edited by Sue Courtney
Wine Reviews - Sauvignon Blanc
by Sue Courtney
Last updated 27 October 2003
Although some of these tasting notes may be found elsewhere on this site, this page brings together most of my older Sauvignon Blanc tasting notes, listed alphabetically by Producer. Click here for rating systems and abbreviations.
Alana Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Pungent gooseberry aroma. Nicely balanced and weighty in the palate enhanced by a 5% oak handling portion. Apples, gooseberries, spice and subtle herbs. Good length with a fruit sweetness and a creamy texture. 18Sep2001.
Allan Scott Sauvingon Blanc 2001 (sc)
Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Richly herbaceous aromas. Fantastic ripe sauvignon flavours with apples to the fore, zingy herbs and a hint of pungent gooseberry. Tasted 27Aug2001 @ Ata Rangi release tasting. $22.50.
Borthwick Wairarapa Sauvignon Blanc 2001 There's a touch of apocrine on the nose and nice flavours of gooseberry and apple in the palate. A touch of oak adds complexity.
Charles Wiffen Sauvignon Blanc 2001 This is really nice, offering a great mouthful with plenty of pungency and flavours of limes, capsicum, herbs and passionfruit emerging on the fruity finish. Good aciidty and zest. Quite rich, tending towards the luscious factor. Musky apocrine lingers. $15.95. 18/20. Tasted 5Sep2001.
Clifford Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2001 (sc) Sweetly pungent with gooseberry and tropical fruit and a ripe rich finish. 16Aug2001 at the screwcap tasting.
Clifford Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2001 (c) Lovely pungent aromas leap out of the glass, hinting of tropical at first then gooseberry and a smoky, grassy characters. Fleshy in the palate with smoky, grassy fruits and sweet passionfruit emerging on the finish. 17Sep2001.
Cloudy Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2001 A sentimental favourite, the 2001 vintage release continues the excellence from this famous winery. Pale straw with a green tinge, it has a smoky (fumé) aroma and a rich full-bodied palate with classic Marlborough flavours of gooseberry, grass and lemon with underlying passionfruit and hints of musk that linger on the smoky finish. The wine has seen no oak. The smokiness comes from the pungency of the grape itself. NZ$25. 24Sep2001.
Cloudy Bay Te Koko Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Rich and leesy with savoury oak, tobacco and armpit on the smoky nose, it's rich and concentrated in the palate with a spicy backbone and the richness of hokey pokey. 13Oct2003. TBR Feb 2004.
Coopers Creek Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2001 A 5-vineyard blend from the Wairau Valley. Zesty with pineapple, herbs and sweaty pungency. Lovely balance with a sweet pea nuance and delicate citrus undercurrent. Nice richness in palate and zesty finish. Has had about 11% malolactic. $15. 22Oct2001.
Coopers Creek Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Rich textural complexity, very nice balance and flavour with passionfruit, stonefruit and gooseberry and a sweetish finish from the 2.5gms residual sugar. 40% barrel fermentation in 2 + 4 year old oak. Pick of 2 best vineyards, one in Brancott and one on the plains. $20. 22Oct2001.
Craggy Range Avery Vineyard Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Pale lemon in colour, with initial passionfruit, peach and oily summer herb flavours, this is a rich, full-bodied sauvignon with plenty of herbaceous zing, then limey citrus emerges to linger with gooseberry pungency on the warm sweet fruit finish. $20. 6Oct2001.
Craggy Range Old Renwick Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2001 A rich full-bodied SB with a mouthfilling herbaceous/oily richness. Citrus, stone fruit, and a sweaty fruit character on the full rich herbaceous/rich finish. Could be hard to drink more than one glass, though, as it is so rich. $19.95. 17Jan2002.
Dry River Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Shy aroma with nettles and herbs. Very tight at this age of its life. Ripe, rich finish, with classic gooseberry and apple characters emerging, then some stone fruit complexity. A sweet and ripe apple-like finish with lingering herbs and citrus. $22.50. Dry River Release Tasting. 16Sep2001
Drylands Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Really pungent aroma. Gooseberry, passionfruit and lime underpin this classically varietal sauvignon blanc. Tropical fruits emerge and linger with a herbaceous zing and a touch of grannysmith apple. A refreshing fruity wine. The empty glass smells quite toasty. $17.95. 30Jan2002.
Esk Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2001 (Hawkes Bay). Zesty gooseberry and slightly nutty aromas. Fattish wine (from the oak, I guess) with plenty of melon and tropical fruit supported by strong, toasty, citrus and some pear (pineapple) drops and vibrant summer herbs. A long, herbaceous and slightly smoky (fumé) finish. Harvested from three different blocks to enhance the flavour profiles. Each block has been given a different fermentation yeast. 10% has been barrel fermented. 25July2001.
Firstland Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Pale lemon. Pungent gooseberry and herbaceous aromas. A dry savvie with strong gooseberry flavours, a tinge of passionfruit and plenty of acidity. Mouthfilling and flavoursome with good length. $18. 2May2002
Forrest Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2001 (sc)
Framingham Sauvignon Blanc 2001 (sc)
Giesen Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Smoky nuance in the aroma. Flavours of tobacco, apples and citrus. A little sweet. Easy drinking with soft acids. Very ripe. I couldn't detect too many gooseberries however I am told the flavours are like the fresh green gooseberries straight off an Invercargill bush! 6 Jul 2001
Grove Mill Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Just bottled. Fairly closed aroma and quite shy in the palate at first but develops well. Oily texture and slight custard creaminess, green herbs, gooseberry, citrus, hint of pineapple & grassy pungency. Has been subject to partial malolactic and stayed on yeast lees until 2 weeks before bottling. Long & lingering finish. $19.95. 31Oct2001
Hays Lake Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Apple at first on the nose. Then a full richness with peach, lime and a little toastiness. Some oak, perhaps. Wild yeast perhaps as well. An interesting wine with a full rich palate. But bracing acidity lingers in the mouth. $23. 5Dec2001.
Gibbston Valley Central Otago Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Pale coloured, with shy aromas emitting citrus and stonefruits scents, the flavours are full of zingy dry acids, gooseberries and grass and hints of pungent apocrine. It's a long and flavoursome wine with a grassy, dry finish. NZ$23. 24Sep2001.
Huia Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Pale coloured with a leesy, lemon zest bouquet. A wild ferment wine, it is citrus and grassy in the palate with a good intensity of flavour and a herbal lift on the full-bodied, slightly nutty and smoky finish. $21. 24Sep2001.
Hunters Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Vibrant gooseberry and passionfruit flavours with an undercurrent of limey citrus, mouthfilling and long. Tasted 13/1/02 @ Sassi's Restaurant, Ohakune with garlic bread ($2.50) and Oven baked pork fillet with a mango and mint salsa ($20).
Isabel Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Lime and gooseberry aromas. Quite soft in the mouth with sweaty herbs, lemon oil, gooseberry, banana passionfruit, apple, sweet pea, citrus and a hint of tobacco on the hot fumé cut-grass finish. A very good sauvignon blanc with plenty of varietal flavour that waxes and wanes in layers. A very powerful wine with flavours that seem to linger forever in the mouth. May 2002.
Jackson Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2001 (sc)
Jackson Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2001 (cork)
Kemblefield Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Pale straw gold. Crisp, spicy citrus flavours of freshly squeezed grapefruit followed by grilled pineapple and herbs. Bright acidity, good length, full-bodied, concentrated fruit, a biscuity nuance and lots of flavours. Good wine and good drinking over the next 12 months. Pair with gammon steak topped with grilled pineapple. 27Jun2000.
Kim Crawford McLean Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Very pale. Zingy lemon and summer herb aromas with the merest hint of gooseberry / passionfruit. Fresh and crisp like biting into a crisp granny smith apple with lemon juice squeezed over it, but a nice underlying textural quality. Bright summer herbs mingle in with the zesty acidity and there's a hint of stone fruit sweetness and gooseberry with a hot, flinty, 'fumé' connotation. Lingers very well. Tasted on release day, 25 May 2001
Kim Crawford Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Pungent gooseberry and apple aromas. Gooseberry, grassy, a little tropical and plenty of spiced apple flavour lingering on the herbaceous finish. 10/8/2001
Konrad and Conrad Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Ripe and rounded with gooses berry, passion fruit and stonefruits trying to emerge. A classy sauvignon blanc, made by Brent Marris. 18Sep2001.
