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Wine Reviews - Sauvignon Blanc
2009 vintage
by Sue Courtney
Last updated 31 Jul 2011

[2010/2011] [2009] [2008] [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 2010 & 2009 vintage 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.

Click here for a historical perpsective of Sauvignon Blanc in New Zealand.

2009 Vintage

Amisfield Central Otago Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) A earthy, apple skin aroma. Herbal, pithy, dilute and lemony with a hint of pea shoots to the flavours with a light impression on the palate at first but the flavours evolve and build in power without ever overpowering. A little sweetish, made in a light, easy drinking style. 12.9% alc. $30. 25Feb2009.

Astrolabe Awatere Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Lots of greens connotation - tomato stalk., herbs, limes, green melon, green bean, - a very powerful wine with a juicy richness - a hint of greengage plum coming though too. Slightly grainy in texture. Full bodied and rich. Some sweaty notes coming through too. 12/5% alc. $23.95. 27Feb2010.

Astrolabe Kekerengu Coast Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Passionfruit leaps put of the glass when this pale straw coloured wine is poured; there is no doubting the variety. Passionfruit, lime, tomato stalk and basil aromas follow through to the palate that has a definite salty tang, but the most exciting thing about this wine is the balance and texture. 19.5/20. 13.5 % alc. $25.95. 20Dec2009.

Astrolabe Voyage Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Floral with delicate citrus acidity, stonefruit, and pungent tropical fruit. Quite pungent to the taste with sweet ripe fruit, an underlying earthiness, tangy acidity, gooseberry and herb with a full-bodied powerful finish with hints of apricot and peach. Flamboyant Marlborough style with a long tangy aftertaste that lasts and last. 13.5% alc. $21.95. 25Feb2009.

Bouldevines Dogpoint Road Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Grilled pineapple - a little toasty, a little racy, a little sweet but with a linear herbaceous backbone and a flinty undercurrent - building in palate weight to a toasty, pungent, tropical fruit finish. 16/20. 13% alc. $19.95.19Feb2009.

Brightwater Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Bright grapefruit aromas and beautifully balanced flavours - grapefruit, mandarin, passionfruit, and hints of stonefruit with underlying gooseberry and bright summer herbs. Despite the tangy acidity, there's a pleasing roundness to the wine. 17.5/20. 12% alc. $20. 25Feb2009.

Brightwater Lord Rutherford Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Straw gold. Fruity zesty aroma - makes me think of lazy summer days lying on dried grass close to the herb and salad gardens. Soft, almost creamy in the Sauvignon Blanc scheme of things with bright racy mandarin acidity and a finish that is light, fresh and juicy with hints of peach and tropical fruit. 18/20. 13% alc. $25. 19Feb2009.

Cape Campbell Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Fresh fruity, summer herb and lime aromas. Clean, fresh, juicy flavours with a toasty passionfruit richness that comes not from oak, but from very ripe fruit. Classically pungent with a powerful finish and a zesty brightness, this is wine you don't need to write much about because the bright juicy flavours say it all. Excellent. 18.5/20. 13% alc. $18.95. 27Feb2010.

Catalina Sounds Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) There's a softness to this wine that I really like. Served chilled the flavours are beautifully balanced with classic herbaceousness, bright citrus acidity, great length and persistence. The gorgeous texture in no doubt due to fermentation with a variety of yeasts in a range of fermentation vessels, with 3% barrel ferment. 12.5% alc. 10Mar2010.

Clos Marguerite Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Slightly earthy, green pea, capsicum, herbaceous aroma. An acid attack in the palate, sour grape and green apple fruit supported by a warm texture with hints of tropical fruit emerging on the finish. Has that earthy character running through the palate . Awatere fruit with some lees aging. 13% alc. $25. 25Feb2009.

Corazon SV Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) This citrine gold coloured wine has a portion of barrel ferment (15%) that deepens the colour and softens the flavours. With hints of tropical fruit and stonefruit together with distinct grassy characters inherent to the variety, it's a full-flavoured wine with a smoky backbone to the bold, rich flavours. Not your typical Marlborough Sauv, it will appeal to lovers of the more European styles. 13.6% alc. $17.99. 18Jul2010.

