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Wine Reviews - Sauvignon Blanc
2010 vintage
by Sue Courtney
Last updated 30 May 2013

[2013][2012][2011] [2010] [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.

2010 Vintage [top] [index]

Alexia Wairarapa Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) A bright fruity scent with lime and sweet pea so it's a surprise that it's so subdued on first tasting. Then the flavours explode with zest and zing . There's melon, tropical fruit, grapefruit peel and underlying herbs. Rich and powerful with a long-lasting finish. 13% alc. $17.99 15Apr2011.

Astrolabe Discovery Awatere Valley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Powerful aromatics are like a tropical fruit medley infused with tangy citrus and the flavours are bracingly fresh and deliciously juicy, crammed with passionfruit and peach with a zesty citrus undercurrent that adds vibrancy and tang to the lasting finish. Tomato stalk notes balance the fruity sweetness. 13.5% alc. $24.00. 18Feb2011.

Astrolabe Discovery Kekerengu Coast Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) A powerful aroma of sweet tropical fruit, citrus and concentrated passionfruit promises much, so it's a surprise to find this is an 'alternative' style that has been wild-fermented in French oak and while texturally rich, the flavours initially seem subdued. However it's hard to subdue good Sauvignon Blanc for long and, true to form, the fruit punches through and it finishes vibrant and tangy. 13% alc. $27.00. 6Jun2011.

Astrolabe Voyage Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Powerful and fresh with distinctly varietal aromatics and bright, tangy flavours of grass, lime tangelo, tarragon and passionfruit. A light sense of oiliness imparts roundness to the mouthfeel and there's a zesty kicker to the long lasting finish. Delicious. 13.5% alc. $21.99. 16Feb2011.

Bella by Invivo Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) While not overly boisterous, the aromas of gooseberry and capsicum leave no doubt as to what the variety is. It's fresh, bright and juicy to the taste with a lovely seam of lime and mandarin citrus underpinned by classic gooseberry flavours and tangy summer herbs. Most sauv blancs clock in around at around 13.5% alcohol but this only has 9% but on tasting you would have no idea this was a lower alcohol wine. 9% alc. $22. 4Oct2010.

Cable Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) A touch of oak in this wine subdues the punchy character of this young Savvy. Picking up some dried hay and apple notes with lingering juicy tangelo and a backbone of summer herbs, it's not too brash at all and drinking nicely now. 13.5 % alc. $24.00. 30Oct2010.

Catalina Sounds Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Plenty of tangy acidity with a bubble-gum oiliness to the texture and bright flavours of citrus, pineapple and summer herb. Fresh and juicy with lots of grassy connotations and a flinty finish. 13% alc. $22.00. 8Apr2011.

Church Road Reserve Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) In a Bordeaux bottle, it certainly seems like an 'alternative style' both in bottle and taste. Creamy scents are infused with passionfruit, vanilla and corn. Plenty of oak. Texturally complex with a long, rich, mouthfilling finish. Fermented in French oak with wild yeast. 14.5% alc. $36.95. 8Apr2011.

Churton Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (D) Bone dry with a slightly smoky nuance to the scent from the 10% oak. It's rich and stylish with an earthy, savoury backbone from aging on lees, with well balanced bright acidity, a herbal inflection and heritage apple lingering. 13.4% alc. $27. 22Jun2011.

Crowded House Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) It seems like an 'old-fashioned style' with some development as there are some canned pea characters coming through. On the nose there's herb oil, plasticine, apple and lime and the apple and lime carry through to the palate, which seems quite earthy too. I much prefer this as a food wine – best to match to salads. 13% alc. $18.00. 8Apr2011.

Dusky Sounds Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Light gold coloured with tantalising passionfruit, gooseberry and lime aromas. Powerfully flavoured with loads of juiciness, it's classic sauv with gooseberry, grass and fleshy ripe tropical fruit balanced by racy acidity. Undeniably good. 12.5% alc. $9.99 11May2011.

