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Jun 28, 2006 07:58 PM

What are your favorite NZ Sauvignon Blancs?

I'm currently in love with this stuff. The flavors just sit right with me, and the value can't be beat. Anyone have any favorites (in any price range)?

I've found some suprises: Nobilo ($8.99/bottle) and Matua ($7.99) were very drinkable, for a steal!

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  1. My favorite is Cloudy Bay, though I don't drink it often since it usually retails for around $25-$30 per bottle.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Darren72

      I second Cloudy Bay. Not only is is a bit on the expensive side it can be tough to find.

      1. re: SLO

        Back when Cloudy Bay first burst onto the scene, someone (Herb Caen?) described it perfectly as like strapping yourself naked to Elle McPherson and bungee-jumping into a bottomless pit of gooseberries and cat pee. Or words to that effect. Wish I could find the exact quote. Can anyone help?

        1. re: carswell

          Herb Caen was quoting an Australian wine merchant (though it may have been an Aussie wine writer). The quote was, to the best of my recollection, "like strapping yourself naked to Elle McPherson and bungee-jumping into a bottomless pit of gooseberries and cat pee."


      2. re: Darren72

        CLoudy Bay is excellent, but pricy. I usually contenttmyself with Kim Crawford which is about 20 bux in Toronto, but a mere 12 dollars at Costco in Scottsdale.

      3. They are great summer wines. Isabel 'Marlborough' is a really good wine and can be a little less pricey than Cloudy Bay, which I like too. I also stock up on Nobilo 'Marlborough' whenever I hit TJ's. Love it's grapefruit vs. tropical fruit flavors and so far, I have yet to find anything else in that price range that I like better.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Moka

          I second the Isabel recommendation. Usually $13-$15 if you look for it. Better than CB, IMHO. I've been drinking Isabel since the 1996 vintage and they're consistently good and surprisingly age worthy. (cracked a 1999 a month or two ago and it was stellar). But usually, I can't wait and I drink it while it's fresh and crisp and pungent.

          1. re: Moka

            Love Nobilo, I also love King Shag, another find at TJ's for $7.99, same, grapefruit undertones....

          2. I discovered the NZ's a couple of years ago. Was never crazy about white wine in general, I'm really more of a red zin/pinot gal but I really just love the SB's from the Marlborough area in general and most have been really great, regardless of who makes them. But, I do tend to favor the Nobilo, and like you Moka, stock up when I can. A great summer wine.


            1. New Zealand wines aren't legion in Quebec though the situation has improved significantly in the last 18 months. Here are my notes from a sauvignon blanc flight at a tasting last winter.

              >Sauvignon Blanc 2005, Marlborough, Kim Crawford (C$17.15) 13% alc.
              Textbook New Zealand sauvignon blanc. Explosive nose of passion fruit, melon and jalapeno with a squirt of cat pee. Zesty upfront fruit, zingy acidity and a limesicle finish. Fresca for adults? Sure. You got a problem with that?

              >Sauvignon Blanc 2004, Marlborough, Jackson Estate (C$20) 13% alc.
              Grassier and greener, the fruit tending to kiwi and gooseberry. Crisp, minerally, refreshing.

              Fumé Blanc 2003, Dry Creek Valley, Lake Sonoma Winery (C$22.35) 13.5% alc.
              Initial volatile acidity. Reticent nose, more minerals than fruit. Totally dry, mouthfilling, sharp and grapefruity with a chalky finish. Turned watery and hot as it breathed and warmed.

              >Menetou-Salon 2004, Morogues, Domaine Henry Pellé (C$23) 12.5% alc.
              Delicate nose, white flowers, citrusy with a hint of chile. Dry, light but flavourful, a tracery of grapefruit and minerals, a taut balance of fruit and acidity, a lingering sourness that draws you back for another sip.

              The two Marlborough wines made an obvious pair. To my surprise, the Fumé Blanc was stylistically closer to the Loire than New Zealand. The Kim Crawford was the crowd pleaser. Pure and elegant, the Menetou-Salon was in a class by itself; my mouth waters just thinking about it.

              1 Reply
              1. re: carswell

                I'm with you on the Kim Crawford. I love this wine, very delicate. I only drink SB (mainly a red wine drinker)and I found a great French one last winter at Trader Joe's but it is discontinued. It was a steal and better than Geisen IMO.

              2. I'm a big fan of Drylands Sauv Blanc. It sells for around $12.99 - $13.99 in SoCal and rivals others at closer to $20+.