Distant Land Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Grapefruit, gooseberry and capsicum aromas hint of typical Sauvignon, but the palate lacks pungency and punch. A flavour spectrum of apples, squeezed oranges, stonefruit and even a nuance of honey. Clean, nice, but what makes it stand out from others? 15.5/20. 12.5% alc. $18. 19Feb2009.

Dog Point Marlborough Section 94 2009 (D) Juicy freshly squeezed grapefruit with a smoky nuance coming through. Grapefruit also abounds in the palate of this earthy savoury style that has a sweet toasty oak influence, a hint of tobacco and bright acidity with a pineapple zing – fulsome, satisfying, lots of oak and the creaminess of the yeast lees balancing the zing. Spicy and powerful. Fermented in older French oak barrels with wild yeasts where it remained for 18 months. 13.5% alc. $32.95. 16Apr2011.

Greywacke Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Quite fruity on the nose, subdued for Sauvignon Blanc (no cats pee or sweat at all) but full of bright punchy flavours of gooseberry, tropical fruit, capsicum and lime. An array of flavours across the spectrum with some flinty nuances to the finish and lime and passionfruit lingering around long after the wine has been swallowed. Destined to become a star. A Kevin Judd wine. 13.5% alc. $23.99. 14Oct2009.

Greywacke Wild Sauvignon Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Hints of asparagus and smoky bacon too. Smells a little different to the others but the palate is more in line Smoky and savoury with pineapple, herbs and sweet pea and that intriguing sweetness coming through. Fills the palate and leaves the tastebuds with memories of pleasure. Soft and easy – a delight to drink. Fermented in old oak barrels using wild yeast. 13% alc. $37.00. 16Apr2011.

Hunters Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Grassy, fruity aromas with a bright citrus and summer herb tang. Hot, dry, pungent flavours of citrus, pineapple, summer herbs and gooseberry. One of those wines that creeps up on you then hits you like a freight train with its linearity, length and power. Lovely defined flavours. Very good wine. 13.5% alc. $19. 27Feb2010.

Invivo Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Fresh citrus and summer herb aromas and lashings of tasting of citrus, gooseberry and herb flavours with tangy tropical fruit and hints of tomato stalk. Vibrant and fresh yet with an oiliness to the texture that adds softness and roundness to the mouthfeel. 12.5% alc. $17.99. 13Jan2010.

Isabel Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) A stylish Sauv with plenty of fruit without being overpowering. While a little subdued on the nose with distinct Capsicum Scents, it's fruity to the taste with zingy citrus, tropical fruit and perhaps some apple and honey too. 13% alc. $22. 7Jun2010.

Jackson Estate Grey Ghost Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Really creamy smelling, tropical, complex, I like this scent. A full-on alternative style with a profound savoury bent. Initially there's a pear-like texture but there are no pear flavours at al. It's earthy, it's funky, sweetness wells up from within and a cherimoya fruitiness and creaminess and a touch of hokey pokey, then the acidity kicks in. Texturally complex with impeccable balance, it has layers and layers of finesse. And then, on the finish, there's a suggestion of spritz and a touch of orange zest. Partially fermented in older French oak barriques with wild yeast and aged for several months on yeasts lees. 13% alc. $30.00. 16Apr2011.

Jackson Estate Stitch Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) A tangy, summer herb garden aromas with a fruity pungency infusing the scent. Full-bodied, rounded, well balanced with gooseberry, citrus, capsicum, lime, orange-honey and stonefruit - lots going on with a long, dry finish. Good. 13% alc. $19.95. 25Feb2009.

Johanneshof Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (D) Straw gold. An unusually sweeter style with a slightly oily texture that makes it seems soft in the mouth. Flavour profile is reminiscent of summer herbs, green beans and dried grass with acidity blazing through the finish, then the acidity quietens and the sweet notes round out the lingering aftertaste. 12% alc. $23.50. 25Feb2009.

