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Wine Reviews - Sauvignon Blanc
2004 vintage
by Sue Courtney
Last updated 8 Sep 2007

[2007] [2006] [2005] [2004] [2003] [2002] [2001] [2000 and older] [index]

Although some of these tasting notes may be found elsewhere on this site, this page brings together most of my 2004 Sauvignon Blanc notes, listed alphabetically by producer. Click here for rating systems and abbreviations.

In my notes 'gooseberry' refers to the South Island green gooseberry unless otherwise specified. Cape gooseberry and Chinese gooseberry (kiwifruit) are different fruits.
Following the wine names, the wine bottle closure is indicated. (sc) = screwcap, (c) = cork, (p) = plastic.

2004 Vintage

Allan Scott Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Smelling slightly peasy, grassy and softly fruity, this is a chalky wine in the palate with asparagus, herbs, ripe apple and sherbet-like citrus. There's a mix of juiciness and astringency on the long rich rounded finish with classic sauv blanc characters coming thru to linger. 12% alc. 26Sep2004.
Water pale without abundant redolence, the crisp chalky acidity and strong citrussy flavours build to a full weighty, slightly creamy palate with a limey juiciness. It takes a while to reveal a classic herbaceous backbone with grass, gooseberries and the Sauvignon Blanc pungency we expect. 12% alc. $19.95. 29Sep2004.

Amor-Bendall Gisborne Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Pungent aromas with sweaty armpits in bucket loads. Lots of fruit with guava, apple and tropical fruit and a long rich pungent finish but there's something unusual going on in the mid-palate. A controversial winner of the Bragato Sauvignon trophy and one that caused a mixed reaction around the room. 12.5% alc. $25.95. 15Sep2004.
Wildly pungent nose of sweat, sweat and more sweat. Spicy to the taste with a mid-palate of citrus skin and herbs then a long sweetish, juicy passionfruit filled finish. 12.5% alc. $26.95. 17Nov2004.

Ashwell Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) There's an herbaceous hint to the oily textured apple flavours with citrus and tropical fruit on a long, dry pungent finish. 19Oct2004.

Astrolabe Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Water pale, richly pungent with classic gooseberry, grass and hints of sweat. Fruity and full with good weight and excellent length, slightly grainy in texture with a dry finish and lingering tropical fruit. Powerful and mouthfilling. 13.5% alc. $17.95. 29Sep2004.
A pale straw colour introduces this toasty sweaty pungent sauvignon blanc that is full of sensational lime, nectarine, tropical fruit and gooseberry flavours wrapped in spicy citrus peel with a 10 minute aftertaste. Crisp, fresh, classy sauv blanc in the unique Kiwi style. Steve Pyne called this a CPR wine, it would bring anyone back to life. 13.5% alc. $16.95. 23Feb2005.

Ata Rangi Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) An oily aroma of gooseberry & apple characterises this full-bodied mouthfilling style with good weight and fruit richness on the finish that is a little herbal with fruit salad sweetness and a juicy aftertaste. 13% alc. $20. 20Sep2004.
Tropical fruit and melon aromas, ripe and juicy with a solid herbaceous grassy backbone with capsicum, greengage plums and citrus with some tropical fruit appearing on the finish to leave a sweet, citrussy, gooseberry aftertaste which enriches as it lingers. A medium-bodied style with a long full finish. 13% alc. $20. 6Jan2005.

Auntsfield Long Cow Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2005 (sc) Toasty, mellow and even a little buttery on the nose. It's smooth and soft in the full-bodied palate and showing a flicker of age. Tropical fruit, pineapple, melon and a crisp apple brightness merge into apricot and stonefruit on the clean, fruit salad aftertaste that has no defining sauvignon pungency, just a pleasing fruity mellowness. At this stage of it's life, it seems more like a delicious pinot gris. 14% alc. $21.75. 8Sep2007.

Babich Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) A sweetish style with ripe tropical fruit flavours hiding a citrus tartness and a lingering grassy herbaceousness on the rich, pungent, full-bodied finish. A nice fruity style for the summer with the dry finish making you want more. 13.5% alc. 15Sep2004.
Very pale. Fruit, pear and melon-like scents with a citrussy backing. A little hard in the palate in some respects with its chalky grainy texture, but lots of appealing gooseberry and grassy acidic characters that give the wine a very dry finish with a touch of tropical fruit emerging as it lingers. 13.5% alc. $19.95. 6Jan2005.
Crisp apple, hints of stonefruit and tropical fruit on the nose lead into oily textured, fruity, slightly grassy flavours with sweetish herbs reminiscent of angelica and lemon grass and a pungent, grassy finish. 13.4% alc. $15.95. 20Jul2005.

Bensen Block Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Pungent classical savvy aromas and crisp and fresh, full grassy flavours and zesty fruit. Beautifully balanced and clean with a smooth texture and a powerfully long finish. It's just the thing to match to fresh asparagus and salad greens. 13% alc. 3 g/L rs. $16.95. 18Oct2004.

Borthwick Wairarapa Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Characterised by citrus, vanilla and caramel on the nose, this is not overly varietal smelling. Citrus abounds in the palate which after the nose is quite zippy and fresh, it starts to open up in the glass to show more varietal characters with sweet fruit overlaying the citrus with plenty of gooseberry and stonefruit and a cool, juicy, earthy aftertaste. It is a little bit sweet and sour and could be quite a good match to Chinese food. 12.5% alc. $18.95. 6Jan2005.

Brookfields Estate Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Slightly oily, talc textured, spicy, apple, citrus and musky, melon flavours, a softer wine than those from Marlborough but with a bright zingy finish. 12.5% alc. $18.95. 14Jul2004.

Burnt Spur Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Fruity smelling with toasty passionfruit aromas and flavours, this is a lovely ripe rounded style with a silky texture and a vibrant fruit finish. 13% alc. $20. 19Oct2004.

Cable Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Immediately fruity and bright with just the slightest hint of a layer of a honey/peachy flavour over the vibrant crisp tropical fruit, passionfruit and apples that linger on the finish. Good length. A tiny proportion (2-3%) of oak. 13% alc. 20Sep2004.
Good varietal aromas of citrus, gooseberry and apple lead into a bright fruity wine in the palate with typical gooseberry and grass, then filling out with melon, stonefruit, tropical fruit and a zesty bite to the finish. It is quite mellow and will have wide appeal. 13% alc. $22. 6Jan2005.

Cairnbrae 'The Stones' Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Gooseberry, grassy, herbaceous scents, light but varietal. A little musky (sweaty) with strong gooseberry and capsicum flavours with some fennel coming through to give an anise-like tinge to the finish. Rich and full with lovely sweet fruit and a spicy zesty aftertaste, this has good acidity and nice balance. Fairly classic. 13% alc. 4 g/L rs. $16.95. 6Jan2005.

Carrick Otago Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Mellow oak & wild yeast flavours with a peachy fruit backbone and even a suggestion of apricot characterise the flavours on entry, it is crisp and fresh in a weighty creamy style with a zingy citrussy herbaceous finish and a lingering aftertaste. The fruit wins in the end. 20% old oak barrel-ferment. 12.5% alc. 20Sep2004.
Very crisp acidity and lemon and gooseberry flavours makes this a lean style compared to Marlborough but with 20% barrel-ferment there is a mellow creaminess to the texture with a steely crispness to the finish with gooseberry lingering on the aftertaste. 12.5% alc. $18.50. 19Sep2005.

Castlecliffs Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Smoky oily aromas, perhaps just a hint of S, then zesty citrus on the nose. Gooseberry and banana-like tropical fruit fill the palate and the fumé (fresh cut grass) finish is long and pungent. 13% alc. $18. 17May2005.

Churton Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Crisp and fresh with buckets of aromas and flavours, definitely one of the best I have tried from the Marlborough region this vintage. Probably bone dry, with a gorgeous silky texture and terrific fruit weight, the grassy, gooseberry, citrus aromas epitomise the region. Crisp green gooseberry and lime/grapefruit flavours engulf the palate then tropical fruit takes over. There's a rounded toastiness and delicious spicy herbaceous, like pan-fried fennel seeds, on the finish. The aftertaste is long, just as it should be with Marlborough sauvignon blanc. A very powerful wine on its own but excellent with food. 13% alc. $21. 10Apr2005.

CJ Pask Roys Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) A crisp herbaceous, medium weight style with a zesty lemony backbone and brightness of fruit with citrus dominated tropical fruit flavours lingering. 12.5% alc. 15Sep2004.

Clayridge Excalibur Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Yellow gold coloured with toasty, barrel-ferment aromas, it's mellow to the taste with savoury wild yeasts influencing the palate and the acidity - that is in the tangelo spectrum- soft and integrated. There's a touch of sweetness on the finish and a zestiness as it lingers. Rich, developed and full-bodied. An interesting wine made in an 'alternative style' with 40% fermented in barrel with wild yeasts, and then blended with the other portion for 15 months maturation in oak. 13.5% alc. $26. 27May2006.

Clifford Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Pale straw. Crisp, a little smoky like freshly mown grass, slightly musky, a hint of green bean and a tropical fruitiness – and that is just the nose. Rich and full in the palate yet crisp and fresh, nicely balanced, oily textured, a rounded wine with gooseberry, citrus, grapefruit peel, a tropical fruit finish and linger spicy pineapple and capsicum. Lots going on. 13.5% alc. 26Jul2004.

Cloudy Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Rich, full-bodied with lots of grassy herbaceous flavours on a warm textured lemony palate. Beautifully balanced with a tropical fruit sweetness over a slightly green pea backbone, it is rich and oily, yet not overpowering. 24Aug2004.

Cloudy Bay Te Koko Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Funky wild yeast aromas, rich and powerful. Pineapple, melon, lovely mellow French oak, a touch of caramel, strawberry, lovely fruit sweetness - long and lasting - a yummy wine to drink. Next day: Gorgeous nose of very ripe pineapple and smoky mellow oak. Creamy texture, sweet peach, melon and tropical finish, savoury, almost salty finish. Fantastic wine. Even the teenagers loved it - pity they can't afford it. 13.8% alc. $43.95. 1Jun2007.

Crossroads Destination Series Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (c) A full, fat ripe style with a soft fruity palate filled with melon & stonefruit with a touch of gooseberry and a long zingy finish. 12% alc. 20Sep2004.
Light lemony scents. Gooseberry and sweet lemony citrus, zingy on the palate, a bright fresh zesty wine with sweet and sour on the finish as fruit tries to balance the acidity, and a herbaceousness aftertaste. 12% alc. $18.95. 6Jan2005.

Coopers Creek Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) A pungent wine with 'sweaty' aromas and ripe fruit, the bracing upfront gooseberry and grassy flavours fill out with riper fruits mid palate then tart apple acidity on the musky, pungent, full-flavoured finish. Young and fresh, just as young Sauvignon Blanc should be. 14% alc. $17.95. 8Sep2004.

Corbans Homestead Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Straw gold, savoury on the nose, ripe, mellow and lightly mealy with hints of stonefruit. Hard and grainy in the palate, green peasy, capsicum flavours with hints of grass and a citrussy finish. There's some mellowing with age and while still drinkable, it's lost all its youthful punch. A blend of 90% Sauv Blanc and 10% Semillon. 13% alc. $13.95. 24Mar2007.

Craggy Range Te Muna Road Vineyard Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 Soft melon and herbal flavours characterise this dry sophisticated style that has a gentle influence of mealy oak flavours which introduce a creaminess to the finish. 13% alc. $18. 19Oct2004.

Dashwood Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Green grass and capsicum scents interweaved with citrus and ripe cape gooseberries that have been baking in the sun. Chalky textured and dry tasting with freshly squeezed lemon and underlying gooseberry and herbs, and capsicum again on the finish. A light easy-going style with reasonable length. 12.5% alc. 4.5g/L rs. $17.50. 26Sep2004.

Dog Point Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) A ripe and full, varietally correct smelling savvy but quite sweet in the palate with the richness of dried tropical fruit in the pineapple, papaya spectrum underpinned by more classically varietal gooseberry and summer herb flavours with angelica and even a tinge of fresh spearmint coming through. Good citrus acidity balances the sweet fruit and the lengthy finish is fruity and flavoursome. A smidgen of oak and wild yeast adds complexity and as it sits in the glass the aromas become more pungent . 13.5% alc. 5g/L rs. $23.95. 6Jan2005.

Dog Point Section 94 2004 (c) Made from 100% Marlbourgh Sauvignon Blanc, this is light yellow gold in colour with complex savoury aromas derived from wild yeasts and a creamy, nutty, wild-yeast influenced tropical fruit flavour with a fine seam of citrus that is reminiscent of grapefruit zest and lime blossom. It's a rich, mouthfilling style with a firm backbone and a fruit sweeteness to the lasting finish. This is a wine with texture, richness, a warming mouthfeel and a persistence to the aftertaste. 13% alc. $33. 21Feb2006.
Medium gold in colour, this wild yeast, barrel fermented style has a full body and a rich creamy texture. Lemon peel underpins stonefruit with sweet pea, pawpaw, hints of pineapple and a caramel richness to the slightly spicy finish. A serious alternative style. 13% alc. $31.99. 8Nov2006.

Dry River Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (c) Quite a grassy, steely, crisp style with citrus and gooseberry flavours and a fresh dry finish. A wine with good palate weight, right now it is ultra-tight and needs to evolve. 12.5% alc. $24. 20Sep2004.

Fiddler's Green Waipara Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Pale, spritzy, a little earthy, flinty to the nose, oily textured, apples, lemons and a light bright zingy finish. Perhaps a touch of S. Open ups well and leaves a fresh vibrant aftertaste in the palate. 12.5% alc. $20. 12Sep2004.

Five Flax East Coast Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Pungent green fruit aromas lead into a slightly oily textured but very fruity wine with ripe tropical fruit flavours that have been drizzled with a citrus and herb dressing. It's off dry to the taste, a sweeter style, with a long pungent varietal finish. Fruity and quaffable. A blend of Gisborne and Marlborough fruit. 12.5% alc. $11.95. 17May2005.

Forrest Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 - Marlborough (sc) With its vibrant straw gold colour and full, pungent, zingy, gooseberry-filled aromas it couldn't be anything other than young Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc on this 'classic regions' evening. A powerful, rounded wine packed with ripe juicy passionfruit, yellow guavas and dried banana with a slightly oily texture, a rich, pungent grassy finish and just a waft of sweat. Lots of character and punch, very easy to enjoy. 14% alc. $18.95. 6Apr2005.

Framingham Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Fruity and ripe with aromas of pears and herbs, full-bodied and pungent in the palate with lots of mouthfilling vibrant flavour. Quite crisp with steely acidity, apples, lemons, a touch of musky sweat underlying the herbaceousness and a ripe, nectarine-like stonefruit nuance on the lifted finish, which is dry and long. Rich, ripe and round with plenty of zing. 13% alc. $19.95. 6Jan2005.

Geisen Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Slightly sweaty aromas, bracing, dry, ripe and juicy with lovely tropical fruit splashed over limes and gooseberries with a grassy finish and hallmark sauvignon blanc pungency as the sweet citrussy flavours linger. 13% alc. 9Aug2004.

Gladstone Wairarapa Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Plenty of acid with hints of apple on the nose, apples in the palate too. Crisp and zesty with a lemony backbone and hints of tropical fruit lingering on the musky, slightly spicy, citrussy finish. 13% alc. 12Sep2004.

Goldwater New Dog Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Pungent aromas with a slightly musky sweaty character, it tastes of apple at first then limes, grass, herbs and fresh green pea with tropical fruit evolving on the finish. Slightly grainy in texture. Good potential. Tasted from a bottled pre-release sample, to be released in September. 13.5% alc. $19.95. 14Jul2004.
Over a year on from the last tasting and becoming quite mellow with some sweet pea and toasty characters having developed. Rich and mouthfilling still, though. 8Sep2005.

Greenhough Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Crisp and pungent with apples, apple seed oil and citrus building on the palate together with a grassy herbaceous that is characteristic of Sauvignon Blanc. A concencentrated, powerful, oily textured wine with a pungent finish. 12% alc. $19. 22Nov2004.

Gunn Estate Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) A bright, zesty vibrant expression of sauvignon blanc with lovely aromatics, nice palate weight, a good citrus backbone and balanced sweetness. A fruity style with lemon, melon, green fruits and banana passionfruit building up to linger with terrific persistence. One of the top wines at the Hancocks Road Show. 12.5% alc. 6g/L rs, $13-$16. 14Jul2004.
Perfumed aromas of apple, capsicum and grass, quite tight in the palate, oily, seemingly drier with much more lemon, apple and gooseberry acidity, good length and a smoky, gunflint finish. Fresh and bracing! 13.5% alc. $16.95. 28Jul2004.

Hunters Kahu Roa Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Quite a rich bouquet with hints of oak, there's firm apple-like acidity in the palate with limes and grapefruit peel and a soft leesy backbone. Doesn’t really show the zippy character of sauvignon blanc until it emerges on the long, full-bodied, pungent finish. Well-balanced and dry. 13.5% alc. $21.95. 27May2006.

Isabel Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (c ) Characterised by greengage, gooseberry and green herb aromas with lime, lemon grass, a hint of honey and cape gooseberry at first in the palate, it is quite zingy and spicy but also soft due to a subtle oak influence. A very elegant style with a fine texture and lingering flavours of tropical fruit and pear then more classic gooseberry and lime it is, in fact, deceptively easy to drink. 13% alc. 4g/L rs. $24.95. 6Jan2005.

Jackson Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Lots of pungency on the nose, mouthfilling with good fruit in the palate, it is fat and oily with a spicy backbone, a zesty citrus peel character and a sweaty, fruity finish. Passionfruit and citrus flavours linger. Bright and lively with absolutely excellent potential, this was a pre-bottling sample. 13% alc. $19.95. 14Jul2004.
Pungent and aromatic, a ripe, toasty, classic Marlborough style. Full of flavour with a weighty palate and a long full fruity finish. Lots of passionfruit. Nicely balanced and totally drinkable. 13% alc. 3g/L rs. 7.6g/L TA. $19.95. 15Sep2004.

Kaimira Estate Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Smelling quite developed for a 2004 with strong tinned asparagus aromas, it is rich and full to the taste with ripe zesty citrus, capsicum, asparagus, herbs, sweet tropical fruit and apples. A powerful wine with plenty of palate weight and good length and apart from the asparagus juice nose, there is nothing really wrong with this wine if you like this style. 12.5% alc. 26Sep2004.

Kim Crawford Nelson/Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Made for the supermarkets in NZ, this is crisp, fresh and zingy with lots of lively grassy characters, a good backing of grapefruit and lime and an oily richness to the finish. A good, drink now style. 12.5% alc. $13-$17. 14Jul2004.

Kim Crawford Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Inviting aromatics, soft and full with lovely balance and good acidity, lemongrass, hints of tropical fruit, really mouthfilling and long with lovely balance and length. Banana passionfruit lingers. 12.5% alc. $19.95. 14Jul2004.

Kim Crawford Flowers Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Starting to show the influence of bottle-age with some mellow peasy characters joining ripe stonefruit on the rich, grainy-textured, zesty, spicy palate with grassy, herbal notes on the long finish. 12.8% alc. 5.7g/l rs. $23.95. 8Sep2005.

Lake Chalice Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Bright and zesty with lots of classic gooseberry and a tight nutty core that opens out to become full and fat with a good mouthfilling fruity finish. Should develop well over the next few months. 13% alc. 4.5g/L rs. $18.95. 14Jul2004.
Crisp and citrussy with lime over passionfruit, green apples and exotic fruit like kiwanos in the mid-palate and a juicy tropical fruit / mango / passionfruit finish. A dry, steely, high-acid style with just a touch of 'sweat'. 13% alc. $16.95. 16Mar2005.

Lake Hayes Central Otago Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Not showing much on the nose at first, the wine opens up well with time in the glass becoming quite pungent, even a little sweaty. Bitingly crisp green apple flavours morph into a sweeter fruits reminiscent of pineapple fruit salad and the aftertaste is quite classic NZ Sauvignon Blanc with a little cut grass and capsicum adding to the melange. A zesty, zingy, toasty style with good fruit weight and a long pungent finish. 13% alc. 3.2g/L rs. $19.95. Good. 26Sep2004.

Lawsons Dry Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) It's back! Scintillating Marlborough Sauvignon aromas with tropical fruit and a hint of musky armpit, lovely balance and richness in the palate and exuberant flavours of apple, grass, herbs, limes and passionfruit building to a round, mouthfilling finish. Spicy, zesty, crisp and fresh, an excellent example of new vintage Sauvignon Blanc. 13.5% alc. $21.95. 28Jul2004.
Exuberant as before, bright and zingy with lovely weight and length and loads of passionfruit on the long pungent finish. 15Sep2004.

Lincoln Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Vanillin notes give a creaminess to the aroma of this wine. A ripe, full-bodied style from the outset with ripe tropical fruit, pineapple and melon on a lemony herbaceous backbone with a dry finish and sweet zingy citrus flavours lingering. Good pungency. Quite fresh and appealing for summer. 13% alc. 4.3g/L rs. $15. 6Jan2005.

