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Wine Reviews - Sauvignon Blanc
2000 vintage and older
by Sue Courtney
Last updated 24 March 2008

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.

[younger] [2006] [2005] [2004] [2003] [2002] [2001] [2000] [1999] [older] [index]

2000 Vintage [top] [index]

Allan Scott Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2000 Prickly, zingy sauvignon with lemon and herb flavours. Dry with a soft finish. 3.5-4 stars. 12.5% abv. $18.95 FGST 6Jan01

Antinori Mt Nelson Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2000 Pale, juicy, spicy, apples, lemons, quite tasty, nice zing of acidity - orange sherbet. Heaps of acid - unlike the SB that we know and love. $24.95. I liked it but very atypical and a fairly pricey wine. 21 Feb 2001

Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc 2000 - one of the best from Martinborough I just love this wine with its apple, citrus and grassy flavours and it luscious texture. It's long, full and toasty. 18.5/20. Nov 2000

Borthwick Sauvignon Blanc 2000 ($18.95) Talcy, tropical aromas. Softer in the palate and at first lacks the pungency of no.1 Soft and fruity. Light and citrussy, a little residual sugar. Subtle gooseberry and a little apple. Intensifies in the mouth and the finish is very long. Pungent gooseberry lingers and a rich toastiness. 14 Mar 2001

Cairnbrae 'The Stone' Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2000 Rich, honeyed wine with developing sauvignon characters - somewhat reminiscent of some of the flavours I found in an old Cloudy Bay the other night. Sweaty, full and fat. Oak? I do not like these developed characters in such a young sauvignon blanc. This is a 2000 wine after all. 3.5 stars. $17.00 FGST 6Jan01

Chard Farm Sauvignon Blanc 2000 (Central Otago) Pale coloured, grassy aromas with a hint of 'pink bubble gum', vibrant and full in the palate with lashings of passionfruit, pineapple and spiced apples with lingering zesty tangerine. Slightly oily in texture, it's a little flinty character, almost smoky, and pungent herbs linger on the finish, to remind you of this wine's classic varietal heritage. $18. WOTW 1Oct2000.
Soft acids, oily texture, stone fruits, a little complexity, has fattened out somewhat since last tasting. A little hint of apples and a smoky finish. Quite warm in the mouth. $19.95. 7 Feb 2001

Charles Wiffen Sauvignon Blanc 2000 (Marlborough) Distinctive aromatic scents of sauvignon blanc. Rich, oily, peachy texture with hints of passionfruit and gooseberry. An herbaceousness emerging on the finish. 17.5/20. FG Sept99.

Churton Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2000 Rich in the palate with gooseberry, herbs and intense passionfruit. Great weight and texture. Very ripe and very drinkable. Absolutely divine tonight. 28Sep2001.

Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2000 Bright and clear with a greeny tinge. Gooseberry and grassy aromas of great New Zealand sauvignon blanc, unmistakably Marlborough. Soft and dry with an ethereal nutty character. What's the fruit? Apples at first, then gooseberries, a touch of stone fruit, tropical nuances of passionfruit and pineapple and a subtle undercurrent of catty basil. There's a decent amount of acidity characterised by a duet of juicy lemons and limes with a sprinkling of sherbet and a smattering of zingy spice. A toasty richness adds to the palate weight, while the intensifying pungency and power and the full dry finish ensures the flavours tease the tastebuds for a long time after the wine is swallowed. A small proportion was fermented in French oak barriques. 4 g/L rs. 13.5% alc. $25. Benchmark wine. WOTW 26Nov2000.

Coopers Creek Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2000 Water pale with just the slightest lemon tinge around the edge. Sweetly scented with delicate gooseberries and pears yet with enough pungency to make the statement "I'm a sauvignon blanc"'. Zingy and lively on the first sip, the wine rounds out quickly as the acid integrates with the other components. It's quite oily in texture and the suggestions are tropical passionfruit and exotic kiwano (horned melon). And then the gooseberry arrives. Lots of gooseberry, strong and intense. Herbs, too, and sweet yellow capsicum. And a touch of ginger in the final flourish. It's a richly flavoured wine and after it has been swallowed, the flavours linger with passionfruit winning the taste war. First taste of the vintage. 13% alc. 13g/l rs. $15. WOTW 20Aug2000.

