approachable style. Lovely grassy flavours come out and the finish is long and pungent but still quite delicate. 20Aug2002.
Forefathers Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Pungent, dry and crisp, loads of gooseberries, limes, passionfruit and tropical fruit with some crisp juicy apple lingering on the finish. A full-bodied, vibrant and tasty sauvignon blanc. Still fresh. 1May2003.
Forrest Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Very strong herbal style, almost a 'herb tea' character. Fills out a bit on the finish to become a little pungent with passionfruit trying to emerge. Seems quite dry and steely and different to what I was expecting from this producer. 13% alc. 3g rs. 5Sep2002.
Framingham Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Refreshingly racy acidity combines with pungent guava and horned melon type fruit. Quite dry and almost steely then the fruit comes forth and fills out on the pungent musky finish. One of the better wines in the room at the Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc Celebration. 13% alc. 2g rs. 5Sep2002.
Framingham Winemakers Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Fresh and fruity upfront, there's a touch of pineapple that gives a lovely tropical fruit lift to the toasty leesy, spicy oak and hokey pokey flavours that fill the palate. It's a creamy textured wine with the bitey pungency of sauvignon blanc on the citrus-laden, orange-honeyed finish. It's a bit like riesling (the citrus), chardonnay (the body) and sauvignon blanc (the classic pungency) mixed together. Screwcap. 25Oct2003.
Giesen Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 This wine sports a new label to depict the Marlborough Estates. There a pungent aroma with a hint of brown sugar. Zesty fruit, spicy pineapple and other tropical fruits, sweet lemon and a herbaceous backbone then ripe gooseberry and kiwfruit on the lemon finish. Very long finish but the powerful flavours fade quickly to linger delicately and sweetly. 20Jul2002.
Goldwater Dogpoint Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Sealed with a screwcap, this is a young, fresh, vibrant wine with hints of musk, sweat, gooseberry, lime, kiwifruit and yellow guavas. It's ripe and delicious with a dry pungent sweaty finish. I expect some passionfruit to emerge too, as it develops. I have found the Goldwater Dogpoint SB's too tropical, almost tending toward pineapple, in the past. This is a good one for my palate and I like it very much. Bottled on 1 July. 30,000 cases produced of which 5000 are in screwcap to be distributed in NZ and UK. Cork-closed wines will be in these and all other markets. NZ$19.95. 22Jul2002.
Greenhough Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Very tight on the nose, nutty, yeasty aromas - I am sure this is in a screwcap as I am seeing this character in quite a few new release screwcapped wines when first opened. Yes it does have a screwcap. But later, when I just take the cap off to pour a second taste, passionfruit leaps out of the glass. The wine is quite delicate in the mouth at first but a powerful pungency quickly emerges and the deliciously ripe, juicy and flavoursome fruit comes forth as well as a musky, sweaty character that is becoming a classic marker of NZSB. Passionfruit and apples flavours dominate the palate and I wonder how many Nelson apple orchards have given way to grapevines. 13% alc. 12Sep2002.
Grove Mill Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 A rich, riper style of sauvignon however there's still plenty of upfront acidity with zingy lime and gooseberry before the fullness and weightness comes forth. There's a good dollop of passionfruit mingling in with some grassy-like flavours and smoky, freshly cut grass lingers well on the fairly dry but well-balanced finish which has some riper melon flavours emerging. 13.0% alc. 1gm r.s. 6Nov2002.
Gunn Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2002 A blend of 65% Hawkes Bay and 35% Marlborough fruit. Bottled for a week when tasted. Lime sherbet aromas. Quite a 'tobacco' flavour, very dry and perhaps a little phenolic. Lemon flavours linger at first but then a powerful after-flavour of grass and tropical fruit emerges, it just took a while to get there. In fact I had moved onto the next stand and was chatting away to the winemaker there when it hit. NZ$16.95. 22Jul2002.
Huia Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 There are perfumed savvie aromas in this very fruity style, the ripe fruit complementing the yellow capsicum flavour with firm gooseberry backing up the finish. The juicy and exotic flavours remind me of the kiwano (horned melon) while Claire Allen says it reminds her of mangosteens. I'll have to look this fruit up. Some complexities are introduced by the indigenous yeasts. 13% alc. 4g rs. 5Sep2002.
Hunters Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Lots of bright and refreshing lemon, gooseberry and passionfruit and a good pungent finish. Quite dry but well balanced and good length. bright and flavoursome. 5Sep2002.
