Showing posts with label marlborough. Show all posts
Showing posts with label marlborough. Show all posts

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  • Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2019 (New Zealand) - Wine Review



To celebrate , white wine review is this lovely Sustainably Crafted Sauvignon Blanc that I picked up while visiting the winery in New Zealand in March. More about my fabulous trip visiting wineries in New Zealand is coming soon, so stay tuned!

Spy Valley Wines was founded in the 1990's by Bryan and Jan Johnson in Waihopai Valley, Marlborough, and was named after its proximity to the international satellite communications monitoring station - a spy base - located just down the road. With a passion for the land, they established 180 hectares of estate vineyards on land considered too hard, too dry and too unfertile for wine and have become one of New Zealand’s most successful family-run wineries. The Johnson family chose the Spy Valley terroir back in 1993 for its stony, free draining riverbed terrain, with terraced vines enjoying both rocky riverside gravels and deeper clay and silt soils.

Today, Spy Valley’s commitment remains to the land and to the people who tend it as they are simply farmers at heart, nurturing soil and vine to cultivate the complexities in their wines. They are also focused on sustainability, which will ensure their guardianship of the land for generations to come.

The environment at Spy Valley has been one of the many secrets to their success. Since the beginning, Spy Valley Wines has been accredited under the New Zealand Sustainable Winegrowing initiative which promotes economically and environmentally sustainable vineyard management. Some of these initiatives include promoting biodiversity in and around the vineyards, using organic matter and compost to replace nutrients in the soils, minimising irrigation (2/3 of the vineyards are irrigation free), reducing energy use, and using low-toxic, environmentally-friendly products in the winery and vineyard.

Spy Valley abides by the principles to reduce, reuse and recycle throughout the winery. It is interesting to know that they crush their own bottles (which are made out of 96% recycled glass), providing them with a fine dust which they mulch and distribute below the grapevines to enhance light reflection.

This grapes for this Sustainably Crafted Sauvignon Blanc were grown in three places. The Waihopai Valley that has alluvial stony silt loams that are very well drained, the Mid Wairau Valley that has varying depths of alluvial silt loam over gravel and is well-drained, and from the Lower Wairau Valley which has deep alluvial silt deposits over gravel. All of the grapes were harvested in the cool mornings throughout the month of March and vinified in small vineyard batches until the final blending. It was predominantly fermented in stainless steel tanks, with several blocks fermented in barrels. The 2019 vintage was a very dry and warm growing season, bringing with it small yields with great fruit concentration.

This white wine always appears in LCBO VINTAGES (at least) once a year. The 2018 vintage showed up last Fall and small quantities are still available, while the 2019 vintage will arrive in LCBO VINTAGES in October later this year.

Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2019 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

SPY VALLEY SAUVIGNON BLANC 2019 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#686675) (XD) - $18.25
Screw cap. This Sustainably Crafted Sauvignon Blanc has a fresh, intense, yet restrained aromatics offering passion fruit, guava, lemon/lime citrus, gooseberry, nettle, and tropical fruit aromas with just a touch of leesy character. It is medium-full bodied on the richly concentrated and slightly creamy palate with very nice replays of passion fruit, guava, lime, and tart citrus flavours that are supported by fresh, vibrant acidity. Some tartness with mineral, citrus, and passion fruit notes linger on the finish, with very good length. Score: 89 pts


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  • Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Yealands Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (New Zealand) - Wine Review

Following up on the delicious 2019 Yealands Sauvignon Blanc that I enjoyed late last year, tonight I am trying the 2018 vintage to see how it is holding up two years from vintage.

With the 2018 edition of this white wine, Yealands celebrated its 10th year of operations. Back in 2008, founder Peter Yealands set out to become one of the world’s most sustainable wine producers. He determined that the only way to craft truly beautiful, award-winning wines was in partnership with nature - a philosophy that holds true today and forms the basis of their approach to winemaking.

Peter Yealands is a third generation Marlborough native and his trademark "can do" attitude is the stuff of legend. The former founder had an irrepressible imagination, inexhaustible energy, and an unswerving passion for the land. He also had a career of leading-edge innovation across many industries. At the winery, they installed a large solar panel array on their winery roof, as well as bailed and burned their vine prunings to heat their water. The vision is to push boundaries, think innovatively and produce some of the most exceptional, and sustainable, wines around.

While this vintage is long gone from LCBO shelves, the latest vintage is the 2019 edition with its new label is widely available at LCBO outlets across Ontario. Let's see how the 2018 is tasting tonight...

