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Home Winners > Winners 2018 > NEW WORLD: Sauvignon Blanc New Zealand

Winner Details

 NEW WORLD: Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand

2018  Gold 9        Silver 8                 Bronze 9              Commended 14
2017  Gold 5        Silver 6                 Bronze 10            Commended 15 

It’s one of the cornerstones of your wine list, whether you’re a gastropub, bar or Michelin-starred restaurant. Kiwi Sav is a big name and does correspondingly big business. Sure, most of our tasters (or this book’s readers) wouldn’t often choose to drink it on their night off, but you can bet that your accountant likes it.

And on this evidence, perhaps we should all cut it a bit of slack. Even five years ago, we didn’t get a great deal of variety in the category. We were aware that interesting stuff was happening down in Marlborough – we’d heard the whisperings – but we weren’t getting a great deal of it lined up on our tasting tables.

So this year can be seen as a watershed. Not only did we get a broad spread of prices – from £7 to £18 stopping off at most price points in between, but we also got a range of styles. No longer, perhaps, can we blindly talk of ‘Marlborough Sauvignon’. Yes, there is that classic pungent beat-you-round-the-face style, but we also found zestier, fresher wines, ones with a bit of lees-induced texture and a growing number with really rather nicely judged oak use.

It made for a stimulating category with multiple uses – and one whose uses you might want to reconsider.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘I was impressed with the acidity here – soft, but present. They generally all felt really balanced, and they were just as good at the low end as the higher end.’ Jade Koch, team leader

‘There was a good range between ripe and not so ripe styles. There wasn’t as much pyrazine as I thought there’d be. I like when there’s a bit of the tropical fruit, but also some minerality.’ Joseph Lunn, Suave Wine

‘I’m looking for some of those Marlborough characteristics, but wrapped in a more elegant, dry style, and more on the citrus than the tropical fruit character. We’re starting to see well-oaked wines at the higher prices, and seeing more that are done really well.’ Charlie Young, Vinoteca

‘For a restaurant list, around the £7 to £10 price point was the sweet spot.’ Christoph Hons, Park Chinois

‘We put through one Gold that was oaked. It was really well made, but the tasting note on the wine list would need to reflect that it’s slightly atypical.’ Sam Caporn MW, team leader 

Award winners

Found 40 wines

New World: Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand

Mahi, Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Marlborough, New Zealand

Gold medal winner

As it took Gold with its ‘flinty, citrus and pineapple nose’, Yauatcha City’s Linh Ziolkowska felt this Sauvignon’s ‘palate of peach, passion fruit, pineapple and grass notes make it good for either drinking on its own or with food’, while Woodhead 17’s James Fryer spoke highly of ‘rich tropical notes, a textural palate, white pepper and grass, with dried mango, passion fruit and a good-length finish’. ‘Perfumed, zesty and rich,’ concluded team leader Nigel Lister.

£10.52 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Kim Crawford, Small Parcels, Spitfire, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Marlborough, New Zealand

Gold medal winner

This Gold winner ticked all the boxes, with ‘a lovely grapefruit nose and some tropical notes, good texture on the palate, bright fruits and a fresh finish’, said an impressed Raphael Thierry of Street XO. Team leader Laurent Richet MS could only agree, extolling its ‘lovely aromatic nose combining exotic fruits and herbaceous notes, kiwi and clementine, passion fruit and green beans’ and finding it ‘a little vegetal on the palate with a note of bitterness in the finish making it more of a food wine’.

£12.29 Liberty Wines

Saint Clair, Wairau Reserve, Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Marlborough, New Zealand

Gold medal winner

A Sauvignon Gold to go with Saint Clair Family Estate’s Silver medal-winning Pinot Noir. Janusz Pawel Sasiadek of Bottles & Battles liked its ‘clean nose with vegetal notes and elegant minerality, an intense palate, good length and acidity with more good minerals on the finish’, while team leader Laurent Richet MS noted its ‘creamy, textured quality with delicate yet sharp acidity, all well managed, and focusing more on minerality and gooseberry notes’.

£18.25 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Lanark Lane, Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Marlborough, New Zealand

Gold medal winner

Vinoteca’s Charlie Young was drawn to this Gold Lister’s ‘chalky mineral-tinged apple and gooseberry aromas, followed by a fresh and dry palate with good depth, then a cracking dry finish with texture and great fruit definition’. Suave Wine’s Joseph Lunn enjoyed its ‘floral and tropical notes, good body, grapefruit, peach and melon fruit’, which Typing Room’s Alex Pitt thought led to ‘a fresh and crisp finish, with good length’.

£7.60 Fuller's

Delta, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Marlborough, New Zealand

Gold medal winner

A clear Gold winner, according to our judges. ‘Fresh-cut capsicum is there on the nose without being obtrusive,’ began Woodhead 17’s James Fryer, leading to ‘a savoury palate with green fruit, white pepper and hints of lemon pith, all well integrated’. Geoffray Bénat of Cépage[s] Wine Bistro found it ‘quite intense and balanced, with fresh gooseberry on the nose, then smooth, with light plum and leafy notes on the palate’.