Jackson Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 (sc) Soft aromas but vibrant fruity citrus, passion fruit and lime, which becomes almost like sherbet on the long and lifted finish. 18Aug2002.
Johanneshof Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 A nicely textured ripe and round sauvignon blanc with gooseberries, herbs and that emerging passionfruit character with a touch of hot chilli spice. 13% alc. 6g rs. 5Sep2002.
Kaimira Estate Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Pungent aromas, good herbaceousness and juicy ripe fruit with apple, passionfruit and powerful mouthfilling flavours with that 'x-factor' sweatiness and tending toward a rich toasty finish. Very good and one of the best examples of Nelson sauvignon Blanc that I have tasted. Wine maker is Jane Cooper 19Aug2002.
Kim Crawford 'Boon Vineyard' Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 First release wine of the vintage on May 1, 2002. Water pale. Classic pungent gooseberry and grassy scents and herbaceous grassy gooseberry flavours with a spicy apple seed finish. $17.95. 6May2002.
Kim Crawford 'Flowers' Sauvignon Blanc 2002 - Marlborough Talk about sweaty armpits, this wines absolutely reeks of it. It's very tart and crisp with flavours of green gooseberries and 'just ripe' apples but this zingy, zesty grassy and herbaceous wine has a huge fat body and is mouthfilling and warm with toasty hints of passionfruit and roasted red peppers lingering on the long pungent finish. An 'in your face' Sauvignon Blanc that you will either love or hate. $23.95. 19Mar2003.
Kim Crawford Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 This mainstream SB release. Grassy, hot hay and very fine pure traditional sauvignon blanc flavours with lots of grass and herbs and not too much of the tropical fruit spectrum. There's lots of citrus acidity and a grilled passionfruit flavour emerges on the finish. There is a toastiness but the wine has seen no oak. "Perhaps from the phenolics" said winemaker Kim Crawford, who added he has changed his vineyard trellising back to Vertical Shoot Position to give the grapes more shading. There is 3 grams of residual sugar but the wine finishes dry. NZ$19.95 22Jul2002.
Koura Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Chalky nose, quite grainy in texture, lighter style of savvie with apple, pear, lime, herbs and a touch of spearmint. A flinty steely style with a smoky, cut grass finish. Fruit comes from the Awatere. 13% alc. 5g rs. 5Sep2002.
Lake Chalice Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 (closed with a black synthetic cork) Very pale with straw hues. Softly pungent and herbaceousness on the nose. Gooseberry, musk, lemon grass, coriander and zesty acidity in the mouth. Acids are powerfully there but nicely integrated. A touch of sweetness on the finish and lingering flavours of cut grass. 29Jun2002.
Lawsons Dry Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Another vintage where the intense sweaty, grassy aromas leap out of the bottle as soon as the screwcap is removed. It's a pungent, oily, richly flavoured sauvignon blanc with classic gooseberry, passionfruit and herb infused lemon oil concentrate with great mouthfeel and a terrifically long length. Back to its very best. Yum!. 10Aug2002.
Le Grys Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Rich, and toasty with melon and leesy flavours. Crisp and ripe with lots of interest coming from 15% oak and 30% malo. Some tobacco comes forth on the finish. 12.5% alc. 3.4g rs. 5Sep2002.
Lincoln 'Lukrica' Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Upfront lemon then lots of gooseberry with herbs and yellow capsicum flavours. Quite zesty at first on the slightly oily finish that is perhaps a bit short. A refreshing wine never the less. I recommend serving this slightly chilled. 12% alc. 10Sep2002.
Lincoln Winemakers Series Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Made from Te Kauwhata fruit, this wine is closed with a blue synthetic cork. It shows a touch of petillance in the glass when first poured. Candied lemon aromas it is quite grassy in the mouth with lemon and herb flavours, an oily texture and a strong finish with ripe citrus and grassy flavours lingering. There's also a banana passionfruit flavours that emerges and lingers well. Try this wine with whitebait - I can vouch that it does indeed go well. 13% alc. 12Sep2002.
Longridge Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Quite a light style of sauvignon blanc it seems at first but then the flavour enriches in the mouth and lingers long and fully. Some nice herbaceous notes amongst the fleshy stone fruit flavours. 12.5% alc. 2g rs. 11Sep2002.