Jules Taylor Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Light straw yellow. Mowed grass and tropical guava scents and crisp, fresh, zesty flavours infused into a lightly oily texture. Packed with gooseberry, fennel, citrus, capsicum and apple with a touch of a salty tang, I when served chilled it's absolutely mouthwatering and refreshing. Juicy passionfruit and pineapple comes forth to linger on the lasting finish. 13.5% alc. $19.99. 6 Jan2010.
A more full-throttle style of Sauv with herbs, grass, capsicum, lime and a touch of tropical fruit with honey edged juicy citrus and a lasting finish. 13.5% alc. $19.99. 16Jun2010.

Kidnapper Cliffs Hawkes Bay Solan Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (c) This is a rich, powerful, barrel-aged, smoky style with a peasy/asparagus nuance to the scent. Acidity hums through the palate with grassy, grainy, herbal inflections. Grapefruit and lime take over, hints of stonefruit and melon push through and the funky character of the wild yeast, detected on the nose lingers on the long, powerful finish. This will really appeal to lovers of this style. 13 % alc. $35.00. 11Oct2010.

Kina Beach Nelson "Estuary Block" Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Dull, earthy, plasticine aromas and dilute, citrussy flavours with a delicate touch of anise-like herbs, a flintiness to the texture and a dry but juicy finish. 13/5% alc. $20. 19Feb2009.

Lawson's Dry Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Hints of grapefruit on the nose, which is quite restrained for Sauv, but it is distinctly varietal in the palate. A rich, fat, rounded wine with a softness that comes from perhaps the 7% oak and the time on yeast lees, as well as bottle age. Now two years old, it is developing toasty notes together with pea and bean characters and mellow tropical fruit. Drinking nicely now, it has no brashness at all. 13.5% alc. $21.95. 21Jan 2011.

Lawson's Dry Hills The Pioneer Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) A whiff of wild yeast joins the distinctive herbaceous and tropical scents. Creamy and rich to the taste, yet crisp, fresh, bright and zingy with initial flavours of fleshy peach and juicy tangelo joined by gooseberry and herbs. 15% barrel fermented with some indigenous yeast and malolactic fermentation that has introduced thet creaminess while there is also a sugestion of savouriness too. Focussed and vital, it's a serious style of deliciously drinkable Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. 12% alc. $29.95. 9Feb2010.

Lobster Reef Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) A deliciously juicy wine with tropical fruit aromas and an edgy herbaceousness to the flavour with loads of lime-like citrus and a flinty character to the long dry finish. Made by Cape Campbell. 12% alc. $15.95. 24Dec2009.

Man O' War Waiheke Island Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Showing a little colour, the wine has aroma that hints of subtle use of oak. Its smell a little earthy with a grainy citrus characters and hints of melon. In the palate there's a softness at first with melon and tropical fruit to the fore, cut by apple-like acidity with the apple character lingering on the finish together with a gooseberry pungency that is classic to Sav. A totally different style to the wines from further south and probably very good with seafood caught in the waters below the vineyard. 12/5% alc. $25. 27Feb2010.

Martinborough Vineyard Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Restrained aromatics lead into a palate with softer acidity, a creamy texture and complexity from the 15% barrel ferment. Flavours of tropical fruit, melon and spicy zest have a good long finish. A food wine with suggestions of smoked fish or scallops. 13.5% alc. $21. 26Feb2010.

Martinborough Vineyard Te Tera Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) A very dry style of savvie, served chilled it is a little bit herbal on the nose with the slightest of oiliness to the texture with gooseberry and apple fruit, a herbaceous pungency to stamp the varietal definition on the finish. 13% alc. $20. 2Nov2009.

