About New Zealand Wine

The New Zealand wine industry has complete changed over the past thirty years. What was once a sleepy cottage industry has now become a modern business, with producers crafting remarkable wines form a few superior districts.

Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough district, situated at the northern end of the South Island, instantly became a worldwide phenomenon in the 1990s. The typical examples offers ripe gooseberry and line aromas, assertive herbal favors and a rich finish with tangy acidity. Not only did Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc put New Zealand on the viticultural map, today, it is recognized as one of the iconic wine styles anywhere on the planet.

This success has led to other varieties being planted in specific territories in the country, such as Pinot Noir in Central Otago and Martinborough (as well as Marlborough), red Bordeaux varieties in Hawke's Bay, and several other cultivars.

Today New Zealand ranks fourteenth in wine production in the world and has gained new respect as well as sales in many export countries.
Top Picks for New Zealand
219808
Waikiwi Bay
2016 Sauvignon Blanc
Pale emerald straw color. Citrusy, grassy aromas and flavors of grapefruit zest, wheat grass, green almond, and dried green apples with a round, racy, light body and a sleek, captivating, long grapefruit curd, citrus pith, kiwi and kumquat relish, and lemon lime soda finish with fine, fruit tannins and no oak. A bright and cheerful NZ sauvignon blanc with a great finish.
93 points $6.96 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218705
Chasing Venus
2016 Sauvignon Blanc
Pale straw color. Citrusy, green aromas and flavors of green pepper, grapefruit and guava, grassy herbs, and white peppercorn with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length green apple skin, yellow pepper, and mango finish with chewy, silky, fruit tannins and no oak. A luscious, tropical fruit driven sauvignon blanc with a fun peppery note.
93 points $16 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
221283
Brancott Estate
2016 Sauvignon Blanc
Bright emerald straw color. Aromas and flavors of kiwi and melon relish, roasted yellow pepper, and pickled root vegetables with an vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a complex, long white grapefruit, passionfruit and mango, and olive finish with fine, crunchy, fruit tannins and no oak. A toothsome, tropical sauvignon blanc that is sure to please.
92 points $15 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
220177
Kono
2016 Sauvignon Blanc
Bright silvery emerald straw color. Grassy, citrusy aromas of gooseberry, freshly grated ruby red grapefruit zest, wheat grass, and fresh tomato leaf with a round, lively, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and an appealing, medium-long fresh nectarine, lavender, papaya and passionfruit, and polished stones finish with well-integrated, fine tannins. A highly aromatic Sauvignon Blanc with great concentration and stunning fruit flavors.
92 points $13.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219793
Villa Maria
2016 Private Bin Rosé Hawke's Bay
Bright pink coral color. Aromas of grapefruit zest, fresh cut grass, cherry skins, and bumbleberry with a supple, crisp, light-to-medium body and an even, medium-length wild cherry jam and fertile earth finish with fine, fruit tannins. A pink and cheery alternative to sauvignon blanc.
92 points $15 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218338
Whitehaven
2016 Sauvignon Blanc
Brilliant straw color. Grassy aromas and flavors of grass, grapefruit rind, passionfruit yogurt, and tomato leaf and green pepper with a supple, tangy, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-long lemon, guava, and white peppercorn finish with fine tannins and no oak. A robust, nicely balanced sauvignon blanc with nice varietal character.
92 points $20 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
221038
Cardigan Bay
2016 Sauvignon Blanc
Straw color. Aromas and flavors of baked gherkin, potato and jalapeño, grilled grapefruit, and ghee with an bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a distinctive, long green tomato-guava relish, lemongrass and verbena, and minerals finish with fine, silky, fruit tannins and no oak. A very distinctive, super savory and umami-laden sauvignon blanc.
91 points $14.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222095
Yealands Estate
2016 S1 Single Block Sauvignon Blanc
Pale straw color. Green aromas of ripe gooseberry, white pepper, green mango, and nectarine with a supple, lively, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a polished, engaging, medium-length underripe apple and hint of passionfruit finish with silky, fruit tannins and no oak. A shining Sauvignon Blanc pulling an arsenal of tropical fruit.
90 points $14.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222097
Peter Yealands
2016 PGR White Blend Marlborough
Straw color. Tropical, exotic aromas of lychee, yuzu, ripe papaya, honeysuckle, white tea, pistachio-vanilla creme, and dried apricot with a round, dryish medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-long crushed pineapple, tropical flowers, and sage finish with soft, fruit tannins and moderate oak. A rich and elegant New Zealand white that will have you swimming in tropical fruits and flowers.
90 points $15.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
221049
Waikiwi Bay
2016 Sauvignon Blanc
Emerald straw color. Aromas and flavors of tropical fruits and blossoms, yellow pepper, grapefruit, and white peppercorn with a crisp, fruity light-to-medium body and an interesting, medium-long wheat grass, lime zest, and kiwi finish with fine, crunchy, fruit tannins and no oak. A tasty, spot-on sauvignon blanc pleaser.
90 points $6.96 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab