Why should you care? Vintages vary in New Zealand’s cool, ocean-influenced Marlborough region, whose bracing, mostly oak-free sauvignon blancs are savored worldwide for their outstanding refreshment value. But in difficult years when the fruit struggles to ripen, the variety’s typical aromas and flavors of citrus fruits, gooseberry, pepper and herbs can go a bit vegetal and screechy. That was the case in 2012. Happily, the growing season of 2013 brought a warm, dry summer and a relaxed, extended harvest, providing nearly ideal conditions in Marlborough, not just for white varieties but for pinot noir as well.
What does it taste like? Goldwater Estate’s sauvignon blanc, made entirely in stainless steel tanks, is virtually always among the elite examples from Marlborough. The 2013 edition offers an enticing perfume of lemon drop, lime and spices accented by an understated mineral quality. It’s supple and pliant on the palate, with penetrating but harmonious acidity intensifying the piquant grapefruit pith and elderberry flavors. The long, subtle finish stimulates the salivary glands with quinine and lime notes. It’s hard to imagine a more invigorating white wine for the remaining weeks of summer. My score: 91 points.
How much does it cost and where can you find it? $20; Pasternak Wine Imports.