Matakana Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Warm tropical fruit salad scent with a hint of banana & pineapple and more savoury capsicum lead into a juicy, fruity, full-flavoured palate with rich flavours and a slightly oily texture. Spicy, savoury, fruity, lots going on with the tropical fruit flavours detected on the nose filling out the long lasting finish and well balanced tangy acidity. 13% alc. $22. 25Feb2009.

Matawhero Gisborne Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Straw gold. Slightly restrained melon, mandarin and herbal scents, those herbs having a slight anise flavour in the palate, like chervil and tarragon. It's a soft and slightly sweetish sauvignon blanc to the taste with fruit reminiscent of mandarin, green melon and yellow plums joining the herbs, a little bit of grip to the texture and warmth to the finish. Not a Marlborough style but very good as a food accompaniment because it doesn't over power the food.11.5% alc. $24. 27Nov2009.

Matua Valley Estate Series Paretai Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Banana passionfruit on the nose at first them more exotic sub-tropical fruits, like guava and feijoa emerge. A cat-free zone, this fresh, cool, juicy wine is dry in style with a fine texture. Summer herbs come through to join the tropical fruit and there's a twist of lime on the persistent finish. 13.5% alc. $24.99. 21Oct2009.
Such a contrast to the previous tasting of this wine, it seems to have garnered some canned pea characters already. Then grapefruit on both the nose and in the palate emerges together with summer herbs. 13.5% alc. $24.99. 13Jan2010.

Mills Reef Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Quite floral on the nose with a 'queen of the night' headiness, it is full of tropical fruit with lime and mango, with a creaminess to the texture and a brightness to the flavour. There's a tobacco-like heat coming through, plenty of bright tingling tangy acidity and flower musk - as it has a splash or Riesling and a splash of Gewurz - while underlying gooseberry builds on the more typically pungent finish. Interesting wine. Not what you expect. Long sweetish finish. 14% alc. $17.95. 25Feb2009.

Momo Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Made from 100% organically grown grapes, this seems quite a savoury style of Sauvignon Blanc, the savouriness probably accentuated by the wild yeast ferment that seems to add a funky veneer to the bright fresh fruity flavours. But there's loads of passionfruit and underlying gooseberry and a spicy zestinesss that is just so, so Marlborough. 13.5% alc. $19. 21Sep2009.

Montana Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Reasonably typical gooseberry, capsicum, herb and citrus aromas. Quite tropical in the palate with pineapple fruit joining gooseberry and lime with a juicy undercurrent, well balanced acidity and a long, pungent tangy finish with lots of tangelo. Nice softness and roundness to the texture and excellent length. An excellent example of fresh, bright, flavoursome Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. 18.5/20. 12.5% alc. $10 - $15. 25Feb2009.

Mt Beautiful Cheviot Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) An unusually dry-styled, tropical scented and brightly flavoured sauv. The mouth is filled with juicy passionfruit and mango-like fruit with the zesty aura of tangelo and fru-ju ice blocks, a nervy herbaceous backbone and a long-lasting pungent finish. "Juicy" is the key word for this cool, refreshing, tasty wine. If you like sauv blanc, you'll love this. I rate it 5 stars. 14% alc. $21.95. 6May2010.

Mud House Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Undoubtably and distinctively Marlborough savvie, this straw gold wine has 'leap out of the glass' summer herb and tropical fruit aromas and exuberantly juicy favours full of passionfruit and lime with an underpinning of stonefruit and bean. Chilling adds a delicious crispness and the flavours last for ages. 13.5% alc. $13.99. 28Oct2009.

Ohau Gravels Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) An earthy, flinty, gravelly style with an edgy point of difference to the masses of Sauvignon that come out of the South Island - dare I say it even has a Sancerre-ish quality. Lots of herbaceous nuances, nettles, dandelion, feijoa and apples - apple flavours reminiscent of some of the lovely Sauvignon Blancs that come out of Martinborough. This is a cat-free, sweat-free zone - a beautiful Sauvignon - one that I can (and did) drink more than one glass of. I am very impressed. The notes say there's 5% wild ferment in barrels - I can't taste any oak but perhaps this is what is adding the textural qualities. 14% alc. $20.95. 16Oct2009.

