Wine: Superlative Sauvignon Blancs

Jo Burzynska toasts a selection of New Zealand's celebrated sauvignon blancs

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Astrolabe “Valleys” Awatere Valley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2015 $24
A stunning sauvignon from the Lower Dashwood area of Marlborough’s southern Awatere Valley that combines power and elegance in its palate of succulent rockmelon fruit overlaid with punchy green blackcurrant leaf, basil and jalapeno flavours, plus a burst of zesty lime. Top stuff! (SWNZ.)

Delta “Hatter’s Hill” Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014 $27
Generously textured and weighty, an impressive single vineyard sauvignon with a flinty edge in which ripe tropical papaya and passionfruit are permeated with aromatic notes of blackcurrant leaf and green herbs. (SWNZ.)

Brancott Estate “Chosen Rows” Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 $80
One of the country’s most serious sauvignons and the product of years of research and development, this second Chosen Rows release is another stellar example. Hand-harvested from selected rows in the Brancott Vineyard, wild ferments in large oak casks and eight months on lees have led to a wonderfully textured wine. Sleek with great underlying intensity, it pairs restrained herb and anise aromatics and the variety’s classic sappy green fruit, with complex layers of almond, savoury and grapefruit pith. (SWNZ.)

Greenhough “Hope Vineyard” Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2014 $28
The second sauvignon from Nelson in this year’s top 50 is proof Marlborough does not have the monopoly on exciting examples of the variety. Greenhough’s inaugural Hope Vineyard Sauvignon is a beautifully textural style with a mouth-filling palate of passionfruit, red capsicum, basil, spice and flint to which some extended skin contact has imparted an attractive chalky edge. (Certified Organic.)

Clos Marguerite Awatere Sauvignon Blanc 2015 $28
A combination of hand and machine harvesting and a small proportion of its fruit fermented in barrel have given the best of both worlds to this appealing sauvignon expression. It’s bursting with classic Marlborough brightness in its herb, capsicum and bergamot aromatics and zesty lime and green plum fruit, while exhibiting an elegance in its texture and saline minerality. (SWNZ.)

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