Dry River Sauvignon Blanc 2000 ($21.50) is from the North Island region of Martinborough which is about the same parallel as the South Island's famed Marlborough. It's obvious as soon as you taste the wine that it's a different style. The aromas are flinty with ripe peach scents. In the palate the fruit is ripe and peachy accompanied with a touch of apple seed spice then layers and layers of tropical fruits. It is rich and full yet rounded and clean with zingy acids, a sweetish finish and everlasting length. A top notch wine that will not be entered in competitions. 18.5/20 Aug 2000

Esk Valley Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2000 Pungent, sweaty aromas. Dry, mineral, herbaceous with good body and feel. Lovely characters emerging, tropical, orange and lemon citrus, aromatics herbs with some armpit lingering. Great length. Keeps going and going. 18/20 Tasted 30/10/2000

Framingham Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2000 ($16.00) seems slightly sweet with soft acids and a slight oily texture, It abounds with tropical and passionfruit flavours. 16.5/20. Aug 2000

Grove Mill Sauvignon Blanc 2000 Very ripe and almost riesling-like with its citrus acidity but very soon gooseberry and passionfruit flavours emerged to make the statement "I'm Sauvignon Blanc'. 16.5/20. Nov 2000

Isabel Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2000 The wine was very cold, yet the rich flavours held their own. Intense gooseberry, marmalade and zesty spice with hints of passionfruit and some toasty apple on the finish. A very juicy wine. 18.5/20. Nov 2000

Kawarau Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2000 (Central Otago). Pungent aromas, flinty smoky. In the palate mostly stewed apple flavours with a herbal note and gooseberry fruit emerging. Soft but racy acids. Smoky finish. Quite juicy. $17.95. 7 Feb 2001

Kemblefield Oak Aged Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2000 Straw gold. Quite a leesy lemon tangy wine with a slightly caramel innuendo. Green, herbal, slightly vegetal, full-bodied style. Oak adds richness and texture without dominating. Good length. I recommend to drink now and enjoy with food - this is more of a food wine. 27Jun2000.

Lawsons Dry Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2000 Wow! Powerful nose. Heaps of passionfruit and gooseberry leaping out of the glass with a touch of green grass and capsicum. Zingy, yet quite fat in the palate with an oily texture. This is a very good wine and the aromas are great but today the palate doesn't deliver as much as hoped. Perhaps it needs time to settle after bottling. FG Sept99.

Lombardi Barrel Fermented Sauvignon Blanc 2000 A fat, toasty wine with a candy-like flavour and texture. Broad in the palate with a slightly oxidative oak character. $18. 24Sep2001.

Matariki Reserve Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2000 15% Semillon is added to the blend of these 100% hand harvested grapes. Fifty percent of the wine is barrel fermented, staying in the barrels for 9 months. The oak is balanced and integrated. But first take in the attractive creamy barrel ferment aromas. Then the creamy texture on the lovely full-bodied mouthful that has summer meadow (hay) characters, then a melon and apricot richness, then tropical and stone fruit flavours, then the characteristic grassiness of sauvignon blanc and a long, warm leesy finish, while sweetish baked apple flavours linger. This is a lovely food wine enhanced by the richness and longevity of the Semillon. $24.95. 21Feb2002.

Nautilus Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2000 ($19.95) An 'armpits' style with its pungent, almost sweaty, herbaceousness. It's racy and fresh with lively acidity and the capsicum flavours are strong on the finish. 17/20. Aug 2000
Soft, hint of oak? Perhaps more of that grassy, gooseberry, character that we associate with sauv blanc. Prickly acid. Powdery chalky texture. Sweet finish 17.5. 7 Mar 2001

Nobilo Icon Sauvignon Blanc 2000 Yellow gold, quite brilliant. Developed a canned aromas with subtle herbs. Citric acid at first in the mouth. Classic sauvignon blanc characters for its age with pea, sweet pea, and asparagus flavours. A little drying on the pungent finish and developing some softer stonefruit-like tones. Quite moreish and very long. 8Aug2002. $22.