Main Divide Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2002 There's a brilliance to the light gold colour of this wine. Smelling fragrant, just a little peasy, it tastes even more peasy in the palate but this acceptable developed green veg (2 years on from vintage) and basil-like herbaceousness is backed up by some rich melon and tropical fruit. The finish is long and toasty with a nice balance of fruit sweetness and just a hint of vanilla as it lingers. A blend of Marlborough and Canterbury fruit. 4 stars. 13% alc. $16.95. 19Jun2004.
Mahi Byrne Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2002 - Marlborough A powerful wine with a rich aroma of banana, stonefruit, tropical fruit and smoke paving the way for the strong burst of gooseberry and passionfruit flavours that fill the mouth. It's rich and mealy, well-balanced, juicy and long with sweet underlying tropical fruits and just the merest suggestion of development from a momentary peasy character. A touch of oak fleshes out the long, rich, pungent lemon leesy finish. 13.5% alc. $24.95. 28May2003. ****½
Matariki Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Pale. Clean pungent aromas, it's fruity and crisp with flavours of feijoa and tropical fruit on a creamy backbone. Very ripe, very juicy, no developed green vegetable characters at all. Full flavoured. Very good and drinking very nicely for summer 2003. $20. 11Oct2003.
Matariki Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Light yellow gold. This wine has a good dollop of Semillon that Matariki had added to give more 'green' flavours to the blend. It's quite acid driven, picking up the greens that they want, filling with passionfruit, tropical fruit and melon. A crisp, lifted and very refreshing wine with a honey-soft finish. $25. 11Oct2003.
Matua Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Pale straw. Shy aromas with hints of apples. Soft acids, a bit oily, spicy and stewed apple flavours and a hint of peach. Pungent and hot on the lingering finish. Quite juicy. $16. 8Aug2002.
Matua Matheson Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Yeasty and mealy with buttery oak on the nose, soft, round and mouthfilling with ripe peach and tropical fruit beautifully balanced to the winemaking components and a dry finish that goes on and on. A little more subdued in its acidity than most Marlborough wines, this is Sauvignon Blanc for Chardonnay drinkers. 12.5% alc. $17.95. 8Jun2004.
Montana Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 This has to be the best wine in this lower level varietal range that I've tasted for some years. It just 'wowed' me with its juicy flavours and pungency. Powerful aromas of gooseberry, herbs and tropical fruit and very zesty, limey, spritzy, spicy flavours with fabulous mouthfeel and vibrancy. It is ever so juicy with hints of peach, pear, kiwifruit and chilli as well as the gooseberries and herbs, then a gripping spicy green apple flavour that reminded me of the grapes I tasted in the vineyard the day I visited Marlborough. The pungency power-drives the finish. Labelled as 'Brancott' in North America. 12.5% alc. 3g rs. NZ$15.95.
Montana Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Really rich, sweaty, pungent, mouthful of a wine. Good herbaceousness and classical powerful and zesty sauvignon blanc flavours. Goes well with panfried terakihi with a kelp coating. 13.7% alc. 3g rs. 19Aug2002.
Morton Estate Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Melon and peach style. Kind of lacks varietal intensity. Tried a sample out of another bottle. This was better with classical sweaty and herbal nuances in with the tropical and melon fruit. 18Aug2002.
Morton Estate Nikau Point Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Apple and capsicum aromas at first that become toasty as the wine sits in the glass. A prickly, fresh wine with heaps of acidity, toasty flavours, ripe fruit that tends to stone fruit on the slightly sweetish finish. 13.5%. 10Oct2002.
Mount Riley Savée 2002 Sauvignon Blanc with bubbles makes me think of fun in the surf and sand. Lots of fizz in the glass, tropical fruit and green herb bouquet, warm toasty palate with gooseberry and grassy flavours and a pungently sweet fruit finish. Bubbles with zing - it's the ideal cooler for a hot summer's day. $19.95. 9Oct2002.
Mount Riley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 A little bit cold when first served (it was tasted in a restaurant) - the flavours were quite appley. As the wine warmed up, classic flavours of passionfruit and herbs with good acidity on the gooseberry finish. Try with garlic pizza bread. 13Aug2002.
Mudhouse Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Quite a zesty sherbet style with lemon, a hint of gooseberry, a touch of sweet pea and a powdery finish. 12.5% alc. 4g rs. 5Sep2002.
Mudhouse Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 (screwcap) Pale straw in colour with a pungent, sweaty distinctly Sauvignon nose. Juicy ripe passionfruit and limey citrus flavours with gooseberry overtones fill the palate. It's a grainy textured wine with a smoky, fumé, fresh cut grass finish - young, fresh, bracing and zingy, exactly what SB should be like. It still has that youthful exuberance of freshness 12 months after vintage. Simply excellent. 12.5% alc. $15.95. 25Jun2003.
