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An exclusive blend for us made by Villa Maria, this is a grapefruit and lime-scented, bright and refreshing sauvignon from the second great New Zealand vintage in a row.
Product Code: NZ12061
View all products by Villa Maria Estate
Villa Maria is the most awarded winery in New Zealand, so it is not surprising that the estate’s benchmark style led to it being selected as the producer of both our Exhibition Marlborough Pinot Noir and our Society's New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. What may come as more of a surprise, however, is the fact that the estate began as a one-man operation in Auckland back in the early 1960s, and that this same man is still at the helm of the company.The name of that man is George Fistonich, and under his skilful leadership Villa Maria has consistently been a forerunner in New Zealand wine production. It was the first in the country to pay for grapes according to their quality rather than their quantity, as well as the first New Zealand winery to convert to 100% screwcap closures in 2001. The company was also one of the first to dedicate itself to more sustainable viticultural practises back in 1995.Over the years, the estate has developed a reputation for being one of New Zealand's largest and most consistent producers, to the extent that George was the first in his country to receive a knighthood for services to the wine industry.Villa Maria has impressive wineries both in Auckland and Marlborough, with many estate-owned vineyards in key sites across both of these regions, as well as in Gisborne and Hawkes Bay. In fact, one of Villa Maria’s key features is the fact it owns and buys fruit from almost every major growing region in New Zealand, making the company an unbeatable source for top-quality fruit. The estate carefully manages yields to ensure the respective vineyards produce fruit that is truly reflective of its location. The grapes for The Society's New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc are hand picked from two prime sites in the Awatere and Wairu Valleys in Villa Maria’s Marlborough vineyards, while the Exhibition Marlborough Pinot Noir is a single-vineyard wine showing the plump succulence and elegance of top-quality Kiwi pinot noir. Although the dynamic George still runs the company, winemaking direction is down to Master of Wine Alistair Maling.
Still a baby when compared with other regions, New Zealand has quickly earned a reputation for top-quality wine. New Zealand might be a relative newcomer to the wine world (in 1960, the country had fewer than 400 hectares of vine) but its rise to pre-eminence is extraordinary. The precise, pure flavour of its wines has captured the attention of wine drinkers; Society sales certainly reflect this.The country’s two islands cover a vast area from north to south (it is often quoted in wine books that if New Zealand was in the northern hemisphere, the country would stretch from North Africa to Paris). The maritime climate is influenced by the strong prevailing winds of the Pacific Ocean and the striking mountainous terrain. These factors give the islands a wide range of growing conditions; broadly speaking, the regions of the North Island tend to be warmer than the cooler South Island.The cool New Zealand climate offers real opportunity for aromatic varieties like sauvignon blanc, riesling, pinot gris and gewurztraminer . Of the latter three, young plantings mean many styles rely more on sugar than fruit, which we avoid buying. But the very best share the intensity and palate weight of great Alsace examples with vibrant, lifted flavours. South Island’s Marlborough region is the benchmark setter for the former, and there are many pungently aromatic sauvignons that are stunning. Look out, too, for some of the exciting sub-regional wines – the Awatere is Marlborough’s coolest valley, now making really attractive, delicate and grassy wines, and Nelson across the hills is yielding superb wines from quality conscious producers like Neudorf. The first sauvignon blanc vines were planted in Marlborough around 30 years ago, when most farmers were raising cattle or growing fruit. The wines have since taken the world by storm. Farms have been replaced by vineyards, and today, chardonnay and pinot also flourish in Marlborough’s cool climate. The choice is sensational, so is the consistency in quality. However, Marlborough is not only about sauvignon blanc and there are crisp, juicy chardonnays and ripe but balanced pinot noirs of excellence.Further south is Central Otago, in the centre of the island. Pinot noir is something of a speciality here, though on the wrong site it can have difficulty reaching full maturity in this continental climate. The best seasons produce the country’s most dazzling examples of the grape, full-flavoured and superbly pure, and the greatest wines of this scenic region are in high demand around the worldThe north island also boasts excellent wine regions. North of the city of Auckland there is the Bay of Islands where a unique microclimate helps winemakers produce some wonderful reds, and the Brajkovich family’s Kumeu River Estate, specialising in rich but elegant chardonnay, can be found just north-west of New Zealand's biggest city. Waiheke Island, just off the coast close to Auckland, also produces some excellent wines.Hawkes Bay on the east coast of the North Island covers an extensive area of rolling hills, a sweep of coastline and the sharply dominant Te Mata Peak. The warm climate successfully ripens red grape varieties, the very best grown in the gravelly alluvial soils of the Gimblett Gravels appellation. Syrah is now adding its name to the roll call of successful varieties like cabernet and merlot. Chardonnay is well established here too, and the area makes some of New Zealand’s fullest and ripest examples.Close to Wellington at the southern tip of the North Island is Martinborough, arguably New Zealand’s most exciting area for pinot noir. The long growing season is particularly suitable to the slow, gradual ripening that this Burgundian grape so enjoys.