Palliser Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2000 ($21.95) Distinctly Sauvignon - Grass, gooseberry and that 'sweaty' character on the nose. In the palate it is rich and oily with pungent gooseberry and a sweet ripe note. An intense wine - classy stuff. Reminiscent of a great Marlborough wine.. Good acidity a little oak(?) - flinty, smoky character and tending to stone fruit richness? Excellent wine. 14 Mar 2001

Ponder Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2000 ($16.00) Another fine example of what Marlborough can produce. Great aromas of gooseberry and passionfruit and full flavours with passionfruit dominant at first then gooseberry and capsicum following. Nice palate weight in a fat oily style. Excellent zest and a flinty, lively finish with a touch of that hallmark Marlborough herbaceousness. 18.5/20 Aug 2000.

Quarry Road Te Kauwhata Sauvignon Blanc 2000 Even more apple-like than the 2001. Reminiscent of a riesling with a little citrus and honey. Served chilled it is quite refreshing and flavoursome with a herbaceous finish. $14.95 9Dec2001

Saint Clair Awatere Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2000 At first there's oak, which quickly gives way to toasted pineapple and summer meadow. Fruity with a yeasty richness the toasty overtones are really quite delicious. Texturally satisfying, warm yet refreshing. An exciting style. $20. 5Dec2001.

Saint Clair Wairau Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2000 Pungent, oily, good palate weight, some tobacco. Zesty herbs. Smoky finish. Grassy, gooseberry and emerging passionfruit. Flinty finish. Long. Intense, aromatic, classic. No oak aging. Starting to show some developed characters with the rich sauvignon blanc distinctiveness $19.95 Very good. 18-> 13 June 2001

Selaks Premium Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2000 (Gold Medal Easter Show 2000) $14. Brightly acidic, a little but of armpit, sweaty character (perfect), gooseberry, herbaceous, lemon, crisp almost toasty. Mouthfilling, vibrant. Really fills out in the mouth. Long and flavoursome. A well-deserved gold medal. (And much better than the wine we tasted last week). ***** March 2001

Seresin Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2000 Rich, herbaceous, typical Marlborough aromas with appley, barrel ferment hints creeping through. Lifted and spicy with soft citrus lifting the finish. Passionfruit and gooseberry linger with a touch of herbs. 17.5/20. Nov 2000

Stonecroft Sauvignon Blanc 2000 I tried this wine pre-release at the New Zealand Wine trade Fair last September. Then I had found it to have a rich oily texture, crisp spiced apple flavours and great palate weight, flavour and length. But almost 6 months later it had really fattened out with peach and citrus and a hint of a flavour reminiscent of pink bubble gum. It's a complex, soft style with a spicy, citrus finish. The wine is made from a blend of grapes from 2 vineyards - Stonecroft's own plus fruit they buy in from what was the Te Mata Castle Hill Vineyard. It is 100% tank-fermented and is 12.5% alcohol by volume (abv). $19.00. 26Feb2001.

Stoneleigh Sauvignon Blanc 2000 This wine went on to win gold and a trophy at the Air NZ Wine Awards (Nov 2000). It's a big intense wine, with toasty apple-like flavours and other hall-mark Marlborough characters. 17.5/20. Nov 2000

Stoneleigh Raupaura Series Sauvignon Blanc 2000 - a new label for this NZ institution of a brand. Pale lemon. Refreshingly pungent on the nose with stone fruit sherbet and orange/mandarin citrus. A little grassy in the palate and spicy acidity but excellent balance with soft complexities. Sweet fruit on the length with lingering mandarin and peach. Two labels on the front adds to the sophisticated appearance of the elegant Bordeaux bottle. 5% of the wine was aged in old oak for 4 months. RRP --$22.95. I really liked this wine. 5/5. 17 Feb 2001

