Quality shines through

New World Wine Awards

The New World Wine Awards Top 50 wines went live in October showcasing wines in the Under $15, Under $20 and Under $25 categories. More than 1000 wines were tasted by a team of nearly 20 judges in late July, narrowing this down to the final selection.

Running for 18 years, these awards resonate with consumers as they focus on wines that we can all afford to enjoy on a regular basis, and are widely available.

I was very interested to try the three Sauvignon blancs on this page as the quality of the vintage definitely shines through.

Wine tasting

Fifteen Dunedin wine lovers gathered on a recent Sunday to contest the annual Blind Chicken wine options competition, run by last year’s winner David Tasker. David took to heart the idea that we need little help to ‘‘stuff it up’’ putting together a classical selection of wines, reflected in the high scoring on the day.

It was hard fought and tight until the very final wine. Alastair McLaren showed great consistency to win with a score of 38 out of 45, edging out Roger Swift by a single point. Yours truly, Brendon Woodford and Warwick Mason shared third spot one point back on 36. Alastair has the honour of hosting next year’s event.

Central Otago Young Winemaker Competition

September saw the running of the 2021 Tonnellerie de Mercurey Central Otago Young Winemaker competition at VinPro in Cromwell. Seven contestants from Otago and one from North Canterbury competed for the opportunity to represent their region at the national finals.

They were tested on a wide range of skills required to be a successful winemaker including laboratory skills, wine industry knowledge, tasting, blending and marketing.

Congratulations to Jordan Moores of Valli who triumphed on the day; also to Hannah Lee, Prophets Rock and Emily Townshend, The Boneline in North Canterbury, who came second and third respectively.

2021 Wairau River Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

Price RRP under $15
Rating Excellent

Perfumed nose, tropical
fruits, fruit pastille,
sweat, grassy notes with
aeration.  Similar notes
appear on the supple
palate, with racy acidity
giving this attractive
vibrancy, neatly
balanced by the sweet
fruit. Gooseberry and
passionfruit appear with
time in the glass, while
the raciness builds,
giving a mouth-
puckering quality that
draws you back for


2021 Seifried Family Estates Nelson Sauvignon Blanc
Price RRP under $15
Rating Excellent

Fascinating nose,
smoky bramble,
smokers lollies, herbs, a
little air brings grassy
notes into play.  With
hints of peas and boiled
sweets, the palate hints
at aged elements yet
this becomes more
‘‘typically’’ SB with
aeration. Not a wine to
whack you in the face,
but good flavour
intensity, integration and
complexity to linger
over. The zestiness
builds with time.


2021 Yealands Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
Price RRP under $15
Rating Excellent to Outstanding

Bold nose of cut
grass and green
capsicum, sweet fruit
perfume, fruit jellies.
Refreshing crispness
to the palate, neatly
balanced by fruit
sweetness. Fruit jelly
again, gooseberry,
excellent balance and
fruit depth flowing to
a delightfully long,
lip-smacking close.
Shows real vibrancy
and appeal. Nicely


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