edited by Sue Courtney
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Wine Reviews - Sauvignon Blanc
by Sue Courtney
Last updated 31 Aug 2013
Although some of these tasting notes may be found elsewhere on this site, this page brings together most of my 2008 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.
Click here for a historical perpsective of Sauvignon Blanc in New Zealand.2008 Vintage
Amisfield Central Otago Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) A little spritz, zest on nose. Sweetish initial palate but becoming full, rich and vibrant with a steely, austere undercurrent, then passion fruit and juicy apples abound and a fumé note, possibly from the small portion of barrel fermentation, adds character to the finish. 16/20. 13.5% alc. $30. 16Oct2008.
Askerne Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Toasty aroma. Bittersweet palate. Juicy fruit and salad greens over a steely backbone. Warm, interesting. Earthy and gravelly with a firm textured fleshiness, like mountain pawpaw and exotic tropical fruits abounding on the excellent finish. 18/20. 13.5% alc. $16. 16Oct2008.
Astrolabe Discovery Awatere Sauvignon Blanc 2008(sc) Distinctly N.Z.S.B. on the nose, it has that rich, citrus-infused passionfruit scent with a herbaceous kind of twist. Rich, juicy, mouthfilling and fresh to the taste with vivacious tropical fruit, a vibrant lime/citrus/summer herb undercurrent and the fruit becoming quite distinctly passionfruit with a touch of freshly cut pineapple, a hint of nectarine and some classic gooseberry notes coming through. With a very, very, long finish, the fruit is definitely the hero in this wine. 19.5/20. WOTW w/e 26Oct2008. 13.5% alc.
Astrolabe Discovery Kekerengu Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) A focussed, intense wine, today showing a touch of bubblegum character together with pear, pawpaw and exotic fruit on the nose. In the palate it's juicy and just a little spritzy with peachy tones and bright vivacious pungent fruits. Opens up beautifully with loads of passionfruit and a slightly oily texture cut by racy acidity. 18.5/20. 13% alc. $26. 16OCt2008.
Bladen Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) A grassy, herbaceous aroma leads into a vibrant lemony palate with so much steely acidity, it seems quite austere at first then it opens up to reveal bright tropical guava, pineapple and passionfruit to balance that initial acid attack. There's a sublte layer of capsicum while delicate summer herbs, reminscent of chervil, linger on the medium-bodied finish. 16/20. 13% alc. $19. 18Oct2008.
Boreham Wood Jane's 08 Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Apple and capsicum on the nose and quite oily textured in the palate, it has that 'exotic' tropical fruit theme running through the wine - passionfruit and feijoa spring to mind with lively acidity adding a tingle to the texture and a touch of chili too. A rich textured wine with a softness to the lasting finish. Lovely drining just on its own. 12.5% alc. $15. 20Jan2009.
Boreham Wood Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) A lighter lemony style with a grainy texture. Initially full of lemon, lime, zest and honey notes, it's a bit imitative of Riesling - but then that SB pungency kicks in and reminds you what you are really drinking. Tropical fruit and juicy citrus follow on from the herbaceous /tomato stalk scent and of the three it has the slightly sweeter palate. 12.5% alc. $18. 20Jan2009.
Boundary Vineyards Rapaura Road Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Citrus and hints of nectarine - seems to be a riper style with tropical nuances of passionfruit, coconut and lime. A strong flavoured savvie with tropical fruit and passionfruit to the fore plus lots of tangy citrus and underlying capsicum, bean and juicy green apple. Full favoured with a slightly grainy texture, an earthy mid palate and perhaps a little sharp - but long, full and juicy with excellent length. $19.95. 15.9% alc. 12May2009.
Brightside Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Pale lemon gold. A pretty perfume of orange jubes and apricot. Warm textured, spicy and lightly viscous, there's fullness and punch to the flavours with stonefruit a touch of spice and underlying pungency. Floral and fruity, lots of user appeal, but for SB aficionados, it falls away a little too quickly on the finish. Made by Kaimira Estate. 16.5/20. 13.5% alc. $16.00. 6Feb2009.
Camshorn Salix Clays Waipara Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Tropical fruit and hints of sweet banana on the nose with capsicum scents in the background. Bright, zesty, citrussy palate, medium-bodied in weigh with grassy, herbaceous capsicum notes on the juicy, pungent finish but perhaps a little 'short' on the finish for the variety. 16/20. 12.5% alc. $26.95. 6Feb2009.
Cape Campbell Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Asparagus as well as exotic tropical fruit on the nose that carries through the palate. Tinged with pineapple, melon and kiwano, it seems to be a warmer climate style, however it's quite grainy texture with a seam of pithy lemon and a flintiness to finish. 15/20. 12.5% alc. $18.95. 6Nov2008.
Churton Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (c) On the nose there is grapefruit and gooseberry and the flavours are still very fresh. This is a bright, zingy wine with loads of fruity flavours complemented by loads of summer herbs. There’s tangelo, passionfruit and grapefruit in a very pure form. Interestingly I get a slight nutty nuance and the finish is dry, very dry. I love its persistence. Very good. Two-years-on tasting. 13.5% alc. $27. 23Jul2010.
Clark Estate Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Flinty aromatics with an herbaceous aura and a slight fumé character too. In the palate it's more lime and orange peel with a juicy, tropical fruit salad (apple, pineapple, melon and citrus) being enjoyed on the lawn with a herbaceous border beside the vegetable plot with snow pea, capsicums and tomato. Excellent food wine. 12.5% alc. $17.50. 20Jan2009.
