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Home Winners > Winners 2020 > Sauvignon Blanc - New Zealand

Winner Details

Sauvignon Blanc - New Zealand

Our tasters have something of a love-hate relationship with Kiwi Sauvignon. Clearly, it’s a big seller – and walks off the list without any help from the sommelier, making it prime margin-boosting territory. But our judges are rarely excited, and often underwhelmed by what they see here.

On the plus side, this year there was decent consistency and, in general, fewer of the uber-tropical notes that our teams really struggle with – some even detected increased grassiness and wild-yeast influence. On the downside, there was still a lot of fairly unexciting wine here – not all of it at helpfully low prices.

Interestingly, some of the trends we picked up a few years back – for lees-work or barrel-fermentation – didn’t seem to be here in any numbers in 2020. Is it a trend that’s dying, or do submitters not think it’s a style that the on-trade want to see?

There was some quality though. And Yealands, with a Gold and three Silvers, and Saint Clair – with a Gold in each of the past four SWAs – deserve special credit for their efforts.

From The Tasting Teams

‘Very well-made wines. Typical, but luckily without too much passion fruit, because sometimes that elderflowery, syrupy quality is too much.’ Chiara Sieni, MM Grocery

‘Disappointing. A lot of factory-made wine here with a lack of character.’ Guillaume Mahaut, ETM Group

‘The issue here is not price, it’s typicity. New Zealand Sauvignon needs more finesse. Certain producers are just trying to please guests, not make a true wine.’ Lionel Periner, team leader

‘Some were a bit pricey. Over £15 is too much for me. Around £10 is acceptable, and under is great.’Rémi Cousin, Le Gavroche

‘A disappointing flight – entry-level bulk quality for around £10. The wine is getting more and more popular, but the quality is not rising, it’s declining.’ Markus Dilger, Dilger Sommelier Selection

‘I want to see more personality.’ Riccardo Guzzardo, Hakkasan Mayfair

‘These wines were made to please people. You know what they do and they do it well, but they are not very exciting.’ Rémi Cousin, Le Gavroche

‘There was good elegance here, and some noticeable use of wild yeast, which gave it more depth. New Zealand Sauvignon still has its place.’ Michael Fiducia, Royal Automobile Club

‘We started to notice more herbal, grassy profiles. It was interesting to see how the styles are starting to fracture.’ Filippo Pastorini, consultant

Award winners

Found 27 wines

New World: Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand

Félix Solís, Pulpo, Sauvignon Blanc 2019, Marlborough, New Zealand

Gold medal winner

'A real crowd-pleaser at a decent price, this is full of tropical fruits.' Laura Rhys MS, team leader. 'Good concentration and complexity, with ripe peach and nectarine, some salty minerality and tropical fruit. An interesting wine.' Matteo Furlan, The Ritz London. 'With its tropical notes and freshness, this would be a good by-the-glass option in most restaurants.' Charlotte Davies, The Three Chimneys Restaurant with Rooms.

£7.99 Matthew Clark

Yealands Estate, Single Block, L5, Sauvignon Blanc 2019, Awatere Valley, Marlborough, New Zealand

Gold medal winner

'Textbook New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, heady and floral, with juicy, tropical notes.' Laura Rhys MS, team leader. 'A full-on green style with pungent green pepper and sappy notes dominating, as well as some apple and green papaya, with minerality on the finish.' Angela Reddin, team leader. 'Very well balanced - one for fine-dining by the glass.' Charlotte Davies, The Three Chimneys Restaurant with Rooms.

£12.71 Enotria&Coe

Saint Clair Family Estate, Wairau Reserve, Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Marlborough, New Zealand

Gold medal winner

'A complex wine, with initial lemons notes evolving beautifully into peach and gooseberry, with minerality and some sweeter notes over time.' Sam Winterbottom, The Albert Square Chop House. 'Refreshing, with herbaceous notes of tomato leaf and grass, as well as some lemon zest and minerality, leading to some lingering leafy flavours.' Lucie Hammerschmiedova, Portland Restaurant.

£18.29 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Yealands Estate, State of Flux, Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Awatere Valley, Marlborough, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

'A very classic style, with green fruit dominant, and showing some nice weight and length. A more serious food-friendly style.' Laura Rhys MS, team leader. 'A refreshing wine with notes of green apples and lime zest as well as a grassiness and a tomato leaf note too.' Lucie Hammerschmiedova, Portland Restaurant.

£18.11 Enotria&Coe

Yealands Estate, Single Vineyard, Sauvignon Blanc 2019, Awatere Valley, Marlborough, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

'A great style, with chalky minerality together with some green apple, cucumber and red capsicum on both the nose and palate, all with a great backbone of acidity, minerality all the way, and some excellent fruit.' Angela Reddin, team leader. 'Mouth-watering, with some tropical fruits and a leafy note.' Laura Rhys MS, team leader.