"This is really quite poor, acidic and almost fizzy. "
"This is really quite poor, acidic and almost fizzy. "
There are no press reviews for this product.
Mr Charles Yoe (15-Aug-2020)
"This is a superb example of the NZ Sauvignon Blanc ,well worth the price ,just buy and enjoy ."
John D W Portway (16-Jul-2020)
"Good wine but exactly same as Villa Maria in Supermarkets but with different label at £7.49."
Mr Neil Robert Sawyer (14-Jun-2020)
"My partner guzzles this at every opportunity and says it tastes great! Whilst it is not a sweet wine, it manages to not be too acidic or sharp and is most flavoursome."
Mrs Sandie Springall (29-May-2020)
" Had a taste test between the Soceity's NZ Sav Blanc and the Rata Sav Blanc. People liked both - the Society's Sav Blanc has very little colour to it, not as perfumed as the Rata and had a very crisp finish ( the latter for me was almost too crisp). But at a £2/bottle difference the Rata is just as good - albeit more perfumed."
Mr Matt Wilks (29-Dec-2019)
Mr Peter Austen
"I thought the Society’s ‘17 & ‘18 vintages were both excellent, so I was looking forward to tasting 2019 which is being billed as an excellent year for New Zealand Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. I was disappointed. 2019 lacked the crispness and cleanliness of it’s predecessors, making it only just passable, but not good. One has grown to expect better from this best seller - Shame!""
Mr Peter Austen (20-Nov-2019)
"Wow. Just read the first review. Of all the Society’s sauvignon blancs (and any other 2019 we have tasted) we rated this the best!
Mr Malcolm Padgett (07-Nov-2019)
"I thought the Society’s ‘17 & ‘18 vintages were both excellent, so I was looking forward to tasting 2019 which is being billed as an excellent year for New Zealand Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. I was disappointed. 2019 lacked the crispness and cleanliness of it’s predecessors, making it only just passable, but not good. One has grown to expect better from this best seller - Shame!"
Mr Peter Austen (16-Oct-2019)
"A fantastic wine at the price.
On the basis of reviews here, I tried a bottle of Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc last weekend, and was sadly disappointed - bags of zing but to the point of being overly acidic, sour and almost chemical-tasting. I wonder if Brancott has declined over the years? (expansion / over-production?)
The Society's NZ Blanc couldn't be more different: it has the zing, but also a ton of fresh tropical and stone-fruit: a wine that keeps you interested after the first mouthful and going back for more. Though bone dry, it has full mouth-feel - as one reviewer here said, unctuous - though I think in a good way!
Well done buyers ! I'll be ordering this again."
Mr Tarquin Jones (21-Jun-2019)
"Excellent value for a typically excellent Marlborough-style Sauvugnon Blanc: tropical fruits, citrus, and freshness. A lovely drop."
Mr Martin A Bett (27-May-2019)
"This is undoubtedly a Sauvignon blanc but is thin and poor compared with Lawson’s Dry Hills with its plethora of rich tropical fruits and plummy apricot tones "
Mr Angus Dunn (23-Apr-2019)
"Does exactly what it says. Tropical fruit, citrus, grapefruit and tangerine. Don’t expect anything too sophisticated but for the price is very nice. "
Mr Tom Rodger (19-Apr-2019)
"Given a bottle; used a third for a sausage and bean casserole, drank a third with it and after 4 days in the fridge, drank it with curry. Passion fruit, peach, gooseberries; texture on the unctuous side but not unpleasantly so. Enjoyed it slightly more than I had initially expected. Better than most whites served at weddings."
