edited by Sue Courtney
Wine Reviews - Sauvignon Blanc
by Sue Courtney, copyright
Last updated 22 Mar 2006
Although some of these tasting notes may be found elsewhere on this site, this page brings together most of my Sauvignon Blanc tasting notes from the 2003 vintage, listed alphabetically by Producer. Click here for rating systems and abbreviations.
In my notes 'gooseberry' refers to the South Island gooseberry unless otherwise specified. Cape gooseberry and Chinese gooseberry (kiwifruit) are different fruits.
Alan McCorkindale Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) A soft grassy sauvignon blanc with traditional gooseberry pungency. A fairly dry, grassy, herbal wine with a slightly powdery pithy lemon texture, it's a little earthy on the steely finish. 25Aug2003.
Allan Scott Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Apples, citrus, citrus flower, perhaps a touch of honey - a sauvignon blanc on the riesling spectrum at first but it has a rich creamy palate with gooseberry coming forth to linger on the finish. 25Aug2003.
Amisfield Central Otago Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Flint and grass on the nose. Gooseberries, grass, apples, summer herbs, pears and just a hint of sweat in the palate, an absolutely gorgeous silky texture, the subtle oak compounds the body and adds a fumé nuance to the grassy finish. There's a touch of prickly acidity too and an array of complexities with a suggestion of stonefruit, lemons and just a few nuts. A lovely full-bodied wine that lets the grapes speak. You wonder why they grow Sauvignon Blanc in Central Otago - well this is one reason. A super Sauvignon Blanc from Jeff Sinnott, the man that crafted those beautiful Isabel Sauv Blancs in the years past. $23. ***** 15Aug2003.
Auntsfield Long Cow Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Distinctively Marlborough, soft, fresh and slightly oily with apples and limes and a lovely summer herb influence that brightens up a winters day. A smooth textured wine with a touch of tropical fruit on the finish and a lingering pungent, spicy, long aftertaste. Fantastic on its own but food brings out richness in the wine. Imagine a fillet of snapper on a bed of rice that has been infused with sauteed grated carrot, pak choy and freshly pick coriander greens. 13.5% alc. $21.95. 29Jun2004.
Babich Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Nutty yeasty nose - the first screwcapped wine this year to show this trait although last year, wines with this aroma were a dead give-away for the screwcap-closure in a blind tasting. This wine soon opens up, however, to reveal gooseberry and grass on an oily, pungent, weighty palate with a touch of stone fruits, the finish is powerfully, rich, intense and zingy though it is, perhaps, a tad sweet. Give it another month or so. 13%. ***1/2. 21Aug2003.
Belmonte Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Perfumed with passionfruit and a hint of lime, this is a grassy style with quite peasy, green bean, green capsicum flavours in the palate and a tangy citrus finish. Just a little hard and nutty as it ends, it would be ok with the right food. 12.5% alc. 16Apr2004.
Borthwick Wairarapa Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (cork) There's a sweetness to the musky fragrance of this toasty rich, ripe rounded sauvignon, it's full-bodied with tropical fruit and apple. Fantastic mouthfeel and silky texture. Outstanding. 13.5% alc. 21Nov2003.
Cable Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (cork) Shows some slightly developed characters on the nose and some slightly asparagus flavours in the oily palate. Aged on lees for 5 months to give more textural complexity and make it a food style, there's tropical fruit, plum, blackcurrant (the first time I've really got this in Sauv blanc) and a soft spiciness with a touch of sweetness on the finish. Gooseberry flavours linger. Persistent. 12.5% alc. 3gms rs. 26Sep2003.
Cable Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Such a contrast to the last tasting note – is it simply the closure or is it a totally different wine. Vibrant fruit fills the mouth with flavours of lime and passionfruit, there's plenty of bright acidity that has preserved the youthful freshness and the finish is pungent and long. Utterly delicious right now. I'm impressed. 12.5% alc. $23. 20May2004.
Cairnbrae 'The Stones' Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) A grainy textured savvie with gooseberry, green melon, grass and herbs, it's lifted and vibrant with a lively, vivacious, prickly, lemony finish. Refreshing summer drinking. 12.5%, 4gms rs. 8.3 TA. 18Sep2003.
Cairnbrae Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Lots of green, a hint of capsicum / japaleno, with citrus and smoky cut grass on the finish that fills out nicely. A different wine to 'The Stones' but nevertheless this still delivers. 13% alc. $16.95. 14Jul2004.
Cape Campbell Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 Water pale, smelling of apple and citrus on the nose with plenty of passionfruit and sweat in the palate, it’s ripe, full-bodied and pungent with plenty of flavour and length. It’s got terrific palate weight and gooseberry flavours linger with citrus and a touch of Marlborough green. 13% alc. $18.95. AirNZ Gold Medal tasting. 26Nov2003.
Charles Wiffen Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 The first time I tasted this it was double blind - I though it was Pinot Gris based on the pear-like, slightly oily characters on the nose however gooseberry flavours lingered. Today there's citrus on the nose, spice in the palate, there's a touch of honey and lots of herbs. Opens up well to linger with a gooseberry persistence. 18Sep2003.
Church Road Sauvignon Blanc 2003 Bottled 1 day. Pungent gooseberry, passionfruit and slightly sweaty cats-pee aroma, this is fresh with soft acids, an oily texture, bright gooseberry and lemon vivacity with tropical fruit lingering. 40% barrel fermented in old oak. Predominantly Marlborough fruit. 25Aug2003.
