The top 8 New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs chosen by Gambero Rosso

Jun 23 2024, 18:02
Refreshing, intense, and vibrant: all the freshness of Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs in 8 great tastings

You either love or hate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc: so intense, bold, and striking. For some, it's the essence of a refreshing wine; others find it excessive. On our journey to New Zealand, we observed an evolving style, with the stylistic boundary between the New World and Old Europe becoming increasingly blurred. The wines are less 'shouted' than in the past, more refined and balanced, slightly less fruity. The true distinction in the glass lies in the divide between large producers and small wineries. We encounter this division wherever we go.

The best tastings

Wild Sauvignon 2020 Greywacke


Freshness and gustatory vitality. It offers itself clear and very fragrant with tones of mint, basil, and lemongrass, with a touch of ginger and a very pleasant hint of yeast. The mouth has a classy progression, vibrant yet full and juicy, creamy, and with an accentuated minerality. Dry and striking: what a drink!

Saint Maur 2020 Two Rivers


A precious single vineyard from the Southern Valleys. Spontaneous fermentation, vinified in concrete, then in terracotta amphora and further aged in the bottle. The nose is multifaceted, finely aromatic with anise, thyme, and white asparagus. On the palate, it is airy, fine, and creamy, combining structure and a long, harmonious finish. 2,000 bottles produced.

Sauvignon Blanc 2022 Dog Point


The fruit of seven vineyards in the Wairau Valley, with a small part undergoing spontaneous fermentation, and the wine aged for about four months in steel. The classic note of tomato leaf, basil, and white peach, intense but never pungent. The mouth is harmonious, guided by citrus notes and a relaxed finish of white pepper and mint. A great sense of balance.

Sauvignong Blanc Section 94 2017 Dog Point


A plot planted in 1992, near the winery, with spontaneous fermentation and aging in used French barrels. The nose is slow and somewhat closed with tones of hazelnut, jasmine tea, and straw. The tactile part of the wine is striking, velvety, managing to be both rich and dynamic, for an impactful sip, more broad than vertical. Pairs well with white meats or elaborate fish soups.

Sauvignon Blanc Otira 2022 Clos Henri


The last Otira glaciation shaped the Glacial River Stones territory. The style has a distinctly French touch, and it couldn't be otherwise given the ownership (the Bourgeois family). The aromas are less bold, revolving around tones of anise, elderflower, and grapefruit; on the palate, it unfolds well, with a crescendo of balsamic and vegetal sensations.

Sauvignon Blanc 2022 The Whare Ra


The entire range impressed us with its pleasantness and originality. The Pinots were a real surprise. Here’s the story of the 2022 Sauvignon Blanc, the fruit of vines in the two most famous subzones, Renwick in the Wairau River and the upper Awatere area. A sprightly start of elderflower, gooseberry, and lychee; it unfolds well, intensely aromatic but without excesses, for a pure and vibrant finish.

Sauvignon Blanc 2022 Spy Valley


This Sauvignon produced in the Waihopai Valley is convincing. Aromatic notes of anise, elderflower, and white melon, the vegetal profile is harmoniously declined, the mouth is juicy and balsamic. The finish sprints between wild asparagus and green pepper, with good gustatory continuity.

Sauvignon Blanc 2022 Cloudy Bay


The most well-known New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc in the world opens with bold olfactory intensity, with very fresh scents of elderflower, kiwi, and tomato leaf. The mouth is decidedly herbaceous, marked by acidity and a tropical finish, guava, and more elderflower. It starts strong, closes in retreat: on the palate, it does not find as much flavor and length. Produced in 2.4 million bottles.

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