Yealands Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

YEALANDS SAUVIGNON BLANC 2018 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#277731) (XD) - $16.95
Screw cap and vegan-friendly, this NZ Sauvignon Blanc has an elegant, restrained nose of guava and passionfruit aromas followed by some lemon citrus, mint, and thyme notes. It's medium-bodied with bracing acidity that freshens the palate. Ripe and tart with flavours of lemon/lime citrus, guava, and gooseberry, with touches of pear and thyme. Well-balanced with touches of mineral on the mid-palate and very good length on the juicy, lip-smacking finish. Score: 89 pts


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  • Sunday, April 12, 2020

Johanneshof Cellars Gewürztraminer 2019 (New Zealand) - Wine Review

wine review is this lovely Gewürztraminer that I picked up from the winery in Marlborough during my recent trip to New Zealand - just before all of the COVID-19 restrictions came into place here in Canada. More about my visit to Marlborough and other New Zealand winegrowing regions is coming soon, so stay tuned.

Johanneshof Cellars is an artisan boutique winery located in the mountainous locality of Koromiko, about 20 km north of Blenheim. It was established in 1991 by Edel Everling and Warwick Foley, two winemakers who were from opposites part of the globe.

Edel Everling, M.Sc.Oenology, grew up in Rheingau, Germany, in a winemaking family that had been making wine on both sides of her family for five generations. From an early age, Edel was helping in the vineyards overlooking the river Rhine, where vines grow on very steep slopes. The knowledge she gained here was beneficial when she met Warwick in New Zealand and helped him establish Marlborough's first steep hillside vineyard in 1977. Edel continued her travels and finished her degree in viticulture and oenology at Geisenheim University in Germany. She also worked at the world-renowned Wine Research Institute of Geisenheim in the Department of Grape Breeding and Grafting under the leadership of well-respected wine scientist Prof. Dr. Helmut Becker, which gave her an in-depth insight into vine growing and crafting wines from a scientific angle. Further knowledge was gained by working at different wineries and a distillery.

Warwick Foley is a 5th generation New Zealander and grew up on the property where Johanneshof Cellars resides. As a teenager, he planted one of the first vineyards in Marlborough on their steep hillside land in Koromiko in 1977, just four years after the first commercial grapes were introduced to Marlborough. This vineyard consisted of mainly Riesling, but was re-planted to Pinot Noir and named "Maybern Vineyard" in honour of Warwick's parents May and Bernhard. Warwick met Edel in the early 1980's while learning about winemaking and working at New Zealand's first wine research station in Te Kauwhata, near Hamilton. He took up viticulture and winemaking training in Germany, followed by working at various wineries in Rheingau and Baden.

Upon returning to New Zealand, Edel and Warwick combined European wine traditions with modern technology and founded one of Marlborough's pioneering artisan wineries to produce a collection of outstanding fine wines from New Zealand, such as this Gewürztraminer.

Johanneshof Cellars is renowned for producing multi-award winning table wines, classic Methode Traditionnelle sparkling wines, and some outstanding spirits such as Brandy and Grappa. They are part of New Zealand Winegrowers, an accredited member of New Zealand Sustainable Winegrowing, and a founding member of Methode Marlborough.

Unfortunately, the lovely wines from Johanneshof Cellars are currently not available in Ontario - or anywhere Canada for that matter. However, they are seeking representation and would love to have their wines in our market. If any Agents read this, you can inquire directly with the winery or reach out to me and I can connect you with Edel and Warwick.

Johanneshof Cellars Gewürztraminer 2019 (91 pts)

Tasting Note:

JOHANNESHOF CELLARS GEWÜRZTRAMINER 2019 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (D) - $31 NZD
Screw cap. This hand-harvested Gewürztraminer has a gorgeous, intense, focused, and very pure nose of lychee, rose floral, lemon citrus, and musky spice aromas. The concentrated, full-ish palate is off-dry with lovely lychee, floral and spice replays with touches of marzipan on the mid-palate. Bracing acids are juicy and keep things nicely balanced. More rose and lychee notes complete the dry finish, with excellent length. Top NZ Gewürztraminer! Score: 91 pts


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  • Monday, February 10, 2020

Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (New Zealand) - Wine Review

wine review is a lovely Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand that will be arriving in LCBO VINTAGES on .