Clifford Bay Awatere Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Zesty, high-toned, fruit salad aroma. Quite dry in palate abetted by crisp acidity. Lots of typical punchy, savvy flavours from capsicum to citrus to tropical fruit. Fresh, bright and juicy with a zing of pineapple on the finish. Seems very youthful at two years of age. Matched to homemade tomato and basil pizza - just yum. 13% alc. $18.50. 19Feb2009.
Cloudy Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Loads of upfront fresh racy fruit - a touch of grapefruit joins lime over a grassy backbone. I struggle to find fruit descriptors but what this wine has in its favour is its silky texture and with its gravelly, stony undercurrent it is heading in the direction of a Loire wine. Subtle and textural rather than fruity, the texture reminds me a little of Didier Dagueneau's Silex tasted last year (but without any oak). Opens up beautifully in the glass and leaves behind a bright, citrussy finish. 18.5/20. 13.5% alc. $36.95. 16OCt2008.
Cloudy Bay Te Koko Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) The smell of aged Sauvignon Blanc, wild fermented and barrel aged, it has an intriguing funky, almost 'oily' character with dried grass, hay, freeze dried pineapple, grapefruit skin, mandarin, loquat and other exotic yellow skinned fruit. It builds in power and flavour in the mouth with the variety's typical pungency and the finish is tangy and dry. Fascinating to try. 13.5% alc. $50.99. 10Jul2013.
Corbans Homestead Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) A little sweeter in the context of six Pernod-Ricard SB's, with bubble-gum esters, this has plenty of flavour and drinkability for its often-specialled $12 price point. A touch of green pea joins tropical fruit on the nose, the flavour is full of gooseberry, juicy red apple, honeyed orange and a touch of herb and it has a classic pungent finish. 'My favourite,' says my 19-year old niece. There you go. 16/20. 12.5% alc. $15.95. 25Sep2008.
Craggy Range Te Muna Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Rich grass and green melon scent. Serve chilled, which enhances the steely backbone, this has crisp lime and apple flavours that flesh out to a toasty stonefruit and pungent herbaceous finish. 18/20. $24. 13% alc. 14Oct2008.
Dashwood Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Pale straw. Fresh, lemony, a hint of lime, freshly squeezed tropical juices and a smidgen of summer herb - the scent just seems a little "dumbed-down". Oily textured in palate - a little floral and musky / floral, perhaps honeysuckle, at first - there seems to be a blend of overripe and underripe fruit in this wine but it is delivering reasonably dry, well balanced juicy drinking - a tasty sauvignon blanc with a deliciously long, full fruity finish that builds on the aftertaste in SB's own special way. With citrus, tropical fruit and herbs and a touch of zesty spice, it is a multi-layered yet approachable style. 18/20. $18.00. 13% alc. 7Sep2008.
Durvillea Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) On the nose there's gooseberry and asparagus. A concentrated, classic, old-fashioned style that's accrued some age as evidenced by the asparagus and canned pea flavours but it still has signs of youth with gooseberry and a touch of grapefruit. Two-years-on tasting. 13% alc. $12.00. 23Jul2010.
Dog Point Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Showing hints of capsicum and asparagus on the nose, this has a big juicy palate full of fleshy ripe fruit with passionfruit, pineapple, nectarine, apple and capsicum. Very dry, crystalline acidity, loads of flavour, building to an intense succulent finish but all the time a fascinating underlying austerity. Possibly one of the best Sauvignon Blancs I have tasted with food. 18.5/20. 13% alc. $23. 16OCt2008.
Dog Point Marlborough Section 94 2008 (c) Grapefruit and nutty mealy scents with a delicate infusion of vanilla and rich sweet flavours that make this seem such a luscious style of Sauvignon Blanc - there's tropical fruit, peaches and caramel with a delicate hint of spicy oak and the grapefruit on the bouquet coming forth again on the finish. A stunning wine that gets better and better with every sip. Hard to resist. Top alternative style in two-years-on tasting. 14% alc. $34.45.23Jul2010.
Eliot Brothers Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Lightly perfumed with herbs on the nose, a little soapy smelling too with capsicum in the background. It's slightly grainy textured and high-toned, although it is quite juicy with a burst of passionfruit, it has a dull mid palate and seems a little unbalanced with the sweetness and the acidity not quite jelling. 13.5% alc. 6.6g/l rs. $14.95. 6Feb2009.
Eradus Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Pale, a little oily in appearance. Vibrantly scented with passionfruit, lime zest, a sweet herbaceousness and perhaps a suggestion of armpit. A little oily in the palate and perhaps a little more dilute than the scent infers but with tropical fruit, melon, lime, a slightly chalkiness, sweetness to the tangy passionfruit filled finish and a citrussy herbaceous twist to the lasting aftertaste it is well-balanced and clean. 13% alc. $19.99. 20Aug2008.
Forrest Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Lifted aroma of citrus with a touch of lemon grass and summer herbs. Crisp yet with an oily veneer to the passionfruit and other exotic tropical fruit, eg kiwano, mingle with sweet citrus with capsicum in the background. Builds to a rich, full, zingy herbaceous finish with tropical fruit the dominant aftertaste. A pleasant glass of wine and particularly good with roasted red capsicum with garlic and basil. 17/20. $22. 13% alc. 2Jan2009.
