Lauraine Jacobs

Food Writer and Author of Delicious Books

Wines to drink

29 March 2010


I choose Sauvignon Blanc when I am tired and need a wine to perk me up. The other night we had a couple of friends in for a drink and, after a day on the golf course, ‘Savvy’ was just what I needed. So much so that we drank our way through two bottles.

New Zealand is known for its clean green image. Most people think that idea derives from all the green pastures, the pristine waters and the icy clear mountains. But as a savvy drinker I know better. Our world famous Sauvignon Blancs are exactly what has painted this green impression for us. Grassy, herbal aromas, a freshness that leaps from every bottle, and clean mineral tastes, has helped tell the world of our commitment to a better planet.

The first bottle we tasted was Yealands Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008. It delivers everything you’d want in a Sauvignon Blanc. Wonderful green grassy aromas, assertive acidity and that refreshing lift-me-up taste that excites the palate and banishes any feelings of tiredness. It’s grown on a huge estate on the banks of the Awatere River, an area that has become really desirable for this varietal since most of Marlborough’s Wairau Valley has been planted out. I love this wine and the good news is that it is produced in large quantities so is easy to find around the world.

Next we tried Saint Clair Pioneers Block 8 Friar’s Sauvignon Blanc 2007. It’s wine that exhibits superb Sauvignon Blanc characteristics. It is made from hand harvested grapes grown on a specially selected small parcel of land near Grovetown on the Wairau Valley, and is a refined and elegant example that shows just how good this varietal can be. Rather than grassy and green, the flavours mellowed out and it tasted of much more tropical sweet fruit than I expected it would. Saint Clair is another large premium producer and while this particular bottle may be hard to find, every single Sauvignon Blanc this company makes is delicious.

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