It is produced by the legendary Kevin Judd at Greywacke - his Marlborough label on the South Island of New Zealand. Greywacke is the fulfillment of a long-held dream, a name adopted by Kevin and his wife Kimberley for their first Marlborough vineyard located in Rapaura which has a high prevalence of rounded greywacke stones in the soils of the vineyard. I am excited to be visiting New Zealand later this month and will be meeting up with Kevin at Greywacke and hope to see these stones in person. Stay tuned.

The grapes for this Sauvignon Blanc were sourced from various prime vineyard sites in Marlborough's Southern Valleys, the central Wairau Plains (specifically in Woodbourne, Renwick, and Rapaura), and a spectacular river terrace site in the upper Awatere Valley. Soil types vary from the young alluvial soils of Rapaura, Renwick and the upper Awatere, which contain high proportions of New Zealand’s ubiquitous greywacke river stones, to the older and denser clay-loams of the Southern Valleys.

The previous three vintages of the Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc that I tasted have all been amazing, high-quality wines - and perhaps not really surprising given who is behind these wines - so, I fully expect this latest vintage to also be delicious! The 2018 vintage was very warm and humid, but also very wet, resulting in a challenging year that promises to deliver quality wines. Let's see how the 2018 is tasting tonight...

Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (91 pts)

Tasting Note:

GREYWACKE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2018 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#164228) (XD) - $24.95
Screw cap. Ripe, medium-high intensity nose delivers guava, kiwi, passion fruit, tropical fruit, gooseberry, and citrus aromas with a fine mineral underpinning. It is medium-bodied with good weight to the fruit and slightly creamy textured. Zesty citrus, ripe kiwi, guava, and passion fruit flavours with touches of spice and floral are lifted by the fresh, vibrant acidity. Fine mineral and lime zest notes linger on the long, crisp finish, with excellent length. Lovely, as always. Score: 91 pts


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  • Friday, December 6, 2019

Yealands Sauvignon Blanc 2019 (New Zealand) - Wine Review

wine review is a delightful, vegan-friendly, award-winning Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand that comes to us with a fresh, new label for the 2019 vintage.

It is produced by Yealands, a winery that opened its doors on August 8, 2008 (i.e. 08-08-08) with a vision to become one of the world’s most sustainable wine producers and determined to craft beautiful wines in partnership with nature - a philosophy that continues to hold true and forms the basis of their approach to winemaking.

The fresh new look for the Yealands range (formerly Peter Yealands) reflects their stunning location in the Awatere Valley, Marlborough, as well as the unique features of their vineyard. The new label starts with the eye-catching Y that represents the White Road that runs through the heart of their Seaview Vineyard. The White Road takes you on a journey through this stunning coastal vineyard, and captures the breathtaking vistas of Yealands Estate and its unique sustainability initiatives such as New Zealand's largest solar panel installation on the winery roof.

The label is inspired by the coast that surrounds their vineyard, showing the proximity of their vines to the coast through the frame of the U, so close to the ocean that the vines are often misted with sea spray. The beauty of their environment influences how they craft wine, respectful of nature and the land. Yealands believes in sustainable winemaking and creating thoughtfully crafted wines such as this Sauvignon Blanc that work in harmony with their landscape.

This lovely white wine, with its fresh, new label is widely available now at LCBO outlets across Ontario.

Yealands Sauvignon Blanc 2019 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

YEALANDS SAUVIGNON BLANC 2019 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#277731) (XD) - $16.95
Enclosed by screw cap, this vegan-friendly Sauvignon Blanc has a clean, fresh and fragrant nose of tropical fruit, kiwi, guava, gooseberry, and nettles with whiffs of mineral. It's medium-bodied on the spicy palate with vibrant, food-friendly acidity and ripe flavours of tropical fruit, guava, and citrus. A fine mineral note lingers through to the long, clean finish. Score: 89 pts


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  • Friday, September 13, 2019

Kono Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (New Zealand) - Wine Review

wine review is an excellent white wine that is coming to LCBO VINTAGES this .

I recall enjoying the 2015 Kono Sauvignon Blanc when it came through VINTAGES a couple of years ago and am delighted to see how this latest vintage is tasting. It is produced by Kono Wines, New Zealand's first Māori owned and operated winery. The Māori are the indigenous people of New Zealand.

This white wine is crafted from carefully selected vineyards in Marlborough, from grapes grown with soil knowledge and cultivation methods passed down from Māori forebearers. This gift of knowledge and rich, unspoiled lands create wines of personality and purity. Furthermore, Kono vineyards are certified by Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand (SWNZ) and CEMARS (certified emissions measurement and reduction scheme) certified, which is integral to the values of kaitiakitanga - the guarding and protecting of the environment without compromise. The Māori culture has a strong spiritual connection to everything they grow and a responsibility to ensure that the land is passed onto future generations in pristine condition.