Churton Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 Fragrant lemon flower and gooseberry on the nose, this is a dry grassy herbaceous style with soft acids and underlying melon, lots of herbs and zingy citrus and a spicy vibrancy to the finish. Perhaps some tobacco too. Long lingering pungent finish. Serious potential. Dry. 13% 25Aug2003.
Clifford Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Vibrant, juicy, tropical fruits and lemons with a coriander and lemongrass herbaceousness on the full-bodied, textural, smoky flinty finish. 13.5% alc. 5.7gms rs. 25Aug2003.<\P>
Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) It's quite lifted, seemingly more acid than usual, with a toasty passionfruit and gooseberry complexity while musk and lemon grass linger on the grassy herbaceous finish. Bottled 6 days when tasted. 25Aug2003.
Cloudy Bay Te Koko 2003 - Marlborough Made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc, this is straw gold coloured with wild yeast aromas and a rich creamy palate chock full of pineapple and grapefruit, while Sauvignon's fresh, crisp herbaceousness and spicy mellow oak teases the tongue. There's a caramel richness to the weighty, almost luscious finish and the aftertaste is long and mouthfilling. Very vibrant for it's age. 13.5% alc. $37.95. 22Feb2006.
Coopers Creek Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Pale straw with a greeny hue this fresh, vivacious sauvignon smells of tropical fruit, lemon and gooseberry. It's warm and weighty with gooseberry, apple, tropical fruit, melon and grassy flavours, not too aggressive, just juicy and deliciously drinkable in its youth. I drank this wine over several days and the flavours that we think of as classic Marlborough came to the fore. Good now but will be fantastic by Christmas. $16. ***1/2 3July2003.
Coopers Creek Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) From first crop vines of a single vineyard on the north side of the Awatere River. There's more lemon and grapefruit in this wine than in the CC Estate wine (which is leaning towards capsicum when tasted together), silky textured with a bright passionfruit and tropical guava flavour. A fruity sauvignon that has lots of interest. Very good. 13% alc. 21Nov2003.
Craggy Range Avery Vineyard Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Pale and spritzy in the glass. Tropical lemon and herbs, sweetish, quite appealing on the nose. Sweet yet apple-crisp in the palate, it's a spicy zesty sauvignon blanc that would go down pretty well if nicely chilled on a hot summer's day. 3Nov2003.
Craggy Range Old Renwick Vineyard Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Oily, capsicum on the nose, it's got quite unusual pungent fruit flavours but fills out well with melon and gooseberry leading into a classic sauvignon blanc mid-palate but a ripeness of fruit is apparent in the tropical fruit finish that hints of bananas. There's also a character in here I cannot identify, perhaps a hint of bean and there's a saltiness to the finish - some people would call this minerally. 13.5%. 3Nov2003.
Craggy Range Te Muna Road Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Undoubtably sauvignon with its herbal, grassy aroma, this is highly perfumed wine. It's got guava, gooseberry and lemon with lots of exuberance, a powdery texture and green apples and citrus on the finish with just a touch of pear-like sweetness. 13%. 3Nov2003.
Dashwood Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Perhaps some oily tropical fruit and capsicum on the nose. Slightly sweeter in style with zesty lemon, gooseberry and grass, it fills out well with some lovely ripe passionfruit characters coming out on the finish. Drinking nicely now with good summer potential for carefree sunny days. 13% alc. 9Oct2003.
Delegats Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 A fruity, oily aroma of apples and faint gooseberry with mouthfilling gooseberry, melon, grass and pear flavours and a soft, prickly finish. Hints of apple pear linger well. $14.95. *** 14Aug2003.
Dry River Sauvignon Blanc 2003 Pale in colour. Lemon drops, apple, grass and gooseberry on the nose. It's punchy in its palate attack with bright lemon and lime acidity, perhaps a touch of feijoa and lots of summer herbs. The acid softens to finish with a long full sweet yet crisp apple flavour with gooseberry and tropical fruit emerging just as the wine starts to fade. There's a nice grainy texture to this zesty well-balanced wine and the finish is long. 12% alc. 9 Oct2003.
Drylands Winemakers Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 Vibrant as! Zingy tropical fruit, a touch of sweat, sweet lemon, passionfruit, this is just 'classic Marlborough' that the world fell in love with. It's really intense and beautifully balanced, while the silky texture gives great mouthfeel. 25Aug2003. To be released Dec. 2003
Fairhall Downs Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) A light tropical fruit nose, this is zingy to the mouth as the citrus flavours burst forth, then grassy, herbal and gooseberry flavours kick in. Another wine with a powerhouse finish. Ripe, juicy, tropical fruits and pungent passionfruit linger. 12.9% alc. 5gms rs. 25Aug2003.
Forrest Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Shy on the nose, it smells a bit citrus pithy and powdery. It's a pale lemony wine with lots of acidity first up then ripe tropical fruits, a touch of melon and a slightly sweetish grassy finish. Builds in power on the palate and a grassy gooseberry pungency lingers. Much, much better than the 2002 version from this producer. 13% alc. ****. 21Aug2003.
Framingham Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Grapefruit peel on the nose, this is dry and steely with gooseberry, passionfruit and juicy lemon coming to the fore on the crisp and refreshing finish. There's a touch of red capsicum and a powdery texture, perhaps a touch of sweat too as the pungent wine lingers. 18Sep2003.
