(2022) An inexpensive Marlborough Chardonnay (93% Wairau, 7% Awatere) aged 11 months in French oak barriques, 15% new. Mealy and almondy, there's a little touch of flintiness to the creamy apple fruit. In the mouth the lightly biscuity oak supports quite clean and lean fruit, certainly more in the apple and citrus spectrum than tropical, with a tight, pithy lemon finish.
(2021) From vineyards on the northern side of the Wairau valley planted on deep, infertile gravel beds. Classic Marlborough SB aromas, lots of passionfruit and elderflower, touching on that slightly 'sweaty' character but thankfully stopping short. The palate has very good fruit and is basically dry, a touch of sweetness to the fruit profile, plenty of nectarine and a tangerine brightness to the acidity. No current stockists, it is new to the UK.
(2020) Classic tropical fruit melding with passion fruit and the elderflower component. Nice texture, yes it is light, but not watery, good acid, texture and length, a little salty minerality. Hardly misses the alcohol this one. Price and stockist is for the previous vintage at time of review.
(2020) Only 9.5% alcohol. Certainly lighter in aromatics, some herbal notes and a touch of passion fruit. It does feel a touch dilute compared to the more powerful Sauvignons here, but there’s no denying it has flavour and good balance. Essentially dry, and finishes with tangy lemon rind bite. No UK retail stockists listed at time of review
(2020) Traditional Marlborough style, made predominantly with Wairau fruit including fruit from the Dillons Point vineyard with heavy soils that give tropical fruit. A touch of gooseberry and more herbaceous character, but majors on the peach and nectarine fruit, a nice balance of sweetness and fresh limey acidity, a successful commercial style for the biggest selling NZ wine in Australia.
(2018) Yealands of Marlborough has become a well-known name in recent years, especially for Sauvignon Blanc, and there's a fun extra incentive to try this wine: buy a bottle before May 28th 2018 and you will find a unique code on a special neck collar. Enter that into the Yealands web site and you might just be one of four lucky people to win a trip for two to New Zealand, worth £10,000. That's all well and good, but what's the wine like? The answer, is really rather good. The requisite pea-shoot freshness is there, along with mango and lychee, but the tropicality is cut by lime. On the palate it presses all the Kiwi Sauvignon buttons, vibrant and juicy, loads of peach juice fruit and a sweep of acidity that gives this real zip and mouthwatering clarity too. It's a fine example showing a tad of restraint but no lack of personality. Watch the video for more details and food-matching ideas. Currently on offer at just £6.75 in Sainsbury's. Please note: the video lists Morrisons among the stockists, but that is incorrect. Also in some independent merchants.
(2017) This 2015 Marlborough Sauvignon is flamboyant aromatically, the ginger spice and elderflower joined by distinctly tropical fruit, not too herbaceous, but inviting. In the mouth that juicy peach and passion fruit tropical fruit core drives forward, the acid is keen but really nicely balanced, and a certain sense of fullness and richness gives broader appeal than some examples. The match here is a milk chocolate flavoured with elderflower and pear, the chocolate itself more subtly flavoured than some in the range, but its creaminess becoming truly opulent when nibbled with the wine, acid not too harsh against the flavour, and another lovely match. Price for a half bottle.
(2017) Vidal sources its Sauvignon Blanc fruit from Marlborough, from both estate-owned and contracted vineyards, primarily in the Wairau Valley "with a little Awatere fruit to give a little more tropical spectrum," says Hugh. Delicious nose, with lots of punchy passion fruit and tropical, lychee notes, plenty of peachy ripeness, and then the palate shimmers with acidity and so much intensity of flavour.
(2016) There have been many attempts to make reduced alcohol wines. It has to be said most are pretty abysmal, with all sorts of techncial trickery used to remove alcohol, unfortunately along with flavour and character. This from Dr. John Forrest is a bit different: he has used his scientific know-how and some "viticlutural secrets," to make a full flavoured and aromatic Marlborough Sauvignon that weighs in with just 9.5% alcohol. It captures the whole set of Marlborough Sauvignon's tropical fruit, zingy herbal punch and mouth-watering flavour. The merest sense of dilution in the finish is a small price to pay for those seeking more moderate alcohol levels. Watch the video for more technical details and food matching ideas.