The grapes for this white wine were machine harvested from vineyards in Waihopai, Awatere, and Rapaura sub-regions and transported to the winery in Awatare Valley, then pressed in modern membrane presses. With juice from both free-run and harder pressings, they are combined in stainless steel tanks and fermented using selected yeast cultures and controlled temperatures. The 2017/2018 growing season was warmer than average, with challenging wet conditions appearing closer to harvest. However, vigilance in the vineyard from the team ensured that the fruit was in good condition at harvest, with excellent flavours seen in the winery.

Kono Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

KONO SAUVIGNON BLANC 2018 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#441394) (XD) - $18.95
Screw cap. Fragrant nose of key lime, passionfruit, citrus, kiwi, guava tropical fruit and hints of asparagus aromas wafting from the glass. It is medium-full bodied and concentrated, brimming with vibrant, zesty acidity that freshens the palate. More lime, passion fruit, citrus, and tropical fruit flavours dance on the zesty and ripe palate. It's quite juicy on the mid-palate, while mineral notes appear on the long, dry finish. Highly recommended. Score: 90 pts


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  • Friday, July 19, 2019

Momo Organic Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (New Zealand) - Wine Review (Bottle 2)

I last enjoyed the 2016 Momo Organic Sauvignon Blanc in and am delighted to see how this white wine is faring , on this hot and sweltering day, three years after vintage. It returned to LCBO VINTAGES on and plenty are still available throughout Ontario.

Seresin Estate is a leading organic and biodynamic producer in New Zealand and this white wine comes from their Momo range of wines. Cinematographer Michael Seresin created Seresin Estate, a new world winery with an old world approach. They are in no hurry when it comes to their wines as they let the wild yeasts that live in their vineyard ferment the grape juice into wine. This approach to winemaking does take a little more time, but the results yield wines with added savouriness, and more mouth watering textures and flavours. They also show a unique sense of place. All of Seresin's wines spend time in barrel or bottle before release because, as we all know, good things come to those who wait.

This organic white wine was naturally fermented with wild yeast in stainless steel tanks, and aged on the lees for 6 months. It is also suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Since it doesn't look like a 2017 vintage of this delicious wine was made - likely due to it being a challenging vintage with cold temperatures leading to lower yields - we'll continue to enjoy the 2016 vintage until the 2018 shows up in Ontario.

Momo Organic Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

MOMO ORGANIC SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#009167) (XD) - $19.95
Screw cap. Medium+ intensity nose is ripe with gooseberry, kiwi, guava, tropical fruit, and leesy characters with lemony hints. It is medium+ bodied with a slight spritz on the creamy, nicely textured palate. It is dry and ripe with lemon citrus, tropical fruit, guava, and kiwi flavours. Crisp acids are still quite refreshing. Leesy, citrus, and tropical fruit notes linger on the long, balanced finish. Enjoy until 2021. Score: 89 pts


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  • Monday, June 3, 2019

Spy Valley Pinot Noir 2015 (New Zealand) - Wine Review

wine review is a lovely red wine for Pinot lovers that will be coming to LCBO VINTAGES on .

Spy Valley Wines was founded deep in the Waihopai Valley by Bryan and Jan Johnson in the 1990s, at a time when the Marlborough region was undergoing discovery. They established 180 hectares of estate vineyards on land that was considered too hard, too dry and too unfertile for wine. However, as this wine can attest too, as well as others from Spy Valley that I have tasted in the past, this couldn't be further from the truth.

This family-run winery began with a passion for the land. Today, it remains committed to the land and to the people who tend it, focusing on sustainability to ensure guardianship of the land for generations to come. Since the beginning, Spy Valley has been accredited under the New Zealand Sustainable Winegrowing scheme, an initiative that promotes economically and environmentally sustainable vineyard management that includes their own winery and vineyards, as well as their grower vineyards.

Fun fact: The winery is named after a spy base that is located just down the road from the winery.

Spy Valley Pinot Noir 2015 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

SPY VALLEY PINOT NOIR 2015 - Southern Valleys, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#734681) (XD) - $24.95
Screw cap. As it warms in the glass, this offers an appealing, medium+ intensity nose of red cherry, black cherry, tea leaf, floral, and subtle oak spice. It is medium-full bodied on the palate with chunky, mouthfilling tannins that have a slightly dusty texture to go along with juicy, balanced acids. Nice black cherry, beetroot, and tea leaf flavours. Hints of mocha on the finish, with very good length. Score: 89 pts


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  • Monday, October 1, 2018

Momo Organic Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (New Zealand) - Wine Review

wine review is the delicious white wine companion to the red 2016 Momo Pinot Noir that I enjoyed recently, It was released into LCBO VINTAGES on April 28 and is virtually sold out at the moment, but will be coming back to shelves as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release.