Esk Valley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Perfumed, a little musky, perhaps some sweat. In the palate it is initially quite flinty, racy and dry. A citrussy wine with an underpinning of gooseberry, tomato stalk and herbs with a musky nuance to the expanding finish. A blend of Wairau Valley and Awatere Valley fruit, it is a great expression of the leaner style 13.5% alc. 6Sep2010.

Hay Maker Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Lots of fresh, grassy flavours accompany juicy citrus and tropical fruit and there's a lovely pungency to the rounded finish. Builds in power and complexity while a touch of succulence gives it all round appeal. 13.5% alc. 6Sep2010.

Hunter's Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Served chilled, as it should be in summer, has such a deliciously fruity aroma that emanates Sauv's characteristic pungency, that pungency so distinctive in the palate too. Juicy and zesty with lime, herb and tropical fruit, roundness to the texture and tangy acidity on the finish, it really hits the spot. Love the tarragon that emerges on the finish. Just delicious. 19.5/20. 13.5% alc. $16.90 . 21Jan2011.

Jackson Estate Marlborough Stich Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Capsicum and tropical fruit aromas and grassy flavours with a steely backbone to the tangy apple and juicy tropical fruit and a touch of oiliness to the texture that adds roundness to the mouthfeel and richness to the finish. 13.5 % alc. $22.50. 30Oct2010.

Jules Taylor Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Exotic tropical fruit and dried cut grass aromas, and packed with classic gooseberry, herb and citrus flavours with a hint of BO and tropical fruit surging through on the lasting finish where hints of stonefruit emerges. Dry in style with a flinty backbone to provide tension and a texture that is seamless. 13.5% alc. $19.99. 25Nov2010.

Kate Radburnd Bud Burst Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Bright and fruity, not a leap out of the glass and grab you around the throat type of sauv with acidity that makes your eyes pop while etching your teeth. It's soft and easy with fruity flavours of peach and nectarine with a backbone of green gooseberries and tangy herb flavours that linger. 13.5% alc. $17.00. 6Jun2011.

Kim Crawford Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Initially dried hay, then bean apple and passionfruit burst forth on the nose and apples abound in the palate. Quite linear, a little grainy in texture, quite steely on entry with methoxypyrazines characters of green bean and day lily come through. But the finish is brightened with a squeeze of pineapple and a zing of lime 13.5% alc. $22.99. 15Apr2011.

Lawson’s Dry Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Rich and pungent with tropical fruit, herb and bean aromas that carry through to the beautifully balanced palate that has intense citrus, passionfruit and hints of green bean with lovely roundness and length. Lots of tangy appeal. 13.5% alc. $21. 6Sep2010.

Mahi Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Fermented in both oak and tank, 100% wild yeast, but it doesn't taste too oaky or leesy at all. The aromas are all grass and green bean and the powerful flavours are stonefruit, citrus, apple and bean. The mouthfeel and texture are rounded and the finish is bright and zingy. 13.5% alc. $19.95. 16Apr2011.

Man O' War Gravestone Waiheke Island Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2010 (sc) So overtly fragrant with sweet mealy wild yeast aromas infused with toast and lemon. Creamy and savoury to the taste with Sauvignon's vivacious pungency subdued by the use of yeast lees and oak. The fruit has a citrus seam, but it really is more melons and sweet juicy nectarines. Then the hammer hits the rock and smoky flinty nuances embrace the wine and linger. 10% Sauvignon Blanc with 40% Semillon that's been fermented in old oak. 14% alc. $36. 18May2013.

Moncellier Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Gooseberry, capsicum, lime and tropical fruit - grapefruit and green apple. Seems a little green to start but as the afterglow kicks in, it certainly is quite acceptable. 14 % alc. $24.99. 30Oct2010.

Mount Riley Limited Release Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc)Ripe, rich and oily smelling with a touch of sweet and green bean. Dry to the taste with an oily texture, spice and zest and bountiful flavours of citrus, herbs, gooseberry and capsicum and a powerful, concentrated flinty finish. 13.5% alc. 6Sep2010.