Fox Junior Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Green passionfruit and lemon aromas prepare the palate for a steely wine - it smells quite sherbetty and youthful. Jam-packed with citrussy flavours and underpinned with gooseberry, this fills out well with something reminiscent of rose petal-tinged melon jam. Citrus make a statement again on the zingy, zesty finish but there's also a lovely roundness that has accrued with age. Two-years-on tasting. 12.5% alc. $19.99. 23Jul2010.
Frizzell Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Full of fragrant tropical fruit on the nose- passionfruit, melon, gooseberry, feijoa and a hint of tangelo - a pleasing fruity softness (if that makes sense) - no screeching acidity on this nose of this little number. Vibrant and punchy, it is crammed with ripe tropical fruit characterised by ripe banana passionfruit with melon, lime and tangy tangelo too. Vivaciously juicy and ultra fruity with a hint of coconut, it is fresh and summery. 4 stars. RRP is $19. 2Mar2009.
Gladstone 12000 Miles Wairarapa Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Zesty citrus and fruit salad on the nose is later joined by capsicum. Seems a little dilute and green in the palate - a perfect salad wine - with lettuce, capsicum, tomato and peppery zest. Apple emerges on the typically pungent finish. 15.5/20. 13% alc. $17.00. 6Feb2009.
Gladstone Wairarapa Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Light lemon gold. Shy on the nose, a little flinty perhaps, with light tropical fruit scents. A little grainy in the palate with sweet citrus and tropical fruit flavours with a bright zesty, lime and pineapple-infused backbone. Lovely fruit but lacks the 'punch' I like to see in the variety. 16/20. 13.3% alc. $24.00. 6Feb2009.
Goldridge Premium Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Pale in colour with bright fruit aromas of passionfruit and tangy lime with a hint of earthy herbaceous on the nose. Bright and vivacious to the taste with fresh acidity balancing the concentrated fruitiness, it is full-bodied for the variety with a smooth texture, richness and pungency. Flavours of citrus, tropical fruit and summer herbs linger for ages. Delivers the expectation that the name "Marlborough" conjures up in your mind. 12.5% alc. $19-$22. 23Apr2009.
Goldwater Wairau Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Served quite chilled, this is crisp and juicy with a lovely juicy backbone of zesty, freshly squeezed citrus, loads of tropical fruit, passionfruit, herbs and a sweet tangy finish. Has extra richness and textural complexity. 13% alc. $17.99. 15Oct2008.
Grass Cove Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Dull citrus aromas and astringent, earthy metallic flavours. It's oily in texture with typical herbaceous flavours of Sauv but less typical green apple fruit. Tasted 20 months after vintage, it seems to have fallen over. 13% alc. 8Dec2009.
Hunters Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Bright and juicy with lime and passionfruit scents. A 'high-toned' savvie, it's bright and vivacious with juicy citrus, tropical fruit, summery herbs and capsicum. It has a lightly oily texture and although more medium-bodied in style than some of its Marlborough neighbours, it has a zesty tingly finish that in true Sauvignon form, is long, long, long. 17/20. 13% alc. $17.95. 6Nov2008.
Huntaway Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Bright, sweet-fruited, tangy, lime and orange blossom aromas with a lovely, sot, almost earthy undercurrent to the juicy passionfruit pineapple, lime and gooseberry flavours. A summer herb infusion and tangy orange comes through on the finish. Lovely texture and flavour - a touch gravelly perhaps - and loads of exciting zing. 18/20. 13% alc. $23.95. 25Sep2008.
Invivo Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) A seemingly soft wine to start, then the sweet citrus acidity comes through, a touch of pineapple too. Fleshy, creamy. A bit of juicy fruit gum and lots of juicy sweet citrus. Quite dry. Clean. Subtle but expansive finish.16.5/20. 13% alc. $24.95. 16Oct2008.
Jackson Estate 'Stich' Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) A toasty style aromatically with passionfruit skin aromas - that toastiness carries through to the palate. A soft, rounded style with a richness to the texture, the flavours are banana passionfruit, tangelo zest, summer herbs, a touch of honey and a bright tangy herbaceous finish. The toastiness does not come from oak. The favourite of six wines tasted together. $22.50. 13% alc. 12May2009.
Julicher Estate Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Stonefruit tending towards apricot on the nose with subtle lemongrass and zest. Plenty of punch in the palate although it is quite subtle to start but opens up beautifully to fill the palate with flavours of orange zest, tropical fruit and bright summer herbs. Bright and tasty with a long, tangy vivacious finish. Te Muna subregion fruit. 17.5/20 14% alc. $20.00. 6Feb2009.
Kaimira Estate Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) A bright zingy aroma full of tropical fruit and sweet citrus. A juicy style - lots of sweet tangy citrus with a lovely, bright herbaceous backbone - it made me think of tangelo and fennel with a hint of lime - and typical Sauvignon Blanc pungency and length. Love the flavours - I can taste my garden in this wine. 18/20. 13.5% alc. $19.00. 6Feb2009.
Karikari Estate Calypso Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Showing some gold to the hue, perhaps because of its age, it's a little toasty on the nose to start but that character dissipates to reveal exotic aromas of passionfruit feijoa and lime with a hint of honey and marmalade on the finish. A soft easy drinking style propped up a little by sugar, perhaps. 12.8% alc. $18. 8Dec2009.
