Drinking Tonight: Two NZ Sauvignon Blancs – Picton Bay & Kono

Grabbed these today from Trader Joe’s, $10 for Picton Bay and $12 for Kono.  They are both 2012 vintage from Marlborough.  I’m making asparagus risotto tonight – let’s see how these do!

Picton Bay

Color: very pale straw yellow

Aroma: wow – monstrous gooseberry flesh, my nose crinkled when I smelled this. There’s some thyme or lemongrass in there too.

Taste: that’s a nice mouthfull of fruit – it’s not as tart as the aroma would leave you to believe. Gooseberry and yellow grapefruit, with some softer citrus underneath and a surprisingly strong finish for Sauvignon Blanc.

I like this – pretty good stuff for $10. But I wouldn’t serve it to novices; I think the nose would turn them off.


Color: also pale, but with a touch of green

Aroma: grapefruit – both pink and yellow – and gooseberry, pretty well balanced.

Taste: Huh – this is more acrid and sharp on the palate than it is on the nose! Lots more grapefruit, plus some grapefruit-skin bitterness that stands out just a bit too much.

Although this is more ‘traditional New Zealand’ style (all 30 years of that tradition!), I think the Picton Bay is a better value.


They are both okay with the risotto, but not exceptional; they both have too much acidity in them, and not enough green, grassy, herbaceous notes.  The meal would have been better with the VinTJs that I tasted at the store today.



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