Mt Hillary Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Aromas of pineapple, herbs and flint and followed by tangy, fresh, juicy, tasty flavours. There's a lovely bright tropical fruit infusion of pineapple and passionfruit with a well-balanced citrusy zing and the texture is pleasingly creamy too. The finish is long. A veritable crowd pleaser with its roundness and ease. 13.5% alc. $19.00. 6Jun2011.

Mud House Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Flinty with plenty of sweet pea, grass and summer herb flavours and an increasing oily richness that adds to the mouthfeel. Floral nuances too and perhaps even a hint of musk. 13.5% alc. $21. 28Aug2010.
Flinty aromas lead into a palate that seems quite steely and lean at first with capsicum and riverstone, then rich flavours of passionfruit and citrus burst through with a touch of green bean. It's dry in style with loads of tangy summer herbs on the finish. 13.5 alc. 6Sep2010.
This wine is delicious when served very chilled. There's a lovely, almost floral fragrance to the bouquet and a flinty nuance to the flavour with powerful passionfruit and citrus, loads of juicy apple and tangy summer herbs. 13.5% alc. $14.99. 29Sep2010.

Nautilus Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Water pale in hue with fresh, inviting aromas of classic gooseberry, a little cut grass, summer herbs, tomato stalk and lemon. Gooseberry and capsicum fill the fresh, tangy palate together with lime, tangelo, herbs and a zesty finish and a textural softness that will have wide appeal. Delicious and thirst-quenching when chilled, which is how it really should be enjoyed. Accompany with snapper. 19/20. 13.5% alc. $15-$25. 18Feb2011.

Nobilo Icon Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) With an almost creamy tropical fruit and gooseberry aroma this is a full-bodied, mouth-filling style with tropical fruit and melon then gooseberry and herbs adding line and length to the long flinty finish. 14.5% alc. $24. 15Aug2011.

Opawa Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Grass, herb, capsicum and lemon scents become more tropical as the cold wine loses it chilly edge. A dry, crisp, style that is steely and flinty at first with a touch of sweet apple and pineapple and softness to the finish where some lovely tarragon notes come through on the expansive finish. 13 % alc. $19.99. 30Oct2010.

Palliser Estate Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Very fresh with salad greens and herb-infused citrus aromas and a lightly oily texture that gives a rounded mouthfeel with a creamy apple flavour and typical grass, tropical and herbs. Powerful yet not overpowering, with lovely balance. 13.5% alc. $25. 18Feb2011.

Pebble Row Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) There's no doubt as to what the variety is here with such aromatic, punchy aromas and the flavours are crisp and fruity with bright acidity underpinning the tropical fruit and nectarine flavours with hallmark summer herb grassy characters and a dry flinty finish. Made by Vavasour. 13% alc. Screwcap. $12.99.

Pegasus Bay Waipara Valley Sauvignon Semillon 2010(sc) The scent of this wine is all wild yeast and French oak in harmony with concentrated tropical fruit and a kind of sewing machine oil character too! The wild yeast characters set a fuse running into the core where the fruit flavours explode. Vibrant, creamy, toasty and delicious with a touch of grapefruit zest on the end, yet all the time a harmonious underlying savouriness too. Only the Semillon portion saw oak but both rested on the wild yeast lees for 6 months. 13.5% alc. $27.95. 18May2013.

Pencarrow Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Some smoky leesy aromas float away to let the green melon and delicate summer herb scents coming through. A medium-boded wine in the palate, it doesn't assault rather it's more of a gentle caress. The texture is the star of this wine, there's a fume note and leesy hints that you get in the alternative styles. With flavours of lime, passionfruit and delicate 'fines herbes', it gets better and better with every mouthful. Outstanding match to smoked snapper pate. 13.5% alc. $19.72. 15Apr2011.

Ra Nui Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) The scent is grassy and pungent with hints of gooseberry and the taste is mega-citrussy and edgy with juicy tangelo, pineapple, grass, herbs and capsicum. The acidity is racy and just a little drying but the juiciness wins through to give a smooth mouthfeel impression and the bright finish is herbaceous and long. Available off website in NZ. Sold mostly overseas. 13% alc. $17.99. 6Jun2011.

