Review | Rediscover New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc 2022 Vintage


New Zealand Wine Puts a Smile on my Face


My friends know I am a huge fan of New Zealand wine. In 2012 I became a little obsessed and created a New Zealand wine blog with my friend Julie. We called it "Kiwi Daydreaming" because we could not stop daydreaming about New Zealand wine.

Today, I am sharing my thoughts on three Marlborough, New Zealand, Sauvignon Blanc wines. Each wine is distinct. Each is delicious in its own way. If you know me, you know that I cannot review any wine without including wine and food pairings. Those are included as well!

About Appellation Marlborough Wine:

Appellation Marlborough Wine™ was established in 2018 with a strict certification process that the region’s producers are able to apply for. AMW is trademarked in all key global wine markets and it is the legal recognition that sets it apart from other new world certification practices. Wines bearing the Appellation Marlborough Wine (AMW) quality mark provide consumers the following guarantees:

ORIGIN – Wines are made from grapes that are 100% sourced from Marlborough.
AUTHENTICITY – Wines must be bottled in New Zealand.
INTEGRITY – All Wines are tasted blind and approved by an independent expert panel as being a true expression of its region and varietal.
SUSTAINABILITY – Vineyards are certified by a recognised sustainable viticulture scheme.


Appellation Marlborough Wine
Wine Map of Marlborough.

Appellation Marlborough Wine (AMW) Wine Map of Marlborough:

A beautifully designed reference tool that delineates the Marlborough wine growing region for the first time. OFFICIAL WINE MAP OF MARLBOROUGH, NEW ZEALAND The first Wine Map to Delineate The Marlborough Wine Growing Region. “The resulting ‘Wine Map of Marlborough’ is a vital resource in understanding the subregional detail and diversity of Marlborough,” says John Buchanan, AMW chair. “We’re proud to share this with a wider audience, including industry colleagues, wine educators, and engaged consumers.” The Marlborough Wine Map is available for purchase direct from Appellation Marlborough Wine with profits returned to the Marlborough Wine Map Collective for research and development. Learn more.

Note: Rules for pairing wine and food don't work 100% 

There are always exceptions. It is also fun to "break" some of those old rules too. All three wines were paired with the same food. Not all of the pairings worked for every wine. I learned a little about each of these wines and have recommendations for pairings at home, and restaurants. Many delicious wine and food pairings were experienced. That was delightful! I truly hope you have an opportunity to match these lovely wines with some of the food pairings I enjoyed at home. 

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1. Satellite by Spy Valley 2022

Winemaker: Wendy Stuckey
Viticulturist: Adam McCone
Certified Sustainable
ABV: 12.5%
Region: Marlborough, New Zealand

2022 Satellite by Spy Valley

From the winery: Our Forest & Bird Mission - It's been an incredible journey to nurture and restore the spring-fed native wetland at our 'Area H' vineyard over the past few years - now a sanctuary for countless native trees, birds and other wildlife. This year we're on a mission to take the initiative further than our own backyard!

Sensory Notes:

Herbaceous nose, with yeasty lime. Palate, a little spritzy at open, lime dominated, textured on the tongue with zippy lime zest, cumin, flavor settled across the entire tongue. 

Food Pairings: 
  • French fries. Very good pairing. Yum.
  • Shrimp. Wow. Perfecto. Delicious. Scrumptious pairing. 
  • Chicken. Worked. Would be fun to play around with spices and sauces. 
  • Goat cheese. Worked. Lime and salt and umami. Yum. 
  • Salmon spread. Good match, balanced flavors of wine and salmon. Lime kick. 
  • Olives. Salty. OK. 
Day Two Notes: 

Lemon dominant, herbaceous on finish, with sage and thyme. 

It was a good match paired with smokey, burned pita, evoo and shrimp. Satisfying. The raw cucumber was a perfect match. Anything cucumber based I think should pair well. Also, I paired successfully with a London Broil by adding fresh squeezed lime and a little extra salt. Yum. That was so good.

