WINE REVIEWS: Sauvignon Blanc

There are two styles of sauvignon blanc I enjoy: a fresh, lively style overflowing with fruit andbalanced by a crisp finish that brings a whiff of summer, and a more complex style with subtlebarrel fermentation, texture and interest that pairs well with food and is worth lingering over.



Hunters Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011


Four stars (out of five)

Good value

Fragrant with lively aromas and lovely fruit - guava, cherimoya, a hint of mineral, and a very crisp, almost assertive finish.


Ara Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012


Four stars

Average value

Ebullient, fresh, fragrant, floral and lively, hinting of guava, kiwifruit, passionfruit and mineral with a crisp, lively finish, this is an instant hit of summer in a glass.



Mission Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011 500 ml

$10 ($15 750ml equivalent)

Three and a half stars

Average value

With a hint of mineral, ripe green fruits, herbs and even a suggestion of turmeric, this is a typically lively Marlborough sauvignon.



Churton Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011


Four and a half stars

Good value

One of the few Marlborough sauvignons with some complexity and style, this suggests ripe fresh guava and other green, slightly smoky fruits, and is mouth-filling intense, textural and firmly structured with great length. This will also develop with a couple of years bottle age.


Cloudy Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012


Four and a half stars

Below average value

Possibly New Zealand's most famous wine, this vintage lives up to its reputation. Delicious and wonderfully fragrant with hints of raindrops on hot river stones, sweet passion and stonefruit, a mineral undertone, concentration, texture and lively acidity with a long, rich aftertaste of ripe fruit.


Kim Crawford First Pick Sparkling Sauvignon blanc


Three and a half stars

Average value

A sparkling wine in what looks like a normal screw-cap bottle although it's actually thicker, this has typical sauvignon aromas of mineral and sweet green fruits with a mouth-filling mousse and clean finish.

Easy to open - and close again if you don't want to drink the whole bottle. It keeps its bubbles well for a day or two.



Hunters Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc Limited Release 2011

Four and a half stars

In 1986, and again in 1987 and 1988 Hunters put New Zealand wine, particularly sauvignon blanc, on the world wine map by winning the top award at the Sunday Times Wine Festival inLondon. This limited release wine, complete with a label in the original style, has been made to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the event. It's a rich, mouth-filling wine, concentrated and powerful with oodles of passionfruit, ripe stone fruit and suggestions of nuts, textural with a lively acidity and long finish.


Mudhouse Neal Vineyard Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011


Three and a half stars

Below average value

A single vineyard wine from the highly rated Dillons Point area near Blenheim, this takes a while to open and reveal its aromas. It's tightly structured with lots of fresh green fruits including gooseberries, hints of petrichor (the smell of rain on hot dry ground), and a lively,crisp finish.

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