Palliser Estate Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Bright tangy aromatics and crisp, fresh, crunchy flavours that make you think you are biting into fruit that's reminiscent of cape gooseberry, passionfruit and lime. A gorgeous array of fruit flavours with a softness to the texture and a long lasting finish. 18.5/20. 13% alc. $19. 23Feb2009.

Pencarrow Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Lot of pungent herbaceousness to the aromatics and the flavours with green connotations galore. Rich, tangy and tasty with a lightly oily texture, bright acidity and a strong finish. 13.5% alc. $15. 23Feb2009.

Richmond Plains Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Gooseberry and apple on the nose - lots of apple skin phenolics, it seems. Light, fresh, juicy but lacks some impact and has that earthy note found in some of the other wines. Perhaps slightly reduced too. 12% alc. $20. 27Feb2010.

River Farm Ben Morven Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) There's a richness to the aroma - perhaps a hint of oak that restrains the gooseberry, tropical fruit and capsicum scents. A soft, creamy Sauvignon Blanc - textural with fruit sweetness with a round mouthfeel with soft acidity and the sweetness of juicy acidity then becoming quite pungent on the finish with a touch of nectarine. I like this and as the flavours linger it gets more intense and more delicious as the exotic fruit lingers for ages. 18.5/20. 13.5% alc. $19.90. 19Feb2009.

Rockburn Central Otago Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) A zesty, lightly herbaceous, grape and feijoa skin aromas to this full-bodied style of savvy that has an exotic tang. Slightly grainy textured with moderate to high acidity and flavours of apple, tomato leaf and feijoa. An intriguing, fascinating 'alternative' style with a long toasty finish and a long, persistent aftertaste. 62% fermented in French oak. 17.5/20. 14% alc. $22. 19Feb2009.

Rockburn Central Otago Three Barrels Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) The label says Sauvignon Blanc, but it's not as we know it. A savoury wine, a smoky wine, a departure from the norm. Wood-smoked asparagus with a kick of acidity to the finish.. Some herb nuances come through on the aroma too. Oak-fermented with maturation in barrel on gross lees. 14% alc. $35.00. 1Apr2011.

Sacred Hill Halo Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Pale straw gold. Typically what we think of as Marlborough with passionfruit, gooseberry and lime aromas, this is a vibrant, punchy sauv blanc with lots of delicious tropical fruit, gooseberry and lime flavours with an infusion of rocket and basil and an explosion of passionfruit that lingers in the mouth for ages. Fresh and vibrant with a kind of fume/sweaty character to the finish. Fruit is sweet and ripe but the wine finishes dry. 12.5% alc. $27.90. 27Nov2009.

Sacred Hill Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) This wine really holds its ground in a bind tasting of Sauvignon Blanc. A rich, full-flavoured Sauv with sweet basil, gooseberry, citrus, apple and even a hint of pineapple. A little tug of acidity then the viscosity of the wine kicks in. Juicy, flavoursome and long. V. Good. 18/20. 12.5% alc. $20.90. 19Feb2009.

Saint Clair Premium Series Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Typically Marlborough with a capsicum and orange blossom aroma and lashings of juicy tangelo-like citrus with a light honeyed/glycerol feel to the texture, bright summer herbs flavour and pungency to the finish. Delicious with the chicken cooked in tangelo, lime, coriander and coconut. 13% alc. $18. 8Dec2009.
Pungent aromatics of tropical fruit, green bean and capsicum and crisp, fresh, vibrant flavours of green apple, bean, pea shoots and summer herbs that give way to tropical fruit with hints of pineapple and orange zest and a pleasing touch of oiliness to the texture. A world class wine at give away price. 13% alc. $13.99 . 10Mar2010.

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 1 Foundation Block Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Vivacious sweet pea and powerful passionfruit aromatics, even a hint of sweat and tangy to the taste with excellent balance of tropical fruit to the more gooseberry / vegetal side of SB. It's deep, pungent and zesty with passionfruit dominating the bright, juicy finish. 13% alc. $25.99. 23Sep2009.
Light yellow gold with distinctive aromas of aromas of sweet tropical fruit, lime and gooseberry joined by apple and an amalgam of flavours in the palate. Flat, fleshy, juicy with passionfruit, pineapple, lots of summer herbs and even a hint of sweat. The style of Sauv that makes you go 'Wow' if you've never had Sauv like this before. 13% alc. $25.99. 9Dec2009.

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 2 Swamp Block Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Perfumed, almost bath salts-like aroma and a little grainy/spritzy in texture but light and delicate in attack with tangelo-like citrus, summer herbs, underlying gooseberry and a nectarine sweetness coming through. Not as pungent as some of the Saint Clair Sauvs can be, which makes it very appealing. 13% alc. Screwcap. $27.99. 13Jan2010.

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 6 Sauvignon Blanc 2009 – Marlborough (sc) Straw gold coloured. Lively, inviting tropical fruit and summer herb aromas and rounded fruity, citrussy-toned flavours with tangy zest, grapefruit, feijoa and underlying herbaceousness. A powerful wine with a smooth mouthfeel. 12.5% alc. $25.99. 5May2010.

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 18 Snap Block Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Very pale coloured in appearance with a slight hint of musk to the juicy, tangy aroma and smooth, almost creamy flavours with green bean, passionfruit, honey, orange and hints of fresh coriander. Bright, flavoursome and juicy and while not as intense as some of the other 'Pioneer Block numbers, the touch of sweetness with have lots of appeal. 13% alc. $25.99. 16Sep2009.

Saint Clair Wairau Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) A vivacious wine with bright, tangy aromas and deliciously fresh juicy flavours. There's passionfruit, apple and pineapple with a nervy herbaceous undercurrent. A fantastic example of Marlborough Sauv and my personal favourite. Simply excellent. 13% alc. $32.99. 14Apr2010.

Sea Level Awatere Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) A bright punchy number with tropical island scents of coconut and lime and loads of pungent coriander. The taste is a full throttle attack of vibrant yellow fruits with classic herbaceousness, a touch of honey and lime, and loads of green apple coming through on the finish. Just a little hard on the back palate but should settle with just a little more time. 13 % alc. $14.99. 3Jul2009.
Light gold. Bright aromatics of lime and passionfruit. Crisp and fresh, like biting into a crunchy piece of melon with passionfruit and pineapple with underlying herbaceousness and a nice twist of citrus. A vibrant, tasty, well-made wine with a long flavoursome finish. Made by Sam Smail with Awatere fruit, this could become one of the stars of the vintage. 13% alc. $15.99. 29Jul2009.

Seresin Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Although a little subdued on the nose with only hints of grass and tropical fruit, this is a rich, fat wine in the palate with fleshy peach, juicy tropical fruit and loads of zesty pineapple. It's warm textured and creamy with lively acidity ensuring a bright finish. 95% Sauvignon Blanc and 10% Semillon. 80% wild ferment. The Semillon and 10% of the Sauvignon were fermented in old oak. Certified organic. 14% alc. $27.00. 16Apr2011.

Seresin Estate Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) One of the most interesting wines of the tasting. It seduces from the outset with its smoky, creamy, mealy perfume and an underpinning of freshly cut grass but when first tasted it seems quite lean. It walks a straight line down a flinty gravelly path but then it sticks a hand out here and a hand out there, it swings its hips and suddenly there's life and laughter all around, Sweet stonefruit, honeyed citrus and distinct wild yeast traits build to a bright zesty finish with citrus, tarragon and subtle creamy lees the lasting impression. All ferments with wild yeast – 30% in barrel. 14% alc. $55.00. 16Apr2011.