Francis-Cole Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 Quite concentrated tropical fruit flavours with a musky, spicy connotation, underlying gooseberries, lemon and a classic Marlborough herbal tang. It's spicy, perhaps even a hint of pepper, with a fat, slightly viscous stonefruit juice texture then tropical fruit lingering. There's a hint of tobacco in the dry, fumé like style. No oak. 13% alc. 0gms rs. 25Aug2003.<\P>
Gibbston Valley Central Otago Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Water pale, it smells a little sweet, bubble gum-like (I've identified this in GV wines before) at first, later it's more classic apple and gooseberry. It's sweet in the palate too, quite fruity mid-palate but also some dry, minerally, earthy characters. It's a nicely balanced, mouthfilling wine, multi-layered, with an oily pear, pinot gris-like texture and with every mouthful there's something different - nuts, pears, citrus, apples, spearmint, etc. Gooseberry flavours linger strongly. It will take some chilling and is a style that will go down very well in the GV restaurant. 12.5%. 3Nov2003.
Giesen Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Apples on the nose in this light, spritzy, zest, dry, dry savvie that builds in power on the swarm toasty finish where some juicy passionfruit and pineapple linger together with gooseberry. 25Aug2003.<\P>
Gladstone Wairarapa Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (c) Grass and herbs on the nose, it's an oily style, a tad phenolic and I have a question over whether there is oak. There's gooseberry concentration in the palate and a full rich, powerful finish with just a hint of apples so common in savvies from the Wairarapa region. (Notes checked and yes, there is a 25% barrel ferment component in the wine) 13.5% alc. ***. 21Aug2003.
Gladstone Wairarapa Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Straw gold, smelling of crisp apples and tasting of them too. Good palate weight with a slightly oily texture, citrus and gooseberry leading into a tropical fruit finish with a smattering of fresh sumer herbs. A soft style with good length. Very enjoyable. 25% barrel ferment. Developing well. ****. 13.5% alc. 15May2004.
Goldwater 'New Dog' Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Pale lemon wine with fresh nettle and lemon aromas and crisp gooseberry and lime on a slightly oily texture. It's concentrated and fruity, a little spicy, warm and textural with a lovely lift of bright tropical fruit and pineapple on the dry finish that has a green herbal twist. As the wine sits in the glass, the aromas open up to show more passionfruit, lime and gooseberry. It's got a myriad of flavours and a great finish. I just love those herbs. 13.5% alc. 2.5gm rs. RRP $19.95. ****1/2. 26Sep2003.
Greenhough Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) A richly concentrated sauvignon with a touch of sweat, juicy green apple, smoke, grass and citrus, this is a powerful wine with a rich, full-bodied flavour a satiny texture and an immensely long finish. A terrific follow-on to the outstanding 2002 vintage from this producer. 13.5%. ***** 19Aug2003.
Grove Mill Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Very tight and closed when first opened, the aromas smell of nuts and lemons. At first there seems to be a ton of acid in this wine but as it sits in the glass and lets the flavours emerge it becomes quite fleshy with a good core of juicy pineapple and passionfruit layered with capsicum and red apple. There's just the slightest suggestion of a sweaty character and the wine becomes quite pungent as it lingers. Opened too early in my opinion, give it time to develop a little more in the bottle. It will be ready for Christmas. 12.5% alc. 9Oct2003.
House of Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc 2003 A mouth-filling full-bodied savvie, rich and concentrated gooseberry, peach, passionfruit and grassy herbal notes filling the rich, slightly powdery finish. Crisp yet slightly oily with sweet lemony fruit. This sample was the UK bottling. 12.5% alc. (cork). 25Aug2003.<\P>
Huia Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 An herbaceous nose on the full-bodied, ripe fruited style with lemon, gooseberry and juicy tropical fruit. It finishes dry and wild ferment yeasts add complexity. 18Sep2003.
Isabel Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (cork) A fruity smelling wine, there's apples, citrus zest and a hint of tobacco on the nose. Terrific palate weight with a soft, powdery texture, gooseberries give way to well balanced ripe fruit tending to guavas and tropical fruit on the finish with a sprinkling of coriander or summer herbs and a touch of grapefruit. There's a lot going on in this zesty, exuberant, well-balanced, persistent wine, I rate it highly. 13.5%. 3Nov2003.
Jackson Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Gooseberry to the fore in this grassy herbaceous wine with zingy bot chilli capsicum that is something that comes at the riper end of the passionfruit spectrum, according to winemaker, Mike Paterson. It's also got lemon, tobacco and a steely flintiness on the nose and a long juicy, intense citrus finish. Another goodie. 13% alc. 3gm rs. 25Aug2003.<\P>
Johanneshof Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 A ripe style with sweet melon and gooseberry, it's slightly spicy with a ton of delicious green summer herbs. It's got a soft palate and a slightly sweetish citrus and tropical fruit finish. Stylistically made in a sweeter style, this has 12.5% alc and 11.5gm rs. 18Sep2003.
Kaimira Estate Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Rich and pungent with gooseberry, apples and grassy herbs, this is a powerful, full-bodied style with a touch of stonefruit and pineapple filling out the finish. Excellent length. Great potential. 12% alc. ****1/2. 21Aug2003.
Kawarau Central Otago Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Pale watery lemon, it smells of oily apples and weeds, the oily character carrying through to the palate. There's are plenty of methoxypryrazines - capsicum, grass, nettles and gooseberry - that build to a broad fleshy finish, it will become sweaty with time. There's some astringengy and lots of spicy acidity, the wine seems just a little green. 11.5% alc. 3Nov2003.