£10.05 Liberty Wines

Broadland Wineries, Te Pā, Oke, Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Marlborough, New Zealand

Gold medal winner

Judges appreciated this Sauvignon Blanc’s unique style enough to award it a Gold medal, with team leader Sam Caporn MW calling it ‘interesting, with lots of oak and viscosity’ and finding it ‘layered and complex, with spice and ripe fruit’, while fellow team leader Annette Scarfe MW noted its ‘ripe lemon and grapefruit flavours, underpinned by savoury lees notes’. ‘Lots of minerality on the nose, with some smokiness, leading to a clean, fruity palate,’ described an impressed freelance sommelier Julio Iglesias, who added: ‘Superb.’

£11.27 Broadland Wineries

Boutinot, Moko Black, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Marlborough, New Zealand

Gold medal winner By the glass

Taking Gold with its ‘savoury, saline and restrained’ style, according to Cheese at Leadenhall’s Robert Mason, this Sauvignon Blanc went on to have ‘a bit of weight on the palate, with fresh peach, apple and lemon confit, plus some classic pea-shoot flavours’. Street XO’s Raphael Thierry also found ‘lovely notes of mango and passion fruit on the palate, the fruits persistent and the texture smooth’, while team leader Laurent Richet MS felt it had a ‘juicy mouthfeel that makes it a fun wine by the glass’.

£7.40 Boutinot

Constellation Brands, Drylands, Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Marlborough, New Zealand

Gold medal winner

As it scored yet another Gold for New Zealand Sauvignon, team leader Martin Lam described this as ‘peachy and aromatic – an atypical style with a ripe and juicy palate, and quite complex, too’, while for Geoffray Bénat of Cépage[s] Wine Bistro it had a ‘very aromatic and perfumed dried-flower nose, round and smooth on the palate with nice freshness, with white flowers and gooseberry emerging on the finish’.

£13.14 Matthew Clark

Lake Chalice, The Raptor, Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Marlborough, New Zealand

Gold medal winner

‘Ripe lemons with baked pink grapefruit on the nose,’ began team leader Annette Scarfe MW, who found this Gold medal wine to be ‘elegant, almost a Sancerre in a ripe year’, while The Ritz London’s Matteo Furlan highlighted a ‘nice leafy nose, pronounced, with a clean palate, good acidity with crisp citrus and a nice long finish’. ‘Complex and versatile, thought Cheese at Leadenhall’s Robert Mason, who suggested pairing it with a salmon fillet.

£14.68 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

The Fathoms, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Marlborough, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

Good value for its ‘fruit-driven nose with a touch of oxidised gooseberry, pineapple and other tropical notes’, said Manuel Ribeiro of The Bybrook at The Manor House Hotel, also highlighting ‘some light veggie tones and mineral on the palate with good acidity’.

£6.81 Majestic Commercial

Allan Scott, Estate, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Marlborough, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

A ‘lean, pear drop, heady nose’ led to a palate of ‘impressive balance and acidity, refreshing with good mineral mid-palate and hints of spice on the finish’, said team leader Jade Koch, while Vinoteca’s Charlie Young liked its ‘apple, touches of green pepper and tropical fruit, some power with tartness tempered by sweet fruit’.

£9.30 Fine Wines Direct

Constellation Brands, Drylands, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Marlborough, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

‘Ripe grapefruit and lime on the nose,’ began Suave Wine’s Joseph Lunn, ‘and on the palate there are complex citrus fruits from pink grapefruit through ripe lemon and lime zest, complemented by a good mineral backbone.’ ‘Understated, quite classy though, good weight with peach, texture, nice freshness, and it finishes with weight, too,’ added Vinoteca’s Charlie Young.

£13.14 Matthew Clark

Mount Brown, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Waipara, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

Christoph Hons of Park Chinois felt this would have broad appeal, being ‘very smooth, not too acidic, with good minerality and soft apple and gooseberry fruit with floral touches’, with senior judge Chris Delalonde MS describing it as ‘simple but balanced and fresh throughout, exotic, saline, crisp and driven’.

£9.08 Davy's Wine Merchants

Giesen, The Fuder, Dillons Point, Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Marlborough, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

Its ‘creamy vanilla and toasty nose’ led to a ‘delicious creamy mid-palate with a lovely mouthfeel’, said team leader Annette Scarfe MW, who found ‘fruit but balanced acidity with a long, passion fruit and pink grapefruit length’. ‘Yellow flowers, marigolds and yellow plums on the nose, textured and long with a complex finish, a game of flavours,’ added Gymkhana’s Valentin Radosav.

£21.25 H2Vin

Giesen Group, Ara, Single Estate, Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Marlborough, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

Finding ‘green apples, unripe peach, leafy and exotic notes’ on the nose, Bleeding Heart Group’s Chris Delalonde MS also picked up ‘rounded and unctuous delivery on the palate with great balance and drive throughout’. ‘Lemon and lime juice, delicate florals and a zingy balance,’ added team leader Lionel Periner.

