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New Zealand, WINE

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Of the world's most recognizable wine-producing nations, New Zealand is perhaps the newest comer to the stage. In 1960, less than 1,000 acres of vines were planted on the North Island and virtually none on the South Island. Today, the country produces perhaps the most individually distinctive style of Sauvignon Blanc on the market, and each year, talented winemakers and viticulturalists are breaking new ground and exploring the challenging landscape of this remote pair of islands.

Viticulture in New Zealand originated around Auckland at Kumeu and Huapai, and soon spread south. Hawke's Bay, on the east coast of the North Island, is New Zealand's answer to Bordeaux. Sheltered from the harsh westerly winds in the rain shadow of a pair of mountain ranges, it enjoys low rainfall and high temperatures favorable to the cultivation of red grapes. Patches of deep, gravelly, poor shingle soils are most desirable for their effect on the Merlot vine, which is the most prevalent here. As summers grow increasingly warm, Syrah is showing more and more potential, as well. Martinborough is the North Island's other wine epicenter. The region sits in the same rain shadow as Hawke's Bay to the north, but it's exposed to the westerlies, making it a much cooler region and perfectly suited to producing vivid, Burgundian Pinot Noir along with markedly admirable Pinot Gris.

Just across the Cook Strait, on the northern tip of the South Island, lies New Zealand's most famous wine region, Marlborough. Its reputation is built entirely on the piercingly acidic and intensely ripe version of Sauvignon Blanc that results from the bracing, cool weather and radiant, sunny days. No other region on Earth seems capable of imitating this style. The most southerly wine region on Earth and one of the most scenic, Central Otago differs from the rest of the country in its decidedly continental, rather than maritime, climate. Short, dry, sunny summers and harsh winters make it suitable for Pinot Noir, and only Pinot Noir. New Zealand's most famous red wine producers are here, making bright, exuberant, forward wines with no shortage of character or mass appeal.

New Zealand may be one of the world's youngest and most remote wine regions, but it's also one of the most compelling, if for no other reason than the sheer improbability of such success as it has enjoyed. And while its reputation is one-dimensional, the reality of its wine scene is far more kaleidoscopic.

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91 points and 'Editors' Choice,' Wine Enthusiast: Earthy notes of mushroom, white pepper, dried leaves and buttered cannellini beans lead over aromas of lemon and stone fruit. The palate boasts mouth-watering acidity yet not without weight and texture, thanks to time maturing on lees. Best Buy.… ...

WE 91
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Hillersden Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016  (#701640)

Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
$12.95
$15.00
Save $2.05 (14%)15.00
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90 points Wine Spectator: Plush and velvety, with a note of warm vanilla bean mingling with the black cherry and plum flavors. Spice, cedar and chai tea elements are intense on the finish. Drink now through 2022. 300 cases imported. (12/15/17) ...

WS 90
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Jules Taylor Pinot Noir Marlborough 2016  (#701850)

Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand

750ml Bottle | In stock, 1 available
$17.95
$24.00
Save $6.05 (25%)24.00
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92+ points Lisa Perrotti-Brown (Wine Advocate): Pale to medium ruby in color and revealing a wonderfully perfumed nose of lavender and roses wrapped around a good core of red cherries and pomegranate plus a touch of humus, the medium-bodied 2012 Pinot Noir is structured by a good backbone of grainy… ...

WA 92
AM 91
WE 91
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Clos Henri Pinot Noir Marlborough 2012  (#701508)

Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand

750ml Bottle | In stock, 6 available
WA 92
AM 91
WE 91

91 points Wine & Spirits: Herbal notes of green tea, marjoram and sage bring out a red-fruit character in this sauvignon. It s fresh and tight, lasting on scents of gooseberries. This is ready to chill for grilled pork chops. (Oct 2017) ...

W&S 91
WS 90
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Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough Icon 2016  (#701987)

Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available

92 points and 'Editors' Choice,' Wine Enthusiast: Loveblock is the label of Erica and Kim Crawford, former owners of one of New Zealand's most famous brands... displays subtlety and complexity. The nose is a soft synthesis of peach, cantaloupe, lemon-lime, watermelon rind and warm stone minerality,… ...

WE 92
W&S 91
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Loveblock Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2017  (#701868)

Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand

750ml Bottle | In stock, 7 available

94 points Wine Spectator: Red licorice and clove add aromatic details to the polished cherry and raspberry flavors, with cigar box, rosemary and fresh loamy earth notes. Plenty of precision and elegance here, with a long, lingering finish. Drink now through 2028. 158 cases imported. (7/18/18) ...

WS 94
JS 93
W&S 90
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Felton Road Pinot Noir Central Otago Cornish Point 2016  (#701819)

Pinot Noir from Central Otago, New Zealand

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12 available
WS 94
JS 93
W&S 90
$49.95
$60.00
Save $10.05 (17%)60.00
Save $10.05 (17%)

Refreshingly vibrant and juicy, Ata Rangi's 2016 Sauvignon shows enticing aromas of citrus blossom and lemon grass with hints of jasmine and crisp, freshly-sliced fennel bulb. Supple and bright and, at 12.5% alcohol, it is wonderfully light on its feet. 5% of the fruit was fermented in contact with… ...

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Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc Martinborough 2016  (#701625)

Sauvignon Blanc from Martinborough, Wellington/Wairarapa, New Zealand

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available

95 points Decanter: Fresh, textural SB with lime zest, tree fruit and a touch of tropical mango / guava. Slightly restrained palate but with a good mouth feel and light lees suggestion. Overall intense and exceptionally well done with an enticing grapefruit finish, its purity striking. ...

DE 95
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Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough Icon 2015  (#701447)

Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand

750ml Bottle | In stock, 6 available
$17.95
$22.00
Save $4.05 (18%)22.00
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91 points James Suckling: Leafy fresh herbs and lime citrus make for a refreshing nose. The palate delivers a refreshing swathe of nectarine and tropical melon fruit flavors. Drink now. Screw cap. (11/13/17) ...

JS 91
TP 91
WS 90
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Craggy Range Sauvignon Blanc Martinborough Te Muna Road Vineyard 2017  (#701826)

Sauvignon Blanc from Martinborough, Wellington/Wairarapa, New Zealand

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
JS 91
TP 91
WS 90
$21.95
$25.00
Save $3.05 (12%)25.00
Save $3.05 (12%)

90 points Joe Czerwinski (Wine Advocate): The 2017 Sauvignon Blanc may not go down as an all-time classic Cloudy Bay, but in a difficult vintage, the wine has turned out excellent. Hints of snow pea pods accent tropical fruit notes in a wine that is soft, round and harmonious, showing ample… ...

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Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2017  (#701783)

Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: Lively redcurrant aromas emerge on the nose of the 2017 Sauvignon Blanc. There's pink grapefruit as well in this medium-bodied, slightly creamy-textured Sauvignon Blanc. It avoids any vegetal notes, delivering a mouthful of bright, refreshing citrus and a… ...

WA 91
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Borthwick Sauvignon Blanc Wairarapa Paddy Borthwick 2017  (#701977)

Sauvignon Blanc from Wellington/Wairarapa, New Zealand

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available

93 points Decanter: This is a textural wine with impressive weight, flavour and intensity. Peach, apple and grapefruit are superseded by lees and a hint of spice. There s decent acidity on show here with just enough concentration and balance. It s a good food wine. Drink: 2017-2022. (4/20/17) ...

DE 93
JS 91
WS 90
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Nautilus Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016  (#330627)

Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand

750ml Bottle | In stock, 2 available
DE 93
JS 91
WS 90
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