£10.39 Enotria&Coe

Yealands, The Crossings, Sauvignon Blanc 2019, Awatere Valley, Marlborough, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

'Opening with gooseberry and some light lemongrass notes, this leads to light chamomile notes on the palate, with a long, zesty finish.' Luís Martins, team leader. 'Textbook Sauvignon Blanc that's perfect as an entry-level by-the-glass for a gastropub.' Laura Rhys MS, team leader.

£6.93 Mentzendorff & Co

Giesen, Vineyard Selection, Sauvignon Blanc 2019, Marlborough, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

'There's good fruit quality on the nose here, with typical notes of passion fruit as well as fresh citrus lime on the palate. Well-balanced.' Guillaume Mahaut, ETM Group. 'A juicy, herbal and bright wine, with some minerality too.' Laura Rhys MS, team leader. 'This has a creamy texture that makes it more food-friendly.' Raphael Thierry, consultant.

£9.38 Bibendum

Babich , Black Label, Sauvignon Blanc 2019, Marlborough, New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

'Excellent, with a very mineral, sapid nose of green apple and lime with lemon thyme notes and an intense, fruity palate showing some lemon sherbet character and a good, long, lingering finish.' Angela Reddin, team leader. 'A more intense style, with tons of fruit and some white stone minerality.' Laura Rhys MS, team leader.

£9.70 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Sileni Estates, The Straits, Sauvignon Blanc 2019, Marlborough, New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

'A very expressive wine with a pronounced nose - this is an excellent by-the-glass option for brasseries.' Charlotte Davies, The Three Chimneys Restaurant with Rooms. 'Good complexity of stone fruits, grassy notes and gooseberry here, leading to a refreshing palate with a good fruity finish.' Filippo Pastorini, consultant.

£10.00 Boutinot

Sileni Estates, Greyrock, Sauvignon Blanc 2019, Marlborough, New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

'Crisp without being sharp, this is showing lots of peach and white flower notes.' Sam Winterbottom, The Albert Square Chop House. 'A grassy, fresh nose leading to a well-balanced palate.' Filippo Pastorini, consultant. 'An elegant, alternative style.' Charlotte Davies, The Three Chimneys Restaurant with Rooms.

£7.60 Boutinot

Kim Crawford, Sauvignon Blanc 2019, Marlborough, New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

'A refreshing wine with some fresh green apples, underripe melon and gooseberry.' Lucie Hammerschmiedova, Portland Restaurant. 'This is citrus-driven, with some additional mineral notes. There's nice elegance here, displaying some good food-matching potential.' Laura Rhys MS, team leader.

£10.65 Liberty Wines

Konrad , Hole in the Water, Sauvignon Blanc 2019, Marlborough, New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

'A great wine that's zesty, refreshing and pleasant.' Rémi Cousin, Le Gavroche. 'A textured wine, with a welcoming array of stone fruits, leading to a more savoury finish.' Sam Winterbottom, The Albert Square Chop House. 'Stone fruit and gooseberry on the nose, with a vibrant palate and a good almond finish.' Filippo Pastorini, consultant.

£8.35 Frederic Robinson

Saint Clair Family Estate, Pioneer Block 3, 43 Degrees, Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Marlborough, New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

'A great wine with an intense nose and lots of fruit concentration, like very ripe passion fruit and mango, as well as a creaminess, all leading to some pleasant zesty notes on the palate, with some additional notes of bell pepper and tomato leaf.' Matteo Furlan, The Ritz London.

£16.57 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Foley Family Vineyards, Vavasour, Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Awatere Valley, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£10.65 Matthew Clark

Te Pa Family Vineyards, Waddling Duck, Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£8.29 LWC Drinks

Yealands Estate, Land Made, Sauvignon Blanc 2019, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£9.00 Enotria&Coe

Sileni Estates, Cellar Selection, Sauvignon Blanc 2019, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£7.60 Boutinot

Yealands Estate, Winemaker's Reserve, Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Awatere Valley, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£14.60 Enotria&Coe

Babich , Sauvignon Blanc 2019, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

Babich , Rongopai, Sauvignon Blanc 2019, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£7.99 Molson Coors

Marisco, Fernlands, Sauvignon Blanc 2019, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

Kokako, Sauvignon Blanc 2019, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

Craggy Range, Te Muna, Sauvignon Blanc 2019, Martinborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£14.21 Bibendum

Tinpot Hut, Sauvignon Blanc 2019, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£10.42 Liberty Wines

Tupari, Boulder Rows, Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Awatere Valley, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£13.93 Ester Wines

Ibbotson Family Vineyard, Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

Lake Chalice, The Nest, Sauvignon Blanc 2019, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

 

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