A Buyer's Market: New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
This afternoon we tasted a few new sauvignon blancs from New Zealand. That brings this week's total of new sauvignon blancs from New Zealand up around nine or ten. Somehow, I have tasted NZ SB every single day this week. I confess a sigh. But it got me thinking.
I should say right here that I really do like Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. I find the grape's characteristic intensity in fruit and grassy flavors and fresh acidity quite appealing, and I'm always blown away at the quality of wine that can be found for a reasonable price (and don't forget that these crisp wines are perfect for hot summer days like this one).
Right now it seems that the market is being flooded with new brands. New Zealand seems to have massively overproduced in recent vintages, with mainstay brands consuming some huge percentage of the market, and many companies introducing their own new labels.
While this is a tough climate for producers, it's is great for consumers. Not only is the quality up from from well-known producers, such as Kim Crawford, Oyster Bay, Brancott and Villa Maria, but retailers are able to pick and choose from dozens of new entries into the category and find the best values, such as Clifford Bay and Frenzy. Many of these new brands offer the same quality that would have sold for $15-20 four years ago, but you can find them on retail shelves under ten bucks.
Of the ten or so new New Zealand sauvignon blancs we've tasted this week, Binny's will carry only one. It's not that the others aren't good, they're just not as good as what we already have on the shelf. And while it's pushing a guy like me to be a little more cynical, right now it's nothing but good news for you.