Lincoln Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) fruity, melon aromas. A medium weight savvy with tropical fruit and citrus, a slightly bitter herbal mid-palate and estery bubblegum-like fruit on the finish. A little austere with its strong acidity so try alongside seafood. $13% alc. 4g/L rs. $18. 6Jan2005.

Main Divide Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Grapefruit aromas with rich yeast lees creaminess lead into a ripe, round, terrifically balanced wine with a spicy, zesty complexity, gooseberry and tropical fruit, a creamy texture and a long pungent mouthfilling finish. Though there seems to be quite a rich yeast lees influence, the fruit does all the talking. 13.5% alc. $19.95. 17May2005.

Mansion House Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 Pale straw. Pungent grassy, gooseberry scents with an overlying toastiness and rich, toasty, mouthfilling, herbaceous flavours. Crisp and fresh, almost bracing, with an oily creaminess to the backbone and a rich, luscious tropical fruit finish. What New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is all about. 13% alc. $16.95. 27Apr2005.
Crisp, green and grassy with capsicum, zesty grapefruit and citrus, and a rich, sweetly pungent finish. 13% alc. $16.95.

Margrain Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Very pale, herbaceous, creamy textured, full of bright punchy flavours with a long juicy zesty finish. 12% alc. $20. 19Oct2004.

Martinborough Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Dry on entry with a grainy texture and zesty, citrussy, herbaceous flavours, a touch of apple emerges on the finish and just when you are thinking 'Is that all?' the aftertaste explodes with full-on delicious tropical fruit with a bright zingy lacing of lime. 13.5%.20Sep2004.
Fruity aromatics with pears, stonefruit, melon, grapefruit and a nuance of smoke – a fumé style. Later it seems a little bready. Tight and zingy, even a little boney to start but subtle oak or wild yeast introduces a rich complexity and a full-flavoured roundedness (or perhaps it is just ripe fruit). Lots of classic SB character, good all the way through the palate, going through a gooseberry, grassy spectrum to finish with bright, zesty infused tropical fruits with a smattering of lime sherbet. A big wine with a great finish that is long and full with lots of flavour. 13.5% alc. $21. 6Jan2005.

Matahiwi Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Smelling of capsicum, grass and gooseberry with a bucket of herbs and a slight oily nuance, this is a soft wine with melon and tropical fruit coming forth to mingle with the herbs. There's a good dollop of ripe citrus on the long pungent grassy finish and a lingering oily apple character. 12%alc. 4.3g/L rs. $15. 26Sep2004.

Matahiwi Wairarapa Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Very closed, not showing much varietal character on the nose at all. It smells chalky and then slightly floral with hints of citrus. Quite steely and dry to the taste with the bracing acidity of limes and green apples with herbs and a touch of pear on the smoky, flinty finish. Juicy gooseberries emerge on the aftertaste. A savvy that is heading a little towards the Riesling spectrum and would not take too much chilling. 12%alc. 4g/L rs. $15. 26Sep2004.

Matariki Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Very pale. Slightly peasy, chalky scents with a tinge of tropical fruit. Creamy in the palate with gooseberry and citrus, a lovely fine texture, lots of zingy acidity and a sweet fruit aftertaste on the dry lengthy finish. Slow to open up, it evolves well in the glass with quite classical gooseberry emerging with lemon peel and a pungent aftertaste. It shows the class of Hawkes Bay sauvignon blanc from the vintage. 13% alc. 5 g/L rs. $19.95. 6Jan2005.

Matariki Reserve Gimblett Gravels Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Light yellow gold, rich and oily smelling with a funky yeast lees influence and hints of asparagus while grilled butterscotch-coated stonefruit flavours fill the full-bodied palate with a spicy undercurrent and a citrussy note to the steely finish. Oak and lees-aging make this quite a different style to the NZ norm. 13.5% alc. $24.95. 19Jul2006.

Matua Valley Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Fresh, vibrant and sassy, as you expect from a wine made from grapes that just three months ago were still on the vine. It is a slightly oily textured wine with a multitude of tasty flavours that remind me of ripe green grapes with crisp gooseberry-like and lemon acidity, tinned pear juice sweetness, capsicums and summer herbs. It doesn’t need chilling at this time of year and tastes good on its own or along side fish and a lettuce, tomato and red capsicum salad. 13% alc. $19.95. 8Jun2004.

Matua Valley Paretai Sauvignon Blanc 2004 - Marlborough (sc) The epitome of the Marlborough style. With grassy aromatics, crisp gooseberry and limes and a sophisticated grainy texture, it is dry and fleshy with a touch of stonefruit joining in on the lingering, summer herb-filled and exotic fruit-filled finish. 13.5% alc. $27.95. 17Nov2004.

Matua Valley Shingle Peak Sauvignon Blanc 2004 - Marlborough (sc) Soft and full-bodied with some depth and complexity and a rich, smooth, silky texture. Slightly peasy, sweet pea flavours at first with cape gooseberry tending towards stonefruit, then Marlborough's full-throttle characteristic herbaceous zinginess with the pungency and vibrancy of grassy, gooseberry flavours on the finish. 13% alc. $14.95. 16Mar2005.

Montana Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (c) A benchmark wine in some respects displaying all the attributes of a fresh, crisp, bright, vivacious, new vintage wine. Grass, capsicum, herbs, passionfruit and apple jazz across the palate and twirl to a warm spicy finish with mouthfilling sauvignon pungency and length. Excellent with baked tomatoes that accompanied roast chicken. 12.5% alc. $12-$15. 17Jul2004.

Montana Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (c) Quite pungent, slightly sweaty, smoky citrussy scents, lots of peel. Strongly citrussy in the palate with good weight and mid-palate richness building to a long powerful finish with underlying herbaceousness and lingering citrus and feijoa. A nicely balanced wine with fruit sweetness on the finish. Made entirely from Brancott Estate fruit. 13.5% alc. 3.3 g/L rs. $19.95. 26Sep2004.
Full-bodied with grassy notes and a long fat palate with a lingering, citrussy grassy finish. Hints of stonefruit and a toastiness make this a fuller, rich style. 15Sep2004.

Morton Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Tropical guava and something quite intriguing on the nose. A little oily and citrussy in the palate with grapefruit the dominant fruit, some peasy notes creeping in and even a touch of kero! While it seems a little flat mid palate, it's still quite pungent and powerful and on the aftertaste there's tropical guava and passionfruit joining the citrus with an underpinning of gooseberry and herbs. Fantastic length too. Probably would have been magnificent last year. My mistake for not drinking it then. 13.5% alc. $16.95. 8Sep2007.

Morton Estate Stone Creek Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Grapefruit skin aromas. Possibly an older style or an unoaked style with pungent methoxypyrazine characters to the fore. Peasy capsicum spectrum and then tinned tropical fruit coming forth on the finish. Good length and full flavour. Peasy, green bean character dominates. Actually opens up quite well with time in the glass. A medium to full-bodied wine with a long flavoursome finish. 14% alc. 6Jan2005.

Mount Difficulty Central Otago Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Water pale. Lightly lemony on the nose with gooseberry and grassy flavours and a long citrussy finish. Dry with good palate weight and juicy apples lingering on the slightly pungent aftertaste. 13% alc. $21.95/18.95. 25May2005.