This organic white wine is produced by Seresin Estate, a leading organic and biodynamic producer in New Zealand, and comes from their second line of wines called 'Momo', which means 'offspring' in Maori. This white wine is also suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

It was a challenging cold start in 2016, with pressure to fight frosts during the early stage of vine growth. However, a spectacularly long and warm summer, with dry weather during the harvest period allowed the fruit to be picked on-time, delivered intact, and without stress. One-third of the 100% certified organic fruit was sourced from their own Tatou and Raupo Creek vineyards, which also has biodynamic certification, while the remainder was sourced from certified organic growers - whose vineyards they help manage - in Wairau and Waihopai Valleys.

Momo Organic Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

MOMO ORGANIC SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#009167) (XD) - $19.95
Naturally fermented with wild yeast in stainless steel tanks, and aged on the lees for 6 months. Screw cap. This has a lovely, open, fragrant nose of kiwi, guava, tropical fruit, asparagus, and lemon, with hints of yellow pepper and mineral adding complexity. It's medium-bodied on the palate with a nice creamy texture and lovely aroma replays joined by some wet wool flavours. Succulent, crisp acids are juicy. Minerally and grapefruit-tinged on the long finish. This is very nice. Highly recommended. Score: 90 pts


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  • Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Momo Pinot Noir 2016 (New Zealand) - Wine Review

red wine review is a nice organic Pinot Noir from New Zealand that will be coming to LCBO VINTAGES on .

Momo, meaning 'offspring' in Maori, is the second line of wines from the organic and biodynamic winery Seresin Estate. The estate is located in sun-soaked heart of Marlborough, at the top of New Zealand's South Island. It was founded by cinematographer Michael Seresin in the early 1990s with a desire to create wines in the most natural way possible, and without compromising on quality. The Momo range of wines is fermented naturally with wild yeasts and produced true to variety and reflect the essence of their fruit characters.

The majority (97%) of the fruit for this Pinot came from their Raupo Creek vineyard where the soils are rich and clay-based, while the remaining portion came from the Wairau Valley. The fruit was hand-picked and destemmed, and fermented using wild yeasts. Ageing occurred in French oak barriques for 10 months. This organic and biodynamic wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

Momo Pinot Noir 2016 (88+ pts)

Tasting Note:

MOMO PINOT NOIR 2016 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#163972) (XD) - $19.95
Screw cap. This organic wine has a medium intensity nose that offers ripe and attractive raspberry and cherry aromas with earthy and spicy undertones. It is light-to-medium bodied with smooth, elegant tannins on the palate with cherry, raspberry, earth, and beetroot flavours. Hints of tea leaf and cola arriving mid-palate add to the complexity, while tannins have a nice chalky texture. Acids are fresh. Very good length on the earthy, forest floor, and somewhat grippy finish. Enjoy over the next 3-4 years. Score: 88+ pts


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  • Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (New Zealand) - Wine Review

wine review is a recent arrival to the LCBO, as it was part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release.

It is produced by Wither Hills, a winery in New Zealand that takes its name from the landmark Wither Hills mountain range that borders their vineyards. It was founded as a small boutique winery in 1994 by (former) winemaker Brent Marris with a passion to craft the very best wine from Marlborough’s beautiful natural surroundings. In 2002, the winery was sold to Lion Wines.

Wither Hills is an accredited winery with Sustainable Winegrowing NZ. This industry standard was developed to allow grape growers and winemakers to protect the environmental integrity of wine production.

The winery is located in Marlborough at the northeast tip of the South Island of New Zealand, and the grapes for this lovely Sauvignon Blanc come from the Wairau Valley, not far from the winery. 2016 was one of the warmest vintages on record, allowing the grapes to ripen to optimum maturity.

Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

WITHER HILLS SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#919514) (XD) - $19.95
Screw cap. The fragrant nose offers ripe kiwi, guava, and tropical fruit notes along with some with green, nettle and earthy characters. It's light-to-mid weight on the ripe palate with ripe, citrusy flavoured aroma replays. Acids are bright, juicy and nicely balanced. Hints of salty minerality linger on the finish, with very good length. Enjoy well-chilled. Score: 89 pts


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  • Friday, May 4, 2018

Peter Yealands Sauvignon Blanc 2017 (New Zealand) - Wine Review

International Sauvignon Blanc Day is celebrated around the globe the first Friday in May. This year, the occasion falls on and I am celebrating with this yummy Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. This white wine is a General List product at the LCBO and is widely available across Ontario. It is also suitable for vegetarians, vegans and gluten-free diets.

Peter Yealands is part of the Yealands Wine Group that was formed in 2008 with a vision to become the world's leading sustainable wine producer. In 2008, the winery opened to become the first winery in the world to be accredited carboNZero certified from inception. Mr. Yealands himself is known for his pioneering and innovative ways, all of which is chronicled in the book A Bloke for All Seasons: The Peter Yealands Story.

Today, Peter and his family focus their energies on building Yealands Estate into a global brand with sustainability at top of mind. The winery opened in August 2008 Some of the sustainable initiatives at Yealands include developing wetlands, making their own special compost, and using natural pest control methods. They are also working at reducing their emissions by producing their own renewable energy, and using environmentally-friendly packaging.

Which Sauvignon Blanc is in your glass tonight? Leave a comment below or join the conversation online by using the hashtags #SauvBlancDay and #SauvBlanc.

Peter Yealands Sauvignon Blanc 2017 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

PETER YEALANDS SAUVIGNON BLANC 2017 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#277731) (XD) - $17.20
Fruit comes from 75% (Seaview) Awatere Valley and 25% Wairau Valley. Screw cap. Bright nose is typically pungent for Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc with green aromas with lime zest, passion fruit, guava, and herbs. The medium bodied palate is crunchy and fresh with lip-smacking acidity and flavours of green herbs, lemon, guava, passion fruit, and asparagus. Touches of salty mineral on the mid-palate. Finishes long and juicy with some sourness and hints of mineral. Enjoy nicely chilled. Score: 88 pts


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  • Friday, March 9, 2018

Tohu Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (New Zealand) - Wine Review

Hot on the heels of enjoying a wonderful NZ Sauvignon Blanc earlier this week, wine is another delightful Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.

Producing fine wines in New Zealand's premier grape growing regions since 1998, Tohu (pronounced Tor-who) means "sign" or "signature" and is the world's first Maori owned wine company. The Maori are the indigenous people of Aotearoa, New Zealand.

The grapes for this single vineyard bottling of Sauvignon Blanc was grown on their own vineyards in the upper reaches of the Awatere Valley at approximately 200 metres above sea level and machine harvested. In stainless steel tanks, this was fermented and left to settle on the less, following by maturation. Each batch was meticulously classified during the entire process, then finally blended together to capture the unique characteristics of the vineyard and the season. In 2016, Marlborough produced larger than average berries, which should emphasize more passionfruit flavours over herbally flavours.

This new wine will be available on shelves as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release on .

Tohu Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

TOHU SINGLE VINEYARD SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#536177) (XD) - $21.95
Screw cap. The pungent, aromatic nose offers passionfruit, grapefruit, gooseberry, and guava with hints of minerality. It's very ripe with sweet and sour flavours on the palate with appealing aroma replays. Racy acids provide freshness. Juicy mid-palate. Fine length on the crisp, mouth-watering finish. Inclined to let this sit for another 6 to 12 months to let the acids settle down and enjoy to 2020. Score: 89 pts


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  • Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (New Zealand) - Wine Review

wine is featured on the cover of the latest LCBO VINTAGES Release on .

When I tasted the 2014 Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc and 2015 Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc, both wines were excellent in my books, so I am expecting another high quality wine this vintage. Yields were up in New Zealand after the small 2015 vintage. However, the biggest difference in 2016 in Marlborough, where this white wine is from, is the larger than average berry size which should result in wines with an emphasis on thiols (i.e. passionfruit flavours) over methoxypyrazines (i.e. herbal flavours).

Greywacke was formed by Kevin Judd to fulfil a long-held dream and is named after the rounded greywacke river stones that were found at his first Marlborough vineyard located in Rapaura. The grapes for this wine were sourced from various prime vineyard sites in Marlborough’s Southern Valleys, the central Wairau Plains (specifically in Woodbourne, Renwick and Rapaura), and a spectacular river terrace site in the upper Awatere Valley. All individual vineyard batches were left on lees and kept separate until the blend was finally assembled.

Since this wine was just placed on LCBO VINTAGES shelves last weekend, there are still quite a few bottles available for you to buy now and enjoy over the Summer.

Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (91 pts)

Tasting Note:

GREYWACKE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#164228) (XD) - $24.95
Screw cap. The expressive nose opens with flinty mineral followed by guava, kiwi, tropical fruit, gooseberry and hints of lemon drops at the tail end. On the plump medium-bodied palate, this offers crisp, bright, and crunchy acids with ripe guava, white grapefruit, melon and tropical fruit flavours. Finishes long with fine minerality. A substantial Sauv Blanc that will be succulent with oysters. Score: 91 pts


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  • Monday, June 19, 2017

Kono Sauvignon Blanc 2015 (New Zealand) - Wine Review

wine is the latest Sauvignon Blanc from Kono Wines to arrive at the LCBO.

The grapes for this white wine were all picked using state-of-the-art machine harvesters, then gently pressed to obtain clean juice. The juice is settled very clear, then racked into stainless steel tanks for warming and inoculation with aromatic yeasts. Fermentation is carried out at quite cool temperatures, ranging from 10-13°C, to help preserve freshness.

I tasted the 2014 Kono Sauvignon Blanc in of last year and am curious to see how the 2015 turned out. In 2015, Marlborough enjoyed a very dry summer, resulting in wines of greater concentration than the 2014. However, a spring frost led to much lower yields.

This yummy white wine will be on shelves as part of the upcoming VINTAGES Release on .

Kono Sauvignon Blanc 2015 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

KONO SAUVIGNON BLANC 2015 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#441394) (XD) - $18.95
Screw cap. Medium-high intensity aromatics offer typical NZ Sauv Blanc notes of guava, kiwi, tropical fruit, with hints of gooseberry, grass and mineral. The palate is medium-bodied with gentle acids that are nicely balanced. There's good flavour concentration on the palate with more guava, kiwi, and grassy notes, plus grapefruit and saline. The finish is juicy and minerally with very good length. Enjoy this summer! Score: 88 pts


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  • Saturday, May 6, 2017

Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2015 (New Zealand) - Wine Review

After following up on celebration of International Sauvignon Blanc Day, wine is also a Sauvignon Blanc that will be arriving on LCBO shelves as part of the VINTAGES Release.

Greywacke is the Marlborough label of one of the region's pioneer winemakers, Kevin Judd. The name comes from his first Marlborough vineyard located in Rapaura where there is an high prevalence of rounded greywacke river stones in the soils of the vineyard.

I tasted the 2014 Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc in February of last year and am curious to see how this latest vintage turned out. In 2014, the quality of the fruit was considered above-average, along with the largest ever vintage in Marlborough. For the 2015 vintage, quality across South Island was good, but crop yields were lower, resulting in less wine produced; it was also a very dry summer in Marlborough, resulting in greater concentration than the 2014s.

Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2015 (92 pts)

Tasting Note:

GREYWACKE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2015 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#164228) (XD) - $24.95
Screw cap. Medium-high intensity aromatics are clean and elegant with subtle nuances of lemon zest, herbs, yellow flowers, tropical fruit and a fine mineral note. There's very good fruit concentration on the medium-bodied palate, balanced by zesty acids and fine minerally texture. Ripe stone fruits and lemon flavours are followed by hints of melon, orange and ripe tropical fruits, all nicely balanced. Stony mineral notes linger on the very long finish. Wow. This is excellent! Must buy. Score: 92 pts


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  • Friday, May 5, 2017

Saint Clair Family Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (New Zealand) - Wine Review

I opened up this wine to celebrate the 8th Annual International Sauvignon Blanc Day, which is always the first Friday in May and takes place on this year.

This Sauvignon Blanc is produced by Saint Clair Family Estate, one of the leading wineries in New Zealand. The winery is owned by Neal and Judy Ibbotson, a couple that are considered viticultural pioneers in Marlborough since 1978. Initially, grapes they produced were sold to other wine companies, but in 1994 they established Saint Clair Family Estate because they had a desire to produce their own finished wine. Saint Clair is synonymous with quality ever since its first vintage in 1994 and continues to produce top quality wines today, such as this 2016 Sauvignon Blanc.

This delicious white wine is readily available at LCBO outlets across Ontario. How are you celebrating #SauvBlancDay?