Dr Tzehow Mok (04-Apr-2019)
"An exceptional Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc with a beautiful well rounded mouthfeel. Not surprised it tastes so nice considering it comes from the Villa Maria Estate"
Mr Philip Stirups (01-Feb-2019)
"We found this wine perfectly drinkable, and typival of Sauvungnon Blanc, but without the depth of flavour of some competitors. An example is Brancott Estate Sauvingnon Blanc. This is stocked by [various supermarkets] - This is also listed at £9.50 but is streets better. No only that, we recently bought some of this at £6.33 on a deal, and it is regularly listed at £7.50. I appreciate this may be a case of buying power, but nevertheless I think our Club prices aren't always great value.
Mr David Harrison (30-Jan-2019)
"Regulation Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc. Bright and tasty without hitting the heights. "
Mr John Lay (29-Jun-2019)
"Crisp, classic gooseberry, grass, elderflower flavours. Though not my favourite NZSB; for me it has a lightness and, I agree with Jancis Robinson, a slight clash on the finish."
Mr Chris Groom (28-Oct-2018)
Dr Clare Hunter (30-Mar-2018)
"Good initial fruit. Good acidity and freshness. Slightly disappointing finish"
Mr Tom Rodger (22-Oct-2017)
"Archetypal NZSB. Gooseberry, elderflower & passion fruit flavours all detectable on the nose and on the palate. Good acidity and remarkably still enjoyable 5 days after opening. Definitely recommended if NZ SB is your thing and better than the regular Villa Maria in my opinion."
Mr Bob White (15-Jul-2017)
Mr Patrick O'Brien (30-Jun-2017)
"I must admit most Sauvignon Blancs I can take or leave but this one is special. Great value and delicious. Will be added to my next order
Mr Stephen Hocking (29-Apr-2017)
"Lovely aroma. Very moreish."
Ms Vicki Worsley (02-Apr-2017)
JancisRobinson.com (10th May 2017)
gooseberry fruit – absolutely prototypical. A touch of sweet-sour clash on the
finish, which might get a bit much after the first glass. 15/20 Richard Hemming"
The Wine Gang (2nd May 2017)
sauvignon, made for The Wine Society by Villa Maria with half the blend from
Awatere and half from Wairau, and offering all the lime- and nettle-inflected
passion fruit juiciness and verve that makes the style such an easy-drinking
joy at its best. - The Wine Gang"
Kent & Sussex Courier (28th Apr 2017)
"Produced by Villa
Maria, New Zealand's largest fully owned family winery, this is a grassy,
uplifting and energizing aromatic white with gorgeous flavours of gooseberry,
tropical fruit and green peas. It's concentrated, fresh, exuberant, typically
crisp and entirely delicious! A handy performer and very well put together,
this beauty has great length and focus, and an even more impressive finish.
Pure enjoyment as an aperitif or with a goats' cheese salad with seasonal
asparagus/tangerine and fennel, lemon chicken, fish and chips, tomato salad,
scallops or sushi. - James Viner"
"We loved this deliciously crisp wine and served it to guests at my sons wedding. Excellent value for money and a very popular decision amongst the guests."
Mr Stephen Harries (05-Dec-2017)
"A very pleasant, reasonably priced good example of Sauvignoon Blanc: I hope the 2016 vintage will be as good."
Neil Butter Esq (25-Nov-2016)
"Delicious - citrussy and dry - will be buying again."
Dr Pippa Lane (04-Nov-2016)
"Really enjoyable! Epitomises why Kiwi sauvignon blancs have such a reputation."
Mr John Purse (11-Sep-2016)
"A New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc which shows all the virtues of the grape and country and is excellent value for money."
Mr Simon P McKie (11-Aug-2016)
"The 2015 NZ Sauvignon Blanc would appear to be a great vintage with a number of the less expensive wines giving good value. This wine is class, dry, good on the nose and a lovely aftertaste. The main downside is that we are drinking the bottles too quickly!!"
Mrs Jennifer Williams (16-Apr-2016)
"Our first bottle out of a case N Z wines. Very pleasent, clean,good value
Mr Donald Gorst (01-Mar-2016)
Mr John Howard (11-Aug-2016)
"Excellent. More restrained than the 'equivalent' widely available on the high street, but I prefer this much more. Certainly aromatic and the taste is long. Currently available at a favourable price and a good reason to want to try the 2015 that is now available."
Mr John Canning (21-Jan-2016)
"Delicious. Brambly. Lovely blast of early summer to go with the weather."