Kemblefield Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2003 A vibrant HB savvie with well-defined flavours of pineapples, apples, kiwifruit and lots of lemon. The follow-on is vibrant, long and juicy with a pungent sweatiness developing on the after taste. 13% alc. Dry. 25Aug2003.
Kennedy Point Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 Intense gooseberry on the nose with just a touch of passionfruit and tobacco then in the softly textured palate there is lime over fruit tropical flavours. A riper style of savvie, easy drinking with zingy lime zest and gooseberry lingering. $18. 26Sep2003.
Kerner Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (c) Quite varietal with herb, gooseberry, canned pea and asparagus aromas of a developing savvy. Good acidity, lots of flavour with a spiciness coming through and a long, sweetly pungent, slightly creamy finish. A little earthy and savoury with a nutty, overtone and lots of zesty spice. A quite complex wine, I wonder if it has some wild yeasts and a little oak. Enjoy with food. 13% alc. $19.95. 6Jan2005.
Kim Crawford Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Oily, pungent, gooseberry and melon aromas and oily passionfruit flavours in this soft, low acid, high pH Sauvignon Blanc. It's long and smooth with a smoky passionfruit and a little bit of gooseberry lingering and then later the flavour that remains in the mouth is tropical fruit with a hint of banana.. This is the 'first batch' of KC's Sauvignons and is very approachable right now. All of this wine is already in retail and is not being exported. His mainstream wine will be released in August. 24Jul2003.
Kim Crawford Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) This is the mainstream KC savvie now on the market, a regional blend from selected vineyards. A little shy on the nose, there's faint passionfruit and definitely some plum flesh, lime and grass. It's rich, full, spicy and prickly in the mouth with lots of vibrant classic Marlborough gooseberry, grass and oily herbs then a touch of green melon joins in as well. The texture is a little powdery, grainy. It's a beautifully balanced savvie that is dry, ripe and rather delicious and fills out on the finish with a suggestion of toasted stonefruit and the merest hint of hokey pokey, while gooseberry and citrus flavours linger. 12.5% alc. ***** 8Aug2003.
Lake Chalice Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Pale lemon in colour, fairly shy nutty and pear drop aromas, this is soft in the palate with ripe flavours - tropical fruits, dried banana, pineapple chunks, custard apples and a hint of lime. Seems a bit light on the finish but the pungency of the Sauvignon Blanc comes through and lingers well. $18.95 9Jul2003.
Lawson's Dry Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Gooseberries, lemons, grass and herbs on the nose then an explosion of pungent and powerful flavours in the mouth. Gooseberries, lime, pineapple and a prickly spicy grassy herbaceousness on a slightly oily texture and a hint of oak on the smoky toasty finish. Long, rich and pungent. 13% alc. $20.95. ****1/2 19Jul2003.
Martinborough Vineyards 'Pirinoa Block' Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) An aroma of capsicum with apple and orange peel leads into a lovely soft and slightly fat texture with capsicum and citrus flavours that build in power with a bright, zesty, vivacity. It has excellent weight, terrific texture and a good strong finish with lingering gooseberry, citrus, a suggestion of melon and just a touch of musk. 13%. 9Oct2003.
Matua Valley Paretai Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc)Great nose, sweetly aromatic with a hint of grapefruit. There's load of citrus in the palate joining classic Marlborough gooseberries and the finish is rich and ripe. First crop vines from the north bank of the Wairau River with a little Awatere fruit added. 18Sep2003.
Matua Valley Shingle Peak Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Light and juicy with lots of tropical fruit at first, the gooseberry flavours come forth and linger well on the pungent finish. It's lively and easy, a great flavour-filled summer wine. 25Aug2003.<\P>
Main Divide Sauvignon 2003 A blend of Marlborough and Canterbury fruit, straw gold coloured, a fruity little number with bright zesty passionfruit, apple, gooseberry and lime. It has lots of acidity and wouldn't want too much chilling. A portion of barrel-aged Semillon adds weight and fullness to finish and it lingers nicely.12.5% alc. $18.95. 5May2004.
Montana Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 Shy and tight with green herbs on the nose. Nutty and oily in the palate with herbs, gooseberry, a touch of citrus and apples, it's a crisp classic Marlborough style. It finishes dry. 4gms rs. 7.1ta. 10Sep2003.<\P>
Montana Brancott Vineyards 'B' Sauvignon Blanc 2003 Tasting like a year old sauvignon, rich in the palate with a leesy lemony backbone and a long full finish with lingering gooseberry and toasty stonefruit, with nicely balanced citrus tartness. 15Sep2004.
Morton Estate Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Pale lemon in colour, soft fruity, peachy aromas with a grassy pungency. Bright and vivacious in the palate with a creamy mouthfeel and lime flavours dominating the flavour, it's bright and zesty upfront but just a little sour on the finish. This would be best to match with pan fried white fish. 13%. 1May2004.
Morton Estate White Label Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Lightly herbaceous scents with a touch of honey, the honey nuances carry through to the herbaceous palate that has a rich, lemony, leesy backbone. Possibly some use of oak, the palate is nicely balanced with citrus coming through to join tropical fruit and nuances of pineapple lingering. I like the finish of this wine and for an older vintage (when tasted) it has some appeal. 13% alc. 6Jan2005.
Morworth Estate Vineyard Selection Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Bright straw. Herbs on the nose with lime, there's a nutty scent too. Good mouthfeel with flavours in the grapefruit and riper pineapple realm then lime, gooseberry and bright zesty flavours that linger. It's a little sweeter than some of the other savvies but the acidity comes forth on the finish to balance it nicely. Good length. 1May2004. 3.5 g/L rs. 12.5% alc. $19.