£12.47 Bibendum

Rapaura Springs, Reserve, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Marlborough, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

There was ‘smoke, flint and gooseberry on the nose’, began Yauatcha City’s Linh Ziolkowska, highlighting ‘high, pleasant acidity, gooseberry fruit and chalk with passion fruit notes’, while for team leader Martin Lam it had a ‘quite animal, sweaty saddle nose, with juicy tinned fruit in a particular style not so accessible to all’.

£8.47 Maisons Marques et Domaines

Constellation Brands, Nobilo, Icon, Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Marlborough, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

A flavoursome style for Woodhead 17’s James Fryer, who picked up ‘elderflower cordial, subtle capsicum and stony mineral notes on the nose, apricot stone and asparagus on the palate with broad acids and some decent texture, finishing on a note of elderflower with passion fruit’.

£15.85 Matthew Clark

Waimea, Spinyback, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Nelson, New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

‘Ripe fruit with perfect grassy undertones, showing good NZ typicity at the right price,’ said consultant Charles Pashby-Taylor, with The Ritz London’s Matteo Furlan finding it ‘crisp and zesty with a balanced palate and creamy character’.

£6.48 North South Wines

Awatere River, By Louis Vavasour, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Marlborough, New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Lionel Periner noted a ‘light intensity, perfumed nose with a dry but aromatic palate’, and Bleeding Heart Group’s Chris Delalonde MS was described its ‘gooseberry, leafy, pea-shoot and grassy aromas, unctuous mid-palate with weight and body, and an exotic finish’.

£7.58 The Antipodean Sommelier

Tupari, Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Awatere Valley, New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

‘Delicate aromatics and a shy palate,’ began team leader Laurent Richet MS, venturing: ‘It’s nice not to have a NZ Sauvignon showing off. Long persistent finish with hints of passion fruit and kiwi.’ ‘Very nice purity of fruit here, a touch of saline and menthol on the finish, fresh and bright,’ added Vinoteca’s Charlie Young.

£10.73 Ester Wines

Sileni, Cellar Selection, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Marlborough, New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

‘Clean, aromatic and delicious,’ began team leader Laurent Richet MS, who found it ‘very much on the gooseberry and not so much the vegetal notes, along with delicate acidity’, while Coq d’Argent’s Andrés Ituarte noted ‘bright tropical fruits and citrus with a long, grassy finish, hints of candy floss’.

£7.18 Boutinot

Sileni, Straits, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Marlborough, New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

A ‘lovely, fruity, clean wine with hints of yellow plums, with gooseberry and balanced acidity’, said team leader Laurent Richet MS, while Coq d’Argent’s Andrés Ituarte found it ‘reserved in body and palate, with pineapple and kiwi fruit notes, bright acids and a lengthy grassiness’.

£9.55 Boutinot

Framingham, F-Series, Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Marlborough, New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

Christoph Hons of Park Chinois noted ‘fresh and soft aromas, peaches and gooseberry with good terroir character’, while Bleeding Heart Group’s Chris Delalonde MS found a ‘smoky lemon and apple nose, floral and herbal touches with white fleshy fruit and some oaky malolactic-style notes on the finish’.

£15.30 Liberty Wines

Harwood Hall, Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Marlborough, New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

‘A well-balanced and textured wine,’ began Gymkhana’s Valentin Radosav, who enjoyed its ‘lime, ripe and crisp Braeburn apples, gooseberry and slightly grassy notes with white flower, lily of the valley aromatic hints’.

£9.61 Top Selection Ltd

Babich, Rongopai, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Marlborough, New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

A ‘leaner style, with a taut mineral edge, zesty with grapefruit and lime’, said team leader Annette Scarfe MW, while Matteo Furlan of The Ritz London found it ‘crisp and not too vegetal on the palate, zesty and pungent but balanced, with some tomato leaf and mineral’.

£7.90 Molson Coors

Babich, Black Label, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Marlborough, New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

For Manuel Ribeiro of The Bybrook at The Manor House Hotel this had a ‘great nose, complete with elements of flowers and citrus and a background of honey’, followed by a ‘balanced palate bringing all the components together with mineral coming through on the finish’.

£10.50 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Babich, Turtle Bay, Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

Spy Valley, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£11.28 Bibendum

Saint Clair, Origin, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

Esk Valley, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

Left Field, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Nelson , New Zealand

Commended medal winner

Giesen, The August 1888, Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£13.50 H2Vin

Blank Canvas, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£13.04 Liberty Wines

Framingham, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£10.35 Liberty Wines

Kim Crawford, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£10.35 Liberty Wines

Tinpot Hut, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£10.35 Liberty Wines

Broadland Wineries, Te Pā, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

Two Rivers, Convergence, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

Marisco, Fernlands, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

Craggy Range, Te Muna Road Vineyard, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Martinborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£13.72 Bibendum

 

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