Mount Riley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Very pale straw, Grassy scents with lime, gooseberry and lemon grass. Bright in the palate, very fruity with a ripe creamy texture, lots of zingy acidity, a crisp finish and a tart, slightly bitter aftertaste. 13% alc. 26Jul2004.
Rich, mouthfilling and pungent with a hint of sweat on the nose together with capsicum and apple. In the palate there's a pleasing marriage of Marlborough's green herbaceousness with rich fruit and juicy tropical notes on the finish. The sweaty character emerges again on the finish to linger with tobacco. Good. $18. 13% alc. 17May2005.

Mount Riley Seventeen Valley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) With its rich, mealy-influences, it smells ripe with a whisper of oak to attract chardonnay fans. Sweet vanillin mealy flavours drive the palate. A rich full wine with a tropical fruitiness coming through on the slightly herbaceous finish. Mouthfilling and long. 13.5% alc. $21.17May2005.

Mount Riley Winemaker's Selection Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Straw gold coloured with grassy, herbaceous aromas that have started to soften and rich, broad, yeast lees-influenced flavours with a stone fruit richness, melon and a tropical fruit sweetness on the long pungent, creamy, mellow finish. 13% alc. $16.95.22Jun2005.

Mills Reef Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) A pale straw, slightly oily-textured wine smelling of apple skins with rich green apple, lime zest and piercingly vibrant South Island gooseberry flavours, a 'wake-up and enjoy life' wine with its vivacious freshness and acidity. 12.7% alc. 3July2004.

Mills Reef Reserve Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Crisp green, slightly vegetal scents. A little chalky, grainy to the texture it fills out well with a weighty palate with melon and yellow guava flavours and a powerful soft finish but seems somewhat developed in character for a 2004 wine, lacking the acidity and vibrancy I would expect from a wine this young. Put that down to the 30% barrel-ferment, with 4 months in older oak. 12.5% alc. $18.95. 12Sep2004.

Mt. Difficulty Central Otago Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) A pale coloured wine with rich, pungent aromas of grass, citrus and herbs, it's even more pungent and bracing in the palate with crisp apple and lime underpinned by fleshy capsicum and a touch of asparagus with green apple on the lasting finish. 13% alc. $21.95. 18Jan2006.

Mudhouse Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Crisp, grassy, herbaceous and pungent with a slightly oily texture and mouthfilling melon, lime and passionfruit leading into a well-balanced and long ripe-fruited, crisp finish. Delicious sauv blanc, just as it is meant to be. 13.5% alc. $15.95. 24Nov2004.

Murdoch James 'River Run' Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Pungent aromatics with a musky sweaty nuance, crisp and herbaceous to the taste with an oily texture underlying the grass, nettles and musk flavours that build to a long powerful finish. $20. 19Oct2004.

Nautilus Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Vibrant grassy aromas, lots of acidity in the palate, dry and citrussy with grassy gooseberry herbaceous flavours filling the palate and a long, full, dry finish. 13% alc. 6Sep2004.

Neudorf Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Ripe and lemony smelling with hints of grapefruit and orange blossom on the nose, the citrus carries through to the palate. Lots of bold, ripe flavours with gooseberry, melon, citrus and a touch of stonefruit, a hint of vanilla, a creamy texture and a long full finish with bright acidity carrying the finish. 10% of the blend was fermented in oak. One that will age well. 13.5% alc. 3 g/L rs. $21.95. 6Jan2005.

Nga Waka Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Gooseberry aromas characterise this acid-driven wine with crisp citrussy fruit, apples, grass and feijoa, the weight of the fruit soon takes over and the wine becomes rich and full. 12% alc. $25. 17May2005.
There are some nice toasty notes developing now and the palate is weighty with a stonefruit richness over the crisp gooseberry backbone, and a long, ripe fruit finish. A rich, fulfilling drink. 12% alc. $24. 8Sep2005.

Northrow Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Crisp, green, grassy, quite varietal on the nose with ripe fruit influencing the palate. A soft wine with a delicate gooseberry, grassiness and a citrussy brightness to the finish. Well-rounded and food-friendly. 15% alc.17May2005.

Odyssey Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (c) A soft, grassy, fatter smelling wine, not so vibrant in its aromas, more like wet hay than fresh cut grass with a slight buttery nuance. There's a creamy backbone to the crisp zesty acidity of the sweet citrus and melon-like fruit, building to a rich, full-bodied, long pungent finish with gooseberry and asparagus flavours coming through on the strong weighty finish. Fat, full and creamy, an interesting style. 1/3 of the tank fermented wine was run off to barrel wehere it remained on leesfor 3 months. 13% alc. 2.3g/L rs. $18. 26Sep2004.

Okahu Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) There a hint of Sulphur on the nose when the wine is first opened and this adds a soapy nuance to the flavour. Quite a bracing wine with lots of acidity first up. Green capsicums, herbs, grainy nashi pear, and melon, which softens the wine on the grassy, herbaceous, fruity finish. 12.5% alc. $16.95.17May2005.

Palliser Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Good aromatics lead into a dry crisp palate with a rounded silky texture and a powerhouse fruity attack. A mouthful of juicy banana passionfruit, melon and yellow guava with a touch of apple and citrus that joins in on the long, well-balanced finish. 12% alc. $22. 19Oct2004.
Gooseberry and herbs characterise the classical aromas which lead into a classical palate that is grassy and herbaceous with gooseberries and tropical fruit and a nice touch of passionfruit with red capsicum on the finish. Medium to full-bodied with a grainy texture and a lengthy, spicy, pungent finish, this is one of the most drinkable wines in the line-up. It seems to have an x-factor with the texture and great depth. Consistently good from year to year, though this year it does not have the controversial overpowering sweaty pungency that people either love or hate. 12% alc. $22. 6Jan2005.

Pegasus Bay Waipara Valley Sauvignon Semillon 2004 (sc) The wine has a little age and it really showed that with its gemmy, light yellow gold colour. Grapefruit on the nose carries through to the bright zesty palate. It's a powerful wine with a mealy undercurrent and sweet vanilla on the long, juicy finish with melons and stonefruit on the aftertaste. The left field comes from the influence of aged semillon, which adds a rather unusual and vinously fascinating petrolly note. 80% tank fermented Sauv Blanc and 20% barrel-fermented Semillon. Wild yeasts and regular lees stirring. 13.5% alc. $24.95. 24Mar2007.

Pencarrow Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) A lean steely wine, grassy at first, building in the palate to an oily apple and tropical fruit finish and a juicy aftertaste. 12% alc. $17. 19Oct2004.
Appealing, fruity, juicy, full rich aromas with steely acidity running through the punchy, zippy, grassy gooseberry herbaceous flavours. There's a touch of capsicum, plenty of tropical fruit, zingy pineapple, banana passionfruit and a touch of juicy apple and lemon as it lingers with a full-flavoured, slightly musky finish. A wine with lots of user appeal. 12% alc. $17. 6Jan2005.

Peregrine Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Bracing acidity, crisp and fresh with tobacco at first leading on to a fuller, fatter, melon and herb finish with a smoky, cut grass nuance. $18. 9Aug2004.