Te Mata Cape Crest Sauvignon Blanc 2000 is a straw yellow colour and was not immediately recognisable to me as Sauvignon Blanc with its honey and buttery oak aromas. I found lemon, pineapple and buttery herb flavours in the palate with a warm toasty, slightly honeyed finish, perhaps enhanced by the 14% alcohol, while lemon and oaky spice linger as the unmistakeable flavour of Sauvignon now emerges. It is a lovely, mellow wine with a pleasing texture. 13Mar2001.

Te Mata Castle Hill Sauvignon Blanc 2000 ($17) No oak. Softer, broader than the Marlborough - a little dull in comparison, perhaps. Lots of herb characters, a bit of honeycomb, even. Lots of acid. Quite pungent and mouth flin. Dry finish, sherbet. Intense length of gooseberry, and herbs with a toasty overtone. (Previous notes: Aromatic herbs, passionfruit and citrus leap out of the glass and in the palate delicious spices join the array of herbs, which are reminiscent of coriander in flavour. It's clean and fresh and there's even a hint of limes and some solid, fat, peachy fruit. **** March 2001

Torlesse Waipara Sauvignon Blanc 2000 Lifted, almost peach-like flavours, like the bubble flavour of a little new oak. Passionfruit and other tropical nuances emerge and it is a little sweet on the finish. It is a little simple, lacks varietal character and finishes short. 3 stars. 12.5% abv. $17.50. FGST 6Jan01

Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc 2000 A blend of Marlborough and Hawkes Bay fruit. This is a favourite amongst the punters in NZ and overseas, for price, quality and availability. The 2000 vintage is soft and weighty with aromatic herbs and vibrant, zingy, pungent gooseberry and tropical fruits and nary a hint of armpits. I can imagine this becoming quite toasty. 4.9 grams residual sugar. 17.5/20. Tasted 30/10/2000

Villa Maria Cellar Selection 2000 in its new gold label has more intense gooseberry aromas on the nose. It has a weighty, toasty complexity with sweet aromatic gooseberry, passionfruit and zesty citrus all combining to make a delicious drop. There is no oak in this wine. 18//20. Tasted 30/10/2000

Villa Maria Reserve Wairau Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2000 has pungent gooseberry aromas and a lovely fruit balance. It's a weighty wine with stonefruits and tropical fruit emerging. There's a smoky flinty note too and some exotic floral nuance. It thought this wine was delicious and my favourite of the four. 18.5/20. Tasted 30/10/2000

Villa Maria Reserve Clifford Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2000. Pungent, flinty, smoky whiff at first which quickly blew away. Gooseberry, capsicums, herbs - typical Marlborough. Seems a tad sweeter than the Wairau. Fat and fleshy with hints of stone fruits emerging. From past experience I have always found the Clifford Bay to be a slow developer, coming into its own around the February after release. 17.5/20. Tasted 30/10/2000

West Brook Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2000 ($14.95) has pungent aromas which give way to gooseberry and passionfruit, then in the palate grassy citrus and the flowers of summer herbs combine with the ripe fruit flavours. The aftertaste of apples and gooseberry is refreshing. ***** Feb 2001

1999 Vintage [top] [index]

Ata Rangi Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 1999 Zingy gooseberry and a touch of sweet tropical fruit. There's no B.O. and no herbaceous, it is just soft and very drinkable. I can detect a touch of residual sugar. The lingering flavour is tropical fruit with a touch of oak fills the palate out with a pleasing weight and richness. A very enjoyable wine. $22.00. 23Aug99.

