2018 Kumeu River Chardonnay Estate, New Zealand, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

This is the middle level bottling from this superb winery in New Zealand.  Although New Zealand is not normally known for Chardonnay this wine makes spectacular bottlings especially their single vineyard offerings.  Pale silvery/gold in color, clear and bright.  The nose is great with nice minerality and slight grapefruit.  On the palate, this is clean and very lively.

2018 Kumeu River Chardonnay Hunting Hill

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$50.00USD

My first time trying this New Zealand winery.  Very impressed.  This wine is barrel fermented and raised in barrel for eleven months but shows no overt signs of any oak.  Probably just a bit of new oak barrels.  Golden in color with a tinge of copper.  The nose is very nice with orange, stony minerality, and lime zest.  This has a very nice texture.  It is creamy yet steely if that makes sense.  On the palate, it starts with a crisp stony minerality followed by a citrus mid-palate and then all notes crescendo for a full and long finish.  It is also delicious.  The finish is long.  Of course

NV Locations NZ-8, New Zealand, Wine Review

Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$18.00USD

This is Sauvignon Blanc from winemaker Dave Phinney who had originally brought you The Prisoner wines.  The label lists 12.6% ABV, but it seems like it might be a bit higher.  A very enjoyable wine.  It is a non-vintage wine.  Pale yellow golden in color.  The nose has lots of grapefruit but just a touch of gooseberries.  Very clean.  Slightly viscous but dry.  Crisp enough acidity.  On the palate, yellow grapefruit with a persistent finish.  It went very well with a spicy chili but should work well with lighter foods too.  

2013 Sineann Pinot Noir Terra Sancta Vineyard, New Zealand, Central Otago, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+

From an Oregon winery, Peter Rosback can't sit still, so he makes wine in New Zealand during the Oregon winters.  Deep ruby in color.  The nose has cherries and sandalwood.  On the palate, this is fruit forward with cherries and some cherry pie qualities.  It drinks very easily on its own.  It would work with roasted fowl.  This won't get better and should be consumed in the next five years or so.  Screw capped!

2012 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand, Marlborough, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Grade: 

Sadly, this has not held up.  It was purchased on release and well stored since then.  It is still drinkable but really not why anyone would buy this wine.  Silver/gold in color.  The nose is problematic.  Someone described it as peanut butter and that is close.  I found it more like the skins on roasted peanuts.  In any event it is odd.  Others found it worse.  Perhaps a bit better on the palate, but mostly nondescript.  This was probably much better 6 years ago.  If you own any, no harm in opening now, but have a back up bottle.  

2018 Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand, Marlborough, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$14.00USD

This turned out to be the group favorite in a tasting of ten New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs.  Silvery gold in color.  The nose has nice grapefruit notes.  On the palate, this has a nice oily texture.  Good minerality.  Lively acidity and a solid finish.  It drinks easy on its own and will go with seafood and lighter foods.  Priced well, this provides lots of pleasure for a reasonable cost for those who like this style.  

2018 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand, Marlborough, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$25.00USD

It was nice to revisit this icon which really started the whole New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc industry.  The truth is, however, this no longer sets itself apart from the pack except for the pricing.  Pale silvery/gold in color.  The nose is lemony and tart.  Those characteristics carry thru to the palate.  Nice acidity.  Solid finish.  This is a very good wine that will work with lighter foods and seafood.  

2017 Craggy Range Sauvignon Blanc Single Vineyard Te Muna Road Vineyard, New Zealand, Martinborough, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$20.00USD

Light yellow in color.  The nose is very nice.  Melons and slight cat pee.  It is a big wine.  With air, the tropical fruit emerges and a bit of grassiness.  On the palate, this has a nice depth.  Melons and slight grapefruits.  Good texture and finish.  That said, I would drink this now and these wines are best enjoyed in their youth.  It will work well with sea foods and other lighter foods.  

2016 Sineann Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough, New Zealand, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
86
Grade: 
B
Current Price: 
$18.00USD

This is made by Peter Rossback who is better known for his wines from Oregon and Washington in the US.  During his slower season, he heads down to New Zealand where he sources grapes to make Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.  This one is getting a bit long in the tooth and would have been better served being opened a couple of years ago.  Silvery gold in color.  The nose has a bit of gooseberries and minerals but is pretty light.  On the palate, there is some lemon peel and minerals.  Shorter finish.  Nothing bad about this wine but at this age (3 years from vintage), it has lost its zing.  

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