Mudhouse Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 (with synthetic cork) Pale straw in colour, this is quite subdued on the nose after the previous wine but has typical rich Sauvignon pungency in the palate. It's softer in acidity and more developed with a suggestion of canned pea joining the capsicum, gooseberry, grass and fleshy fruit that hints of stonefruit and pineapple. The finish is long, tangy and pungent. I was very surprised that this was the same wine as the one tasted immediately before, but that was in screwcap. It just goes to show the difference a closure can make. This one, closed with a black synthetic cork, really lacked the youthful vitality, acidity and freshness of the screw. I would think the screwcapped wine was the one that won the gold in the Easter Show. 25Jun2003.
Murdoch James Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Quite a pungent sweaty nose - perhaps too sweaty so a second bottle opened.
Nautilus Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Dry, herbal and grassy with just a hint of citrus and some toasty characters. Good mouthfilling wine with a classic finish. 18Aug2002.
Neudorf Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Lovely rich, ripe and juicy savvie, full of flavour. Some herbs, musk and a myriad of fruits from stonefruit to guava, laced with citrus. A touch of oak and a bit of lees stirring adds structure. Feral yeast adds another dimension of complexity. Tim Finn says 50% of the fruit is the first crop off their new Brightwater vineyard and the remainder comes from Motueka. 9Sep2002.
Ngatarawa The Stables Sauvignon Blanc 2002 (Hawkes Bay) Straw yellow. Pineapple gum and yeasty aromas. Subtle yeasty pineapple and tropical fruits mingle with gooseberry and lemon sherbet. A little spicy as well. Again a smoky, fume finish with hallmark herbaceous of sauvignon blanc lingering well (and lengthy) with a sweet ripeness. 29Jun2002.
Ngatarawa Glazebrook Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Gee, this sauvignon blanc needs a wash? It stinks of B.O. However, in the mouth there is the typical gooseberry layered with spritzy lime then the richness of melon that fills out well on the finish together with peachy stonefruit flavours. The finish is lively and carries on for quite a while. 14Dec2002.
Nga Waka Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 (tank sample - the wine will be released in September). This wine at this stage shows good acidity with lime and apple fruit, a full body, a long palate length and some ripe tropical fruit emerging. "It is perhaps the weighty palate that distinguishes Martinborough from Marlborough", said winemaker Roger Parkinson. 22Jul2002.
Nobilo Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 A very reliable label and this years vintage continues the tradition. Peach, gooseberry and herbal flavours then green apple that lingers with a kick of musk. Very good. 13Jul2002.
Nobilo Icon Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Steely metallic on entry but opens up well. Plenty of citrus in this wine, perhaps some riper melon too. Has a steely character and a metallic finish. Lacks concentration at first but fills out as it lingers. Green apples, sweetish finish, then some peach sherbet on finish and musky apples linger. I scored 15.5/20. 11Nov2002.
Odyssey Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Medium intensity aroma with capsicum, a hint of musk and later an earthy flinty note. Undeniably sauv blanc in the mouth with gooseberry, grass, herbs and zingy lime. Would perhaps be classed as 'dilute' by some writers but to me it is not as overpowering as some, making it a very user friendly drinkable style with a fairly dry finish and good length. 13% 17.5/20. 10Oct2002.
Okahu Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Petillance in the glass again. No screwcap on this wine, however. Nutty (baked loquat) and grapefruit aromas . Quite a rich mouthfilling wine with apple-like flavours on entry tending to tropical fruits and passionfruit as it lingers. A riper wine than the others in the line-up. Fruit is from Te Kauwhata. 11Nov2002.
Origin Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Smells quite appealing and clean with toasty melons, nettles and gooseberry but the palate fails to excite. It's braod and sweaty with a 'cooked' yellow fruits character and a burnt sugar finish. 13% alc. 11Apr2002.
Palliser Estate Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Lovely vibrant aromas. Pungent gooseberry and apple flavours. The wine really fills out well with a hint of grass and a stonefruit richness that has ripe peach and apricot lingering on the long finish. A lovely ripe and round wine. 3gm rs. 23Sep2002.
Palliser Pencarrow Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Good mouthfilling sauvignon blanc with oily passionfruit and gooseberry flavours. Nice texture and richness. 4 gms rs. 7Sep2002.
