With all that’s going on in the world, who couldn’t use a little taste of summer right about now? It’s what came to mind as I sampled the newly released 2019 “Private Bin” Sauvignon Blanc from Villa Maria in New Zealand’s Marlborough region.
Private Bin is the affordable line of Villa Maria, which was established in 1961 and is one of New Zealand’s largest wineries, producing a wide range of wines from throughout the country.
Marlborough, which lies in the northeast corner of the South Island, is New Zealand’s biggest wine region and its Sauvignon Blanc capital, having made the grape almost synonymous with New Zealand wine a few decades ago.
While some may have tired of the racy, tart, high-acid style that became so popular with the New Zealand Sauvignon explosion, it does have its own particular attraction and place at the table, as I was reminded tasting Villa Maria’s Sauvignon Blanc.
With its refreshing, uncomplicated, yet thoroughly distinctive character, the $15 (or less) Villa Maria wine is textbook Kiwi Sauvignon, made for oysters or clams on the half shell, your favorite broiled or grilled fish recipe, or sushi.
Take in the aromas of cut grass and exotic spices, then taste the grapefruit, lime, gooseberry, and tropical fruit notes, softened by a creamy layer on the long finish. You could spend a whole lot more for a New Zealand Sauvignon, but the difference would be incremental.
Like most Villa Maria wines, this one over-delivers and is a perfect bottle to rediscover New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. And don’t worry: Summer is just a few months — or a glass of “Savvy B” — away.