If there is anything that gets us excited, it a holiday dedicated to the herbaceous, zesty wine named Sauvignon Blanc.
While Sauvignon Blanc is harvested around the world (like South Africa, Napa and even Bordeaux), there is something different about those grown and harvested in New Zealand. This wine is New Zealand’s calling card, and for good reason: The varietal seems to thrive in the climate of the country, regardless of wine growing region, and its signature zing has set the standard for wine lovers and critics alike.
If you’re looking to celebrate Sauvignon Blanc Day the New Zealand way, here are a few of the brands you should be sipping. Each has qualities of their region, but stand out with flavors and aromas all their own.
So, what are you waiting for? Get poppin’!
According to winemaker Kevin Judd, the 2020 release of this wine is reflective of a large summer fruit salad. Peaches, melon, nectarines and grapefruit hit on the tongue, while it finishes with a full body and a hint of lime zest. Harvested in chilly conditions, the juice was cold-pressed and racked prior to fermentation, which was in stainless steel. A surprise on this one? A little of the juice was fermented in oak. Shop Now.
With powerful gooseberry aromas and a stunning pale straw coloration, Astrolabe’s 2020 Sauvignon Blanc should not be skipped. Makrut lime, passionfruit, lemongrass come through on the palate, making it a perfect complement to seafood dishes, goat milk cheeses and leafy greens. A dry finish rounds out the sipping experience. Shop Now.
Wairau River, Marlborough
Delicate citrus and floral notes are the stars of the show in the 2020 release, with stone fruit and guava center stage. And, the company says, the long harvest season makes this an exceptional wine as winemakers were able to pick for optimal balance and sugar ripeness. Sip closely and you will be able to also taste lemon, passionfruit, grapefruit and peach through the finish – which is dry. Shop Now.
Spy Valley, Marlborough
A family-owned winery that concentrates on eight different types of wine, Spy Valley’s 2020 sustainably crafted Sauvignon Blanc is a treat for both the nose and mouth. With scents of orange blossom, the wine is full of black currant, grapefruit and pineapple flavors on the tongue. It also gets better with age, the winery says. After two or three years, sippers can expect the wine will develop more complex characters. Shop Now.
Jules Taylor OTQ, Marlborough
This single-vineyard, small-batch wine is one you won’t want to miss. Attractive aromas of pineapple and guava, combined with citrus and lemongrass overlay delicate nut and spice notes, with a lemon finish on the palate. And, says the vineyard, it pairs beautifully with seafood and soft cheeses. Shop Now.
Lawson’s Dry Hills, Marlborough
Lawson’s Dry Hills is currently the only New Zealand wine producer to hold both ISO14001 (Environmental Management) and ISO14064 (carbon zero) accreditations, boasts the vineyard. And, the Sauvignon Blanc is crafted from fruit that show distinctive characters in a given year. Shop Now.
A pale straw color with just a hint of green, Loveblock Sauvignon Blanc has a more textured mouthful than others. While the aromatics are complex, it is its flavor profile of pineapple, tropical fruit and a sweet basil edge followed by ripe peach on the back palate that separates this one from the pack. A chalky minerality allows this to pair well with oysters and pasta. This wine is also vegan. Shop Now.
Mahi Wines, Marlborough
The winemaker notes that depth of flavor is top of mind here, and not the primary fruit notes, offering a one-of-a-kind sip that is designed to satisfy the entirety of the palate. The grapes in this wine come from six different vineyards and are mostly cold pressed, while some of the juice is fermented in French oak barrels. The secret to this wine’s sip, though? A longer time on lees. Shop Now.
Amisfield, Central Otago
White peach on the nose gives way to a bright citrus flavor on the palate. Fermented in stainless steel tanks with a combination of yeasts, the finish on this is sharp, lively and dry. Shop Now.
Grey’s Peak, North Canterbury
Sold under the Grey’s Peak label in the U.S., Greystone Sauvignon Blanc is fermented in aged barriques with wild yeast. The result? A hint of floral and peach on the nose, with tasting notes of luscious fruits. A creamy texture and a defined finish make this a wine to put on your shopping list. Shop Now.
Mt. Beautiful, North Canterbury
With just a hint of grassiness, the stand-out flavor profiles in Mt. Beautiful’s Sauvignon Blanc include guava and melon. A perfect companion for a plate of creamy pasta or a fresh arugula and feta salad, Mt. Beautiful’s crisp finish will leave you never wanting to finish this bottle (but you will and then will buy more. We promise). Shop Now.
The Boneline, North Canterbury
Handpicked and hand made, Riverbone Sauvignon Blanc from The Boneline is a more golden color than others of this varietal. It has jalapeño and white blossom for a stunning aroma and surprises one with a zesty, herbaceous, Japanese-inspired finish on the mouth. Born from gravel, you’ll be able to taste a hint of that through the wine. Don’t worry, it only enhances the flavor. Shop Now.
Craggy Range, Martinborough
The 2020 Sauvignon Blanc from Craggy Range’s Martinborough vineyard is nothing short of exciting. The sipper is grown on a lower terrance in the vineyard, which makes it texturally different than others of this varietal. Aged in stainless steel tanks, French oak cuves and French oak barriques, it has a distinct saline acidity. Try it with oysters, ceviche or Thai street food. Shop now.
The Giunta Series of wines are styled to be young and fresh and the Sauvignon Blanc is no exception. It starts with lush front palate flavors of crisp peach and perky lemon meringue. The finish lingers with a pithy acidity and tension between bruised and crisp red apple, says the vineyard. Shop Now.
Trinity Hill, Hawke’s Bay
Gentle flavors and aromas of lime, citrus and lemongrass compliment the distinct aroma of stone-fruit in this bright sipper. It has a Sancerre-like textural character and its acidity is balanced by just a hint of sweetness. Shellfish dishes, Asian-inspired cuisine and creamy, sharp cheeses make the best dishes to eat alongside this bottle. Shop Now.
Te Mata, Hawke’s Bay
This family-owned winery has produced a 2020 Sauvignon Blanc that is both tropical, textured and complex. Gooseberry, coriander and aniseed are the primary flavors on the palate and the flavors will continue to develop for up to two years after harvest. Shop Now.
A fresh, aromatic, full-bodied wine from Brightwater, the 2019 Nelson has hints of gooseberry and passionfruit characters, combined with fine minerality and a long lingering summer grass finish. With six weeks on lees, the grapes underwent cool fermentations in stainless steel tanks using selected yeast strains. Shop Now.