Sauvignon Blanc is one of the world’s most popular and widely-consumed white wine varieties, and New Zealand is one of its largest producers. With its bright and refreshing flavour profile, it’s not hard to see why. But what makes New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc so special? And how can you find the best bottles of this delicious wine? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take a closer look at what makes New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc so unique, and explore the different styles and regions that produce it.
The History of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc has been produced in New Zealand since the 1970s when it was first introduced to the country by settlers from France. Over the years, New Zealand has developed its own distinct style of Sauvignon Blanc, which is now renowned around the world for its bright, zesty flavour profile.
The Flavor Profile of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
One of the key characteristics of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is its bright, zesty flavour profile. This wine is characterized by its high acidity, which gives it a crisp and refreshing taste, as well as a range of fruit flavours, including lemon, grapefruit, and green apple. Additionally, many New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs have a distinct herbaceous note, with flavours of fresh-cut grass, gooseberry, and sometimes even a hint of pineapple or passion fruit.
The Different Styles of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
One of the great things about New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is that it comes in a variety of styles, from bright and crisp to rich and complex. Some of the different styles of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc include:
Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
Marlborough is the largest and most well-known wine region in New Zealand, and it is best known for its Sauvignon Blanc. The Marlborough style of Sauvignon Blanc is characterized by its bright, zesty flavor profile, with plenty of acidity and a range of fruit flavors. This style of Sauvignon Blanc is often the first that comes to mind when people think of New Zealand wine, and it is widely available around the world.
Awatere Valley Sauvignon Blanc
The Awatere Valley is another important wine region in New Zealand, located in the southern part of the country. The Sauvignon Blanc from this region has a slightly different flavour profile from Marlborough, with a more pronounced herbal character and a slightly leaner body. Awatere Valley Sauvignon Blanc is often an excellent choice for those who prefer a more complex, nuanced wine.
Waiheke Island Sauvignon Blanc
Waiheke Island is a small island located in the Hauraki Gulf near Auckland. The Sauvignon Blanc produced on this island has a unique flavour profile with a rich, tropical character that is unlike any other style of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. This wine is often aged in oak barrels, which gives it a smooth, creamy texture and a slightly nutty flavour.
Waipara Valley Sauvignon Blanc
The Waipara Valley is located in the northern part of the South Island of New Zealand and is one of the newest wine regions in the country. The Sauvignon Blanc produced here has a bright and fresh character, with plenty of fruit flavours and balanced acidity. The wines from this region are often characterized by a mix of floral and herbal aromas with a hint of citrus and stone fruits.
Marlborough Pinot Noir
Marlborough is best known for its Sauvignon Blanc, but it is also home to some world-class Pinot Noir. These wines have a rich and intense character, with plenty of ripe berry flavors, earthy aromas, and a balanced acidity. Marlborough Pinot Noir is often quite intense and concentrated, with a lingering finish and structure that will reward careful cellaring.
Gisborne is an area located on the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand. This region is known for its Chardonnay, which has a vibrant and fruity character with plenty of tropical fruit flavours and refreshing acidity. Gisborne Chardonnay often has a creamy texture with a hint of oak which adds a layer of complexity.