Mr Charles Walker (23-Apr-2015)
"Distinct passion-fruit nose, with some peach. I couldn't detect the other fruits claimed by the label blurb or press reviewers. Slightly but not unpleasantly turpentiny flavour; good acidity; long finish. Worked with cold salmon, even though that's not recommended by the food matcher. Very drinkable and fair value. Definite Yes."
Dr Christopher Currie (18-Apr-2014)
Fife Free Press (12th Feb 2015)
"Concentrated and herbaceous with a good balance of
flavours and crisp acidity, it's versatile, vibrant, and very easy to drink. - Sam Wylie Harris"
Western Mail (17th May 2014)
"Full of tropical and
herbal notes on the nose and lively gooseberry fruit. There's a racy grassy
tone through the mid-palate and plenty of zip on the finish from the crisp
acidity. A cracking sauvignon. - Neil Cammies"
Knackered Mothers Wine Club (16th Apr 2014)
lime fruit filled gem. This super savvy Sauvignon is made by masters of NZ SB
Villa Maria and the grapes come from their own Marlborough vineyards. At
Youngest Girl's family birthday lunch on Sunday my father denounced all
Sauvignons as cheek-suckers. So I didn't let on how lovely this one, from the
vintage of a generation, was. All the more for the rest of the table. - Helen McGinn"
Sheffield Profile (1st Apr 2014)
"This is a fresh,
aromatic wine bursting with herb and fruit flavours on the nose and palate.
Grassiness, grapefruit, pineapple and melon are all present. - Richard Marsden"
Associated Press (21st Mar 2014)
herbaceous with a good balance of flavours and crisp acidity, it's versatile,
vibrant, and very easy to drink. - Sam Wylie Harris"
Croydon Guardian (29th Jan 2014)
"It is an abundantly
fruity sauvignon which combines gooseberry and grassy flavours with a delicious
soft touch and long flavour."
Sheffield Star (29th Jan 2014)
"A great example of
one of the world’s favourite wines. New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc from the
Marlborough region has built a fantastic reputation for quality and
reliability. This has both. Fresh, grassy with a hint of gooseberries and not
overpoweringly acidic as some lesser Sauvignon Blancs can be. A nicely balanced
wine that goes great with a chicken salad, grilled fish or just on its own. - Martin Smith"
Blackpool Gazette (1st Feb 2014)
"… knockout … classic
Kiwi with ripe gooseberry and crisp finish. - Jacqueline Morley"
Western Morning News (1st Feb 2014)
"The aroma from this
fabulous wine leaps out of the glass at you in a great gust of grapefruit tang
and freshness. It's extraordinary. The fruit is generous and lingering, piling
melon ripeness on top of the citrus zest … this is Kiwi sauvignon at its most
exuberant and rewarding. - Ned Halley"
Belfast Sunday Life (2nd Feb 2014)
"Keenly priced … very
fruit-driven style … fresh and aromatic with lots of classic Kiwi gooseberry
aromas and flavours. - Paula Gracey"
Leigh Journal (3rd Feb 2014)
gooseberry-filled dry white … and a very good buy. - Nick Nunn"
Belfast News Letter Group (25th Jan 2014)
Enjoyed with Goan fish curry. A tropical palate with
bright peach and passion fruit flavours gently cuts through the rich creamy
sauce while sharper backnotes of grapefruit and lime add a welcome dash of
acidity. This lively, gloriously refreshing wine is also an ideal match for
Mediterranean cuisine or delicately spiced poultry dishes. - Raymond Gleugh
The Wine Gang (Mar 2013)
"Textbook Marlborough Sauvignon with floral, nettle, ripe gooseberry and lemon grass flavours – clear, well-defined, nicely concentrated and carefully modulated from vivid start to zesty finish. Goes with: Salads & Vegetable dishes, Smoked fish, Goat's cheese "
Hampstead & Highgate Express (7th Feb 2013)
"The Society's New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is made by Villa Maria, one of the biggest - and most reliable - names in the region, and it's a flavoursome, value for money classic. - Liz Sagues"
The Independent on Sunday (3rd Feb 2013)
"Terrific - Terry Kirby"
"Gooseberry Grand Central. I love this kind of wine and this one was very good. It's not the best SB I have had, put equally I have paid more for lesser quality so the price is reasonable for sure. I didn't check if there is an Exhibition SB on offer, if there is I will be sure to buy and compare."
