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New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc: Panel tasting results

Now more than ever, it pays to invest a little time in research before buying New Zealand Sauvignon. Our experts give their constructive criticism on this popular wine style and review almost 200 current releases.

Roger Jones, Freddy Bulmer and Cat Lomax tasted 197 wines with 6 Outstanding and 24 Highly recommended.

New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc: Panel tasting scores

197 wines tasted

Exceptional 0

Outstanding 6

Highly recommended 24

Recommended 72

Commended 74

Fair 21

Poor 0


Entry criteria: Entry criteria: producers and UK agents were invited to submit their latest-release dry, still white wines made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc from any region in New Zealand


For a long time, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc has been ‘a safe banker’, as judge Cat Lomax said. ‘A wine you could pick up knowing exactly what to expect in the glass.’

The top-line results (see the scores below) suggest a solid tasting, but the recent-release wines came in for some strong criticism from our panel, over 2.5 days of judging.

We all agreed, on the basis of this tasting, that there was no longer a guarantee that expectations of ‘pungent aromatics and concentrated flavours’ would be met.


Scroll down to see tasting notes and scores from the New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc panel tasting



New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc panel tasting scores


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.

Freddy Bulmer is a wine and beer buyer for The Wine Society, responsible for its New Zealand range as well as Australia, Austria and Eastern Europe. A DWWA judge, he began his career in wine working for independent wine merchants in Yorkshire.

Cat Lomax is a wine and wine retail consultant who has held buying and senior trading roles across key premium wine retailers in the UK, including Laithwaites, Waitrose, Majestic and most recently Marks & Spencer.


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