Cloudy Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 1999 Pale lemon in colour with rich pungent aromas of ripe gooseberry, passionfruit and freshly mown grass with a tropical fruit fragrance. Well-defined lemon acidity throughout with waves of others flavours coming and going. A suggestion of oak and sweet, sugary, uncooked meringue and an aftertaste reminiscent of tobacco and herbs, slightly tart but sweet at the same time. The warm, rich lingering flavours were gooseberry and ripe pineapple with that hallmark New Zealand sauvignon flavour. 13.5% alc. $24.00. WOTW 7Nov1999.

Cloudy Bay Te Koko Sauvignon Blanc 1999 Strong catspee and yeasty nutty aromas give an intriguing nose. The palate is oily. This is an unusual style. 23Sep2002.

Forrest Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 1999 Pale coloured with a green tinge. The smell is richly aromatic with grassy herbaceous scents, while sweet ripe passionfruit, gooseberry and tropical fruit flavours fill the palate. Soft and gentle but rich and powerful, it retails for about $16.00. Aug99.

Hay's Lake Sauvignon Blanc 1999 Well ccoloured. Quite nose. A pink bubblegum nuance. - terroir? Tightly wound at this stage. Some exotic fruit (loquat). Assertive high acids and lemony finish. Not grassy at all. Finishes full and rounded with excellent lingering flavours, which linger pleasantly. Beautiful balance. 22Sep99.

Hunters Winemakers Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 1999 ($23.95) Pungent, crisp, sweet pea and passionfruit on a layer of subtle creamy oak with juicy gooseberry and green spice. Lovely, refreshing, crisp finish with juicy citrus and that undeniable slightly developed character Sauvignon Blanc lingering. Very long. Very classy. 30 March 2001

Lawsons Dry Hills Sauvignon Blanc 1999 (Marlborough) 60% Barrel ferment, 60% malolactic ferment - served fairly chilled. Quite delicious flavours of grassy passionfruit with a touch of gooseberry. Nice mellow flavours. Oaky notes add complexity. Great length and soft finish with lemon sherbet aftertaste. Tasted 22/12/99 at Kingsley's 'Wines of the Year'.

Palliser Estate Sauvignon Blanc 1999 The Sauvignon Blanc trophy winner in the 1999 Air NZ Wine Awards. I just loved this wine when tried at the Negociants (their agent) Winemakers Tour. When tasted in September, it had a 'sweaty' aroma (of the armpits variety), but this was not present today. Still fairly pungent, though. Delicious ripe fruit in the palate. Something reminiscent of grapefruit, or even limes. And an explosion of flavours including pineapple and apple. A rich, full wine with great breadth. Lovely texture. Very appealing. Tasted 10/11/99.

Peregrine Sauvignon Blanc 1999 Good colour for a 1999 - quite developed compared with a Marlborough SB of the same age. The latter usually are quite pale. The Peregrine is lemon-hued. Faint nose at first, quite mellow scents with peachy, tropical nuances. Pink bubble-gum flavour detected in the palate. Tropical fruit evolves to strong gooseberry on the finish with lingering citrus acidity. Quite dry. Nice weight. 22Sep99.

Stonecroft Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 1999 Zingy in a tropical style. It smells just gorgeous and in the palate there is heaps of passionfruit, banana passionfruit, pineapple and citrus oil flavours. It is clean and fresh and rounded and balanced. It tastes quite delicious on its own but its good palate weight it will stand up to many foods. $19.00. WOTW 12Mar2000.

Te Mata Cape Crest Sauvignon Blanc 1999 Totally barrel fermented in old oak. Zingy and aromatic, the passionfruit aromas are quite pronounced with a touch of b.o. on the first bottle but no hint of this personable scent on the second bottle. Quite crisp in the palate with rock melon flavours coming forth after food. Very dry on the zingy, long finish which is enhanced with some oaky nuances. Another excellent Hawkes Bay sauvignon blanc. 7Mar2000.
Straight from the fridge - nice and chilled on a humid late afternoon. Toasty oak and pineapple at first, but a bit bitter on the finish - I find the oak a little hard. The glass warms up. It is subtlely corked. What a disappointment. 17Dec2001.

