Tasting Highlights’ wine reviews are fresh out of the tasting room, offering a sneak peek of our editors’ most recent scores and notes to WineSpectator.com members.
Despite the challenges that New Zealand winemakers faced in 2020, it was a pretty marvelous vintage for the Marlborough region. Winemakers report a long and dry growing season with above-average temperatures. And harvest weather was cool and steady, resulting in intense and focused Sauvignon Blancs like the 2020s in this week’s selection. We’ve also added a few refreshing 2019s for good measure. Even better, these wines all deliver great value at $17 or less.
These Sauvignon Blancs show classic New Zealand character, with crisp acidity and bright fruit flavors, plus herb and mineral accents. Most lean toward citrus notes like lemon and grapefruit, even versions from the warm 2019 vintage (warmer years can sometimes make Sauvignon Blancs more tropical). Alternatively, these versions from Giesen and Frenzy offer tropical and stone fruit notes like pineapple and peach. Whichever style you prefer, this batch of fresh whites might bring a bit of Kiwi summer to the cold Northern Hemisphere.
Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2020
Score: 89 | $14
WS review: Intense and mouthwatering, with tropical notes of pineapple and passion fruit on a light frame, showing plenty of herbal accents of lemongrass and thyme. Drink now. 45,000 cases made, 45,000 cases imported.—M.W.
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