Richmond Plains Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) On the nose there's capsicum, green melon and playdough and there's a slightly smoky (cut grass) nuance coming through too. Quite tropical in its flavour profile with warmth and richness to the texture and some pleasing pineapple notes. A soft style yet with lots of tang. Banana passionfruit lingers on finish. A great match to tomato-based dishes. 12% alc. $19.99. 8Apr2011.

Sacred Hill Halo Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) A soft smelling wine with scents of apple, passionfruit, herbs and green bean. Apple flavours abound in the palate with bean, capsicum and citrus tending towards grapefruit with a touch of tropical fruit on the finish where sweet citrus abounds. Powerful and long. 13% alc. $24.90. 15Apr2011.
Aromatic and vibrant, fresh, grassy and edgy with unmistakable varietal green-coloured fruit characters such as feijoa, gooseberry and lime joining juicy pineapple and an underlying classical herbaceousness. 13% alc. $19.99. 21Sep2011.

Sacred Hill Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) The pretty and lightly floral scent smells of pink bubble gum and juicy red apple that makes me think Pinot Gris rather than Sauvignon Blanc. A soft textured wine with a toasty richness coming through and although there's a typical green herbal edge, the flavour is more subdued apple and pears. 13% alc. $21.99. 8Apr2011.

Saint Clair Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Sporting a black label this year instead of deep royal blue, was my No. 1 pick in a small line-up of Sauvs. It has concentration, power and richness with flavours of passionfruit, sweet pea, summer herbs and tangelo, but is the seductive mouthfeel that gives this wine the x-factor. 13.5% alc. $21. 28Aug2010.
Vibrantly aromatic and full of punchy flavours of passionfruit, sweet pea, summer herbs and tangelo but is the concentration, power and richness and the smooth seductive mouthfeel that gives this wine the x-factor. 13.5% alc. $16.99. 15Sep2010.

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 3 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Punchy tropical fruit and summer herb aromas and bold, full flavours. Quite oily textured, which adds a pleasing lushness to the mouthfeel and fresh, juicy flavours of grass, passionfruit, pineapple and citrus. Quintessential Marlborough. 13.5% alc. $22.99. 12Jan2011.

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 18 Snap Block Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Capsicum and flint characterise the bouquet while on first tasting the palate is dry and flinty with underlying citrus. Grapefruit, sweet pea and herbs compound in flavour, richness and mouthfeel. It seems a more richer, more rounded wine than the Block 21 tasted alongside it. 13.5% alc. 6Sep2010.
Surprisingly, especially for a Saint Clair wine, this is a little more restrained on the nose with hints of capsicum and sweet pea but there is nothing restrained about the delicious flavour. There's passionfruit, lime, a hint of tangelo zest and summer herbs with a nervy edge to the flinty undercurrent and a long juicy finish that compounds in flavour, richness and mouthfeel. 13.5% alc. $22.99. 13Oct2010.

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 19 Bird Block Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Vibrant and alive with tangelo and tropical fruit scents, this is a full, fruity Sauvignon Blanc exploding with vivacious flavours of gooseberry and passionfruit. It's deliciously pungent with power and length, with racy acidity perfectly in balance. Tasted alongside the Saint Clair Premium as well as Block 18 and Block 21, this was my favourite of this quartet. 13% alc. $22.99. 6Sep2010.

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 21 Bell Block Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Vibrant and alive with grass, apple and sweet pea scent, initially tight, restrained and linear in palate, yet typically Saint Clair as it compounds in richness and bursts with flavour. Full of apple, tangelo and bean with a delicately musky nuance to the grassy finish. 13.5% alc. 6Sep2010.
Cor! The bright zingy aroma and the mouthwatering refreshing taste says it all. When chilled there's a lovely oiliness to the texture with grapefruit, passionfruit, green apple, gooseberry and loads of summer herbs having a raucous party in the mouth. 13.5% alc.. $22.99. 6Oct2010.

Saint Clair Vicar's Choice Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) There's a flinty undercurrent to the bright focussed flavours of gooseberry, apple and lemonade citrus with exotic tropical guava creeping in too. 13.5% alc. $18.95. 28Aug2010.

Saint Clair Wairau Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Powerful aromas and tangy flavours with racy acidity that sends shivers down the spine on first tasting but the flavours evolve beautifully with stonefruit, passionfruit and pineapple joining grass and herbs and citrus. Delicious, concentrated and incredibly juicy, like biting into fleshy tropical fruit. Deserves its status as Saint Clair's top wine, just needs that evolution in the glass right now. 13% alc. $31.50. 25Dec2010.
A complex aroma of dried orange and tarragon. Richly flavoured, a year on from vintage but drinking so beautifully right now. Creamy texture, tropical fruit flavour and a long powerful mouthfilling finish. 15Aug2011.

Satellite Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Punchy, vibrant, fresh and tangy, with grassy aromas and juicy flavours with apple, pineapple, passionfruit with grapefruit-like acidity and an underpinning of edgy summer herbs. The second label of Spy Valley. 13.5% alc. $12.99 17Nov2010.

Sea Level Awatere Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) As pale and as clear as water, this is fresh and fruity though not overpowering on the nose, oily in texture and fresh and fruity in flavour. With ripe apple and lime, the crisp acidity is balanced by the softness of the texture and sweet fruit expands to pineapple on the finish. Tasted on release, it is like burst of flavour you get when biting into a pellet of Juicy Fruit chewing gum. $15.99. 18Jun2010.
Served well chilled, this is crisp, spicy and pungent with tropical fruit, herbs, citrus, apple and a distinctive grassiness. Long and rich with an oily texture and a juicy aftertaste. 13.5% alc. 5Jan2011.

Shingle Peak Reserve Release Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Distinctively varietal, full of juicy fruit and vivacious tangy flavours, a lovely rendition of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Nicely balanced, rounded and not too tart with gooseberry, apple, tropical fruit, herbs, musk and bubble gum. Good. 14% alc. 6Sep2010.

Sisters Ridge North Canterbury Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Grassy citrussy aromas with a subtle suggestion of tarragon. Initially tangy and bright then softness to the mid palate which seems rounded and fat. Rock melon joins zest citrus, there's a nice zingy feel to the finish and honey and orange combine. A good match to smoked snapper pate. 14.5% alc. $14.95. 15Apr2011.

Soho White Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Intense, grassy, green bean and celery aromatics with gooseberry, herbs and citrus oil. Quite lean and linear on entry to palate building in intensity and richness with flavours of grapefruit, orange zest, tangy herbs, bean and gooseberry. A powerful expression in a dry tangy style with a toasty nuance to the finish. 13% alc. 6Sep2010.
Fragrant, slightly floral, a little oily – chilling restrains the aroma and its initially quite restrained in the palate, but not for long as the intensity of the variety comes through with zesty summer herbs, juicy apple, tangy citrus, and an abundance of passionfruit on the long, pungent almost toasty finish. 13% alc. Screwcap. $14.99.

Soljans Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Initially flinty on the nose then a burst of ripe tropical fruit. Fresh ripe fruit and floral, bubble gum musky characters characterise this medium-bodied style. It's juicy and off dry with a zing of refreshing citrus on the finish. A good restaurant style. 13.5% alc. $19.00. 6Jun2011.

Squealing Pig Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) A little dull on the nose and grainy textured in the palate. Apple, gooseberry, flint & lime. More of an old-fashioned style. A lightly oily texture adds richness. Tropical fruit and herbs are more pronounced as it lingers. 13.5 % alc. $24.99. 30Oct2010.

Spinyback Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) With aromas of apple and, fruit salad, there's plenty of acidity in this tangy number. And what the apple-like nose didn’t infer was the richness, intensity and pungency in the palate. Creamy textured and rounded with a juicy fruit finish, it lingers nicely with hints of tangelo and vibrant summer herbs. 13.5% alc. $15.95. 6Jun2011.

Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Aromas of pineapple, herbs and flint and followed by tangy, fresh, juicy, tasty flavours. There's a lovely bright tropical fruit infusion of pineapple and passionfruit with a well-balanced citrusy zing and the texture is pleasingly creamy too. The finish is long. A veritable crowd pleaser with its roundness and ease. 13.5% alc. $17.30. 6Jun2011.

Stoneleigh Rapaura Series Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Beautifully perfumed with grassy, cats pee, gooseberry, herbs, citrus and a subtle floral intonation. Rich, full-bodied, and dry with fresh racy acidity perfectly balanced to the to the flavours of grassy herbs, citrus and passionfruit. A powerful wine that delivers a satisfying taste experience. Excellent. 12.5% alc. 6Sep2010.

Stoneleigh Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Perfumed and floral with a hint of summer hay, then passionfruit and citrus flavours fill the palate. There’s a hint of musk and the wine finishes with a distinctive herbaceous tang. A more delicate version of the Rapaura Series. 13% alc. 6Sep2010.

Te Awa Hawkes Bay Left Field Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) This is a distinctly different style to the Sauvs I am used to, perhaps because it is made from Hawkes Bay fruit, but perhaps because of something else because it seems a little unbalanced and unripe. Quite a vegetal wine, very much in the green methoxypyrazine spectrum, I get green onions, capsicum and a leafy character with underlying lemon and lime. Not my preferred style. 12v $20.00. 8Apr2011.

Te Awa Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Semillon 2010(sc) Intriguing bouquet of roasted peaches with the sugars starting to caramelise as well as lanolin, wet potters clay and summer herbs. The savoury earthy characters carry through to the palate that's layered with creamy oak, a touch of wood smoke, vanilla and rocket (arugula) juice. Warm and harmonious without any overpowering pungency with the freshness of grapefruit and melon on the finish. 61%, Sauvignon Blanc, 39%.Semillon 12.5% alc. $26.95. 18May2013.

Te Mania Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) A more flinty, earthy style than stablemate Te Mania but quite rounded in the bright, tangy palate with a lovely herb profile and Thai basil and tarragon - like liquorice staples from my childhood - and a nuance of spearmint too. Very bright, fresh and juicy with a rich, pungent finish. 13.5% alc. $18.99. 8Apr2011.

Te Mata Cape Crest Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (D) This is a rich Sauvignon with a sweet mealy, slightly funky and oak-tinged lemon scent and bright, powerful, zingy flavours of citrus and stonefruit with a creamy undercurrent to the French oak flavours. A serious style with a long full finish. 13.5% alc. $26.99. 9Mar2011.

The People's Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) A sweeter style but acidity sets a pulsating back beat. The flavours explode with tropical fruit, freshly cut grass and passionfruit on the well-rounded finish that has no sharp edges. 13.5% alc. 28Aug2010.

Tiki Single Vineyard Waipara Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Wow – profuse aromas of grapefruit (perhaps this is signature Waipara) carries through to the palate. Intensity and focus are the drivers of the delicious mouthfilling wine with pineapple, cut grass and summer herbs adding to its appeal. Dry in style and very delicious. 13.4% alc. 6Sep2010.

Tiki Single Vineyard Wairau Alpine Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) An intense, rich, pure, tangy vibrant expression with rounded, mouthfilling flavours that hints of stonefruit, melon jam and gooseberry. The finish is long and powerful with tangy tangelo-like citrus on the lingering finish. 13.5% alc. 6Sep2010.
Smoky and flinty with capsicum and tropical fruit aromas, this is bright and tangy with softness to the texture but lots of oomph and power as the juicy flavours explode on the palate. Rich and long with citrus, pineapple and herbs, and just a suggestion of the controversial BO. 13.5 % alc. $24.99. 30Oct2010.

Tiki Wairau Alpine Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) This is so bright and tangy with punchy aromatics and delicious juicy flavours with plenty of tangelo and summer herbs with gooseberry and tropical fruit and a lovely rose petal muskiness to the finish. White label. 13 % alc. $19.99. 30Oct2010.

Tohu Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Powerfully aromatic and deliciously juicy with a lightly oily texture, a zesty vivaciousness and increasing palate richness. The flavours are full of passionfruit and grassy summer herbs and there's a peachy nuance to the finish. 13.5% alc. $15.99. 13Oct2010.

Tohu Mugwi Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) A sweet-fruited and floral smelling wine with a hint of snow pea that's joined in the palate by juicy banana passionfruit and honeydew melon. With a little age and a touch of oak to add a mellow complexity there's nothing at all brash about this wine. The texture is harmoniously smooth and the finish is rounded and long. Very nice and popular on the night. 13.8% alc. $22.99. 1Feb2012.

Vavasour Awatere Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Powerful, cut grass, herbaceous aromatics with nuances of tropical fruit. Full-bodied and powerful with herbs, grass, gooseberry, lime and tropical fruit. An explosion of flavours and a lasting finish. Builds up beautifully and lasts for ages. Very good. 13% alc. 6Sep2010.

Vidal Reserve Series Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) A little bit of a grassy nuance to the scent. A hint of oak and lees aging adds a mellow complexity to the smooth texture and stonefruit and citrus flavours with gooseberry and herbs the kicker on the finish and tropical fruit lingering. Organically grown. 13.5% alc. $23. 15Aug2011.

Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) A gorgeous fresh sauv with a bright fruity aroma and oily textured flavours brimming with tropical fruit, pineapple, tangelo and tangy summer herbs with a juicy richness and unmistakable pungency as it lingers. Several vineyard sites, both in the Awatere and the Wairau, provide the fruit for the delicious tangy wine. 13.5% alc. $13.99. 19Jun2010.

Villa Maria Reserve Clifford Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) There’s a toasty richness that adds complexity to the aroma while exotic tropical fruits, guava, green passionfruit, flint and lime characterise the flavour. Dry, focussed, powerful and long with some very appealing musky notes coming through too. Delicious wine and my favourite of a quartet tasted together from the Villa Maria stable (VM Clifford Bay, VM Wairau Valley, Esk and Thornbury. 13.5% alc. 6Sep2010.

Villa Maria Reserve Wairau Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Passionfruit, bean, apple and pineapple fill the bouquet of this dry, lean, focused Sauv. In the palate apple and lemonade citrus build up in concentration and power. A little musky sweaty note comes through on the flinty finish. 13.5% alc. 6Sep2010.

Waimea Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Abundant citrus and green bean on the nose and perhaps a hint of cat's pee. There's a definite pea/bean character to this full-bodied Sauv with a touch of mandarin on the juicy finish. A powerful wine, the flavours last and last but with the peas and beans, it's a bit of an 'old-fashioned' style. 13.5% alc. $18.90. 15Apr2011.

Waipara Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Powerful, flinty aromas with lemon curd, passionfruit and a hint of sweat. Dry on entry, this is fresh and bracing but the acidity is tempered with orange juice, honey and tangy summer herbs. The finish is a little smoky and the whole package is very refreshing. 13.5% alc. 6Sep2010.

Whitehaven Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Fruity aroma with capsicum, guava, a hint of sweat. Very dry, linear, focussed and steely with river stones, flint, hints of lime and tropical fruit adding to its appeal. 13.5% alc. 6Ssep2010.
Aromatic with herbs, gooseberry, guava and muskmelon and flavours of Royal gala apples, herbs and tropical fruit. Not an overtly flamboyant savvy, it is the lovely slippery texture and the rounded mouthfeel that sets it apart. 13.5% alc. $17.99. 30Mar2011.

Wingspan Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (sc) Light straw gold in colour with apple, pear and a floral sweetness to the scent – a little restrained for Sauv but bright and tangy to the taste with capsicum, honey, gooseberry, bean and plenty of juicy citrus-like acidity. With its rounded mouthfeel and long fruity finish, it should have wide appeal. 12.5% alc. $11.99. 19Jan2011.

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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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