Mount Riley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 It's ripe smelling with pear, gooseberry, melon and citrus, it's soft in the palate and a little sweet on the finish but underlying citrus balances this well. There's a touch of riper spectrum flavours - stonefruit and melon - on the slightly fumé finish. An easy drinking approachable style, tbr Oct 1. 13% alc. 18Sep2003.
Mud House Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Shy with faint gooseberry on the nose, it seems quite perfumed in the mouth. It's a little soft and lacks acidity, building up to a slightly sweetish fruit salad finish. 12.5%. ***. 21Aug2003.
Murdoch James Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc). There's an intriguing horned melon and passionfruit-like aroma in this sweetly pungent style that has lots of vibrant mouth-filling fruit such as green melon, horned melon, guava, lemon and lime and a dry, crisp, fresh and juicy finish that is long and lingering. It's got lots of flavour and is very very good. 12.3% alc. ****1/2 . 24Aug2003.
Mt Difficulty Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Pale straw. Dry, nutty and steely with a packet of teeth enamel-stripping acidity, green gooseberries galore, capsicum, just a smidgen of tropical fruit, very tight and citrussy, the dry acidity dominates at this stage with just a hint of a sweaty character alongside green apples on the finish. 13% alc. 19Mar2004.
Mt Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2003 Hints of oak, pineapple and tropical fruit on the nose with a mealy richness and just a touch of sweet pea. With hints of fresh green pea in the palate it is showing more development than many savvies of this age, however it's still bright and fruity with creamy texture giving good mouthfeel, and a lifted lemony finish. 13% alc. 2Apr2004.
Nautilus Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (cork) Slightly sweaty, slightly nutty nose, there's a seam of sweetness running through the wine. Gooseberry, just a hint of lemon and a touch of honey, it fits into the richer capsicum spectrum. Full-bodied and pungent, it's till rather tight and nutty but sweet melon and citrus fleshes out the finish. 12.5% alc. 3.5gms rs. 18Sep2003.
Ngatarawa Glazebrook Marlborugh Sauvignon Blanc 2003 There's some lovely juicy lime in this easy drinking, approachable style that has grass, gooseberry, capsicum and tropical fruit, in fact a whole range of flavours in the sauvignon blanc spectrum. It's got a great finish to, rich , dry and with good palate texture. 13Oct2003.
Nga Waka Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Green, grassy and herbal with an oily texture that really fills out in palate, flavours of baked apple, gooseberry, honeydew melon and citrus with hints of grapefruit on the nutty, slightly lees-influenced finish. The bright, green fruit flavours emerge again to linger. A big rich wine with good integration, one to match to food. 13% alc. $25. 14Jul2004.
Nikau Point Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) It is so citrussy it almost smells like Riesling but the taste tells you it is Sauvignon Blanc. It is crisp and refreshing with lemon and grapefruit citrus, apples, gooseberry and capsicum. The most outstanding thing about this wine is its rich fruity texture. Try with a crisp, roast vege salad. Citrus, apple, gooseberry, capsicum, herbs, a palate reviver with terrific length and a lingering pungent flavour. Very good. 13.5% alc.13Feb2004.
Nobilo Grand Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2003 A rich full-bodied savvie, quite mouthfilling with a creamy texture. Slightly lemony with hints of green capsicum and rich tropical fruit on the lingering finish. Steely backbone. Good food wine. 13%. 16Apr2004.
Nobilo Icon Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (cork) A bit shy on the nose at first, there's a hint of pears in this powdery textured wine that has underlying melon and tropical fruit, classic herbal flavours, emerging pungent gooseberry, spicy melon and a slightly smoky nuance. A multi-layered wine that is full-bodied and rich with a tropical, grassy finish. 13%. 25Aug2003.
Northrow Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Very pale lemon. Classically pungent sauvignon nose and a soft, full flavoured and scintillating palate. Apple, capsicum, gooseberry and explosive flavours of tropical fruit with hints of feijoa and grassy herbs on the finish on the smoky, flinty finish that has a twist of lemon. Another new label but the winemaking skills of Villa Maria's George Geris are behind this wine which probably explains why it's such a terrific sauvignon blanc. It has those 'layers' that everyone wants, delivering flavour variation in every mouthful that slips down ever so easily. Very impressive. 13.5% 16Oct2003.
Odyssey Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (c) This reeks of grapefruit and it just a tad sweetish in the palate with that dominating citrus flavour, it seems more Riesling with its lush citrus and tropical fruit, but with lots of body. I sense a touch of honey on the finish as well. A tangentable style (i.e. it has gone off on a tangent), it is certainly makes and enjoyable drink but is nowhere near classic. 13.4% alc. ***. 21Aug2003.
Okahu Estate Te Kauwhata Sauvignon Blanc 2003 A soft tropical style, very fruity up-front but the melon and herbaceous flavours kick in on the palate, which has a grainy pear-like texture. Tasted again I find it to be herbal with lots of citrussy spice and underlying gooseberry. It's a sweeter style with 14gms residual sugar. *** 24Aug2003.
Okahu Estate ' Shipwreck Bay' Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (cork) Sulphur dominates the nose and palate of this lemon gold wine, it's pungent rich and nutty. As the sulphur blows off it reveals a fruity, oily textured wine with banana passionfruit, a touch of pineapple, apple and gooseberry lingering on the drying finish. There's a struck match character throughout. 12%. 3Nov2003.