Lawson's Dry Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Immediately approachable and drinkable, this totally user-friendly style is perfumed with tropical fruit, sweet pea and warm leesy scents and there is lots going on in palate with ripe red apple, kiwano, apricot, fleshy peach, pineapple, pawpaw and a smattering of French tarragon. It seems a really ripe spectrum of SB but it's crunchy and fresh with plenty of underlying acidity and herbaceousness to balance the fruit sweetness and a long, flavoursome finish. 13% alc. 18./20. $21.95. 23Aug2008.
Lobster Reef Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) A capsicum gooseberry aroma to start and then tropical fruit takes over. Sweetish flavours though very much in the aroma spectrum with a ripe rounded finish. Flavours are reminiscent of tropical fruit, mandarins and feijoa. It's fresh, fruity, bright and lively and very easy to enjoy - a good example of 2008 Sauv that's drinking well 20 months after vintage. 13.5% alc. $15.95. 8Dec2009.
Mahi Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Pale straw. A rather luscious and powerful fruity aroma - sweet tropical fruit, hints of pineapple and some day lily and summer herbs. A subtle wild yeast funkiness in the background. Fresh, vivacious flavours - lots of apple and citrus (oranges and limes), a touch of peach adding softness to the upfront acidity and there's a richness to the lingering finish where the tropical fruit that filled the nose comes into play. There's a little bit of a herbaceous twist. Altogether it is powerful and long. 17.5/20. 13.5% alc. $19.00. 19Jun2009.
Mahi The Alias Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Wild yeast derived scents with funky vanilla and stonefruit. Soft and creamy in the palate with nice use of oak so it doesn't dominate, flavours of passionfruit, white peach and vanilla, and a lovely infusion of summer herbs. Beautifully balanced. Strong and persistent. Two-years-on tasting. 13.5% alc. $29.90. 23Jul2010.
Main Divide Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Concentrated, full, tropical fruit, sweet pea and herbs on the nose and a crisp almost ‘crunchy’ flavour, like biting into firm but juicy fruit. I taste tangelo, anise-like herbs, melon and stonefruit and the finish is bright and long. Perhaps a little toastiness that has accrued with bottle age and passionfruit lingering on the finish for ages. Made by the team at Pegasus Bay. Top unoaked wine in 'two-years-on tasting'. 13% alc. $19.95. 23Jul2010.
Man O' War Waiheke Island Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Crisp and fresh with a citrussy brightness and a bittersweet summer herb infusion to the gooseberry, apple and pineapple fruit, Has focus and clarity with racy acidity and a grainy texture like you get from freshly squeezed juice. The lemony edge of the finish evolves to stonefruit and tangelo as the mouthfilling flavours linger. Also on a scrap of paper: Gooseberry, herb and a touch of sweat with racy acidity. Quite dry and steely with a stonefruit richness fleshing out the finish. 13.5% alc. $24.00. 29Oct2008.
Margrain Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) A punchy wine, driven by racy acidity with passionfruit galore that is sooned joined by juicy apple, gooseberry and other vibrant tropical fruit - perhaps pineapple. There's an underlying pungent grassiness with hints of summer herbs, the texture is slightly oily and a juicy fruit sweetness completes the package. 16/20. 12.5% alc. $24. 18Oct2008.
Matahiwi Holly Barrel Fermented Wairarapa Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Light gold in colour with obvious (to me) fragrant wild yeast and barrel ferment aromas with roast peach and hokey pokey ice cream - yet quite savoury as well. It a little spritzy on entry to palate, a lemon sherbet-like tickle on the tongue and now the oak is obvious. A broad fat style crammed with exotic South American fruit like guava, cape gooseberry and feijoas. Oak seems overly dominant and for the first time ever, I think I taste blackcurrant in Sauvignon Blanc. The lemony characters detected on entry to the palate come forth again on the finish to linger then that funky peach and hokey pokey too. Do I like it? Not sure. Not as enamoured as I was with the 2008. Vintage conditions, perhaps. ***. A good match with bacon and also with smoked fish pizza. 13% alc. $25.95. 17Oct2009.
Matakana Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) A classic example of a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc that exhibits 'methoxypyrazine', which are part of the capsicum/ bean/asparagus/green coloured vegetal characters of the wine both on the nose and in the palate. Some apple, a touch of lime and a flinty character too - this wine gets more and more zesty exuberance as it opens up in the glass. 16/20. 13% alc. $22.00. 6Feb2009.
Mills Reef Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Full of juicy guava and green melon on the nose, the ripe fruit flavours are propped up by steely acidity with greeen tomatoes and basil coming into play. Long and rich with a funky, mellow yeasty influence developing and pungent gooseberry on the lasting finish. 15.5/20. 13.5% alc. $22.95. 18Oct2008.
Mission Estate Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) A brand new racy, grassy, herbaceous and pungently aromatic sauvignon blanc that is vivaciously vibrant to the taste. Oh so young with apple, lime tropical fruit and bubblegum-like esters, it is slightly oily in texture - like a cape gooseberry oiliness - and there's a nuance of that cape gooseberry flavour too along with capsicum and tomato stalk tugging at the fruit. Add a hint of musk and sweetness to the finish but it never loses touch with its fresh racy acidity. First taste of the vintage. 12.5% alc. $18. 16May2008.
