Cuisine Wine

NZ Sauvignon Blanc Tasting results

26 December 2023 (Cuisine magazine Issue 221)

Once again Marlborough sauvignon blancs sweep the board and that’s no surprise to MARY-THÉRÈSE BLAIR.

I always feel a tad intimidated when the topic of sauvignon blanc comes around. Not because there’s nothing to say – regular Cuisine readers will know I’m rarely stuck for an opinion – but because I’m not sure what else there is to say. I don’t believe there’s a perspective I can add to the phenomena that is New Zealand, and more specifically, Marlborough sauvignon blanc. For decades now, Marlborough sauvignon has been lauded as some of the best in the world by some of the most respected individuals in the world of wine. What could I possibly have to add? A quick look at our top eleven – because these top wines were just so good the judges couldn’t decide on a top ten – tells the whole story. Out of 128 wines tasted from throughout New Zealand the results show eleven exceptional sauvignons, all from Marlborough… and that’s all she wrote.

top NZ Sauvignon Blanc

River Farm Sauvignon Blanc 2023 (Marlborough)

In the 19th century, New Zealand was one of the places in the world where a major gold rush occurred with people coming from all over the world in search of gold and a better life. While it’s true that many amassed great fortunes during the global gold rushes, many, many more found themselves far from home without the untold riches they once dreamed of. One such dreamer and adventurer was William Jones, a British ploughman who came to New Zealand during this period. Unlucky in prospecting for gold, William stayed in New Zealand and returned to his craft with land he acquired in Marlborough.

Four generations later and the Jones passion for the land is matched by their business acumen, with the family expanding their land ownership in the Wairau Valley by purchasing the Starborough homestead in the Awatere in 1992. Then in 2012 they purchased the River Farm brand, a 100% family-owned and operated brand.

One sip of this stunning wine would lead you to believe that, all those years later, the descendants of William Jones, have struck gold in his memory. Pale in the glass with an intense nose of Meyer lemon, grapefruit pith and ripe passionfruit alongside green apple and elderflower cordial. The purity of fruit is evident as you dive into the juicy and focussed palate with tangy acid and lovely length. The finish is crisp and refreshing with a beautiful aftertaste of pear and white flowers. It’s liquid gold.

| $22
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Star ratings for this tasting

» How ratings work

  • Outstanding 5
  • Excellent 6
  • Very Good 16
  • Good 70
  • No Award 31
  • Total Entries 128