Wither Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 1999 Pale lemon colour with ripe gooseberries on the nose and ripe gooseberries in the palate accompanied by a zingy acidity and a touch of passionfruit sweetness on the finish. It is backed up with a satisfying richness and complexity with a little bit of mealiness emerging on the back of the palate and stonefruit emerging on the long finish. 3.5 g/l rs. $19.95. WOTW 5Sep1999.
Sweaty armpits at first on the nose, then ripe gooseberry follows. Classic Marlborough. Lovely flavours. Gooseberry flavours change to passionfruit and peach emerges on the finish. Good acidity leaves a lively sensation in the mouth. Very mouthfilling. Excellent length with a balanced, satisfying richness lingering. Best of the three sauvignon blancs, by far and one of my favourites for current drinking. 12Oct99.

Woodbourne Estate Sauvignon Blanc 1999 Fairly closed nose. Soft grassy, sweet capsicum and a touch of gooseberry zing. Some good textural weight. Aug2000.

Older than 1999 [top] [index]

Cloudy Bay Te Koko Sauvignon Blanc 1997 This wine has a really unusual nose. You scratch your head wondering what on earth it is. Imagine developed sauvignon characters with a wild yeast influence, a barrel ferment complexity and malolactic and oxidative aromas. Toasty and buttery, like caramel, almost. In the palate it is very full, toasty and spicy with sweet stonefruits, hint of pineapple and exotic fruits such as pepino all bound together in a butterscotch wrapping. I think this is a wine one would either love or hate. I think I liked it. (I definitely liked it on a subsequent tasting). 17/20. Nov 2000

Cloudy Bay Te Koko 1998 Pale gold in colour with a stonefruit and floral bouquet. Lifted, honey oak, leesy notes and caramel with hints of hokey pokey and citrus lingering on the mealy finish. A wild yeast, barrel fermented sauvignon blanc, beautifully balanced with great palate weight and texture. 24Sep2001.

Domaine Thomas Sancerre 1998 (Sancerre, Loire Valley, France) $22 Bit of canned sweet pea on the nose. Flinty, smoky. Very intense but developed sauvignon flavours, herbs, peach, tending to pineapple, and citrus. Long and full with a delicious lingering flavour. ****1/2 March 2001

Domaine George Michel Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 1998 Apple aroma. In the palate at first crispy apples then softens to the passionfruit - citrus spectrum of fruit flavours. Fresh, zingy, but soft. Ample acidity. Good herbaceousness, zesty finish with dry, lingering persistence. We had this wine on a hot February day and the wine slightly chilled was just yum and a fitting to barbecued scallops and barbecued red capsicum and red onions. 21/2/99 Rating: Excellent.

Giesen Marlborough Sauvignon 1998: The first wine I tasted from the hot 1998 vintage. A typical sauvignon blanc aroma of gooseberry, cut grass and passionfruit. In the palate an explosion of freshness. Lovely ripe fruit has produced a well balanced wine. What a cracker. Tasted 06/98 *****.

Hunters Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 1998 Distinctly sauvignon on the nose with grapes, grass, sweet ripe tropical fruit and a hint of apple. Sot, fat and rounded in the palate at first then a zingy herbaceousness with waves of citrus, apples, passionfruit, gooseberry and a feijoa-like pungency. Warm, full and rounded with lifted citrus and length of flavour. Grassy finish. $17. WOTW 23May1999.

Kumeu River Sauvignon Blanc 1998 The last to be made in the Kumeu River livery. Pale lemon colour with an oily appearance. Subdued, mellow aroma, later more tropical. In the palate full but not rich. Lovely flavour with some spice from the fermentation in old oak. Soft to medium acids, warm alcohol. Richest in mid-palate. Opens up on the finish with some melon, some lovely tropical fruit and a hit of sweatiness. RRP about $22.00. 22Jul99.

