Did you know that in New Zealand there are 25 varieties of grapes planted in commercial quantities for wine production? But two of those varieties stand out, as the signature grapes of New Zealand: Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. Today I would like to dish on some New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs that I tried during the “New Zealand in a Glass” trade tasting here in Vancouver. You would have tried the same wines if you attended the public “Dish ‘N Dazzle” event for the BC Hospitality Foundation later in the day.
Sauvignon Blanc was first planted in the Marlborough region of New Zealand, located at the north end of the South Island. The wines for this grape in New Zealand show nervy acidity, and typically bright citrus, herbal and vegetal tones, with no oak. The purity of the flavours have made New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc popular, both on their own, as a patio sipper, but also as a great wine to pair with seafoods and salads.
From Wikipedia, these stats for New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc production shows the grape’s growth in popularity.
Below are a few of the Sauvignon Blancs that caught my attention, as well as one Riesling. Enjoy.
- Forrest Wines “The Doctors” Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, NZ, 2012 (BC$19.95 SPEC) – Jalapeno pepper on the nose and palate. Light body and light acidity. Has some nice minerality. Long length. An interesting wine.
- Forrest Wines “The Doctors” Riesling, Marlborough, NZ, 2011 (BC$19.95 SPEC) – Nice citrus and stone fruit aromas. Off-dry with pears, red delicious apples and some petrol on the palate. Medium body. Nice acidic prickle on your tongue. I’d rate this similar in sweetness to a German Spatlese.
- Hunter’s Wines Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, NZ, 2013 (BC $23.95 SPEC) – Nice gooseberry nose. Dry, medium minus body, with high acidity. Gooseberry, spice and honey flavours greet your tongue.
- Marisco Vineyards, The Kings Favour Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, NZ, 2013 (BC $19.99 SPEC) – Love the guava aroma in the glass. Starts off feeling quite full bodied in your mouth but then lightens up. Flavours start with stone fruit and gooeseberry, then herbal notes on the mid palate, and spice to finish. Also enjoyed a mineral component to this wine. Highly recommended.
- Loveblock Vintners Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, NZ, 2012 (BC $26.99 SPEC) – Light gooseberry nose, which continues to the palate. Off dry, soft and delicate with light acidity. A very balanced wine.
- Stoneleigh Latitude Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, NZ, 2013 (BC$21.99 SPEC) – Pronounced herbal and gooseberry aromas; pleasant and not overpowering. Dry, medium body and medium acidity balances the gooseberry flavours in the glass.
- Saint Clair Pioneer Block 18 Snap Block Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, NZ, 2013 (BC$29.95 Special order) – Light gooseberry nose. Dry, light body, with soft mouthfeel. Stone fruit, gooseberry and jalapeno peppers in the glass. Nice.
You may have noticed that all of the wines I tasted and recommended are SPEC listings, so you would not be able to find them in a regular BCLDB liquor store. Your best chance to purchase one of these wines is to go to a private liquor store, such as Liberty, Firefly, Legacy, and Everything Wine. There are other stores, but these few popped to the top of my mind. Give them a try and look forward to a sunny summer here in Vancouver, or wherever you live.