New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc: panel tasting results

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Our experts were unanimous in their praise for the country's service to Sauvignon Blanc - oaked and unoaked - but were split when it came to choosing a favourite region. See the top New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs from our tasting, as featured in the July 2013 issue of Decanter, here...
New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, Yealands Reserve Awatere Valley Marlborough 2011
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Yealands, Reserve, Awatere Valley, Marlborough 2011
Decanter average score:
18.5pts/20 (95/100pts)
Individual judges’ scores: Melanie Brown 18.5 Roger Jones 18.5 Peter McCombie MW 18.5
The concentrated grassy, tomato-leaf and mineral flavours of Awatere Valley are occasionally heroic wines which give a nod to Sancerre. At Peter Yealands’ 1,000-hectare vineyard and hi-tech winery, winemaker Tamra Washington retains integrity while enhancing texture and flavour with judicious fermentation and maturation in oak barrels.
Melanie Brown Upfront and well balanced. Ripe, tropical fruit, such as pineapples, with a silky texture and a subtle oak integration. A fresh acidity and a flinty nuance make this wine complex and elegant.
Roger Jones A lovely, creamy, white-peach nose, complex and multilayered. It has a great balance of acidity. Delicate tropical fruits quietly coming through. Overall a lovely, fine wine with great oak integration.
Peter McCombie Subtle and gently toasted, intertwined with fresh grass and ripe gooseberry. The palate is taut, but well balanced. There is a good concentration with finesse and bite. Perfect to match with food.
Price £12.95–£15.50 Carruthers & Kent, Enotria, Fine & Rare, Swig, The Secret Cellar, Wined Up Here
Drink 2013–2016
Alc 13.5%

New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, Yealands Reserve Awatere Valley Marlborough 2011
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