Pegasus Bay Waipara Sauvignon Semillon 2002 A luscious pungent wine, barrel and yeast lees driven with developing savoury characters and dried hay. Long and rich, mouthfilling and vibrant. 11Nov2003.
Peregrine Central Otago Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Seems quite developed even though it is current vintage and sealed with a screwcap. Richly flavoured, quite toasty with underlying citrus vibrancy and ripe toasted stonefruit but there is a definite 'peasy' character. It's a wine to be enjoyed over the next few months. If you like a developed style of sauvignon blanc you will like this. If you like fresh and fruity, look elsewhere. I suspect the fruit was quite ripe. There's no mistaking the variety, however. 28Mar2003
Riverby Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Pale straw coloured. Warm smelling passionfruit, lime and gooseberry with a slight toastiness to the scent. There's heaps of acidity in the palate adding a crispness to this oily texture wine that is strong and powerful. It' becomes quite broad on the palate and melon and nutty flavours linger and the finish is more like sweaty tropical fruits. Long pungent finish. Took it to a Japanese restaurant and just loved it with Miso Soup - it was overpowering for the other food, though. The following night with Thai it was terrific with the Sweet and Sour (mild) Curry. 14% alc. 12Apr2003.
Riverside Dartmoor Sauvignon Blanc 2002 (Hawkes Bay) An interesting style that has leesy, citrus flavours with grapefruit oil, hints of tropical fruit and some sweaty herbal characters. 18Aug2002.
Rockburn Central Otago Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Quite closed on the nose. Limey flavours at first then very subtle classical gooseberry that becomes quite powerful as the wine gains intensity in the mouth. Medium weight wine with hints of capsicum, herbs and spices on the crisp refreshing finish. This is one of those savvies for seafood. A high acid, high sugared wine, it needs the residual sugar to counteract the acidity. Grown in the Gibbston Back Rd area. 14% alc. 8.3g/l TA, 5,5 g/l rs. 4Nov2002.
Rongopai Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Made from a bend of Te Kauwhata and Gisborne fruit, this wine has lemon and cut grass scents. Lemon flavours at first in the mouth but quickly the classic sauvignon blanc herbaceous makes itself known. Good pungency and length with lots of gooseberries and limey flavours. Grainy texture and a 'fumé' finish. Quite dry and well balanced and a slow emerging but powerful lingering pungent finish. 20Jul2002.
Sacred Hill 'Whitecliffs' HB Sauvignon Blanc 2002 (Hawkes Bay) Wow, this has a really sweaty grassy nose then grassy, lemon flavours intertwined with pineapple and other tropical fruits, a lingering lifted herbaceous and a smoky grassy finish. Contains 15% Marlborough fruit. 29Jun2002.
Sacred Hill Marlborough Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2002 There's a nice savvie perfume on this spicy spritzy wine that has hints of passionfruit, musk and some yeasty connotations. It is full-bodied and richly fruited with a tropical lift on the finish. Since Sacred Hill took over the Marlborough vineyards that came with the purchase of Cairnbrae, the yields have been halved. This could account for the richness and concentration of this wine. NZ$19.95. 22Jul2002.
Sacred Hill 'Sauvage' Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2002 (c) 8 months in French oak, 50% new. Smelling of smoked nuts, the bright leesy aroma leads into a rich full-bodied style. There's lots of yeast lees influence in to the palate together with vanillin oak, summer hay and ripe stonefruit flavours. A mellow wine with a spicy zestiness and a flintiness that lifts the long mouthfilling finish. 14% alc. $29.95. 14Jul2004.
Saint Clair Winemakers Selection Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Water straw colour. Wonderfully fresh vibrant flavours. Upfront passionfruit, peach and juicy lime then classic Marlborough herbaceousness with summer herbs and gooseberry lingering on the full-bodied fumé finish with apple on the after-flavour. Definitely moreish. $17. 16May2002.
Saint Clair Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Good palate weight. Lemon and herb aromas. Herbal, grassy, gooseberry flavours with some passionfruit emerging and a juicy, lingering finish. 18Aug2002.
Saint Clair Marlborough Wairau Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Hot, toasty, full-bodied, flavoursome and grassy, even a little prickly, perhaps. Seems a little subtle at first as it lacks the big grunty sweaty characters of last year's wine. Lime and passionfruit fill out and flesh out the finish, which is juicy and long. This wine has some developing to do and I think it will come really into its own in a couple of months. 18Aug2002.
