New Zealand has become all but synonymous with one grape: Sauvignon Blanc. The Northern tip of the Southern Island is called Marlborough and it is the home of most of New Zealand's Sauvignon Blanc. The Sauvignon Blanc found here is usually recalled as having grapefruit and citrus flavors with hints of pepper and herbs. Sauvignon Blanc lovers should not also try the fantastic Northern Island Sauvignons across the Cook Strait in Martinborough. These Sauvignons tend to focus on a citrus with some clear white peach flavors and fresh cut hay. Wine lovers should not pigeon hole New Zealand as a Sauvignon Blanc only wine producer, as it also makes fine Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and other reds featuring the Bordeaux varietals. Chardonnay finds a welcome home throughout New Zealand, but the best wines come from Gisborne. Hawkes Bay is the home to claret-style reds made from the Bordeaux varietals. Hawkes Bay reds tend to have wonderful acidity, ripeness and subtle, but firm, tannins. These wines are certainly worth seeking out.
"91 Points- Wine Spectator. Elegant and highly detailed, with plush, ripe red raspberry and cherry flavors that are fresh and juicy, joined by black tea, clove, sassafras and sage notes. Smooth and tasty, gaining momentum on the finish. Drink now through 2019."
"90 Points- Wine Spectator. A solid effort, adding a hint of fum? character to its otherwise straightforward blend of stone and passion fruit. There might be a touch of residual sugar to give the impression of weight, but it's balanced by the tangy acids on the finish."
"Crisp and refreshing, with lovely flavours of ripe grapefruit, gooseberry and pineapple. Fresh, zingy acidity dominates the palate with some pleasant fruit sweetness and good weight. A great wine with seafood and chicken dishes or just to drink on its own."
"This pleasant, medium-bodied wine stays 11 months in French oak (30% new), so there's plenty of barrel influence. The cherry and herb notes manage to stand up to the wood treatment, which adds a layer of mocha flavor and a touch of bitterness."
"Perfumed, with candied violet and toasty cedar touches that give a fragrant, charming note to the smooth huckleberry, blueberry and plum flavors. Drink now through 2024."
"This blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon has fragrant aromas and flavours of cassis, red fruits and dried herbs. A rich mouthfeel balanced with supple tannins leads to a delicious smooth finish. A great pairing with all red meats, most cheeses, and Mediterranean inspired cuisine."
"An intense nose of gooseberries, with hints of freshly torn basil leaves. Clean crisp palate with ripe tropical fruits and a well balanced acidity."
"A rich bouquet of blue and black berry fruits, tinged with subtler elements of dried herb, violets, and spice. This core of dark fruit carries through to the palate where these flavor gain focus and definition from bright, ripe acids whilst fine gran, fruit derived tannins add textural interest and length."
"Deep and darkly brooding in color this wine has a complex nose showing brambly red fruit with riper, rich black cherries, smoky oak and some floral violet notes. There are supporting notes of thyme and spicy pepper found within focused acidity and layers of fruit and earthy complexity on the palate. Lush and silky tannins characterise the elegant palate with a rich and concentrated core of ripe red fruits and cherries that linger for a long powerful finish."
"A wonderful deep garnet hue sets the tone for this classic Pinot Noir. Look for aromas of ripe black cherry and rich plum, surrounded by blueberry fruit. Spice with hints of licorice and rose petal are compelled with a bouquet reminiscent of being deep in an oak forest in the Autumn."