Lawsons Dry Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Amazingly pungent aromas leap out of the bottle even before the wine has been poured into the glass. Gooseberries, grass and a touch of apocrine. Classic Marlborough. Oily, soft round texture, well balanced acidity, sweet fruits emerging, hints of passionfruit and other tropical fruits. Long lingering qrassy flavours. Tasted 11/8/2001. To be released September 1.
Lincoln Winemakers Sauvignon Blanc 2000 Soft, oily texture, some stone fruit and a hint of gooseberry. Full flavoured with soft acids but a little sweetish for me with fruit heading to the fruit salad spectrum. Lingering finish. 2Aug2001
Linden Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Limey aromas, plenty of acidity, emerging gooseberry, ripe fruits and grass. 17Sep2001.
Lombardi Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Very pale in colour with an apple and herb bouquet. Lifted, limey, bubble-gum and angelica herb flavours. A full-bodied style with a pleasing texture,. A little smoky on the finish. A contrast to the Marlborough style. $19. 24Sep2001.
Martinborough Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Talcy wine, lighter in the palate and very easy to drink with its classic sauvignon flavours. Citrus lingers. $21. 5Dec2001.
Matariki Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Straw gold in colour with grassy aromas. In the palate there's flavours of passionfruit, melon, spicy green apple and a herbaceous twang a bright, oily, acidic (lemon and lime) finish. A riper style than Marlborough with a pear-like texture on the palate and a refreshing finish. Matariki purposely pick some slightly underripe grapes to enhance the green apple character. 21Feb2002.
Mebus Sauvignon Blanc 2001 (Wairarapa). A dry crisp sauvignon blanc with flinty, fumé aromas, sweet fruit and a dry finish. Nicely textures with subtle citrus and fleshy stonefruits filling out on the palate. Subtle and long with some grassy herbaceous notes lingering. 17Sep2001.
Montana Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Apples, lemons and a little chalky in the texture. Quite searing acidity which makes it seem drier in the palate than the Reserve. Fresh cut grass, flowers and some nice gooseberry flavours come through. A smoky lingering finish. 16/20. 27Sep2001.
Montana Reserve Marlborough Vineyard Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2001 A lovely full-bodied sauvignon with grassy, herbaceous, capsicum and sweet lemon flavours at first combining well with the rich oily texture and the honeyed smoky finish. It's quite succulent in the palate with a ripe fruit sweetness, emerging gooseberry and then on the lingering smoky finish some intense passionfruit. A totally drinkable wine. NZ$20. 18.5/20 27Sep2001.
Mt Difficulty Central Otago Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Leesy aromas with sweet pea flowers and tropical fruit. Fat and leesy in the palate too with stone and tropical fruits joining the yeasty flavours and only a faint hint of gooseberry emerging to influence the lingering finish. Quite a different style to what I am used to. 14% $20 10May2002
Mt Riley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2001 There is so much pineapple in this wine. Its so juicy with a warm yeasty backbone. I can just imagine how thirst quenching this wine would be on a hot summers day. Apple-like acidity lingers on finish with some grassy notes. Tasted over two days. The juicy pineapple was much more apparent the first day and now the grassy characters are emerging. Tasted 10/8 and 11/8/2001.
Mudhouse Sauvignon Blanc 2001 This is quite sweet and a little flabby. A simple quaffer, really. Drink up. This wine has had good reviews form other quarters - bottle variation, perhaps? $16.95 Tasted 5Sep2001.
Murdoch James Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Well-coloured sauvignon with a subtle apple aroma. Rich and toasty in palate with spritzy apple and honey complexities joining stone fruit flavours. There's a nice crispness with some pungency, a touch of spice and a herbaceous lifting the finish. It is a clean style with plenty of flavour. 14% alc. $21. 2Oct2001.
Neudorf Sauvignon Blanc 2001 (sc)
Nga Waka Sauvignon Blanc 2001 (Martinborough) A lovely pungent, ripe sauvignon blanc withe a fumé, cut grass aroma and apple, gooseberry and hints of tropical fruit flavours. Lovely richness and concentration and a powerful finish with gooseberrys to the fore. 18Sep2001.