Ra Nui Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Lime, apples and gooseberry on the nose, dry and tight when first in the palate, musky with a hint of sweat, gooseberry and lemon grass, then zesty almost spritzy vivaciousness with citrus and ripe apples building to sweet tropical fruit with passionfruit and just a whisper of pineapple. Lovely palate weight and length with long lingering citrus and grassy summer herb flavours. Fresh, pungent and spicy. Tight to start but with a great finish. 13% alc. 23Jul2004.
Ripe fruit aromas, oily and rich, it just seems a little unsettled at this stage. Grass, lime and smoky cut grass, ripe acidity, grainy texture and a long pungent finish where tropical fruit flavours come out in force. 13% alc. $19.95. 28Jul2004.

Richardson Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Light straw gold, capsicum and pear on the nose not overly pungent in its aromas but quite pungently flavoured with grass, capsicum, cape gooseberries and tropical fruit on the herb driven finish. Crisp, fresh and subtle in its power. Some wild yeast influence and extended lees contact, a wine that is still evolving. 13.5% alc. $24.95. 5Jan2005.

Riverby Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Fresh and vibrant, tropical fruit and oily characters . A softer more earthy wine, oily in texture with plenty of fruit salad, pears and even a hint of banana with citrus lingering on the finish with fennel-like herb and a hint of pineapple on the ripe flavoured aftertaste that is balanced by the acidity. 13.5% alc. 26Sep2004.

Riverside Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) A ripe smelling savvy with chalky overtones. Quite classic ripe tropical fruit and citrus with the richness of melons and stonefruit with good pungency and depth to the finish with just a hint of blackcurrant (not a character I often find in Sauv Blanc), lingering tropical fruit and just a hint of tobacco on the finish. A nicely balanced savvy with good varietal fruitiness and length. 13% alc. $15. 6Jan2005.

Sacred Hill Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Sweaty on the nose, think green juicy fruits, prickly pear and banana passionfruit. Oily textured, long and full with ripe tropical fruit and a zingy, citrussy finish. 13% alc. 6Sep2004.
Just ever so slightly sweaty on the nose, but also exuberantly fruity and fresh. Rich, full and grassy with limes, tropical fruit, a juicy fleshiness and a long pungent finish. Lovely balance. Great drinking. Terrific wine. 13% alc. $18.95. 6Oct2004.

Sacred Hill 'Sauvage' Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Undoubtably Sauvignon Blanc with its citrus and gooseberry aromas but the crisp acidity is tamed by the softness of the spicy vanillin oak while yeast lees flavours add another layer of complexity. A full-bodied white, made to go with food but definitely enjoyable on its own. 13.5% alc. $30. 9Jun2005.

Saint Clair Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Pungent smelling with a touch of sweat and zesty citrus, this is a generous, ripe, rich and varietal with ripe fruit, gooseberry, herbs and citrus overlain with tropical fruit on the grassy finish. Very balanced., powerful but not overpowering, this is a lovely rounded wine with everything in the right place. I like the cut grass smokiness that comes through on the finish. Good Sauvignon blanc! Ready to drink now. Top wine of tasting. 13% alc. 3.9g/L rs. $20.95. 26Sep2004.
Vivacious, straw coloured Sauvignon Blanc with pungent gooseberry and citrus aromas and a toasty palate with mouthfilling grass, gooseberry, apples and tropical fruit. Beautifully fresh, long and tasty. 13% alc. $15.95. 2Feb2005.

Saint Clair Wairau Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Crisp, zingy, citrussy and herbaceous scents. Varietal and appealing with plenty of sweat. Classic! Musky, with citrus, gooseberry, herbs, tropical fruit. Lots going on . Good wine. Bright, zingy, refreshing, lots of lovely green summer herbs, good acidity, nice tropical fruit coming through and a long, powerful citrussy finish. What more could you ask for? Still developing and will come into its own by January. 18.5 Just eclipsed by the Saint Clair Marlborough in this tasting. 13% alc. 4.5g/L rs. $25.95. 26Sep2004.

Saint Clair Vicar's Choice Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Slightly creamy smelling, mealy, perhaps some barrel-ferment or wild yeast. The winemaking traits influence the crisp palate, there's a touch of apple in the fruit spectrum and bitter lemon tarts up the pungent finish. 12.5% alc. $13. 17May2005.

A powerful strong SB with an intriguingly pungent nose, at first sweaty but later quite grassy and fruit-driven. Mouthfillingly rich with wonderful tropical fruit flavours of canned pineapple and ripe guavas together with peach on a grassy, backbone. Wonderful acidity throughout. Archetypal sauvignon blanc, this wine has gone from a bud to a fantastic bloom in the last few months. 13% alc. $26.95. 5Jan2005.

Saints Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Rich, soft, ripe apple and herbs on a warm oily texture with plenty of ripe fruit making an appealing fruity finish. 13% alc. 6Sep2004.

Sanctuary Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Citrus and custard apple on the nose then in the palate lime and gooseberry intermingle with sweet tropical fruit salad flavours tinged with grapefruit and pineapple. There is plenty of zingy herbaceousness with nuances of coriander and basil leading into a slightly musky finish. A lovely crisp fresh wine to have with summer salads. Use a splash in the vinaigrette. 12.5% alc. $17.95. 6Jan2005.

Shepherds Ridge Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (c) Showing some petillance in the glass, this is a softer smelling wine that becomes toasty and rich to the nose after some time in the glass. Grassy and herbaceous with lime and capsicum on a grainy texture, spicy with a full-bodied toasty finish, lingering grassy herbaceous characters and just a hint of asparagus and sweet pea. Powerful finish. Excellent length. 26Sep2004.

Shingle Peak Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Crisp and fresh with a grassy, herbaceous aroma and a spicy, zesty, gooseberry, apple, capsicum and tropical fruit flavour. Oily textured. Nicely balanced. Passionfruit and apple persist with a fruity sweetness. 13.5% alc. $16.95. 28Jul2004.
A toasty pungent style, full and rich with appealing fruit. Perhaps lacking a little vibrancy in the palate, there's lots of Marlborough green with toasty apple flavours coming through to linger with a touch of musky sweat. Oak to add complexity perhaps and toasty apple characters on the finish. Lots of greens. Nicely balanced with good body and weight. 13.5% alc. 3.6g/L rs. $17.95. 26Sep2004.

Southbank Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Grassy, gooseberry aromas and lots of Marlborough greens in the palate on a citrussy backbone with a slightly honeyed texture. Melons and tropical fruit fill the palate with a grassy follow-through and zingy citrus acidity as it lingers. Zippy, fresh and though there is fruit sweetens, it is well-balanced. Good. 12.5% alc. $18.95.17May2005.

Station Road Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Soft, green herbal aromas characterise this sweeter tasting Sauvignon Blanc that has plenty of varietal character and gooseberry and herb pungency on the finish. 13% alc. 9Aug2004.

Stoneleigh Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Soft grassy aromas, crisp vibrant flavours, a little soft perhaps with ripe fruit mid-palate and a long, full pungent finish. 13.5% alc. 6Sep2004.
Ripe and fruity with bright zesty acidity and a delicious spiciness. Long and full with a dry, crisp, well balanced finish. 13.5%. 15Sep2004.

