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
217154
Kim Crawford
2015 Sauvignon Blanc
Pale yellow straw color. Citrusy, vegetal aromas and flavors of grapefruit zest, green pepper, and passionfruit with a silky, vibrant, fruity body and a smooth, engaging, medium-length ripe peach and mango finish with no oak. A spot-on New Zealand sauvignon blanc with ripe zesty fruit and mouthwatering acidity.
93 points $17.99 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
217157
Kim Crawford
2015 Pinot Noir
Dark ruby color. Spicy, fruity aromas and flavors of spiced cherries, chocolate roasted nuts, and pencil graphite with a silky, tangy, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a charming, medium-long macaroon, strawberry compote, and honeyed herbs finish with a suggestion of oak. A juicy, precisely made pinot noir with instant appeal.
92 points $19 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217837
Rubus
2013 The Terraces Collection Pinot Noir
Medium dark garnet color. Aromas and flavors of roasted beets, chocolate yogurt, and dried cherries with a silky, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and an engaging, medium-long vanilla nut brittle, delicate spices, and cherry cola finish with fine tannins and light oak. A vibrant and superbly refreshing pinot noir.
90 points $36.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216940
It’s a Headsnapper
2015 Sauvignon Blanc
Straw green color. Aromas and flavors of yellow pepper and ruby grapefruit with a silky, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, captivating, medium-length lemon spritzed peach, guava, green apple, and coconut water finish with no oak. A tangy, tropical sauvignon blanc to savor.
90 points $14.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217155
Kim Crawford
2015 Unoaked Chardonnay
Golden straw color. Toasty, tropical, savory aromas and flavors of grilled and caramelized pineapple, pickled lemon rind and gherkin, and vanilla-coconut buttercream with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-long green caramel apple and clementine finish with fine, fruit tannins and no oak. A delicious, vivacious tropical chardonnay with great acidity and balance.
90 points $16.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab