Aug 25 , 2022
I have written about Sauvignon Blanc before, and I have written about New Zealand before, however, it is amazing that I have not written about New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc! Probably one of the most popular regions for Sauvignon Blanc and one that I usually have at least two bottles of in the fridge at all times. It is my husband's favorite type of wine and if I don't always have a chilled bottle ready, he gets upset with me.
As I have talked about before, Sauvignon Blanc grows wonderfully all over the world and I love all the different styles that are made from this grape. However, the wines from New Zealand are always such an amazing value and such wonderfully refreshing wines. They tend to be slightly more herbaceous and green peppery than their France or California counterparts. They also have a lot of grapefruit notes as well. There also used to be a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand called "Cat's Pee on a Gooseberry Bush" because they have a tendency to have those characteristics as well, albeit in a good way. Because of these unique and possibly offensive characteristics, it seems to be a wine people either love or hate. Some people just cannot get over the grapefruit or green pepper notes that come with a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. However, it still tends to be one of the most popular styles of Sauvignon Blanc, possibly thanks to the incredible price points. Almost all of them tend to be between $10-$20.
I have had many that I really enjoy, but the one that always sticks out year after year is the Allan Scott Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Marlborough is near the very north of the South Island of New Zealand and it is where the majority of the best Sauvignon Blanc is grown in New Zealand.
Allan Scott planted the first vineyards in the region back in 1973 and what I love most about this winery is that it is still truly a family run winery. With so many wineries having been sold off to larger corporations, Allan Scott Winery is still family run.
The current vintage is the 2021 and Wine Spectator gave it 93 Points and rated it the #1 Value of 2021. Here is their description of this wine, "Strikes a terrific balance between mouthwatering acidity, fresh herbal notes of lemon verbena and thyme, and core flavors of Key lime, Meyer lemon, pineapple and tangerine. Gains momentum on the finish, where the flavors sing in harmony and complexity." However, no matter the vintage, I have always loved their wines. I have been drinking them for nearly 15 years.
After all those years and all the ratings that they have received, this wine is still only $15.99! It is not often you get such high scores for such inexpensive wines (that is unless the rating is from big Jim Suckling). So, I highly recommend not only seeking out the wonderful value wines of New Zealand, but I also especially encourage you to seek out this family run winery of Allan Scott!
One last fun note, if you see new vintages of New Zealand wine coming out much earlier than those from California or France, keep in mind that they are in the Southern Hemisphere and so their season is half a year ahead of ours since their seasons are flipped. So, where California is harvesting around September, New Zealand harvested about 6 months early in that same year around April.