Mr Richard Morton (26-Feb-2012)
"I found this a bit 'upfront' and too fruity. I love the herby, grass-like quality that Sauvignon Blanc tends to have, but I’m desperate to match this with the sort of 'less is more' restraint that I find in Loire Muscadet. Does such a wine exist, I wonder? Not a criticism of the wine itself, which is obviously very popular, just more a question of me having a better understanding of my own particular wine preferences, which I suspect are more ‘old school’."
Mr Matthew Robison (08-Aug-2011)
"A textbook N.Z.S.B: Light in colour, classic mellow passion fruit and a hint of peach skin on the nose with some grassiness and tangy lime coming through on the palate. Really good acidity. Robust mouthfeel. Pleasant lingering finish. The alcohol is spiking just a tad, but overall this is tasty, fresh and, unlike a lot of N.Z.S.B., it's good value too!"
Mr William Davies (06-Apr-2011)
"Densely layered nose of ripe citrus fruits and lemon thyme; light, zingy, fresh gooseberries on the palate with a medium-dry finish completing a lovely, approachable white. Would suit a seafood linguine or other garlicky fish/chicken. Good value at £9."
Mr William Davies (14-Dec-2010)
"I don't normally drink NZ SB (too expensive). Nevertheless, this was one of the stars of the 'If you like that, Try this' Wine Soc tasting in Newcastle. The nose is fantastic (far subtler than 'hit-you-over-the-head' fruitiness), and the body commensurate. It was still holding up well after an hour or so."
Mr John L Moles (29-Jan-2010)
"Nice 'zingy' Sauvignon Blanc at a good price."
Dr John T Canning (23-Aug-2009)
"Clean and fresh gooseberry taste, with aroma of fresh nettles. Very reliable, so always in our collection. Excellent with the coconut and fresh lemon grass of Thai food and with goats cheese."
Mr Alan Spencer (11-Aug-2009)
"For years my wife and I drank Sancerre from the Wine Society.We noticed it was losing depth and getting a bit acid and we had an "at home" wine tasting with a number of Sauv. Blancs. and Sancerre. The Wine Soc Sauv Blanc was the best and so we switched away from Sancerre several years ago. We continue to try Chilean, South African, non Loire French Sauv. Blancs and named NZ Sauv. Blancs but while some may be nearly as good, none thus far are better."
Mr Stuart Behn (09-Aug-2009)
"This is a very fresh and crisp tasting wine, ideal with a light meal, or just for sitting in the garden and watching the world go by! Excellent value."
Mr Peter Boraston (08-Aug-2009)
"Lovely, fresh Sauvignon Blanc. Bought it at the same time as a case of The Ned, priced similarly, but much preferred the Wine Society brew."
Mr James Arnold-Baker (06-Aug-2009)
"A very good young drinking wine that suits everyday Summer requirements."
Mr Richard L P Jones (06-Aug-2009)
"Delicious, far too easy to drink!"
Mr Stephen P Willson (05-Aug-2009)
"I am no wine buff, but for years I have been trying to find a white wine that has character and not a silly price. This one seems to fit the bill. I find that inexpensive dry white wines tend to have little by way of flavour, this one, whilst not inexpensive, has both flavour and not overly dry. What more can I say, except that I shall be ordering more of the same."
Mr Nicholas Fowle (05-Aug-2009)
"For me it is something of an obsession. Put a bottle beside my chair whilst watching the TV and within too short a time it has mysteriously disappeared! Delicious, fruity and crisp - love it."
Ian H L Greenlees Esq (05-Aug-2009)
"I'm a Sancerre drinker, but was seduced to New Zealand Sauvignons by Cloudy Bay! So now I buy both kinds. The Society's New Zealand Sauvignon is a lovely drink, but closer to Sancerre (not that close) than many other Marlboroughs, so I do not think it is an archetypal New Zealand."
Mr P D Dargan (05-Aug-2009)
"I have been buying the Society's NZ Sauvignon Blanc for years, it is one of the family favourites. Clean, simple, good Sauvignon Blanc which New Zealand appears to be able to do better than anyone else . I know I like it, but every time I open a bottle it never ceases to amaze me how good it actually is."
Mr Edward T D Luker (05-Aug-2009)
"We have had this particular wine before, and it is always a lovely, fruity wine to enjoy with fish and shellfish, during the summer months, or any time. It must be served chilled to appreciate it fully."
Mrs Leone Burnett (05-Aug-2009)
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