Saints Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Pungent and fresh, a little sweaty musk and lots of mown grass jumping out of the glass. A little oily in texture, deep south green gooseberry flavours and some capsicum lingering on the finish. Tons of racy acidity to the point of being limey. Full and rich and a powerfully long ripe finish. 13% alc. 2g rs. 7Sep2002.
Sanctuary Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Easy drinking, gooseberry, apple and herb style. Lots of vibrancy and good length. Try this with pork and apple. 18Aug2002.
Selaks Founders Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Full of the fresh taste of New Zealand with smoke, passionfruit, crushed summer herbs, a squeeze of lime, a touch of hokey-pokey and a rich leesy complexity. I like it. Jan 2003.
Selaks Premium Selection Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Gooseberry, passionfruit and grass. Fairly pungent, slightly sweaty style. Good citrus acidity with upfront lime. Lengthy with a sweetish smoky cut grass finish. Good wine at the price. Young, aggressive and quite tasty. 10Jul2002.
Seresin Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 This is a such a differnet style to all the wines at the Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc Celebration. There 7% old oak, leesy flavours and hints of apple. A fuller style that finishes dry. There is some semillon in this wine - quantity unknown at the time of writing. 5Sep2002.
Shingle Peak Sauvignon Blanc 2002 (sc) Very pale straw. Pear drop aromas. Yeasty and herbal, limey acidity, so youthful, quite juicy with a touch of sugar. But should develop well. Doesn't have the racy zestiness of the previous. Again good length. $17. 19Jun2002.
Spy Valley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Apple nose, spicy apple seed flavours, a hint of honey too. Interesting range of flavours with gooseberry and capsicum but the spicy apple flavour dominates. 13% alc. 2g rs. 5Sep2002.
Squawking Magpie Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 A richer, fatter Sauvignon Blanc on the nose with just a hint of toffee, it seems much riper than the other two. Mostly melon and lemon in the flavour it takes a while for the savvie pungency to come thru. A soft sauvignon blanc that is starting to develop some peasy flavours. 13.6% alc. $21.95. 2Jul2003.
St Arnaud 'Gravitas' Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Very shy on the nose, not offering too much in the classical sense, just a hint of apples. In the mouth it's a ripe, textural wine with delicate seam of lemon then melon and a touch of stone fruit before the herbaceous flavours come forth. The finish is prickly with lots of lemon and green apple acidity. Quite a textural wine with a rich full-bodied finish. The acidity needs to settle, however. Drinking very well for a 2002, not showing any developed characters at all and though it is high in alcohol, it is not overpowered by it. 14.5% alc. ****. 21Aug2003.
Staetelandt Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Ripe melon and gooseberry fruit, some prickly acidity and underlying juiciness with that kiwano (horned melon) flavour again. Quite good palate weight, seemingly a little light at first but with some underlying power. Some grass and gooseberry and a full fruited finish. 14% alc. 2g rs. 5Sep2002.
Stoneleigh Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Lovely pungent style. Great fruit definition and classic varietal flavours. Very good, vibrant and lifted with a great finish. 18Aug2002.
Stoneleigh Rapaura Series Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Quite leesy at first with an oaky complexity and ripe fruit in the stonefruit and melon spectrum. 5Sep2002.
Stony Batter Waiheke Island Gravestone Sauvignon Blanc 2002 (c) In new French oak barrels for 4 months. The oak has softened since last tasted and lets the lovely, leesy aromatics and melon, grass and stonefruit flavours come through. Good acidity carries the wine and there's a sweetish, musky aromatic intrigue to the finish. Good length with vanillin oak, lemongrass and a slightly smoky flintiness. 13% alc. $39. 14Jul2004.
Shingle Peak Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 (sc) Very pale straw. Pear drop aromas. Yeasty and herbal, limey acidity, so youthful, quite juicy with a touch of sugar but should develop well. Lacks the racy zestiness found in some others. Good length. $17. 19 Jun 2002.
Tasman Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Soft, herbal, some peachy notes, perhaps some oak to subdue the acidity. Yes! I am told. Seems to be a riper style. 18Aug2002.
Te Awa Longlands Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Quite a rich but well acidified lively sauvignon blanc, rich and to the point of toasty although there is no oak. Flavoursome and juicy with peachy tones, a touch of herbs and gooseberry that lingers. Good! 18Aug2002.
