A show of diversity

After making my way through today’s selection, I was left thinking that things are very positive in the world of New Zealand sauvignon blanc.

All current releases, these wines span three vintages with some typically punchy and zesty young wines interspersed with others aiming for a food-friendlier style - it’s not about reinventing the wheel, but allowing diversity of expression, tailored to differing audiences and occasions.

The sub $20 versions are likely to be even more sharply priced on promo.





2019 Hunters
Home Block
sauvignon blanc
Price: $29.99
Rating: Very good
A wisp of smoke and struck 
match lead into a combo of 
gooseberry and passionfruit. 
Leads with a sweet fruit jube 
before typical grassy, 
gooseberry notes flood in: 
some power here. A razor’s 
edge of acidity adds lemony 
citrus before the wine runs to a 
fruit sherbetty zing on the 
close. Crisp and zesty.
2020 Otuwhero Estate
sauvignon blanc
Price: $19.95
Rating: Very good to excellent
Ripe fruited and sweetly fragrant 
nose, passionfruit & feijoa mixing 
with cut grass, capsicum and 
honeysuckle, sweat later. The 
palate highlights red capsicum, 
cut grass and pear, a whisper of 
underlying sweetness before the 
racy acidity kicks into play, 
gooseberry lingering on the 
finish. Zesty, fresh, lots of appeal 
and drinkability.
2018 Domain Road
Central Otago
sauvignon blanc 
Price: $23
Rating: Excellent
Fascinating nose of sweat, 
gooseberry, passionfruit and 
preserved lemon. Nicely creamy 
texture to this, showing excellent 
flavour weight and depth, 
highlighting the passionfruit and 
citrus elements. This neatly 
balances the fresh, zesty 
elements, a supple, creamy and 
complex palate, with a dry yet 
juicy finish with a super-long 
carry. Nicely done.
2019 The Paper
sauvignon blanc 
Price: $35
Rating: Very good to excellent
Sweetly perfumed, fruit jube, lime 
cordial and hints of herb. Leads 
with sweet, red apple and 
nectarine, taking this down a 
less trodden path, before the 
underlying grassy & gooseberry 
notes build. There’s a fruit pith-
like chewiness to the texture, 
before some citrusy notes 
appear on the playfully tangy 
2020 Hunters
sauvignon blanc 
Price: $19.90
Rating: Excellent
Classic gooseberry and cut grass, 
backed by wisps of passionfruit 
and some sweet florality with 
aeration. Drier palate than the 
nose might suggest, gooseberry 
and green capsicum flooding the 
palate with undercurrents of 
lemon and wine gums. Fresh, 
vibrant, mouth-watering tartness 
with sherbetty fruit sweetness on 
the close. Playful.
2019 Durvillea
sauvignon blanc 
Price: $17
Rating: Very good
A subtly expressed nose of fruit 
pastille, white flowers, florality, 
herbaceous hints wafting up, 
sweat and bramble too. 
Greengage plum and brambly 
herbs lead, building in 
crunchiness and raciness as 
gooseberry and cut grass notes 
make their presence felt, with an 
attractively crisp finish. A slow 
starter that grows nicely with 
2018 Church Road
McDonald Series
Barrique Ferment
Hawke’s Bay
sauvignon blanc
Price: $26.59
Rating: Excellent
Immediately different expression 
that doffs its hat to Sancerre. 
Matchstick, a little funk, cedar, 
dry honey, brambles, green bean. 
The palate kicks on with green 
apple, gooseberry, capsicum and 
oak seasoning supported by a 
delightfully creamy and textural 
palate. A charming 
accompaniment to food. 
2020 Jules Taylor
sauvignon blanc 
Price: $24.99
Rating: Excellent
Initially playing in the tropical, 
passionfruit/feijoa spectrum 
rather than overtly herbaceous 
with green herbs and cut grass 
slowly more evident. Crisp and 
zesty palate shifting between 
gooseberry, grass, green apple, 
fruit jube and a little citrus, 
flowing to a racy, fresh close. 
Good flavour intensity, excellent 
length and great appeal. Ticks 
all the right boxes.

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