Sileni Benchmark Block Trinity Vines Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Pungent with a smoky aura. A little grainy in texture - quite restrained compared to the other Sileni's tasted alongside it - perhaps some oak and lees action going on here - the pineapple character present in all the wines comes through on the herbaceous-scored fruity finish and the aftertaste is long, rich and even a little creamy. This wine really grew on me in the tasting. 12.5% alc. $24.95. 12Mar2010.

Sileni Benchmark Block Woolshed Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Fruity aromatics, though quite restrained in its scent. In the palate this is more classic gooseberry supported by rich, powerful tropical fruit with pineapple Fruju flavours on the lingering finish. Rounded, a little creamy, with soft acidity. 13.5% alc. $24.95. 12Mar2010.

Sileni The Cape Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) A little funky on the nose, perhaps some oak / wild yeast stuff going on, then classic gooseberry / capsicum underpinning the scent. Abundant tropical fruit, heading towards pineapple, with a slightly oily character, perhaps a hint of oak and a spicy, zesty finish. 13% alc. $24.95. 12Mar2010.

Sileni The Straits Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Fruity aromatics with a hint of snowpea. A gooseberry, fresh cut grass, herbaceous style with mango and hints of stonefruit. Bright, fresh and vivacious with lots of appeal. My favourite for simply drinking of the Sileni four. 13% alc. $23.50. 12Mar2010.

Spinyback Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Clean inviting, passionfruit, honey and citrus aromas introduce this powerful exuberant mouth awakening style and when chilled it has a fine citrussy zing. 12.5% alc. $10.99. 2Jun2010.

Spy Valley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Tangy and bright with a gooseberry infusion to the tropical fruit flavours. There' a softness to the wine and the juices are fleshy. Showing a grainy earthy mealy complexity from the yeast lees aging. 13% alc. $16.90. 7Sep2009.
Fruity, juicy, loads of tropical fruit even a hint of strawberry to add intrigue with a touch of tarragon coming through. Served lightly chilled on this occasion - and simply delicious. 13% alc. $16.90. 31Oct2009.
There's a greenish hint to the light gold colour and while somewhat restrained for Sauv on the nose, it's full of juicy sweet fruit in the palate - tangelo, coriander, snow pea in particular with a deliciously long finish and a flinty undercurrent. 13% alc. $14.99. 9Dec2009.

Starborough Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) A little more subdued on the nose but refreshingly fruity to the taste. Tropical guava, passionfruit, babaco and tangelo abound and the finish is zesty and dry. 13% alc. $16.99. 14Apr2010.

Te Awa Hawkes Bay sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) There's a hint of light yellow to the colour and the aromas are quite apple-like - orchard apples with some windfalls adding to the complex apple scents. An unusual wine, probably because of the addition of Semillon, there's something reminiscent of custard powder in the palate with tropical fruit that is quickly cut by apple-like acidity with a bright citrussy zest that tempers the more earthy-like flavours. Overall the wine has a softness with Semillon, the array of fermentation yeasts and a portion (15%) of oak aging providing depth and complexity and a the finish is mouthfilling and long. A Sauv for those who don't like the typically brash style. 17/20. 12.5% alc. $27. 27Feb2010.

Te Mania Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) A salad bowl on the nose - cucumber, summer herbs, tomato. bright and fresh to the taste, well defined acidity and a hot fumé character. A very juicy wine with grapefruit joining gooseberry and tropical fruit with a suggestion of oiliness to the texture. It's like a garden of herbs at the end of summer - when they are all in flower. Nice. 17.5/20. 12% alc. $18.99. 19Feb2009.

Te Mata Cape Crest Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (D)A youthful expression of the 2008, this even has a suggestion of grass on the nose along with bread and fruit salad scents. Quite juicy with a citrussy zing when served lightly chilled, it has a characteristic softness to the texture with fleshy stonefruit, tropical fruit and rich, mealy, buttery, woody, barrel ferment flavours. A blend of 86% Sauvignon Blanc, 9% Semillon, and 5% Sauvignon Gris. Nick points out that Te Mata were the pioneers of Sauvignon Gris in New Zealand and they have used it in the Cape Crest since the early noughties. 13.5% alc. $24.99. 17Mar2010.
Showing a little less of those 'leap out of the glass' scents, but more richer, rounder and spicier flavours with salted lemon, stonefruit and a mealy, honeyed richness. The oak seems more integrated; the wine seems more complete. It has a creamy buttery edge and fragrant citrus-infused herbs linger on the finish. 13.5% alc. $26.99. 9Mar2011.

The Crossings Awatere Valley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) A fresh, grassy style of Sauv - vibrantly aromatic and full of flavour. It's slightly oily in texture with racy acidity and crisp citrus and tropical fruit. Like biting into a slightly underripe pinapple, it sends tingles down the spine then an onsluaght of juicy tangelo adds sweetness and summer herbs linger with a touch of apple on the pungent and seemingly dry finish. Can't imagine anything better than this thirst-quencher served well-chilled on a sun-soaked day. 13% alc. $18.99. 8May2010.

The Ned Waihopai River Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Spicy, a little earthy, apple and gooseberry on the nose, a hint of celery too. Dry in style, with sweet zesty citrus acidity, bright tropical fruit, summer herbs and a hint of melon. A light impression on the palate but full of flavour with some 'sweaty' notes emerging with time. 13% alc. $19. 25Feb2009.

Tohu Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) With its gorgeous packaging reflecting the indigenous culture of New Zealand, this is a zesty, tangy number with herbs and citrus on the nose and a sweaty undercurrent to the tropical fruit flavours that hint of passionfruit and pineapple. It has that 'afterkick' and 30 seconds after you swallow it there's another explosion of tangelo, honey and coriander. A powerful, pungent style. 13% alc. $19. 8Dec2009.
Deliciously fresh and juicy, full of tropical fruit and pineapple with lots of yummy summer herbs and tangy citrus and a good long finish. A very appealing and likeable, well rounded Sauv. 13% alc. $15.99. 16Jun2010.

Villa Maria Private Bin Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Light gold in colour with a glassy lustre. Passionfruit, tarragon and green bean on the nose - a nuance of white pepper too - and a softness to the texture that has an oily veneer. Flavours in the palate emulate the aromas with passionfruit, tarragon and bean. There's a flinty backbone to the wine and despite the 3.5grams per litre of residual sugar, the high acidity (7.5g/l) expressed as zesty citrus, makes the finish seem quite dry. 13% alc. $17.99. 20May2009.
Very pale lemon, oily in appearance. Grape aroma to start with a hand cream-like scent then apple, lime and passionfruit becoming more toasty with time. Bright flavours - lots of lime and mandarin zest and a rich powerful almost spicy finish with classic varietal herbaceous and passionfruit pungency. The label states 'First bottling May 2009'. 13% alc. $13.99. 1Jul2009.

Te Mata Woodthorpe Sauvignon Blanc 2009 – Hawkes Bay (sc) Pale straw coloured with a powerful perfumed youthful herbaceous savyy aromas and full on, fresh zingy flavours - primarily spiced apple then becoming quite tropical with passionfruit, mango, a tangy citrussy backbone and lots of tarragon, chervil and other delicious anise-like herbs. Fresh, bright, dry and juicy - sunshine in a glass. 13% alc. $17.99. 5Aug2009.

Waimea Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Pale straw coloured with a bright tropical fruit and passionfruit aroma and a vivaciously fresh grassy taste with an increasing pungency. Snow pea, pineapple, grapefruit, herbs and passionfruit surge in waves of flavour cresting with some of that exciting 'BO' (it can only be exciting in Sauv Blanc) and the finish is long and juicy. 12.5% alc. $11.99. 19May2010.

Wild South Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Juicy citrus and pineapple aromas introduced the fresh, tangy flavours of green apple, tropical fruit and lime with richness accrued from bottle age and a touch of sweet pea on the spicy and pungent, but not overly pungent finish. It was so deliciously refreshing when served icy cold. 17.5/20. 13% alc. $18.90. 16Jan 2011.

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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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