New Zealand's most famous wine is Marlborough sauvignon blanc. It's also Australia's favourite. This sits uncomfortably with some Kiwi winemakers, who would rather be judged by their more "serious" wines – chardonnay, pinot and the like – but few would argue that NZ "savvy" has put the country on the world wine map. For thrilling varietal purity, New Zealand sauvignon blanc has few peers, and the style is developing, with wineries working on sub-regional identity, improved vineyard management, and sometimes more complex styles.
Mount Riley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018, $17-$19
Deliciously archetypal young Marlborough sauvignon blanc offering juicy, exotic tropical fruit aromas along with a leafy, herbal overtone. In the mouth it's lush and ripe, with zesty counterpointing acidity and a clean, fruity finish. Screw cap; 12.5 per cent alcohol.
Stockists include: Camperdown Cellars stores (NSW); Decanters by the Bay, Port Melbourne (Vic).
Opawa Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018, $21-$23
A pale young sauvignon with a sweet fruit aroma reminiscent of passionfruit and guava. A suggestion of barrel influence enhances and mellows without intruding, finishing relatively dry with good texture and zip. Screw cap; 12.5 per cent alcohol.
Stockists include: Railway Hotel, Windsor (Vic); Summer Hill Wine Shop, Summer Hill (NSW).
Dog Point Vineyard Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018, $28-$30
More complex sauvignon blanc. The nose has smoky hints, whispers of sulphide, and subdued limey fruit. The palate is structured yet richly flavoured, with lovely balance, ahead of a tight, superfine, lingering, finish. Screw cap; 12.5 per cent alcohol.
Ageing? Drink over three years.
Stockists include: Prince Wine Store, South Melbourne (Vic); Camperdown Cellars, Darlinghurst and Double Bay (NSW).