Omaka Springs Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) It's slightly toasty on the nose with ripe sweaty fruit, concentrated citrus and herb with grapefruit and zingy spice and then passionfruit. If finishes dry even though there's 4.4gms rs. 12.1% alc. 10% Semillon in the blend. 25Aug2003.<\P>
Palliser Estate Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Pale. Faint nettles on the nose. Dry to the taste with apple, it's quite herbaceous at first but quickly soon opens up to a full rich palate revealing its stonefruit fruitiness and a little honey with a crisp acid backbone. Will be lovely with a bit of time, say 2-3 months. ****1/2. Screwcap. 8Dec2003.
Ra Nui Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Tropical fruit, grass and herbs on the nose, it's smells fruity and ripe. There's good acidity in the palate with lemons, limes and apples in this slightly oily textured weighty wine that has a vibrantly fruity finish filling out with classic gooseberry and tropical fruit flavours, then a touch of pineapple and herbs on the grassy finish. A wine with layers of flavour and lots going on. 20Aug2003. ****. 21Aug2003.
Riverby Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Nutty citrus on the nose with hints of musky sweat. A zippy, herbaceous, warm oily textured wine with lots of Marlborough green, gooseberry, greengage, capsicum and lime. Terrific length with a zesty crispness. Later some tropical fruit appears and the empty glass has a distinct passionfruit note. 24Feb2004.
Rongopai Te Kauwhata Sauvignon Blanc 2003 A year on from vintage when tasted, a crisp wine with green fruits but some developed vegetal characters now coming into the wine to subdue its former youthful exuberance. 13% alc. $16.95. Cork. 14Jul2004.
Sacred Hill Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) A soft grassy savvie with a fruit salad perfume on the nose, it's fruity and herbaceous in the palate, perhaps a tad metallic and with a lemon finish. Juicy fruit flavours linger on the soft, slightly grainy-textured finish. 13% alc. *** 21Aug2003.
Saint Clair Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Slightly sweaty, grassy, it's a bit shy at the start but builds in the palate to a rich, powerful finish. Limes, kiwifruit, passionfruit, it's a little earthy and has a toasty concentration and a prickly zesty finish. 5.3gms rs. 13% alc. 7.7 TA. 25Aug2003.
Saint Clair Wairau Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Green melon and a delicate hint of smoke on the nose, this has just a hint of that Marlborough sweat that people either love or hate. It's a powdery-textured wine that builds up in power with its rich concentration of gooseberry, passionfruit and grassy flavours to become quite harmonious as it lingers with flavours of sweet summer herbs and bitter lemon jubes. Another masterpiece from Saint Clair that will unfold beautifully in the next few months. 13% alc. 13% alc.***** 21Aug2003.
Saint Clair Vicars Choice Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Soapy, slightly floral aromatics with underlying asparagus, the asparagus is much more to the fore in the palate together with apples. Classic grassy, gooseberry flavours emerge and the finish is full and pungent, however the overly developed aromas detract for me. 12.5%alc. 4.6g/L rs. $16.95. 6Jan2005.
Saints Marlborough Awatere Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Aromas of sweet summer herbs, citrus and ripe gooseberry on the nose, this wine shows lovely ripe clean fruit as it flows seamlessy across the palate. It's tropical, spicy and packs a good punch with all sorts of citrus and green flavours of fresh summer herbs - coriander, lemon grass, basil - and capsicums with gooseberry and guava joining passionfruit and pineapple on the finish. It's beautifully balanced and delightful to drink. 13% alc. ***** 8Aug2003.
Sanctuary Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) A soft, zingy wine that builds with its delicious acidity and gooseberry richness, its got a myriad of flavours and will be one of the great well-priced Sauvignon Blancs. Limes, tropical fruit and a dry zest finish with just a touch of sweat. Dry. 12.5% alc. $16.95. 25Aug2003.
Selaks Premium Selection Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 Upfront, juicy, gooseberry and tropical fruits, zest citrus, the has a delicious vibrancy and a juicy, sweet mouth-gilling finish. Very good and best value for money at RRP$14.95. 12.5% 25Aug2003.<\P>
Selaks Founders Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 A wine that combines the grassiness and vibrancy of Marlborough fruit with the mealiness from yeast lees ageing and the influences of the smoky oak. Stonefruits, citrus and passionfruit linger on the finish. A smart wine and a good example of the oak-aged style. 13% alc. $27.95. 8Jun2004.
Shepherds Ridge Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc SB 2003 Pale straw, fruity smelling and driven by its terrifically fruity flavour, it's seemingly soft in acidity but there's a good acid backbone of lime and lemon intertwined with gooseberry, kiwifruit, capsicum & ripe tropical fruit salad. Lovely palate weight, slightly grainy in texture and a dry grassy finish that has terrific length with citrus coming forth to linger. 13% alc. $20.95. 22Oct2003.
Siefried Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Grapefruit, gooseberry, lemon and a touch of herb and honey on the nose, it's dry and steely in the palate with a zingy lemon finish. 25Aug2003.
Siefried Nelson Winemakers Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Oily apple flavours dominate the nose and palate. It's extracted, phenolic and flat. Sampled from only one bottle, I'll find another to ascertain whether it is a wine fault or a bottling fault. 13% **. 21Aug2003.
Seresin Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (c) (pre-release sample) Oak influences the palate of this rich, oily, concentrated style that has gooseberries, grass and zingy citrus on a softly herbaceous, full-bodied palate with just a hint of pungent sweat lingering on the warm finish. A good mouth-filling food wine made from predominantly Sauvignon Blanc blended with a small proportion of Semillon. **** 21Aug2003.