Nautilus Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Smells of citrus jubes. Sweetish tropical fruits with sugary lemon and apple, seems quite light in the palate. Gooseberry emerges on the finish with hints of grass and herbs. Plenty of acid which overpowers the fruit at this stage. $17.95 16.5/20 Tasted 5Sep2001. A bouquet of apples and a touch of grass. Citrus dominant in the palate with dry acidity but good underlying flavour and power. There's a nice honey richness on the grassy finish that is long and lingering with hints of gooseberry and herbs. A very tight sauvignon blanc that I would expect to start opening up early in the new year. $21. 24Sep2001.
Old Vines Southern Valley Te Kauwhata Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Full, creamy textured SB, touch of oiliness and stonefruit richness. Crisp finish where classical SB chars emerge. $16.95 9Dec2001
Old Vines Western Ridge Te Kauwhata Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Baked apple characters at first, then grapey flavours and some herbaceousness emerging.. Prefer the southern Valley $16.95 9Dec2001
Palliser Estate Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Pale coloured with a lemon and herb bouquet. Grassy citrus with apples, herbs and a touch of sweet musk. Very ripe with some pungency emerging on the long finish. Very enjoyable. $21. 24Sep2001. From a screwcap bottle - smells a little oily on the nose. Bright, limey, oily SB with a lovely softness then a fat full richness. $22. 5Dec2001.
Palliser Pencarrow Sauvignon Blanc 2001 This is another top notch effort from Martinborough's Palliser Estate for their 'second-label' wine. Classic sauvignon blanc wine with great pungency and zing and flavours showing juicy apples, herbs, gooseberry and apocrine. 28Aug2001
Quarry Road Te Kauwhata Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Lightly grassy, fullish apple-like sauvignon with a lingering finish. $15.95 9Dec2001
Riverby Sauvignon Blanc 2001 (sc)
Saint Clair Wairau Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Subtle fume and grassy aromas. Ripe, grassy, gooseberry, passionfruit, melons, peaches.capsicum. Classic sauvignon, with a whiff of smoke, a touch of basil. All the flavours and more. Balanced to the hilt. Rich and powerful lingering finish. $17.95 19/20 Tasted 5Sep2001.
Selaks Drylands Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Upfront smoky, fume, gooseberry and musk. Zingy acid, lemon and herbs and an underlyng peach richness that extends the length. Rich and fullbodied with plenty of apocrine muskiness. Sweet finish with oily herbs. Very enjoyable. $17.95 18.5/20 Tasted 5Sep2001.
Selaks Premium Selection Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Plenty of tropical fruit with passionfruit and coconut, then gooseberry, grass and herbs. It's sweet, ripe, spritzy, fresh and zesty. Aug 2001
Seresin Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Pale coloured with a zingy lemon aromas. In the palate there's gooseberry, lemon and powerful herbs. Zest and flavoursome with hints of oak on the finish. 18Sep2001.
Shingle Peak Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Good varietal pungent gooseberry aromas. Soft and round with plenty of citrus and gooseberry flavour. A dry style with a pungent, spicy, long finish. 6 Jul 2001
Soljans Lynham Vineyard Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Lime and tropical fruit with good underlying herbaceousness. Soft acidity with a hint of pineapple on the fleshy finish that has a citrus twist. 6Jul2002.
Spy Valley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2001 'Peasy aromas' in this sweet juicy sauvignon blanc. Quite lemony with fizzy sherbet characters. A light and really friendly style starting to show a little development. Hot, dry, zest finish with kiwifruit and passionfruit, then a pungency that emerges right at the very end. Good spice mouthful that awakens the mouth with a kapow!. 20Jul2002.
Stonecroft Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Pale steely style with a soft backbone. Tropical fruit & apple and good persistent finish with musk and stonefruit emerging. Lovely sweet ripeness on finish with a talcy texture. $19. 16 Feb2002.