Montana Brancott 'B' Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Soft and slightly oily in the mouth, this is a full-bodied, textural, old-fashioned style - loafs of Marlborough green with apple, pear, capsicum and grass softened perhaps by a deft touch of oak that adds richness. There's almost a stone fruit sweetness to the slightly saline finish. 16/20. 13.5% alc. $34.95. 25Sep2008.
Montana Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Light lemon gold in the glass, this smells so distinctively New Zealand with its pungent grassy, herbaceous aromas and it tastes like it too with its bright, punchy, lime and tangelo flavours infused with green apple, cucumber and fresh summer herbs.. It has a lightly spritzig / fizzy sherbet lolly texture and is full of zingy acidity with just a touch of peachy sweetness on the finish to bring it all into balance. 13.5% alc. $14.99. 15Mar2009.
Morton Estate Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Smelling grassy, crisp and fresh, it has plenty of bright acidity in the palate with classic Savvie flavours of grass, herbs and juicy sweet fruit. It seems quite subtle and 'delicate' in the tasting but has a lasting citrussy finish. 15.5/20. 12.5% alc. $16.00. 6Nov2008.
Morton Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Fabulously aromatic with lime and pineapple on the nose and is immediately rich and flavoursome to the taste with ripe juicy fruit and an orange honey infusion to the bright, fresh, herbaceous flavours. 16/20. 12.5% alc. $17.00. 6Nov2008.
Mud House Swan Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) An intense, juicy textural wine where slightly sweaty armpit (in the nicest possible way) joins the intense passionfruit aromas and the crisp, juicy, tropical fruit flavours have a shimmery, racy, citrussy edge and a long pungent sweet pea finish. There's a touch of oiliness to the texture. Simply stunning. 12.5% alc. $23.99. 1Oct2008.
Muddy Water Growers Series Waipara Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Hard to pick as SB on the nose- hints of vanilla, funky wild yeast, stonefruit and hints of citrus. A warmer style, perhaps because it is made like Chardonnay - creamy textured, juicy with wild yeast, hints of oak and stonefruit - a bit of an earthy backbone but a lovely lifted, vibrant finish where the pungency of herbaceous SB finally asserts itself. $25. 14% alc. 12May2009.
Murdoch James Wairarapa Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Green apple on the nose, and a bittersweet palate with jubes and lemon drop to the fore, some fennel / tarragon-like herbs and a crisp citrussy undercurrent. On the green side of the Sauvignon Blanc spectrum with capsicum, bean, herbs, green apple and lime, it could be a little austere on its own but proved to be a perfect accompaniment to marinated fish. 15/20. 12% alc. $25. 16Oct2008.
Nautilus Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Pale straw. Capsicum mostly and a touch of sweet tropical fruit on the nose. An 'old fashioned' style in the palate - or perhaps positively Marlborough - with capsicum and gooseberry and underlying herbaceousness joined by stonefruit that sweetens the finish. A touch of pineapple brightness too. Rich, juicy, powerful and long. 16.5/20. 13.5% alc. $25.00. 6Feb2009.
Neudorf Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) While the aromas seem a little neutral and mealy and don't pop out of the glass, it is that mouthfeel and subtlety that sets this wine apart. The lovely rounded flavours have a citrussy zing and while the wine is subtle to start, it builds in richness and power with passionfruit, honey and tropical fruit. “Subtle, yet delicious,” is how I summed this wine up.15% fermented on older oak. 14% alc. 18.5/20. Top overall wine in the 'two-years-on tasting'. 23Jul2010.
O:Tu Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) A myriad of aromas and flavours - passionfruit, lime, apricot and a tobacco toastiness, if that makes sense. Mouthfillingly pungent and herbaceous with underlying juicy sweet citrus. Bright, clean, incredibly powerful and long. 4.5stars. 13% alc. $21.95. 29Aug2008.
Passage Rock Waiheke Island Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Richly textured with loads of gooseberry and herbaceous grassy flavours with a juicy tropical fruit finish tending towards those luscious, yellow-skinned tropical guavas. It's dry and crisp and richly refreshing, although a little heady at 14% alcohol butit can be well chilled. Delicious with seared vine tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella and basil salad with a nicoise olive tapenade from the Passage Rock menu. 14% alc. $23.00. 29Oct2008.
Pegasus Bay Sauvignon Semillon 2008 (sc) Concentration is the key to this powerful, punchy, Waipara wine. Aromatic and grassy with vanilla joining the scent. Bright leesy lemony flavours with grapefruit pushing through, yet quite earthy and savoury underneath the bright tropical and citrus fruit. Wild yeast and natural ferment through and through but only the Semillon component sees oak. As this wine evolves after opening, concentrated stonefruit emerges and the wine seems to become rather creamy. It also seems to become more 'delicate' and harmonious too. Two-years-on tasting. $27.95. 23Jul2010. Light gold in colour with perfumed aromas that hint of grapefruit, orange blossom and musk, there's a nice seam of acidity humming through this classic blend with flavours of apricot, nuts, lemongrass, tropical guava and lemony, leesy characters. Slightly oily in texture with wild yeasts and subtle oak adding complexity, it's classy and stylish with a full-bodied finish. 13.5% alc. $31.99. 24Nov2010.
