Our sole Sauvignon Blanc representative in the Best In Show class this year comes from Marlborough rather than any of the key Northern Hemisphere sites, but our judges loved the way in which this was not necessarily obvious from its profile. With its fresh, sappy, crushed-spring-leaf aromas and limpid, long, vinous yet tender profile in the mouth, this is simply great Sauvignon from an outstanding site rather than one of the overt or flamboyant Marlborough Sauvignons drinkers have become used to (and sometimes bored by). There's no shortage of charm either, though, with its whispered sweet-pea floral notes. Pretty and distracting enough to serve on its own on a warm afternoon, but with all the structure and sap to accompany food well, too. Marlborough is moving on. Drink 2019-2022
This is the top of Villa’s Sauvignon offering. Attractive, fine lime and grapefruit fragrance here, as well as some lighter, almost perfumed notes and fresh, green-leafed herbs. The palate is wrapped in neatly with a nicely cut interplay of concentrated fruit in the nectarine and green-mango spectrum and assertive acidity. A refined style.
The 2018 Single Vineyard Taylors Pass Sauvignon Blanc features greenish notes of celery leaves and green tomatoes, but there's a core of pineapple and citrus fruit. It's medium-bodied, crisp, clean and long, with admirable concentration. Villa Maria is undoubtedly one of New Zealand's great success stories. Proprietor George Fistonich built the winery from nothing, only to almost lose it in receivership in 1985. He and the company rebounded, and it is now a terrific ambassador for New Zealand wine, delivering high quality at a range of price points. (JC)
This is a highly fragrant wine bursting with aromas of lime juice, pineapple rind and honeysuckle, and just a hint of snow pea greenness. It's both chalky and slippery in texture, with a grass and nettle note creeping in on the palate and a long pineapple-rind finish. (CP)
Fresh green herbal notes and a dash of saline add a savory side to the Key lime and green papaya flavors. Shows good intensity and a succulent, juicy finish. (MW)
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