Top White 2021 – Sauvignon Blanc
I've tasted over a thousand wines in 2021; undoubtedly, Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most tasted white varieties and still amaze me. Sauvignon Blanc has taken the world by storm over the past couple of decades, producing a distinctive fruit-forward, crisp style at an affordable price and high-quality level.
However, whilst the world is starting to think NZ Sauvignon Blanc is a one-trick pony, a diverse range of Sauvignon Blanc pushes it to another level. Winemakers apply wild fermentation, barrel fermentation and ageing, showcasing the single-vineyard aspect, sub-regional character, then the Savvy personalities all came out, plus the excellent conditions we had for vintage 2021; Sauvignon Blanc has never looked better!
Below is my selection of Top Sauvignon Blanc tasted in 2021, which are currently available in the market. It's an extensive range of styles, from the classic Marlborough - Jules Taylor, Whitehaven bursting with bright fruit and freshness, and newcomer Eva Pemper shows a spicy side of SB; to Paddy Borthwick shows a calm and restrained Wairarapa elegance. Organic producer Greystone in North Canterbury offers a complex, creamy, barrel-fermented style. Pegasus Bay followed the Bordeaux tradition, blending Sauvignon Blanc with Semillon fermented a portion in old puncheons to build texture and a portion aged in new oak to gain complexity. Then back to Marlborough Te Pa Oke - a complex & age-worthy style produced by barrel-fermentation and aged in barrels; Rapaura Springs showcasing the Blind River subregion and Bull Paddock single-vineyard after years of understanding their vineyards. The NZ Sauvignon Blanc scene is very exciting!
Read my reviews below or join me to taste them in Auckland on 19th Jan at Cahn's Wines & Spirits on O'Connell Street or in Wellington on the 27th Jan at Wine Sentience on Vivian Street, Te Aro. Ticket links :Auckland 19 Jan : https://www.eventbrite.co.nz/e/236587308007 Wellington 28 Jan : https://www.eventbrite.co.nz/e/236602222617
*Use the code "TOPWHITE" on the below websites to apply a discount to buy direct.
Jules Taylor - 15% off
Te Pa - 15% off
Whitehaven - 20% off
Eva Pemper - 10% off
FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW
Jules Taylor Sauvignon Blanc 2021, MarlboroughSauvignon Blanc from New Zealand - MarlboroughReview Date : 28-Jun-2021Bright, even, pale yellow with a slightly green hue. The nose is distinctively aromatic, softly full nuances of lime, pineapple, gooseberries interweave tomato vines, white peppercorns, underlying elderflowers. Medium-light bodied, aromas of pineapple, lime and gooseberries have a bright core, elderflower adorns. The subtle herbaceous aroma of capsicum, tomato vines added interest and complexity, along with a hint of white peppercorns. The acidity is soft and smooth flowing, rounded by a touch of sweetness. This is a classic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc with ripe fruit flavours and varietal characters. Match with green-lipped mussels and lemon sole over the next 3 years. The juice was inoculated with aromatic yeasts, cool-fermented to 13.6% alc, 2.2 g/l RS. 18.5/20 pts (93 pts) June 2021 RRP $24.99
Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc 2021 MarlboroughSauvignon Blanc from New Zealand - MarlboroughReview Date : 12-Oct-2021Bright, pale straw-yellow, even colour throughout. The nose is softly full, displaying aromas of white currant, lime, tomato vine melded with a hint of white spice. Medium-light bodied, vibrant aromas of white currant, lime interweave gooseberries, herbaceous tomato vine, followed by white pepper lends a lengthy finish. The fruit has brilliant concentration and ripeness, supported by a lively acid line. Subtle fine-textured phenolics provide an elegant presence, leaving a chalky mouthfeel. This is an elegant Sauvignon Blanc with concentration, refreshing acidity on a chalky textured palate. Match with steamed mussels and white fish over the next 3 years. Fermented to 13% alc, 2.3g/l RS. 18.5/20 pts (93 pts) Oct 2021 RRP $22
Eva Pemper Sauvignon Blanc 2021, MarlboroughSauvignon Blanc from New Zealand - MarlboroughReview Date : 07-Dec-2021Bright, pale straw-yellow, even colour throughout. The nose is expressive with a spice kick, aromas of pineapple, guava filled the glass with elderflower, Thai basil and white spice. Medium-bodied, fresh aromas of pineapple, guava have a juicy core, along with lime, elderflower melded harmoniously, Thai basil and white spice linger on the finish added interest. The wine is elegantly presented with well-proportioned features. Juicy acidity balances the sweet fruit and lengthens with spice, lending a long finish. A hint of stony minerals lightly coated the palate. This is a delicate, well-proportioned Sauvignon Blanc with pristine fruit, acid balance and a spice kick. Match with Thai steamed fish and green-lipped mussels over the next 3-4 years. Machine-harvested, cool-fermented to 13% alc. 18.5+/20 pts (94 pts) Dec 2021 RRP $24.90
Paddy Borthwick Sauvignon Blanc 2021, Wairarapa Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand - Wairarapa & WellingtonReview Date : 21-Sep-2021Bright, pale straw-yellow, even colour throughout. The nose is soft, clear in layers, penetrating aromas of passionfruit, citrus and kiwi fruit interweave spicy green herbs. Medium-light bodied, nuances of passionfruit, kiwi fruit and lemon peels have an elegant core, enlivened by mouth-watering acidity, carries white spice, green herbs to a thirst-quenching finish. The wine is vibrant yet restrained, showing subtleties of herbs and spices added interest; brilliant acid balance, bright and soft with an elegant flow. Match this with clams and goat's cheese onion tart over the next 3+ years. Fermented in tank to 13.5% alc, <1g/l RS. No fining, vegan friendly. 18.5/20 pts (93 pts) Sept 2021 RRP $22.50