Richmond Plains Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Wow - this is a vibrant, fresh little number - strongly herbaceous with a zesty, citrus undercurrent, a touch oily in texture and all power, power, power. Juicy tropical fruit fills the mouth; there's a touch of orange zest and a delicate herbaceousness. Impressive, approachable and the best I've tasted from this label. I really like the prettiness of the orange zest that lingers after the wine is swallowed, there's a riesling-like honey/lime thing going to - perhaps not a good thing to say about Sauvignon Blanc - but I like it. And it has the Sauvignon Blanc 'Sauvignon Blancness', of course. 17.5/20. 13% alc. $19.95. 22Aug2008.
River Farm Saint Maur Marlbrough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) This is quite restrained on the nose with hints of grapefruit, underlying earthy-like citrus pith and a hint of creamy oak with a lemon-bread sweetness coming through. That gentle softness carries through to the palate where it is obvious there is some use of creamy vanillin oak. Cape gooseberry and melon-like fruit is ripe and sweet with a tingling citrus undercurrent. Some lovely anise-like herbs, eg tarragon and chervil, add the x-factor to the fleshy finish. So much going on - it's leaves an aftertaste like you get after biting into an almost overripe, juicy apricot with hints of banana passionfruit too. This is just mind-blowingly delicious. 18.5/20. 13.5% alc. $29.00. 19Jun2009.
Riverby Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Grassy citrussy scents with herbs and lemon drops. Some sweetness to the flavours with a lightly spritzy texture, some bubble gum esters, summer herbs, a touch of tropical fruit, an earthy, steely undercurrent and racy acidity. It fleshes out on the finish with fresh tropical fruit emerging on the lingering aftertaste. Very nice with fennel and seafood. 16/20. 13.5% alc. $19.55. 18Oct2008.
Sacred Hill Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Smells deliciously juicy and it tastes bright and vivacious with loads of lime and other juicy citrus. A lightly honeyed oily texture with the zing of tangelo plus an array of summery herbs and typical sauvignon Blanc pungency on the lasting finish. Delicious. 18/20. 12.5% alc. $21. 25Sep2008.
Saint Clair Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Not quite as vibrantly aromatic as this wine has been in past years, it's a little spritzy with bittersweet lemon, plenty of green apple, capsicum and herbs. There's a slightly chalky texture and gooseberry on the expansive finish. 16/20. 13% alc. $20. 25Sep2008.
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 3 '43 Degrees' Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Gooseberry and capsicum on nose carries through to the ripe juicy palate that has a paw-paw/ babaco-like fleshy texture with a yellow tropical fruit brightness all the way through. There a sweet fleshy toastiness, a touch of armpit adds a funky undercurrent and there's a long, juicy, passionfruit-filled finish. A pungent wine. A bolshy wine. A queue-jumper. 18.75/20. 12.5% alc. $27. 16OCt2008.
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 6 'Oh!' Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Scents of passionfruit, lime and boxwood/ cat pee escape from the bottle as soon as the screwcap is removed and the taste is full of exotic tropical fruit together with a fumé / cut grass note. The texture is smooth, rich and creamy and there's an increasingly salty finish that gets the taste buds salivating. Delicious but not overpowering - just perfect. 19.5/20. 5Sep2008.
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 7 'Berry Block' Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) A boisterous aroma of gooseberry, tropical fruit, lime, herbs and just a touch of 'sweat'. Spritzy, bright, vibrant flavours. Juicy, fruity, flesh and sweet, it fills the palate with its expansive flavours together with a funky 'smoky' note (though not an oaky note) underpinned by gooseberry and apple with a grainy acidity and a touch of salinity on the finish. 18.5/20. 12.5% alc. $27. 16OCt2008.
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 18 'Snap Block' Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Although a little restrained on the nose, especially for Saint Clair, this is juicy from the outset, rich and vivaciousness with understated fruit sweetness and a stony, gravelly rippling water undercurrent. Focussed, intense and coyly expressive - it seems a bit linear, but you can feel it wanting to break out and go in all direction and soon it does. Gooseberry, lime, banana passionfruit and sweet pea linger on the beautiful lasting aftertaste. 19/20. 13% alc. $27. 16OCt2008.
Saint Clair Wairau Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) With meadow grass and meadow flower scents and hints of apricot, it's mysteriously quite subdued for what I expected from this label but the palate is juicy and bright with sweet citrus, hints of apricot, apple and herbs. There's an interesting sweet / sour thing going on - I like wines like this with Chinese sweet and sour dishes. Two-years-on tasting. 13% alc. $32.95. 23Jul2010.
Seifried Winemakers Collection Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) More of a classical style, it has soft herbaceous aromas with juicy gooseberry, melon and a touch of armpit too and a bright, textural, full-bodied palate crammed with citrus, tropical fruit, lime and apple. Fresh and racy, slightly spritzy, intense. 13.5% alc. $16.99. 8Oct2008.
Sileni Cellar Selection Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) A fruity style with classic gooseberry, herbs, grass, tropical fruit and just a hint of sweat on the nose. Quite an oily texture with just a touch of viscosity and fruit that initially tends towards stonefruit. A little subdued to start - but wait - and all the bright citrus, gooseberry and grassy Sauvignon Blanc flavour is absolutely so there. Tasty, tangy and long. 17.5/20. 12.5% alc. $19.95. 26Dec2008.
