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New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc: panel tasting results

If you love the fruity-zingy style of Sauvignon Blanc there are still many great, wallet-friendly buys to be found, from Marlborough and beyond.

Roger Jones, Melanie Brown and Rebecca Palmer tasted 116 wines, with one Exceptional, five Outstanding and 40 Highly Recommended.

New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc panel tasting scores

116 wines tasted

Exceptional 1

Outstanding 5

Highly recommended 40

Recommended 45

Commended 21

Fair 4

Poor 0

Entry criteria: producers and UK agents were invited to submit their latest releases of still white wines made with 100% Sauvignon Blanc from any region in New Zealand

New Zealand wines – particularly Sauvignon Blanc – suffered severe shortages in the 2021 vintage, so it was gratifying to see such a large number entered for this two-day tasting. In our discussions during and following it, we three judges considered regional and vintage differences as well as the range of Sauvignon Blanc styles, notably considering whether there is a lighter, more focused style emerging.

Scroll down to see tasting notes and scores for the top wines in the New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc panel tasting

Top scoring New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc

The judges

Roger Jones is the retired former owner of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn restaurant in Wiltshire. He is now a wine writer, judge and consultant with a particular interest in the hospitality trade, as well as helping charities. He is a DWWA judge, with a focus on New World regions.

Melanie Brown is founder and CEO of Heist Group, which includes New World-focused online wine merchant Specialist Cellars and The Laundry restaurant, Brixton. From New Zealand, she arrived in the UK in 2015 to work as a chef for the likes of Raymond Blanc, Peter Gordon and more.

Rebecca Palmer is associate director of Corney & Barrow, based in the UK, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore. She heads up the commercial buying team, covering most world regions. At DWWA 2022 she judged in the New Zealand and USA & Central America categories.

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