Saint Clair Family Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

SAINT CLAIR FAMILY ESTATE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#237255) (XD) - $17.35
Screw cap. Lifted aromatics offer ripe tropical fruits, kiwi, gooseberry, grass and hints of mineral notes. It's light-weighted and fleshy with clean, refreshing acids. Fine chalky mineral texture on the dry palate with ripe tropical fruit and blood orange flavours. Clean, lingering finish. Score: 88 pts


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  • Sunday, April 16, 2017

Bel Echo Pinot Noir 2012 (New Zealand) - Wine Review

wine was purchased back in 2014 from the LCBO VINTAGES Release, where "Summery New Zealand Wines" were featured as the main release and this wine was listed as the Benchmark/Wine of the Month.

Produced by Clos Henri, a French family from Sancerre whose roots in winemaking go back 10 generations. The grapes for this wine are grown predominantly on their free draining river stone soil, without any irrigation, thereby stressing the vines and providing fruit with the purest expression of terroir,

The 2012 is no longer available at the LCBO, but small quantities of the 2014 vintage are available, and if history is any indication, the 2016 should come through VINTAGES next year.

Bel Echo Pinot Noir 2012 (91 pts)

Tasting Note:

BEL ECHO PINOT NOIR 2012 - 'Terroir: Greywacke', Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#159137) (XD) - $22.95
Terroir blend of Greywacke riverbed (65%) and Broadbridge clay (35%) soil, and bottled under screw cap. Screw cap. Highly aromatic, complex and alluring nose that bounces between blackberry, mulberry, cherry, red currant, sweet spice, earth and a hint of herbs. Some dried cherry and floral notes also appear with time in glass. The palate is medium-bodied with silky smooth and refined tannins. With air, flavour profile offers earthy spiciness along with cherry and strawberry notes. Rush of acidity mid-palate gives way to long, juicy finish. If you still have it, enjoy this fine wine over the next 12 months. Score: 91 pts


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  • Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (New Zealand) - Wine Review

wine is from the Marlborough label of Kevin Judd, one of Marlborough's pioneer winemakers. The name Greywacke was adopted by Kevin and his wife for their first Marlborough vineyard in Rapaura in recognition of the high prevalence of rounded greywacke stones found in the soils of the vineyard. Kevin registered the name back in 1993 with the idea that he would use it on a wine label one day. But it was only in 2009 - after making wine for Cloudy Bay for 25 years - that he established his own label - Greywacke.

The fruit for this wine was sourced from Marlborough's Southern Valleys and the central Wairau Plains. Soil types vary from the young alluvial soils of the Wairau Plains that contain high proportions of New Zealand’s ubiquitous greywacke river stones, to the older and denser clay-loams of the Southern Valleys. Greywacke wines are made by Kevin at Dog Point Winery in the lower Brancott Valley, a facility extended to him by long-standing friends and colleagues Ivan Sutherland and James Healy.

This delicious white wine will be available in the LCBO VINTAGES Release.

Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2014 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (91 pts)

Tasting Note:

GREYWACKE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2014 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#164228) (XD) - $23.95
Screw cap. Very fragrant grassy nose with hints of kiwi, gooseberry, grapefruit and some citrus zest. The light-to-mid-weighted palate is clean and crisp with vibrant acidity. Grapefruit, minerals, gooseberry, kiwi and citrus flavour profile. Extremely well-balanced from start to end. Excellent length with mineral and lemon notes on the finish. This is superb and highly recommended. Buy this on and save it for patio weather. Score: 91 pts


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  • Monday, February 1, 2016

Kono Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (New Zealand) - Wine Review

wine is new to VINTAGES and will be available as part of the February 20 VINTAGES Release.

Kono Wines are made from carefully selected vineyards within Marlborough on New Zealand's South Island. Owned by the native Māori, the grapes are grown with soil knowledge and cultivation methods passed down from Māori forbearers. Kaitiakitanga - guardianship of the land, resources and environment - is an integral part of the values of Kono Wines. As such, the vineyards for Kono Wines are certified SWNZ (Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand) and CEMARS (Certified Emissions Measurement and Reduction Scheme).

True to Māori culture, they have a strong spiritual connection to everything they grow and a responsibility to ensure that the land is passed onto future generations in pristine condition.

Kono Sauvignon Blanc 2014 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

KONO SAUVIGNON BLANC 2014 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#441394) (XD) - $19.95
Screw cap. Highly fragrant nose of gooseberry, kiwi, asparagus and lime citrus in typical New Zealand style. On the palate, it is medium-bodied with piercing, juicy acidity to go along with ripe pear, asparagus, melon and citrus flavours. Good length on the tart finish. Serve well-chilled and drink over the next 2 years. Enjoyed tonight with herbed salmon. Score: 87 pts


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