Sileni 'The Straits' Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Slightly earthy with subtle hints of capsicum and asparagus mixed with ripe fruit and hints of melon. The capsicum carries through to the palate with hints of asparagus and beans. Citrus lifts the flavour and the zesty finish is slightly astringent and drying. The plasticine detected on the nose comes through on the finish too. $24.95. 12.9% alc. 12May2009.
Soho Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) So pale with just a hint of lemon to the lightly oily hue, there's freshly cut grass on the nose, which is perhaps a little shy for the variety, but there is no doubt from the aroma that this is Sauvignon Blanc. While the nose is not as exuberant as some Sauvignon Blancs that I love, the bright fresh zestiness in the mouth is simply scintillating. Lime and orange zest instils the juicy citrus flavours together with crunchy fruit in the apple, melon and passionfruit spectrum - all so beautifully balanced to that edgy grassy, herbaceous backbone and a long, pungent, last finish where greengage plum / melon / pineapple and lime come into play. Rich and rounded, good acidity, long finish. 18.5/20. 13.5% alc. $21.99. 22Aug2008.
Spinyback Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) A little flint or fumé, perhaps, with capsicum and honey - the nose becomes more and more intense with time. Bright and zesty to the taste with a refreshing exuberance, it's initially quite lemony in the palate - sweetish too - with a tangy honey/citrus infusion and a touch of apple building to a rich, concentrated, tropical fruit finish. 6 grams/litre residual sugar is in balance to the high acidity. 17/20. 13.5% alc. $14.90. 6Feb2009.
Spy Valley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Pungent with sweet pea and grass on the nose and full of tropical fruit and grapefruit in the palate. A racy, high acid style with a vibrancy throughout and underlying vegetal tones - think typical asparagus and snow pea - and a touch of grilled pineapple on the long rich finish which lingers with a tasty, sweet citrus tang. 17.5/20. 13% alc. $16.90. 26Dec2008.
Stoneleigh Rapaura Series Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) There's a little of the locker room coming through on the nose, together with bean and capsicum and it seems a little dilute and pear-like in the palate at first. Very dry and one-dimensional with a 'hollow' mid-palate but opens up to reveal flavours of passionfruit, grapefruit and lime. Just lacks a little excitement compared to the others in the Pernod-Ricard range. Call it a 'food style'. 15/20. 12.5% alc. $26.95. 25Sep2008.
Stoneleigh Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Grass, capsicum, some BO on the nose. A little oily in texture. Gooseberry with some sweetness - perhaps cape gooseberry (and hurrah! my cape gooseberry plant has come back to life), a subtle infusion of soft leaf herbs and clean, green apple acidity build in the palate to a long, pungent, zesty tropical fruit-sweet finish. Chilling brings out a king of tropical guava fruitiness - and makes the wine rather more exciting. Chilling is recommended. 13% alc. 20Dec2008.
Te Mania Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) There's a slight bubblegum ester character to the aroma and while citrus is the initial flavour that comes to mind in the slightly spritzy palate, it becomes quite soft, grainy and earthy with the bounty of the sunmmer garden combining with citrus, gooseberry and stonefruit. Overall it is rich and juicy with classical Sauvignon pungency and a long full finish. 16.5/20. 13% alc. $17.99. 18Oct2008.
Te Mania Reserve Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Lots of oak in this wine - rich, powerful, creamy scent of melon with hints of tropical fruit. A creamy wine in the palate - oak aged, barrel fermented, the works has been thrown at it, yet it still retails the varietal signature of Sauv on the bright zingy finish with melon and tropical fruit with pineapple to the fore. Shows how oak can soften and add complexity to the wine yet underlying bright fresh acidity ensures it presents a very youthful face two years after vintage. Like it. 18.5/20. 12% alc. $24.99. 27Feb2010.
Te Mata Cape Crest Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (D) Straw lemon gold with a smoky, creamy, vanilla bread and tropical fruit aroma enhanced by an intriguing scent from the wild yeasts. The taste is deep and fruity with passionfruit, tropical guava, mangosteen, lime and vanilla bean with spicy oak nuances and textural complexity from the 100% barrel ferment. Inspired by white Bordeaux, this is a rich dry white wine up to 15% Semillon and 2-3% of Sauvignon Gris in the blend. 13% alc. $24.99. 5Aug2009.
The Ned Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) When first opened, this lacked pungency and seemed a little dilute in palate with unbalanced sweetness. Three's a hint of earthiness, perhaps some green bean / asparagus notes making it more 'old fashioned' in style and then heaps of pungency on the finish. But give it a chance and lime and passionfruit explode on the nose and mandarin infuses the sweet-fruited palate. With tropical fruit, citrus zest and a sprinkling of summer herbs, it is lifted, bright and abundantly fruity but not so overpowering that it knocks you for six and perhaps finishes a little short in this respect. Nevertheless it will be a crowd pleaser. 16.5/20. 13.5% alc. $18.99. 23Aug2008.
Ti Point Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Light yellow gold. Rich, ripe peachy scent with lemon zest and grass. Bright and tangy to the taste with zesty citrus to the fore with classical capsicum and a gooseberry/tropical fruit backbone. After time in the glass, there's an interesting grapefruit /honey character emerges. Capsicum dominates the powerful finish. 15.5/20. 13% alc. $21.90. 6Feb2009.
Tinpot Hut Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Citrus on the nose and juicy lime/gooseberry/crushed salad greens/summer herbs balancing the abundant passionfruit flavours. Steely at first becoming soft and textural with a rich, sweet fruited, racy finish. Fruit from the coastal end of the Awatere Valley. 13% alc. $15.99. 8Oct2008.