Simon Waghorn Astrolabe Sauvignon Blanc 2003 A savoury flavoured Sauvignon Blanc, pungent gooseberry with a sprinkle of tropical fruit, a little sweaty too. It builds to a toasty ripe finish where's there a nuance of pineapple. Long, lingering, full-bodied and pungently sweaty with just a touch of chilli pepper.. 13% alc. 5gms rs. 25Aug2003.<\P>
Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Another concentrated Savvie with passionfruit and line flavours to the fore. It's ripe, zest and powerful with a juicy fruit juice texture and a vibrant, vivacious, slightly cut grass, smoky, dry, steely finish. I really liked this. 25Aug2003.<\P>
Staetland Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (cork) This has terrific ripe fruit on a lovely texture with good palate weight. There's sweet, ripe gooseberry, passionfruit, a touch of melon and just a subtle sweaty note. Citrus lifts the finish. A multi-layered wine with lots going on. 13.5% alc. 2gms rs. 18Sep2003.
Stonecroft Sauvignon Blanc 2003 Hey! What's this? Didn’t winemaker Alan Limmer say, just two years ago, that we were drinking his last Sauvignon Blanc? "Never say never", says Alan. With the frosts that severely curtailed the 2003 harvest Alan bought some fruit in. "It's difficult to run a winery when you have no grapes to process", he said. These are first crop grapes from a site in Bayview. It's straw gold in colour with subtle stone fruit aromas. Bright and zesty in the palate, crisp and refreshing with citrus and bubble gum esters, a sauvie for those who don't like cats pee. Long stonefruit flavours linger on finish, which is long and dry with a touch of tropical fruit to sweeten the aftertaste. $19. 29Feb2004.
Stoneleigh Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) A seemingly sweeter style with lots of citrus and herbs, lemon and a touch of honey. 25Aug2003.
Te Awa Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (c) With rich, barrel-fermented, oak aged wine scents and wild yeast aromas, it smells more like a creamy vanillin chardonnay than a sauvignon blanc. Leesy lemon and tropical fruit flavours fill the palate in this ripe fruited style with complexity added by the vanillin oak, the pungency of the variety joins the toasty stonefruits on the finish. A big wine and a benchmark for barrel fermented styles. 14% alc. $21.95. 6Jan2005.
Te Kairanga Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Rich, vibrant, pungent, luscious, full of tropical fruit with a hint of limey coconut and lingering passionfruit. Terrific balance. A lively summer drink. It thought it quite 'yum' and very user friendly. Screwcap. **** .8Dec2003.
Te Mania Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (c) Grassy, grainy texture with a touch of a citrus, this has very good acidity just needing a little more time for it to integrate further. A fruity, summery style in which some classic gooseberry and grassy flavours emerge to linger. Great potential to improve in the next couple of months. 12.5% ***1/2. 21Aug2003.
Te Mata Cape Crest Sauvignon Blanc 2003 Straw gold in colour. Mellow smoky oak on the nose with a creamy tropical fruit note. Creamy in the palate with spicy stonefruit richness atop a steely citrus backbone, there's a yeast lees influence and a smoky grilled pineapple flavour lingering. There's a small amount of Sauvignon Gris in this wine. It’s a similar grape to sauvignon blanc with a slightly different flavour profile. It is used to enhance the blend. Barrel fermented. Yeast lees aged. 13.5% alc. $36. 24Feb2004.
Te Mata Woodthorpe Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2003 A rich, voluptuously flavoured Hawkes Bay savvie with gooseberry, lemon and pineapple flavours. It's full-bodied, dry and zingy with a touch of musk and slightly pungent, sweaty stonefruit characters on the finish. Passionfruit and tropical fruit linger. 12.5% alc. 0gms. 25Aug2003.
Terrace Road Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) A soft, slightly oily, lemon pith style with a nice touch of powdery zest, it has a slightly sweetish finish that tends towards toffee as it lingers. The punters will love it. The purists will not. 12.5% alc. ***1/2. 21Aug2003.
The Crossings Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Made from 100% Awatere fruit, there's a smoky nuance to the crisp, grassy, herbaceous wine with good weight and a lovely grainy texture. Stonefruit and passionfruit emerge on the full-bodied, leesy, citrussy finish that has terrific length. 13% alc. 3.4g/L rs. 19Jul2004.
Thornbury Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Pithy lemon on the nose, it's oily and a little butty in its aromatics. Melon, stonefruit, gooseberry and slightly earthy with a pungent full-bodied gooseberry and citrus (lime) and green herb finish. Quite textural with good length. Gooseberry flavours linger. 13% alc. 2.5gm rs. 18Sep2003.
Tohu Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (c) (pre-release sample) A little closed and steely on the nose with vibrant acidity in the palate of this powdery-textured dry tight wine. The finish is long and classically pungent and hints of a stone fruit richness. Just needs a little more time to open up which is why I guess it is not released yet. The 2002 is drinking very well right now. 12.5% alc. 21Aug2003.
Trinity Hill Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) A very pale wine that is very shy on the nose and tastes of oily tropical fruit with a fuller melon-like fleshiness. It's very young and needs time to open up. I went back to this wine a couple of hours later to find hints of tropical fruit on the nose and a grassy, grainy apple flavour with limey acidity on the finish. 24Jul2003.
