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Home Winners > Winners 2016 > VARIETAL CLASSICS: New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc

Winner Details

Varietal Classics: New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc

2016 Gold: 0 Silver: 2 Bronze: 4 Commended: 6
2015 Gold: 3 Silver: 5 Bronze: 11 Commended: 3

Well nobody saw this one coming. After years of consistently taking two places on the Gold List and backing them up with a stream of decent Silvers and Bronzes, this year Kiwi Sauvignon drew a blank.

Admittedly, there were other entries that made it on to the list through the side door via the Sauvignon Blanc category in New World whites. But nothing hit top spot in its own ‘specially created commercially useful’ section of the competition. It was disappointing.

Puzzling, too, given that plenty of tasters felt this is as close as it gets to a must-stock white. As with its great white rival Pinot Grigio, numbers were down in this category this year. This partly explains why the medal count went from 19 last year to six in 2016, and suggests also that merchants and producers alike think they can sell whatever they make without trying too hard.

Given the negative feedback at the medal-deciding stage of this competition, they might want to reconsider that viewpoint…

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘At the upper end there was a tight, lean, precise category. But was it mineral or sulphur?” Simon Woods, team leader

‘It was exactly what we expected – the same thing it has been for the last 20 years.’ Jonathan Kleeman, Social Eating House

‘They were consistent, inoffensive, and fault free. Bart Michalewicz, The Arts Club

“New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is a must-have on our wine list.” Zuzanna Rogowska, M Restaurants

FOOTNOTE: The price limit for the Varietal Classics category is £12 ex-VAT. New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc can also be entered in the relevant New World Sauvignon Blanc category. 

Award winners

Found 12 wines

Varietal Classics: NZ Sauvignon Blanc - <£12 ex-VAT

Nautilus, Sauvignon Blanc, 2014, Marlborough , New Zealand

Silver medal winner

'Very fresh, clean and steady, with long persistence on the palate and some hints of minerality on the finish,' said Jonathan Kleeman of Social Eating House. 'With notes of asparagus and herbs, this is quite rounded, a fuller style,' added team leader Martin Lam.

£9.72 Negociants

Omaka Springs, Southern Lights, Sauvignon Blanc, 2015, Marlborough , New Zealand

Silver medal winner

Andre Luis Martins of The Cavalry and Guards Club highlighted its 'citrus and lemongrass character, fresh aromas with notes of pink grapefruit, light lemongrass and light herbs' on the palate, while Bart Michalewicz of The Arts Club felt it was 'very pub-friendly'.

£5.01 Kingsland

Marisco Vineyards, Fernlands, Sauvignon Blanc, 2015, Marlborough , New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

'Textbook Sauv Blanc with a pleasant, herbal finish, grassy and fresh,' began team leader Olivier Marie, while Jonathan Kleeman of Social Eating House also found 'structured fruit and acidity with classic gooseberry flavour and a little minerality'.

£6.54 Majestic Commercial

Bibendum Wine, Mamaku, Sauvignon Blanc, 2014, Marlborough , New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

'Rich, buttered peas on the nose, quite a lot of body and plenty of flavour on a medium-bodied palate,' said Bartosz Hilla of Drake's Restaurant, with Deborah-Lynn Morris of Aramark at JP Morgan agreeing: 'Fantastic fruit, well-balanced acidity, elegant style.'

£6.75 Bibendum Wine

Jackson Estate, Green Lip, Sauvignon Blanc, 2014, Marlborough , New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

'Big, full and juicy, a good honest style, quite developed and intense with tart green fruits and notes of greengage,' said team leader Simon Woods. 'Super, aromatic style,' agreed James Hocking of The Vineyard Group.

£9.99 González Byass

Opawa, Sauvignon Blanc, 2015, Marlborough , New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

'Rich fruit aromas, lemon peel and lime, candied citrus, grapefruit and tomato leaf and mineral notes,' began Francesco Gabriele of The Dining Room at Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa: 'Clean, a little shy on the palate, but balanced and crisp, with some complexity.'

£8.56 Negociants

Spy Valley , Sauvignon Blanc , 2015, Marlborough , New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£9.72 Bibendum Wine

Babich, Marlborough Classic, Sauvignon Blanc, 2014, Marlborough , New Zealand

Commended medal winner

Babich, Black Label, Sauvignon Blanc, 2015, Marlborough , New Zealand

Commended medal winner

Mission Estate, Sauvignon Blanc , 2015, Marlborough , New Zealand

Commended medal winner

Broadland Wineries, Honu, Sauvignon Blanc , 2015, Marlborough , New Zealand

Commended medal winner

Vavasour , Awatere Pass, Sauvignon Blanc , 2014, Marlborough , New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£6.20 Greene King