Two Rivers Convergence Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Very pale coloured but bright and juicy flavoured with tropical fruit, pineapple and summer herb aromas and a grassy herbaceous touch to the stonefruit and tropical fruit flavours with the juicy fruit sweetness balanced by a crisp, tangy, acid spine. 13% alc. $18.99. 15Oct2008.
Two Tracks Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Grapefruit and honey intermingle on the nose with sweeter orange zest and summer herbs. The bright citrussy aromas carry through to the palate to be joined with tropical fruit, herbs and lime. Quite layered with a vegetal mid palate and a ripe fruit finish with tangy starfruit (kiwano) and bubblegum flavours lingering. From the coastal Rarangi subregion of Marlborough, and made by Wither Hills. $17. 13% alc. 12May2009.
Urlar Gladstone Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) When first opened this is pale straw gold coloured wine is quite shy and with the three Urlar wines lined up on the table, I though it could be the Gris from the hint of oak on the scent, so definitely not a leap-out-of-the-glass style. But after a while the distinctive grassy traits of Sauvignon come through on the nose to join baked apple and citrus. It has a soft oily texture in the mouth and builds in power with its richness and concentration with the apple joined by a seam of mandarin with tasty tarragon and Thai basil herbs adding piquancy. Oak adds complexity to the texture without impacting on the delicious juiciness of the wine. Organic wine. 13.8% alc. $22. 3Nov2009.
Villa Maria Reserve Wairau Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Bright straw gold with a gemmy sparkle. Smoky on the nose with a honey/mealy overtone and a fruit aroma spectrum reminiscent of green passionfruit, gooseberry and line. Concentrated in the palate, this full-bodied style with a creamy texture and a prickle of zesty spice with apple and passionfruit filling out the dry flinty finish. It's starting to pick up some peasy notes too. There's no use of oak but the wine spent time on yeast lees. Very tasty right now. 13% alc.$24.99. 20May2009.
Waimea Estate Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Pale straw lemon in colour, this is sweet and juicy smelling with enticing scents of lime, tangelo, pineapple and tarragon, this has loads of appeal with the juicy brightness to the fresh tangy flavours and the abundance of passionfruit on the mouth filling finish. 18.5/20. 13.5% alc. $17.90. 25Dec2008.
Waimea Barrel Fermented Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) A powerful wine that packs a punch, it has rich, oaky, stonefruit-infused aromas and a fine citrus and pineapple backbone to the full-bodied mealy, almost butter caramel flavours with stonefruit and a lovely infusion of herbs and a smoky finish that is rich and long. Loved it. Two-years-on tasting. 13% alc. $21.90. 23Jul2010.
Waimea Nelson Bolitho SV Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Spicy aromas with loads and grapefruit zest and herbs but more woody herbs than summer herbs this character dominates the palate. A dry wine with underlying grainy acidity and full of gooseberry, capsicum, herbs, tomato stalk - definitely in the 'cooler' climate spectrum. A long evolving finish and hints of canned peas too. Two-years-on tasting. 13.5% alc. $21.90. 23Jul2010.
Wild South Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) What I call 'old fashioned' in style, the nose offers up gooseberry and grass with asparagus and capsicum that carry through to the pungent, flavoursome palate. Full of gooseberry, lime, asparagus, bean and capsicum with a slightly grainy texture, a refreshing zesty brightness and a long mouthfilling finish, it is a powerful savvie that can stand up to powerful sauvignon-friendly food. 17.5/20. 13% alc. $17.95. 6Nov2008.
Wither Hills “Rarangi” Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Rich, powerful, pungent and flamboyant, there is no doubting what this pale lemon coloured wine is. It has tropical fruit, nectarine, pineapple and a hint of 'sweat' on the nose and a ripe, fresh juicy palate with limey acidity, abundant passionfruit, a well balanced herbaceous undercurrent and a long, tasty finish. From a single vineyard at Rarangi near the coast at the north east of the plains. 13.5% alc. $25.99/$19.99. 25Mar2009.
Winegrowers of Ara Composite Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) It's distinctly Sauv on nose and straight away you know that is a kiwi rendition, but it is atypically bone dry and the flintiness of the texture is a feature, There's an underlying herb and 'green veg' note - green bean comes to mind - and apple acidity bursts through on the finish. A touch of stonefruit adds complexity. Perfect with freshly picked Marlborough asparagus with a prosciutto wrap, served warm with a lime infused aioli dip. 13% alc. $22. 29Oct2009.
Winegrowers of Ara Pathway Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Lemon is the upfront aroma with lime, herbs and tomato stalk. Citrus all the way through the palate with grapefruit and mandarin to the fore. Marlborough's classic vibrant acidity mingles with flavours of sweet passionfruit, summer herbs and lime. Although it's slightly grainy in texture, it is full-bodied, tasty and long. $14.95. 12.9% alc. 12May2009.
Woollaston Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) A rich wine, some gold to the colour, powerfully scented and mouthfilling flavour of rich fruit and underlying yeast-aged complexities - wild yeast perhaps? Soft, creamy, spicy, balanced, well made, full-bodied style with a fruity passionfruit, peach and citrus finish and underlying grassy notes coming into play with time. Very enjoyable. 18.5/20. 13.5% alc. $18. 16Oct2008.
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