Stony Batter Road Works Waiheke Island Sauvignon Blanc 2004 A riper style with a honeyed oak aroma and a mellow oak influence, apples, stonefruit and a grassy undercurrent to more typically sauv blanc pungent finish. A wine to drink with food. 40% barrel-fermented with 4 months in oak. 13.7% alc. $26.95. 8Sep2005.

Tasman Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (c) Made from a blend of Nelson and Marlborough grapes, this bright lively tasting, slightly oily-textured wine is laden with flavours of green grapes, crisp apples, guava and gooseberries with a hint of Nelson tobacco and just a touch of melon to flesh out the finish. 12.5% alc. $18. 6Jul2004.

Te Kairanga Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Fruit driven wine with apples, passionfruit and other exotic tropical fruit, it's a little musky, even sweaty, and quite juicy with good palate weight and richness, and a bright long finish. 12.5% alc. 3.5g/l rs. $21. 19Oct2004.
Gooseberry aromas and crisp, pungent flavours with bright acidity and an earthy undercurrent to the grainy texture. Nuances of green bean and lingering flavours of apples with a touch of honey building up the finish. Ripe and long as it lingers. 12.5% alc. $22.17May2005.

Te Mata Woodthorpe Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) A juicy fruited style with underlying herbaceous citrussy notes, a touch of tobacco, a little bit of melon and a crisp bracing finish. 20Sep2004.
Lightly grassy scents when tasted in a big glass. Like many Hawkes Bay savvy's this vintage, this is wonderfully varietal with a crisp steeliness, green fruit flavours, a richness to the texture and an oiliness to the punchy pungent finish. 13% alc. $19.95. 12Apr2005.

Te Mata Cape Crest Sauvignon Blanc 2004 87% Sauvignon Blanc, 8% Sauvignon Gris, 5% Semillon, barrel fermented and aged on yeast lees. Full-bodied and rich with mouthfilling peach and melon fruit and hallmark sauvignon acidity on the finish that adds a brassy brightness as it lingers. The mealiness from the yeast lees and the mellow oak softens the wine and it is long and full. 13.5% alc. $25. 12Apr2005.

Te Whare Ra Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Fresh and invitingly scents with grass, herbs, citrus leaf and apple scents pave the way for this mouthfillingly fruity wine with flavours of gooseberry, lemon and bright tropical fruits on a warm oily texture and a lingering musky pungency to the finish. Beautifully balanced throughout, one of the top wines of the vintage so far. 12.8% alc. $20. 12Sep2004.
Grassy scented with a lacing of lime. Crisp and bracing with citrus and gooseberry leading into fresh tropical fruit with white guava and passionfruit on the rich, full-bodied finish. Lovely texture - almost silky - and excellent length. 13% alc. $22.95. 15Sep2004.

Terrace Heights Estate Murray's Barn Sauvignon Blanc 2004 - Marlborough (sc) Pale straw in colour with grassy, green melon aromas and mouth watering crisp, fresh, vibrant, grassy flavours together with juicy gooseberry, limes and tropical fruit leading into a long pungent finish with green melon joining in on the aftertaste. A little grainy in texture but very easy to like. 13% alc. $12.95. 16Mar2005.

Ti Point Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Seemingly dry with passionfruit filling the palate while the finish is full of sweet tropical fruit. One year old but still fresh and lively. 13% alc. $19.95. 8Sep2005.

Thornbury Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Grainy textured and showing a little bottle age character with green capsicum and green bean joining the gooseberry fruit. Quite an extracted style with grapefruit peel flavours on the finish. 13% alc. 3.5g/l rs. $19.95. 30Oct2005.

Tohu Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Very pale lemon with pungent, grassy, gooseberry aromas leading into a full, flavours of gooseberry, apple, lime and sugary herbs on a slightly oily texture. It is starting to develop some peasy, vegetal notes and despite its age, it is still drinking well. It reminds me a little of an old-fashioned Marlborough style, which is what made the world love Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. 13% alc. $15.95. 26Apr2006.

Triplebank Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) A typically varietal Marlborough wine that is ripe and pungent with grassy aromas, gooseberry and grassy flavours and a long, mouthfilling finish, with tropical fruit lingering on the long aftertaste. 13% alc. $19.95.17May2005.

Twin Islands Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Water pale, crisp and fresh, pungently aromatic and tasting of green apples, gooseberry, grass and capsicum with a toasty tropical fruit finish. Nicely balanced with lots of sauvignon zing. 12.5%. 2Jul2004.

Voss Estate Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Soft, oily with lime and apple, a weighty sauvignon with a melon richness, more of a European style than what I expect from NZ with a smokiness to the finish. $18. 9Aug2004.

Vavasour Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Chalky smelling, a little earthy, with grassy characters and sweet fruit on the nose. Ripe and fruity with juicy melon, citrus and tropical fruit, nicely balanced with a good seam of acidity through and pungently varietal SB characters of gooseberry and summer herbs lingering with apple-like fruit on the finish. Clean, varietal, seamless with a long finish, it has all the goods without being over the top. 13% alc. $24.95. 6Jan2005.

Villa Maria Private Bin Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Bright and zesty with apples, limes and citrus the dominant aromas at first but the powerful grassy pungency of the Sauvignon Blanc grapes quickly come through. Quite a classic style, with a grainy texture and grassy, gooseberry flavours typical of Marlborough and a long pungent finish with ripe fruit balancing the acidity. Juicy and long. Top pick. 13.5% alc. 4.5g/L rs. 26Sep2004.

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Lightly herbaceous aromas with a tinge of lemon zest, ripe and juicy in the palate with gooseberry, melon and stonefruit building up the rich full flavours then steely citrus, lemon grass and other herbs emerging to balance the sweet fruit. Full-bodied and powerful with plenty of flavour and a hot, toasty herbaceous finish. 14% alc. 2g/L rs. $19.95. 6Jan2005.

Villa Maria Reserve Clifford Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Melon-like aromas and lots of pungent, sweaty, upfront, grassy, gooseberry flavours with a hot spiciness that is almost like jalapeno pepper. Lightly oily in texture, with greengage plums and gooseberries on the finish and lingering musky sweat. Tight and steely at this stage of its life. 14% alc. 19Oct2004.
Fruity tropical, melon and gooseberry aromas make this quite a classical style on the nose. A zingy wine in the palate with lots of citrus, lemon grass and other summer herbs, a fine chalky grainy texture and a dry, herbaceous finish. A flinty style of SB with delicate tropical fruit and melons emerging to linger on the wonderfully long finish. A dry, elegant wine with fantastic length and a x-factor that makes it stand out. 14% alc. $24.95. 6Jan2005.
Already showing a little asparagus on the nose - grassy, even a little Semillon-like. Rich and full in the palate with gooseberry underlying melon with a toasty, earthy, slight grainy texture long, full finish. An opulent style of Sauvignon Blanc - big, rich and mouthfilling without overpowering. $24.95.

Villa Maria Reserve Wairau Valley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Fruit driven aromas and musky gooseberry flavours, ripe and fleshy with a softness and complexity from the 3% oak. Apple-like flavours linger on the long pungent finish. 13.5% alc. 19Oct2004.
Lightly fruity with hints of citrus zest, not abundant in its aromas. Dry on entry with gooseberry and citrus flavours leading into a ripe fruity style with ripe stonefruits, slightly overpowered by the citrus flavours, there is good herbaceousness and a quite classical pungent, long, rounded finish. While steely and austere upfront, it has the most excellent finish that goes on and on. 13.5% alc. $24.95. 6Jan2005.

