White, New Zealand, WINE

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Of the world's most recognizable wine-producing nations, New Zealand is perhaps the newest comer to the stage. In 1960, less than 1,000 acres of vines were planted on the North Island and virtually none on the South Island. Today, the country produces perhaps the most individually distinctive style of Sauvignon Blanc on the market, and each year, talented winemakers and viticulturalists are breaking new ground and exploring the challenging landscape of this remote pair of islands.

Viticulture in New Zealand originated around Auckland at Kumeu and Huapai, and soon spread south. Hawke's Bay, on the east coast of the North Island, is New Zealand's answer to Bordeaux. Sheltered from the harsh westerly winds in the rain shadow of a pair of mountain ranges, it enjoys low rainfall and high temperatures favorable to the cultivation of red grapes. Patches of deep, gravelly, poor shingle soils are most desirable for their effect on the Merlot vine, which is the most prevalent here. As summers grow increasingly warm, Syrah is showing more and more potential, as well. Martinborough is the North Island's other wine epicenter. The region sits in the same rain shadow as Hawke's Bay to the north, but it's exposed to the westerlies, making it a much cooler region and perfectly suited to producing vivid, Burgundian Pinot Noir along with markedly admirable Pinot Gris.

Just across the Cook Strait, on the northern tip of the South Island, lies New Zealand's most famous wine region, Marlborough. Its reputation is built entirely on the piercingly acidic and intensely ripe version of Sauvignon Blanc that results from the bracing, cool weather and radiant, sunny days. No other region on Earth seems capable of imitating this style. The most southerly wine region on Earth and one of the most scenic, Central Otago differs from the rest of the country in its decidedly continental, rather than maritime, climate. Short, dry, sunny summers and harsh winters make it suitable for Pinot Noir, and only Pinot Noir. New Zealand's most famous red wine producers are here, making bright, exuberant, forward wines with no shortage of character or mass appeal.

New Zealand may be one of the world's youngest and most remote wine regions, but it's also one of the most compelling, if for no other reason than the sheer improbability of such success as it has enjoyed. And while its reputation is one-dimensional, the reality of its wine scene is far more kaleidoscopic.

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95 points Joe Czerwinski (Wine Advocate): The voluminous yet weightless 2016 Hunting Hill Chardonnay continues this bottling's successfull run of vintages. Hints of roasted cashew accent tropical fruit, but thanks to a zesty line of citrusy acids, the wine powers forward without ever seeming overly… ...
WA 95
JS 94
WE 94
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Kumeu River Chardonnay Kumeu Hunting Hill 2016  (#702164)

Chardonnay from Marlborough, New Zealand

95 points Joe Czerwinski (Wine Advocate): The voluminous yet weightless 2016 Hunting Hill Chardonnay continues this bottling's successfull run of vintages. Hints of roasted cashew accent tropical fruit, but thanks to a zesty line of citrusy acids,…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 7 available
WA 95
JS 94
WE 94
94 points James Suckling: Much fresher than the Estate chardonnay of this vintage, this has lots of ripe pear character and generous body, but remains restrained. The further you ride the graceful, long finish, the more complete the overall impression becomes. Drink or hold. Screw cap. (10/19/18) ...
JS 94
V 94
WA 93
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Kumeu River Chardonnay Kumeu Coddington Vineyard 2014  (#702163)

Chardonnay from Marlborough, New Zealand

94 points James Suckling: Much fresher than the Estate chardonnay of this vintage, this has lots of ripe pear character and generous body, but remains restrained. The further you ride the graceful, long finish, the more complete the overall…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
$39.95
$45.00
Save $5.05 (11%)45.00
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92+ points Joe Czerwinski (Wine Advocate): ...a benchmark for the so-called alternative style of Sauvignon Blanc, being barrel-fermented with high solids and indigenous yeasts. Wild notes of green onions and sweat dominate the nose at the moment, but I expect them to mellow with time in the bottle… ...
WA 92
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Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough Section 94 2016  (#702232)

Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand

92+ points Joe Czerwinski (Wine Advocate): ...a benchmark for the so-called alternative style of Sauvignon Blanc, being barrel-fermented with high solids and indigenous yeasts. Wild notes of green onions and sweat dominate the nose at the moment, but…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 9 available
90 points Joe Czerwinski (Wine Advocate): The 2017 Sauvignon Blanc may not go down as an all-time classic Cloudy Bay, but in a difficult vintage, the wine has turned out excellent. Hints of snow pea pods accent tropical fruit notes in a wine that is soft, round and harmonious, showing ample… ...
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Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2017  (#701783)

Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand

90 points Joe Czerwinski (Wine Advocate): The 2017 Sauvignon Blanc may not go down as an all-time classic Cloudy Bay, but in a difficult vintage, the wine has turned out excellent. Hints of snow pea pods accent tropical fruit notes in a wine that is…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 3 available
92 points Joe Czerwinski (Wine Advocate): In another tricky vintage, the team at Cloudy Bay has turned out one of their best recent efforts. The 2018 Sauvignon Blanc boasts notes of gooseberries and pineapple up front, and shows lovely harmony and roundness on the palate. It's medium-bodied and easy… ...
WA 92
JS 91
WS 90
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Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2018  (#334539)

Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand

92 points Joe Czerwinski (Wine Advocate): In another tricky vintage, the team at Cloudy Bay has turned out one of their best recent efforts. The 2018 Sauvignon Blanc boasts notes of gooseberries and pineapple up front, and shows lovely harmony and…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12 available
WA 92
JS 91
WS 90
92 points James Suckling: This is a single batch fermented in a wooden cuve and the resulting wine has an edge of savory refinement and lime citrus-focused fruit. Nice depth and detail. Drink now. Screw cap. (11/13/17) ...
JS 92
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Nautilus Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough The Paper Vineyard 2016  (#701607)

Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand

92 points James Suckling: This is a single batch fermented in a wooden cuve and the resulting wine has an edge of savory refinement and lime citrus-focused fruit. Nice depth and detail. Drink now. Screw cap. (11/13/17)

750ml Bottle | In stock, 11 available
$29.95
$45.00
Save $15.05 (33%)45.00
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95 points James Suckling: A super refined and elegant sauvignon that delivers an extremely sophisticated palate that operates on a condensed core of vibrant limes and minerals. There’s a wealth of detail here with bergamot and Earl Grey to close. Drink or hold. Screw cap. (10/8/18) ...
JS 95
WE 93
WA 91
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Clos Henri Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016  (#701983)

Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand

95 points James Suckling: A super refined and elegant sauvignon that delivers an extremely sophisticated palate that operates on a condensed core of vibrant limes and minerals. There’s a wealth of detail here with bergamot and Earl Grey to close.…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
JS 95
WE 93
WA 91
Consisting predominantly of Chardonnay blended with Pinot Noir. Adapting the Méthode Marlborough stringent criteria, it was carefully crafted from estate owned Marlborough grapes, twice fermented and aged on lees for at least 18 months. A hint of yeastiness and huge acid backbone linger behind… ...
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Allan Scott Brut Marlborough Cecilia NV  (#702303)

Non-Vintage Sparkling Wine from Marlborough, New Zealand

Consisting predominantly of Chardonnay blended with Pinot Noir. Adapting the Méthode Marlborough stringent criteria, it was carefully crafted from estate owned Marlborough grapes, twice fermented and aged on lees for at least 18 months. A hint of…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 7 available
93 points Joe Czerwinski (Wine Advocate): Sourced from two vineyards near Renwick, the 2017 Cru Wairau Sauvignon Blanc comes from vines averaging 25 years old. It's mainly tank aged but kept on lees and released in April following the vintage. This medium to full-bodied wine is round, even… ...
WA 93
JS 92
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Smith & Sheth Sauvignon Blanc Wairau Valley Cru 2017  (#702346)

Sauvignon Blanc from Wellington/Wairarapa, New Zealand

93 points Joe Czerwinski (Wine Advocate): Sourced from two vineyards near Renwick, the 2017 Cru Wairau Sauvignon Blanc comes from vines averaging 25 years old. It's mainly tank aged but kept on lees and released in April following the vintage. This…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
94 points James Suckling: This has all the complexity seen in great white wines with plenty of savory influence. Grilled nuts adorn biscuity and flinty lemon and grapefruit pith. The palate has punchy dried-peach and lemon flavors, as well as an appealing, very succulent and carefully layered… ...
JS 94
WS 93
DE 92
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Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough Wild Sauvignon 2016  (#702340)

Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand

94 points James Suckling: This has all the complexity seen in great white wines with plenty of savory influence. Grilled nuts adorn biscuity and flinty lemon and grapefruit pith. The palate has punchy dried-peach and lemon flavors, as well as an…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 7 available
JS 94
WS 93
DE 92
$24.95
$32.00
Save $7.05 (22%)32.00
Save $7.05 (22%)
95 points Decanter: Peaches, lemons, red apples and tropical fruit leap from the glass. Quite a textural Sauvignon Blanc with sweet grass, grapefruit, nut and subtle honey flavours and a rich and creamy texture. An interesting, characterful example with a long, mineral finish. (2018) ...
DE 95
JS 91
TP 91
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Craggy Range Sauvignon Blanc Martinborough Te Muna Road Vineyard 2017  (#701826)

Sauvignon Blanc from Martinborough, Wellington/Wairarapa, New Zealand

95 points Decanter: Peaches, lemons, red apples and tropical fruit leap from the glass. Quite a textural Sauvignon Blanc with sweet grass, grapefruit, nut and subtle honey flavours and a rich and creamy texture. An interesting, characterful example…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 2 available
DE 95
JS 91
TP 91
$21.95
$25.00
Save $3.05 (12%)25.00
Save $3.05 (12%)
93 points James Suckling: A very composed and complex style with grassy and herbal accents across restrained limes that deliver a fresh palate with stony minerals, lime juice and light tropical flavors. Tight and tidy. Drink now. Screw cap. (10/8/18) ...
JS 93
WA 91
WS 90
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Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc E-Block Marlborough 2017  (#702373)

Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand

93 points James Suckling: A very composed and complex style with grassy and herbal accents across restrained limes that deliver a fresh palate with stony minerals, lime juice and light tropical flavors. Tight and tidy. Drink now. Screw cap. (10/8/18)

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
JS 93
WA 91
WS 90
$19.95
$25.00
Save $5.05 (20%)25.00
Save $5.05 (20%)
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