Te Kairanga Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Grassy, herbal, hints of tobacco, good body with a hint of oak (10%) complexity and quite juicy and zingy on finish. 16Oct2002.
Te Mania Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Chalky, herbal, sweat, stonefruit and some quite concentrated and juicy 'prickly pear' flavours. Starts to open up well with some deliciously flavoursome passionfruit, a toasty oily richness and a very long finish. 18Aug2002.
Te Mata Woodthorpe Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2002 There are attractive lemon lime tinges to this pale coloured juicy wine. Lots of limey citrus flavours make it seem more like riesling at first but the underlying gooseberry with a touch of musk reveals the true variety. The flavours lingers well with a leesy lemon richness. 9Sep2002.
The Crossings Awatere Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Passionfruit, gooseberry and a hint of apple. A lightly sweaty, sweetish sauv blanc with a sweetly fragrant musky influence. 27Nov2003.
The Crossings Reserve 'Catherine's Run' Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Rather lusciously scented, there's some obvious oak treatment in this wine, probably barrel ferment and lees aging too. It's a rich, textural, mouth-filling style with classic, grassy, citrus and herbaceous flavours emerging to linger with the mellow oak influences. Definitely a food wine not a summer quaffer, and an excellent example of the oak-aged style. 13.5%. *****. 21Aug2003.
Thornbury Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Fermented dry, this is a rich, ripe savvy with plenty of zesty acidity combining with ripe stonefruit flavours. "Riper than we had anticipated" says winemaker Steve Bird. While there is no gooseberry that I can detect, there is a nice touch of passionfruit on the finish with that hallmark Marlborough raciness. 13% alc. 0g rs. 5Sep2002.
Tohu Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Water clear, a riper style with passionfruit then grassy flavours emerging to linger well. Lovely rich and long palate with fleshy peach tones on finish. "Made in a delicate style" whatever that means. Picked over several weeks. Mainly sold ex cellar door as production for NZ market is tiny - most is exported. 1 gram r.s. 19Aug2002.
Trinity Hill Hawkes Bay Shepherds Croft Sauvignon Blanc 2002 This very pale wine also has apple flavours but they are more like Red Delicious than Granny Smiths. It is a riper style than those tasted from further south with soft acids and a good long dry finish with a spicy lift. NZ$17.95 22Jul2002.
Tuatara Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Made by Saint Clair, this has guava-like flavours and is quite acidic. Would be a fabulous accompaniment to seafood. 18Aug2002.
Twin Islands Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 A lean style with tobacco and herb flavours, lots of capsicum and grass but not too much fruit on the astringent finish. Some riper gooseberry/guava flavours do emerge, however. 12.5% alc. 3.8g rs. 5Sep2002.
Vavasour Dashwood Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 This is lively wine with good pungency and zippy, zingy, sweet ripe fruit balancing the acidity. Lots of gooseberries and herbs. A great little wine, which easily hit the spot. NZ$16.95. Bottled just 2 days before tasting, it is due for release at the beginning of August. It will be released in NZ with a screwcap. 22Jul2002.
Vavasour Awatere Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Grassy, grainy and quite mellow, it is obviously influenced by the small portion of the barrel fermented component. A rich, textural, food-friendly wine showing nice development without any peasy characters. Hints of passionfruit, melon and gooseberry linger and the flavour goes on for ages. A very good wine. 24Jul2003.
Vavasour Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Fermented and matured in old oak, this wine has a really interesting smoked peachy smell and rich, peachy flavours in the palate, there's also something in here that reminds me of smoked nuts and meats. Rich, leesy and quite caramelly on the finish, this multi-layered, ripe, oak-driven, textural wine has a lingering nectarine flavour. I would match it to smoked chicken and smoked fish for something different. Winemaker Stu Marfell says drink it with any food you would usually drink Chardonnay with, but this is not a buttery wine. 24Jul2003.
Vidal Estate Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Soft style showing the melon and tropical fruit flavours long associated with Hawkes Bay savvy. A mouthfilling, ripe wine that lingers well. 18Aug2002.
Villa Maria 'First Release' Sauvignon Blanc 2002 (Marlborough) Still a touch of yeastiness on the subdued goosberry nose of this wine that has only been bottled a week. However in the mouth it is vibrant and juicy with more than just a hint of sweetness. Flavours of gooseberry, passionfruit, herbs, then tropical fruit with mago and fleshy orange on the good lengthy finish. Very long after-flavour with gooseberry and herbs. 15Jun2002.