Morton Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 1996 (Gold - Easter Show 1999) $NA Developed, canned pea / canned asparagus aroma. Quite rich and broad in the palate with peach. Quite developed, getting past it. Not rated. March 2001

Peregrine Central Otago Sauvignon Blanc 1998 Herbaceous, passionfruit, clean, fresh, crisp apples - quite yummy. Clean aftertaste, not at all cloying. A hint of tamarillo acidity on the finish with good length and persistency. 1/12/98 Rating: Excellent.

Seresin Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 1997 Eleven years after vintage, this 24-carat gold wine is mellow yet fruity with melon, dried hay, talc, a hint of honeyed bread and absolutely no suggestion of asparagus or peas. Spicy and zesty to the taste with a delicate spritzy tingle, yet a honeyed richness and textural smoothness that has it heading towards luscious. Melon, apple and tropical fruit flavours add sweetness yet the long full, flavoursome finish, with just a hint of smoke, is actually quite dry. There's 7% Semillon in the blend with 14% oak.13% alc. $NA. 21Mar2008.

Tasman Bay Oak Aged Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 1997 Pale lemon in colour with golden glints. First whiff and it is quite buttery from the influence of the oak and the malolactic fermentation then later there's citrus and some floral notes as well. Oily textured with citrus and tropical fruits, a splash of capsicum and a layer of gooseberry. Then the oak appears again leaving a buttery, vanillin finish with a hit of spice. It's quite a rich, full-bodied wine with power at the end of the palate, apparent sweetness and enough acidity to let it develop for another year or so. $15. WOTW 1Aug1999.

Thornbury Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 1998: Pale lemon colour. Typical gooseberry sauvignon aromas with citrus hints. Fresh, tropical fruit flavours with very sweet, ripe fruit lending to apparent sweetness assisted by 4% residual sugar. Medium acidity and medium to high alcohol (13%). A rich (oily), long mouth-filling finish of gooseberry . Quite luscious and a delicioius style for the southern hemisphere summer. Tasted 24/9/98 ****1/2

Villa Maria Villa Maria Cellar Selection Sauvignon Blanc 1998 To me this was the stand-out wine of the tasting. The aroma was gorgeous with scents of ripe passionfruit and other tropical nuances. There was a good level of herbaceous without being overpowering. This wine has a lovely warmth and structure and is very approachable. Well-balanced, the low pH gives apparent acid and 2.8g/l of residual sugar finishes the wine off with a sweetish, lingering, more-ish-ness. The wine is a blend of Marlborough and Hawkes Bay fruit, picked from several vineyards with several pickings from each vineyard. The components were not blended until completion of fermentation. ***** Sep1998.

Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc 1998 This wine is a blend of Marlborough and Hawkes Bay fruit. The hot dry weather produced different characteristics than normal in the Sauvignon Blanc with the Marlborough fruit being more tropical in flavour while the Hawkes Bay fruit has the grassiness normally associated with Marlborough. With the very high sugar there was no point in stop fermenting the wine as the sugar content would have been too high. The wine is very dry, and has butterscotch flavours with an oily richness. **** Sep1998.

Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc 1998 Dumb nose. Flatter wine lacking in crisp acidity (due to hot days and hot nights). Oily phenolics on the nose. Alcohol more obvious. Better on the finish than in the mouth. 12Oct99.

Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc 1997 Starting to develop aged Sauvignon Blanc aromas - perhaps a touch of canned asparagus on the nose and more in the palate. A caramel (glycerol) texture. Lots of acid - think 'green' as in green fields. Good palate. Sweet and ripe. Hints on citrus on the finish. Can also detect ripe gooseberry and tropical nuances. This wine is becoming quite rich and I would suggest having it with food. Asparagus is in season. Try it with a fresh asparagus salad. 12Oct99.

[younger] [2006] [2005] [2004] [2003] [2002] [2001] [2000] [1999] [older] [index]

Index to Varietal Tastings
Chardonnay Gewurztraminer
Pinot Gris Sauvignon Blanc Other Whites
Bubblies Sweeties Pinks
Cabernet dominant Merlot dominant Pinotage
Pinot Noir Shiraz Other Reds

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