Te Mata Cape Crest Sauvignon Blanc 2001 There's no mistaking this variety with its rich sauvignon blanc aromas and flavours. Lovely, mellow, toasty oak adds a full-bodied weighty complexity to the wine while a varietal herbaceous heads to 'sweet pea' filled out with the richness of stonefruit. This is a lovely rich sauvignon blanc with the typical long broad flavours of ripe fruit lingering for an age. A classy wine that has been fermented and aged in predominantly older oak barrels. 13.0% alcohol. ~NZ$25. 26Mar2002.
Te Mata Estate Castle Hill Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2001 This is an outstanding sauvignon blanc from Hawkes Bay and in a blind tasting which included sauvignon blanc from all over New Zealand, I voted this my favourite. Hawkes Bay sauvignon blancs are so under-rated but this wine is just example of why they should not be ignored. It is a classic New Zealand style with musk, gooseberry and herbs and plenty of flavour that lingers on the palate. NZ$18-22. 18.5/20. 16Sep2001.
Twin Islands Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Pale coloured. Softly pungent bouquet and flavours of gooseberries, grass and a touch of passionfruit on the slight sweetish finish. Perhaps not the acidity to carry the 4 grams of residual sugar. $16. 24Sep2001.
Vidal Estate Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Zingy sauvignon with an undercurrent of lime and a sprinkling of white pepper accompanying the herbaceous gooseberry flavours. Good palate weight with the richness of stone fruit while tropical fruits dance on the zingy green herb finish. After a couple of glasses, this wine seems really sweet, however and a little cloying on the finish. I really like Hawkes Bay sauvignon blanc and this an excellent example of the bright and zesty flavours of the Bay. Best accompaniment - freshly harvested Hawkes Bay asparagus. $15. Oct2001
Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Softly pungent with hallmark grassiness and gooseberry but underlying peach richness. Sweet fruit with hints of passionfruit. 'Pink smoker lollies' on finish. Mouthfilling and long. Summer herbs linger with zesty spice. Tasted 11/8/2001
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Lovely wine with great flavour and intensity. Some gooseberry, passionfruit and a little sweetness on the long finish. Classic style of Marlborough sauvignon. Very good. 16Aug2001
Villa Maria Reserve Clifford Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Subtle and floral-like nose. Full and rich in the palate, almost overpowering in intensity. Seems a little developed, with passionfruit filling the mouth, then a very definite fresh pea flavour. Musk developing, then a honeyed complexity with a toastiness on the rich and very long finish. $26. 5Dec2001.
Villa Maria Reserve Wairau Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2001 A dry, citrus-dominant sauvignon blanc with racy lemon and limes, coriander and white peach. A seemingly delicate sauvignon blanc at first but it packs a punch with its bright fruit flavours and concentrated richness on the length. Herbs, citrus and a hint of gooseberry lingers with bready warmth and with the 14.0% alcohol a flush is soon seen on the face of the taster. After a while I also detect some nice pear flavour together with crushed coriander leaf on the very long aftertaste. $26. Oct 2001
Voss Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Ripe and fruit with lovely peach and gooseberry, apples, spice and herbs. A touch of pungency too. Very nice, full and flavoursome. Good palate weight with a touch of bubble gum. Melons emerge to linger on the finish with some herbs. $18. 18Sep2001.
Waipara Springs Sauvignon Blanc 2001 As pale as water. Slightly pungent bouquet. Gooseberry, apple, lemon and herb flavours with a nice oily texture, pungent finish, emerging tropical fruit and a hot fumé, grassy finish. $18. 24Sep2001.
Wairau River Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Sweetly juicy with gooseberry, herbs, zesty acidity and an apple character on the long and pungent finish. Good example. 16Aug2001
West Brook Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Really pungeny, racy, heaps of apocrine. Pineapple & passionfruit emerging. A little nutty. Plenty of herbaceous gooseberry. Classic wine. Rich style. Plenty of acid but well balanced. Long and flavoursome. Top stuff. 18.5 15Aug2001
West Brook Blue Ridge Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Ripe and rich savvy with lovely balance of flavours driven by stone fruit and a rich herbaceousness. This is very drinkable indeed. But perhaps only a one glass wine. $20. 5Dec2001.
Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Developing well in the bottle since last tasted on 16 Aug 2001. Apples and tropical fruit at first but with gooseberry emerging. Zesty spicy fruit. Perhaps lacks the pungency of last year's magnificent effort. 17Sep2001.