Twin Islands Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (c) Pale lemon with pungent, sweaty, oily aromas. Oily in texture too and intensely acidic, very limey - almost riesling like in the palate first up - but the gooseberry pungency that takes over indicates its true provenance. Passion fruit, tropical fruit emerge and linger with the lime on the dry powdery finish. As it sits in the glass, the B.O. character becomes more dominant and there's a touch of grean bean too. It's a little phenolic, like is has spent some time on the grape skins. *** 7Aug2003.
Vavasour Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Citrus and gooseberries characterise this lifted style that is quite pungent and rich without being over the top. Full-bodied with some developed peasy flavours just starting to emerge, pungent gooseberry mid palate and a sweet tropical fruit and melon aftertaste, there is good grassy acidity throughout to balance it and a rich creamy finish. 13% alc. $24.95. 6Jan2005.
Villa Maria PB Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Juicy, oily, kiwifruits, talc, like the others it fill out to an explosive finish. 25Aug2003.
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Spicy and prickly in the mouth with feijoa, passionfruit, gooseberry and lots of Marlborough green, it's ripe and mouthfilling with a lengthy finish. Tank sample. 18Sep2003.
Villa Maria Clifford Bay Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc)
Steely. Upfront lime and gooseberry lead into a passionfruit finish with rich, toasty concentration and lots of Marlborough green. Unoaked. 23Sep2003.
Villa Maria Wairau Valley Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Subtle gooseberries on the nose, it's zingy plus in the palate. Dry and steely with hot chilli pepper and classic herbals, gooseberry, citrus, capsicum and apples. It's got terrific fruit weight and richness with some fleshy, mango like flavours emerging. Still unfolding, it opens up quite well in the glass. 8% oak adds weight. Good potential for the new year. 14%. 4Nov2003.
Villa Maria Seddon Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Melon and gooseberries characterise this dry fleshy wine with a core of gooseberry, a hint of citrus and a smoky cut grass finish . It's a powdery textured wine with tropical fruit, melon, passionfruit, citrus and hints of pineapple lingering - a rich sauvignon that I found almost too overpowering to drink on its own, but what a great accompaniment for summer food. 4Nov2003.
Villa Maria Taylors Pass Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) This is what I'd call more 'classic' with its green, grassy, crisp, herbaceous and intense gooseberry aromatics. It's a dry racy wine, slightly grainy textured, with a fantastic array of juicy exuberant fruit from crisp and zingy gooseberry to underlying passionfruit and tropical feijoa with hints of tobacco on the finish. It's a fruit bowl of a wine with terrific palate weight that makes it seem soft and round. This one doesn't need food - if you want to sip on it unaccompanied, it will do quite nicely, thank you. It hides its alcohol well. 14.5%. 4Nov2003.
Waimea Estate Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Crisp, racy, aromatic, honeyed in some respects, lots of broad-leaf grassy flavours with a yeasty influence. It's had 6-8 months yeast lees aging and 5% was fermented in older oak. Soft with good length and drinking well now. 13% alc 19Jul2004.
Waipara Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) A light and fruity Savvie with some Riesling-like traits at first, it's ripe and juicy with gooseberry and passionfruit on the lingering, pungent, grassy finish. Light in the palate at first, it builds up in power toward the finish. Give it a couple more months to intensify. 13% alc. ***1/2. 21Aug2003.
Waipara Springs Waipara Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Shy, powdery smelling with faint citrus on the nose, it's lifted in the palate with lots of citrus at first then filling out with gooseberry and apple on the powdery, grainy texture. The acidity needs time to settle but the finish is grassy and fresh and the lingering flavour is quite pleasant. 13% alc. ***1/2. 21Aug2003.
Wairau River Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Pale straw, is a little sherbety on the nose with a touch of tobacco and dried herbs. Slow to show its flavour potential, there's plenty of citrus with lemon and herbs filling the palate and grapefruit on the finish, it's a dry wine though the aftertaste is of sweet fruit with gooseberry and lemon flavours lingering. 13% alc. $21. 29Aug2004.
West Brook Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Faint pear and citrus on the nose, oily textures, a bit like Pinot Gris but has the gooseberry pungency on the slightly sweetish, very persistent finish. 25Aug2003.<\P>
West Brook Blue Ridge Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) A toasty wine, ripe and round, I like the complexity and richness in this. There's a buttery character to the passionfruit, stonefruit and gooseberries and just a hint of asparagus too. 6Sep2003.
White Rock Wairarapa Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Apples, herbs, limes, even a touch of honey with an ever so slightly viscous texture, this is more like Riesling than Sauvignon Blanc though it has a slightly smoky, fumé finish. It make's a delicious summery drink but for Sauvignon Blanc it is off on a tangent. 13% alc. ***. 21Aug2003.
Whitehaven Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 Rich, mouthfilling, lots of lime and passionfruit flavour, it taste sweet and ripe. There's a touch of sweat on the nose that smells slightly chalky with sweet pea / green bean scent. This is simply a lovely wine with great texture and youthful exuberance. A terrific Sauvignon Blanc. 18Sep2003.
Wither Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) Pale straw in colour, this is sweaty and grassy on the nose with gooseberry, limes, grapefruit, guava, lots of cut grass flavours and a long pungent finish. Good texture, a little powdery right now but that will integrate over the next few months and at the same time the flavours will intensify. Very smart. 13% alc. $20.95. 6Aug2003.
Woollaston Estate Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (sc) With sweet lemon, grass, lemongrass and gooseberry, this is a vibrantly zesty Sauvignon Blanc, quite steely at first but fills out well on the palate. It's going to develop a hint of a pungent sweaty character with time. This is the best yet from Woollaston. I like it! 25Aug2003.