2019 Whitehaven Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand
Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc is one of the more easy to find New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs imported to North America. And although it doesn’t quite have the popularity on retail store shelves as some of its competitors, I think it represents a better value for money than many similarly priced New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs.
You can expect to pay around $17 for Whitehaven’s 2019 Sauvignon Blanc. (You might get lucky and find it sold for as little as $15.) That puts it squarely in the middle of the highly competitive, inexpensive Sauvignon Blanc market.
About the Marlborough Wine Region
Marlborough is located at the very top of New Zealand’s south island. It is New Zealand’s largest winemaking region. And it is the epicenter of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. (However the region shouldn’t be overlooked as a producer of fine Pinot Noirs.)
The region boasts three major subregions, each with distinctive differences in soil and climate. There’s the Southern Valleys, which tends to have heavy, clay-rich soils. Wairau Valley tends to have a cooler climate and gravely, riverbed soils. And the third, Awatere Valley, tends to be the coolest and driest of the three sub regions. It’s known for producing grapes with low yields and intense flavors.
Discover the Whitehaven brand
Whitehaven sources grapes for their Sauvignon Blanc primarily from the Awatere region and the Dillon’s Point subregion of the Wairau Valley. The winery, one of New Zealand’s largest family owned operations, has a partnership with E&J Gallo, started in 2003. This is what has made dynamic inroads into the U.S. market possible.
What has given Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc staying power in the American market is the consistency of its wines. Although the wine might vary slightly from year to year, you can count on a 2018 Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc to very closely resemble the wine in the next year’s vintage.
My review of the 2019 Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc
Versatility is the first word that comes to mind when tasting this New Zealand wine. This is a wine that one could happily drink with any meal–or by itself for that matter. While some wines require food to truly shine, this is a wine you could sip all night at a party or as a refreshing pre dinner drink after a long day of work.
It’s also a wine most wine drinkers will enjoy. It offers none of the more edgy, herbaceous notes for which New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc has become known. Instead, its flavors are round, approachable flavors and a medium body. That New Zealand herbal note comes out as a gentle tease of lemongrass, backed up by refreshing lemon and grapefruit flavors and rounded out by a subtle sweetness of ripe peach and pear.
Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc is not the kind of wine you’d recommend with a certain food or even a time of day. (Because it goes with all of them.) For example, it isn’t one of those wines to classify as a “seafood” or “brunch” wine. (Though it would work beautifully with either.) In fact, the only time or place that comes to mind for me when tasting this wine is summer. If I had to describe Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc in a single sentence, it would be: This wine tastes like summertime in a bottle.
If you want to get this wine delivered to you, Whitehaven recommends using Drizzly.
Amy Reiley is filling in for Wine of the Week columnist Annette Tomei. If you have a wine you’d like to see Annette feature in this column, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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