Greystone Organic Sauvignon Blanc 2020, North CanterburySauvignon Blanc from New Zealand - Canterbury & WaiparaReview Date : 12-Nov-2021Bright, medium yellow, even colour throughout. The wine has a ripe bouquet of fruit, packed with tropical fruit, citrus, white spice, herb and a suggestion of honey. Medium-full bodied, aromas of pineapple, lemon sherbet melded with white spice, unfolding zest and honey. The ripened fruit has vibrant acid tension. The palate is weighty with a creamy layer and fine-textured phenolics, contributed by barrel-fermentation and MLF. This is a complex Sauvignon Blanc with a tropical, citrus core and spice displaying its beauty on a creamy, textural palate. Match with savoury steamed custard and dim sum over the next 3-4 years. Wild-fermented in old French oak barrels for seven months, 95% MLF, 13.5% alc. BioGro organic certified, vegan friendly. 18.5+/20 pts (94 pts) Nov 2021 RRP $29
Pegasus Bay Sauvignon Semillon 2019, North CanterburySauvignon Blanc from New Zealand - Canterbury & WaiparaReview Date : 12-Nov-2021Bright, pale yellow with some depth and a green sheen. The wine has an enticing bouquet, softly penetrating generous aromas of citrus, apple interweave asparagus spears, nettle, smoky flint, toasted almonds and custard. Medium-bodied, the palate is intense and concentrated, creamy custard texture carries lemon, citrus peels, apple, unfolding asparagus, nettle, white spice, gunflint and a hint of nuttiness. The Sauvignon Blanc portion shows lush fruit and herbaceous details; the Semillon portion contributes to a waxy, oily texture, along with brilliant acidity. The combination offers a great deal of complexity and punch, with the rich, concentrated nuances, lends a sophisticated, long finish. Match with fish pie and lemon chicken over the next 5-8 years. A blend of 70% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Semillon, fermented separately, Sauvignon Blanc in stainless steel with one third on skins approx, Semillon fermented in oak puncheons. A small percentage of Sauvignon Blanc was aged in new French barrels. Both varieties aged on their lees for approx 10 months, further aged for a year in bottle before being released. 14% alc. 19/20 pts (95 pts) Nov 2021 RRP $34
Rapaura Springs Rohe-Blind River Sauvignon Blanc 2021, MarlboroughSauvignon Blanc from New Zealand - MarlboroughReview Date : 24-Aug-2021Bright, pale yellow, even colour throughout. The nose is gently full, filled the glass with vibrant aromas of citrus, passionfruit, interweave lemongrass and spicy herbs. Medium-light bodied, aromas of passionfruit melded with an amalgam of citrus, unfolding blood orange, grapefruit, lime, along with lemongrass, white pepper, and salinity drives a long, flavoursome finish. The wine has great intensity and balance; the fruit, white pepper and salinity are well-proportioned. Delicate floral persist with spices and a savoury line of acidity. Match with fish tacos and calamari over the next 3-5 years. Fermented in stainless steel to 13.5% alc, 3.6g/l RS. 19/20 pts (95 pts) Aug 2021 RRP $27.90
Rapaura Springs Bull Paddock Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2021, MarlboroughSauvignon Blanc from New Zealand - MarlboroughReview Date : 24-Aug-2021Bright, very pale yellow, even colour throughout. The nose is full and distinctive, filled the glass with aromas of lime, cassis, mango, interweave sage and oyster shells. Medium-light bodied, dry to taste, well-proportioned, discreet aromas of lime, cassis, and mango enliven by saline, oyster shells, sage, and spicy herb notes. Subtle elderflower nuance meld in the mix. The mouthfeel is smooth, flows elegantly with finely chalky phenolics. Savoury nuances of sage and saline persist to a long finish, suggesting food. This is a stylish Sauvignon Blanc with a strong sense of place, elegant mouthfeel and finesse. Match with langoustine and goat's cheese ravioli with sage butter over the next 3-5 years. The fruit was sourced from Dillons Point, Lower Wairau Valley, fermented in stainless steel to 13.5% alc, 3.6g/l RS. 19+/20 pts (96 pts) Aug 2021 RRP $27.90
Te Pa Oke Sauvignon Blanc 2019, MarlboroughSauvignon Blanc from New Zealand - MarlboroughReview Date : 29-Sep-2021Bright, pale yellow with some depth with a slight green hue, even colour throughout. The nose is gently full and elegantly presented, poised aromas of smoky flint lead subtle nuts and buttered toast nuances, underlying citrus and tropical fruit direction. Full-bodied, the palate is bright with multilayered aromas of fresh lemon, lime, mango and guava, followed by a dusting of white spice, then linger with toast, nuts and crusty baguette. The mouthfeel is refined, dusty phenolics contribute to an opulent texture; the barrel-fermented details of flint, nut and toast are well-proportioned, enriched the sweet, pure expression of fruit. This is an elegant, age-worthy Sauvignon Blanc with pure fruit and well-portioned barrel-fermented complexity and structure. Match with nut-crumbed grouper and baked camembert over the next 5-8 years. Handpicked, whole bunch pressed, fermented in 320L French Cigar barrels to 13.5% alc, aged on full lees for 11 months. 19+/20 pts (96 pts) Sept 2021 RRP $24.95