Villa Maria Single Vineyard Taylors Pass Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Water pale. Herbaceous, a little peasy, quite pungent and even a little sweaty, the powerful aromas are rich and forthcoming. Grass, capsicum, herbs, gooseberry and musk in the palate, undoubtably Marlborough sauvignon blanc with a little oak adding complexity to the whole. A wine with depth and flavour and a lengthy full finish. Tropical fruit marries to the lovely balanced acidity as it lingers with a zesty dance and a pungent deliciousness. 14.5% alc. Top wine of tasting. $24.95. 6Jan2005.

Waipara Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Bottled 2 days when tasted. Tobacco, citrus, limes, gooseberries, lovely ripe fresh zesty fruit and herbs, it opens up well with to culminate with ripe tropical fruit. Long, dry and spicy on the warm lemony finish, gooseberry and grassy flavours linger. 13% alc. $18.95. 14Jul2004.
Fresh, grassy citrussy scents. Citrussy in the palate with a musky back bone, zingy citrus and good fruit coming through on the finish and a mouthfilling aftertaste of citrus and apples with hints of tropical fruit. Light and fresh with richness building in the palate. 13% alc. 4g/L rs. 26Sep2004.

Walnut Ridge Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Full and rounded with fat fruit melon-like flavours, an oily undercurrent of grassy herbaceousness and a citrussy finish with lingering fruitiness. 13% alc. $18. 20Sep2004.
Very pale coloured. Quite a delicate style in comparison to many others, this is lightly pungent with oily pear and melon aromas and flavours that are more pear and citrus than gooseberry and grass. A pinot gris-like sauvignon blanc with an underlying herbaceousness and peachy tropical fruit on the finish, one for those who like a more subtle delicate savvy than an overly pungent style. 13% alc. $18. 6Jan2005.

West Brook Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Racy and fresh with 'leap out of the glass' aromas of lime, gooseberry and smoky freshly cut grass. There's a lemony richness to the full herbaceous flavours and forward tropical fruit flavours and typical awesome length. At this stage it is showing a little youthful astringency but that will soften within weeks. 13% alc. 19Jul2004.
Deliciously pungent, bright and fruity flavoured with lots of spicy citrus zest, gooseberry and a full-bodied rounded tropical fruit finish, just a touch of sweat and lingering grapefruit. Crisp, fresh and exciting with bright fresh flavours and fantastic length. 13% alc. $19.95. 22Dec2004.
Straw coloured. Fresh, crisp and slightly sweaty smelling with a hint of green bean. Bracing flavours with gooseberry, lime and apple building to a rich, pungent finish where bright tropical fruit emerges and lingers with a hint of fennel. Exuberant and tasty. 13% alc. $18.95/$15.95. 25May2005.

Whites Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Ripe and juicy, fresh and grassy with tropical fruit aromas and oily textured vibrant fruit flavours. 13% alc. $13.95. 29Jun2005.

Wither Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Pale straw with a greenish tinge, slightly sweaty on the nose, gooseberry, guava, lots of green grassy traits, fennel, a hint of pineapple and a smoky finish. Full-bodied, dry but distinctly full of acid at this stage. It has the cachet and reputation. 13% alc. $20.95. 7Jul2004.
This rich, oily, sweaty style of savvie is loaded with pungent, mouthfilling flavours of gooseberry, passionfruit, melon and tropical fruits. Outstanding Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc with a long juicy moreish finish. 13% alc. $19.95. 1Sep2004.

Woollaston Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2004 Showing some slightly developed asparagus peasy aromatics though quite crisp and fresh in the palate with apple / apple spice flavours on a grassy backbone, green fruit to the fore then soft, fresh stone fruit flavours emerging and a tropical fruit finish. Long and mellow with good acidity. 13.1% alc. 5.1g/L rs. $19.95. 24Nov2004.

Woollaston Estate Burke's Bank Sauvignon Blanc 2004 A riper, richer, sweeter, softer style, aromatic and full, slightly reminiscent of riesling or pinot gris on the nose while in the palate toasty tropical fruit with a honeyed character gives a riesling nuance then fleshy stonefruit, citrus and melon gives a fruity fullness like unoaked Chardonnay on the finish. But the aftertaste redeems its sauvignon blanc heritage when pungent grass, apple, citrus, etc. come through to linger. 14.5% alc. 7.4g/L rs. $22.50. 24Nov2004.

* * * * * *

We think of New Zealand sauvignon blanc being the best in the world and indeed with some wines this can’t be disputed. But sometimes it is good to taste a savvie from somewhere else to see just the influence the New Zealand style has had.

If the Deakin Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (tasted 20Jul2004) had been poured for me at a blind tasting I am sure I would have thought it a Kiwi one because it tasted so crisp, fresh and vibrant with zingy gooseberry, lemon, melon and herbs. But this wine is made from grapes grown at Sunraysia near the Murray River on the border of New South Wales and Victoria. The reason it was so impressive became clear when it was disclosed that Phil Spilman, previously a winemaker at Villa Maria's Auckland winery, was responsible for this wine. It is sealed with a screwcap and should cost no more than $12.95 at the supermarket, definitely worth seeking out.

Australia is more famous for semillon than sauvignon blanc but in Western Australia's Margaret River the cooler climate suits both of these grapes. Cape Mentelle Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2003, a 50:50 blend, combines the zingy raciness and grassy pungency of sauvignon blanc with the softer semillon that adds a full rich backbone. Sealed with a screwcap and costing about $24, it is a wine that sav blanc aficionados should definitely try.
Cape Mentelle was one of the first premium producers of Sauvignon Blanc in the Margaret River. You could say they were doing it before New Zealand came on the scene. But when some Kiwis visited the Margaret River winery with a bottle of sauvignon blanc and said 'try this', owned David Hohnen couldn’t believe the purity of fruit he was tasting. He just loved the expression of New Zealand sauvignon blanc so much, he invested in Marlborough himself. He named his company Cloudy Bay.

Also tasted -

Banrock Station Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) A ripe, fruity wine with melon and stonefruit, seems to lack acid in the first instance so a little flabby for a sauvignon blanc though it would be an appealing drink for those who don’t really care. A more dilute style but it has a good lengthy finish with some pungency emerging. 11% alc. $9.95. 6Jan2005. Australia.

Banrock Station Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (c) Smells ripe and juicy with pear, citrus and hints of apple. Quite a dry style, classical in many respects with apples joining gooseberry in the palate. Grassy, lightly herbaceous and a long citrussy finish with banana passionfruit on the lingering aftertaste, this is ripe, fresh and nicely balanced. 12% alc. 6Jan2005. Australia.

Oxford Landing Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (sc) Soapy floral aromas, a citrus-influenced wine without any redeeming varietal savvy characters except for the grassy, herbal flavours underlying the citrus with apple on the lightly herbaceous finish. Quite a harsh wine on the palate, the soapiness in the aromatics come through to linger with a touch of spice. 12% alc. $9-12. 6Jan2005.

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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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