We use cookies to operate this website and to improve its usability. Full details of what cookies are, why we use them and how you can manage them can be found by reading our Privacy & Cookies pages. Please note that by using this site you are consenting to the use of cookies.

Accept
Reject
Home Winners > Winners 2019 > NEW WORLD: Sauvignon Blanc - New Zealand

Winner Details

 NEW WORLD: Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand

2019  Gold 4        Silver 4                 Bronze 3              Commended 11 
2018  Gold 9        Silver 8                 Bronze 9              Commended 14

New Zealand Sauvignon, it seems, is at a bit of a crossroads. Or, to take a different metaphor – it’s at that tricky ‘second album’ stage. Having burst on to the scene with bright, poppy, tropical gooseberry fruit – something that it still does well – with its first album and world tour, it now wants to be taken seriously as an artist.

The trouble is that half its audience is happy with ‘cheap and simple’ and half wants ‘more intellectual and complex’, and it means that neither side is entirely happy. It’s a bit like watching Theresa May attempt to negotiate Brexit through the House of Parliament.

And now, having metaphored ourselves to death, we can return to something approaching concrete facts: namely, that this was the lowest medal count in this category since 2015, and that pricing is inexorably linked to quality. A few tasters pointed out that customers are happy to pay £40+ for these wines now, which is just as well, since on this evidence the good stuff starts around a tenner. We had plenty of wines sent in under £10, but only four picked up medals.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘We saw lots of typicity here, supported by acidity. It’s what the market wants.’ Marco Marcuzzo, Aster Restaurant

‘These weren’t too pyrazine-led. There was a classic note to all of them, but they weren’t all just iterations of each other – there was some personality to them. Other wines have replaced the cheaper Sauvignon Blanc on a list, and I think consumers are quite happy to pay £45 or £50 now. I’m excited to see Sauvignon Blanc treated as a more premium variety. I think it has a lot of potential.’ Joshua Castle, Noble Rot

‘It’s their national grape, so it’s nice to see a few producers trying to produce a slightly different style compared to the classic palate that a consumer might expect.’ Melody Wong, The Mandrake

‘These do what it says on the tin. The standard was really high, but there is a similarity running through them. Having said that, we’re starting to see a few with a bit of oak ageing or barrel fermentation, and producers trying to find ways to make theirs different.’ Tom Forrest, team leader

 

Award winners

Found 22 wines

New World: Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand

Tinpot Hut, Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Marlborough, New Zealand

Gold medal winner

Elevating this wine to a Gold medal, team leader Jan Konetzki praised its ‘savoury edge’ that lifted it above the competition and gave it ‘more character than just fruit’. Pointing to its ‘dry, fresh, citrus and lees flavours’, he also noted its aromatic ‘hoppy’ nose. For Prestonfield House’s Dave Cushley, however, it was the ‘lightness of touch’ that won him over, and he praised this ‘elegant, calm wine, with a finish that demands you return to the glass’.

£10.42 Liberty Wines

Whitehaven, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Marlborough, New Zealand

Gold medal winner

Awarding Gold, team leader Jan Konetzki simply said: ‘This is very well made.’ He went on to describe the wine as ‘very aromatic and floral, with fine herbs and pretty fruit, plus a hint of salinity on the finish’. ‘This does the job,’ said Quentin Loisel of Restaurant Sat Bains, suggesting it be matched with a ‘delicate white fish ceviche with grapefruit zest, garlic water and almonds’.

£12.50 E&J Gallo Winery

Saint Clair, Wairau Reserve, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Marlborough, New Zealand

Gold medal winner

‘Very rich, opulent and powerful’ was how Quentin Loisel of Restaurant Sat Bains described this worthy Gold medal winner. ‘This is complex and layered,’ said team leader Jan Konetzki, adding: ‘There’s herbs and lemon and apple fruit, with a gooseberry note that’s dry, fresh and energetic, plus it has very polished finish and good length.’

£18.25 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Kim Crawford, Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Marlborough, New Zealand

Gold medal winner

Describing this Gold medal winner, Quentin Loisel of Restaurant Sat Bains seemed to choose his words carefully: ‘This is quite delicate and subtle, it’s really quite refined… there’s a lovely, vivid acidity and hints of noble garden herbs: verbena and coriander.’ Going on to describe the palate, he found ‘grapefruit and silex minerality and iodine’. His food match was rather refined too, suggesting ‘oyster tartare with caviar, lime and verbena’.

£10.42 Liberty Wines

Willow's End, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Marlborough, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

‘Floral, tropical and passion fruit aromas’ noted team leader Jan Konetski, with ‘lime’ and ‘crushed peas’ on a palate that was ‘firm and dry, with a round length’. ‘Well made!’ he concluded.

£8.40 Eurowines

Lanchester Wines, Nika Tiki, Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Marlborough, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

Quentin Loisel of Restaurant Sat Bains described this wine as ‘juicy, fresh and zesty, with a rich apple core, and a delicate gooseberry length’.

£6.99 Lanchester Wine Cellars

Sileni, Greyrock, Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Marlborough, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

For Dave Cushley of Prestonfield House this Silver medal winner had ‘a lightly pungent touch of freshness and gooseberry, with a mouth-filling richness, good acidity and pleasant long-lasting finish’.

£7.60 Boutinot

Kim Crawford, Spitfire, Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Marlborough, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

Team leader Jan Konetzki found ‘aromas of herbs, leek, chive and lemon peel, plus a nice floral and very herbaceous palate’. For Dave Cushley of Prestonfield House the wine had a ‘punchy nose, with strong fruit character and a rich, refreshingly dry and clean palate’.

£12.36 Liberty Wines

Saint Clair, Origin, Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Marlborough, New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

Giuseppe Longobardi of The Cross Kenilworth, Simpsons & Edgbaston considered this a classic Sauvignon with ‘citrus, mineral and grassy notes’, adding: ‘The medium palate is presented with a fresh yet oily finish, with a lingering delicate creaminess on the tongue.’

£12.22 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Babich, Black Label, Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Marlborough, New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

Dave Cushley of Prestonfield House described this ‘classic Sauvignon’ as having ‘depth and maturity, yet with smoky tones running through it’.

£10.50 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Peregrine Wines, Mohua, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Central Otago, New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

Quentin Loisel of Restaurant Sat Bains thought this Sauvignon Blanc was ‘very grassy and very “expected’, but a great wine nonetheless’.

£9.92 Enotria&Coe

Mount Brown, Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Waipara , New Zealand

Commended medal winner

Mack & Collie, Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

Coopers Creek, Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

Kelly Washington, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£15.22 Bibendum

Felix Solis, Pulpo, Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£7.78 Matthew Clark

Giesen, Selection, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£9.40 Bibendum

Lanchester Wines, First Dawn 2018, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

Babich, Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

Boutinot, The Cloud Factory, Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£7.05 Boutinot

Boutinot, Wanderlust, Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£7.20 Boutinot

Wither Hills, Kapuka, Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£9.33 Wither Hills

 

Subscribe to the SWA newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter and keep up to date with the latest Sommelier Wine Awards news.