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2002 This is really good, juicy and flavoursome. The eptiome of Marlborough savvie. 5Sep2002.
Villa Maria Private Bin Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 (in cork) Lovely and ripe with sweet pea flavours. A juicy, grassy, herbaceous style, quite aggressive acidity which softens out on the finish. 18Aug2002.
Villa Maria Private Bin Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 (in screwcap) Fairly shy nose, perhaps a little sweaty. Hints of musk, stonefruit, lemon biscuits with gooseberry and passionfruit building to a rich toasty finish. 23Oct2002.
Villa Maria Reserve Wairau Sauvignon Blanc 2002 (sc) Lovely rich toasty vibrant full-bodied sauvignon blanc with great palate weight and flavour. A classic wine, very long aftertaste with passionfruit and fleshy peach lingering. 18Aug2002.
Villa Maria Reserve Clifford Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2002 (sc) Dry powdery wine but deceptive in its power. Delicious and delicate gooseberry, passionfruit and hints of kiwifruit. A great long finish with hints of musk. A wine that will unfold fantastically over the next few months. 18Aug2002.
Waipara Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Toasty, peachy wine with juicy fruit - lots of kiwano (horned melon) and passionfruit, but with a steely edge. 13% alc. 5g rs. 5Sep2002.
Waipara Springs Waipara Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Steely, grassy and herbal with a whallop of gooseberry, lots of oily, sweaty characters and a stonefruit richness. Great intensity and flavour. Waipara shows it force again. 18Aug2002.
Wairau River Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 This is a really ripe style showing tropical fruit flavours but still great zestiness to balance that sweet fruit. A rich style but quite cruisy and would go well with or without food. 13% alc. 5Sep2002.
Wairau River Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 (sc) A creamy textured wine with a lovely ripe stonefruit influence blending in with the grapefruit-like citrus, this seems a bit like Chardonnay but the Savvie traits come forth to linger on the finish. 13% ***1/2. 21Aug2003.
West Brook Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002. Shy nose with hints of sweat. Quite vibrant, spicy, zesty and sweaty with green apples, citrus, grass and gooseberry. Good palate weight and a long and lifted pungent finish which lingers with vibrancy. Peachy tones fill out the palate. A good one! 18Aug2002.
West Brook Blue Ridge Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Subdued nose at the stage. Soft, more peachy tones at first then spicy and lifted with grassy notes emerging. Pleach fleshiness fills out the palate. A little more herbaceous than the other West Brook. Good length, lingers well. Has 10% barrel fermentation, which has softened the wine. 18Aug2002.
Whitehaven Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Most pungent, gooseberry, sweaty armpit nose of the vintage's wines so far. A weighty, concentrated wine that is undeniably Marlborough. Smoky cut grass, hints of passionfruit and a ripe fruit finish that has great length. There could be some residual sugar - this seems to be the norm these days. An excellent wine with wonderful balance - the best of the vintage to date. 6Jul2002.
Wither Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 (cork) Kind of nutty aromas on the fairly shy nose. Quite tropical flavoured with hints of banana at first then quite spicy lemon and gooseberry flavours with plenty of cut grass. Very dry and quite zingy with good pungency on the lingering finish where some green apple spice flavours emerge and linger too. 20Jul2002.
Wither Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 (sc) Pungent aromas, classical Marlborough herbaceousness, ripe gooseberry and passionfruit, very powerful and long with an intensifying finish. Fantastic with the terakihi and kelp too. This wine is just 100 times better than the previous sample I tasted, which was closed with a cork. Unfortunately for consumers at home, there will be no screwcaps. "Screwcaps are only for export", says Brent adding that it is the wish of his distributors to keep the cork closed wines in the NZ market. Pity because the screwcapped wine smelt better and tasted better. "Things will change" said Brent. He hopes to have the screwcapped wine available here by about March next year. I certainly hope so. 19Aug2002.
Woollaston Estate Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2002 (screwcap) Closed on the nose. Seems a little sweeter when first in the mouth. Good grassy, zesty characters with lime, lemon, a touch of musky sweat and a hint of honey on the finish. This is a good delicate style that will go well with seafood. There is about 7% semillon in the blend. 13%. 3.5/5 16/20. 10Oct2002.
Woollaston Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2002 (cork) Lemon-like aromas. Fresh, sweetish slightly toasty fruit, good tongue sucking acidity, lemon, herbs and capsicum, slightly oily with some sweaty notes emerging on the finish. 3. 17Oct2002.
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