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.
"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."
"An intriguing, smoky, incense-filled aroma and details of chive blossom and orange zest add some charm to the crisp cranberry and tart cherry flavors. Refreshing and compact, showing good intensity on the finish."
"An appealing core of black raspberry and black cherry fruit with floral accents and a touch of cinnamon. Medium bodied, forward and open in the mouth with tons of cherry flavors and a silky tannic texture, it finishes with medium to long persistence."
"A fresh style with classic Pinot Noir character. Offers cherry and raspberry, white pepper and delicate spice with cedarbox, carrot tops and the expected forest floor notes. It is approachable and juicy with silky fruit, cocoa and fine spices lingering across the finish."
"Aromas of black cherry, blackberry and vanilla and loaded with flavors of ripe and juicy black fruit, combined with creamy tannins. Beautiful structure and texture framed with touches of chocolate and spice from the oak aging. The wine will continue to develop and improve for up to 5 years."
"90 Points- Wine Spectator. Elegant, peppery white floral notes give way to mouthwatering Key lime and Meyer lemon flavors, lingering effortlessly on the intense finish."
"Delivers plenty of Pinot Noir character. Cherry, cranberry and beet root aromas and flavors pick up a hint of cola on the crisp finish of this silky-textured, medium-weight wine. Drink it over the rest of 2017."
"90 Rating! WS #83 Top 100 Wines of 2016. Aromas of red cherry, dried herbs, scented oak and vibrant spice. Smooth on the palate with dark cherry and bramble flavours delivering a long finish with fine tannins and balanced acidity. Match with slow roasted duck breast with lentil and apricot chutney sauce."
"90 Points- Wine Spectator. Fleshy and appealing, with vibrant cherry and plum notes that have nutmeg and black tea flavors lingering on the finish. Offers good intensity and a velvety texture. Drink now through 2026."