Day Three Notes: 

Drink me. If you have any left. It was fresh, fluid, with creamy lime and salinity.  


Easy to pair with food the 2022 Satellite

Thoughts: 

In contrast to the other two wines, the Satellite seemed simpler. Acid really stood out. However, the 2022 Satellite by Spy Valley, was just, so, absolutely, wonderful paired with food. Yum.

I would love to share this wine with my friends. It paired so easily with the type of food I enjoy making at home. A must have New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc for food. Often, I discuss elevating your wine and food pairing experience. This wine makes it all so easy. Almost every pairing was better with the 2022 Satellite than without. If you have a restaurant, this wine should be on your wine list! 

Summary: 

While simpler than the other two wines, it completely delivered on the food pairings. Smoke, lime juice, salt, and the herbs de Provence worked well with this wine. And it held up easily over three days in the refrigerator and still delivered drinking enjoyment. 

Produced by Spy Valley Wines. Lake Timara Road, RD6 Marlborough, New Zealand.


Rated: Strongly Recommend - 2022 Satellite by Spy Valley. 

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2. Babich Family Estates 2022 Sauvignon Blanc 


Single Vineyard
Headwaters Vineyard Certified Organic
Certified Sustainable
ABV: 13%
Region Marlborough, New Zealand

2022 Babich Sauvignon Blanc


From the winery: Fruit from our certified organic Headwaters Vineyard was harvested in late March/early April. The grapes were quickly pressed, clarified and fermented. A combination of selected commercial and indigenous yeasts where used to capture the intense varietal flavours and build complexity. Malolactic fermentation softened and added texture to the palate. Strict organic procedures were followed at all times.

Sensory Notes:

Focused nose, with hazelnut, lemon, mango, yeast, and fresh rain minerality. The palate was savory, with herbal notes, nutty, melon, mango, with a slight texture, unripe mango and lemon pith on the finish. Finish became lemon-lime meringue with a little air.

Food Pairings:
  • French fries. OK, good. 
  • Shrimp. A really good pairing. Added an ocean side quality. Took me there. Cool. 
  • Goat cheese. Worked, emphasis on the cheese flavors. 
  • Salmon spread. OK, emphasis salmon. 
  • Chicken. Just OK. 
Thoughts: 

Interesting how this wine brought certain flavors to center stage. This wine is about the "focus" of the food. I really enjoyed the minerality.

Day Two Notes:

Grassy, dry hay, sweet melon, textured, crisp, almost tart, yum, ripe mango to dried mango, with mango preserve and lemon rind with herbs on the finish. Wow! Day 2 is for drinking!! 

Emphasized the smoky burnt flavor of the pita bread. Cucumber a good match. Shrimp alone just OK. The London broil was not a bad pairing. Adding a little salt made it even better.  

Day Three Notes: 

Herbaceous lime, dry, clean, minerality, wants street tacos. Made me hungry. Good. 


Pairing food with Babich Sauvignon Blanc

Summary:

Interesting how this wine added "focus" to the food pairing. It emphasized the taste of the sea with the shrimp, it enhanced the cheese flavor of the Goat cheese, the smoky burnt pita seemed smokier and the salmon had even more salmon flavor. 

This wine began to show off on day two and was delicious all on its own. 

Fascinating how this wine showed with food. It brought focus and emphasis to seafood, cheese and smoke. With some work in the kitchen, I think some stunning pairings could be created. On day three this wine seemed to want to be paired with street tacos; thinking corn tortilla with seafood, or beef. As for drinking pleasure, this wine was gorgeous on the second day. It impressed.

By Babich Family Estates 6 Fielder Close, Cloudy Bay Business Park, R.D.4, Riverlands, Blenheim


Rated: Strongly Recommend - Babich 2022 Sauvignon Blanc.

