This year's Decanter World Wine Awards Regional Trophy for New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc over £15 went to Spy Valley, Envoy Sauvignon Blanc, Waihopai Valley, Marlborough 2012 (13.5%)

Tasted against:

  • No other Golds in this category


Spy Valley is the unofficial name of the Waihopai Valley, due to the nearby Waihopai Satellite Communication System, part of the Echelon network of so-called spy stations.

Spy Valley’s first vintage was in 2000, although this was at a contract winemaking facility – three years later it moved into its own new winery. Its Envoy line was launched in 2007, the intent being to shine a light on special microsites among the family-owned vineyards that continually produce fruit of outstanding quality. (The production is also relatively micro when compared with Spy Valley’s overall annual production.)

Chief winemaker Paul bourgeois said the aim of this Trophy-winner was to ‘show the expression of this site and frame the wine with complexity and layering from wood ageing but still have the true varietal characteristics of Sauvignon Blanc shine through.’

He said this Sauvignon Blanc microsite was sheltered and very warm compared with the surrounding vineyard. ‘However, being in a riverbed, flooding is a very real issue. Frost and dry summers also have the potential to cause severe stress thanks to the extreme drainage on this site. but we like a good challenge!’

Written by Decanter