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3. Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2022


Partial spontaneous indigenous yeast fermentation in old oak barrels
Vineyard sites Central Wairau and Southern Valley
Marlborough, New Zealand
ABV: 13.5%

2022 Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc


Greywacke (pronounced Greywacky) is the the name of New Zealand’s most abundant bedrock. These understated grey river stones are found throughout Marlborough’s rivers and alluvial vineyard soils. Established in 2009, the ethos is very much ‘keep it simple and hands-on’ with a small, dedicated team running the company from Greywacke HQ in the heart of Marlborough’s Omaka Valley. The fruit is sourced from mature vineyards in prime viticultural sites to optimise the potential afforded by Marlborough’s sunny South Pacific climate. 

Sensory Notes:

Nose had green melon, nutty, lime and lemon curd. On the palate, creamy and crisp mouth feel, a little weight, herbal, lime, cream, into a long finish. Persistent finish with lemon lime curd. Yum.

Food Pairings:
  • French fries. Perfect. The salt and Herbs de Provence like magic. 
  • Shrimp. Excellent. Classy. Fancy. 
  • Goat cheese. Wonderful. Classy again. 
  • Salmon spread. Stood at attention, center stage, the dill was emphasized, herbal, and lime had good attention. Nice contrast. 
  • Olives. Just OK. 
  • Chicken. No. No. No.
Thoughts:

This wine grabbed my attention instantly. It really hit me as being "New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc." Although, what stood out for me the most, was how the wine transformed the food pairing experience. Surprised how this is the first time I have noted that a wine made the food seem "fancy" and "classy" more "sophisticated." The french fries, broiled shrimp and goat cheese, paired with the 2022 Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc, tasted more "elegant." They tasted... "fancy" is probably the best word I can think of, when I closed my eyes, it was easy to imagine I was at an expensive, fancy restaurant. True. Impressed me. Fancy French Fries? (I did season the french fries with salt and Herbs de Provence.) 

Day Two Notes:
 
Rich mouth feel, with lemon yogurt, grass, mango puree and just squeezed lemon juice into the long finish. As well as a perfect pairing.

Perfect pairing! Perfect

A Perfect Pairing on Day Two:

I put some of the leftover shrimp on a skewer and on top of a piece of pita bread, drizzled olive oil over it, and put it under the broiler for a minute or so too long. Burnt the pita bread. But... Dang... It was a perfect hummer of a pairing. I hummed the entire time I was eating and drinking. The wine blended harmoniously with the burned, crunchy bread and tender shrimp. That gets an OMG! Paying attention? OMG. Fantastic pairing! 

Day Three Notes: 

Tropical, juicy, tart mango, orange zest. Intense focused finish. As it warmed up, added that creamy luxurious quality, grassy, lemon, tropical, mango, pineapple, lime, herbs, white grapefruit, so much going on. Wow. Long finish. Tasty. Each of the three days the 2022 Greywacke delivered. So good.

2022 Grewacke Sauvignon Blanc
Summary:

Love, love, love this wine! It is delicious all on its own over three days. With properly paired food, this wine elevates the food and wine experience, to another level. The good pairings were excellent pairings. The broiled shrimp and even the goat cheese on cracker, tasted truly luxurious with the Greywacke 2022 Sauvignon Blanc! 

Closing my eyes, it was easy to imagine I was at an expensive restaurant. It was so easy to go there in my mind. The french fries pairing surprised me in how delicious the flavours were together. 

Impressed by this wine. Not just a delicious bottle of wine, but potentially a stunning food partner when properly paired. Restaurants take note. You want this wine on your wine list.  

Produced and bottled by Greywacke Vineyards, Kennedys Rd, Marlborough, New Zealand.


Rated: Highly Recommend - 2022 Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc.




My final thoughts?

Thirteen years ago I had my New Zealand wine epiphany. Many bottles of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc have been consumed since. Today, I remain a strong supporter of New Zealand wine. It was my sincere pleasure to review these three bottles representing a marvelous part of the world. You could say that I am still, Kiwi daydreaming. Kia Ora! 

Cheers!

- William 

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