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  • Jancis Robinson
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  • Jancis Robinson
15 Oct 2007

Calling all NZ Sauvignon fans. Word is, according to wine trade weekly Harpers, that prices are set to rise by about £1 ($2) a bottle, thanks to short volumes in Marlborough and the strength of the NZ dollar (maybe that should have been $3).  


All the more interesting then for British NZSB hunters then to check out some of the cheaper versions currently available while prices hold. For example there is Fern Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2006 South Island from Alan McCorkindale of Canterbury. He will doubtless be receiving some flak from his peers for letting the side down with his UK bottled £4.99 wine widely available in Tesco stores. It's not as vibrant and pungent as the Marlborough average but look at the price – helped considerably presumably by the fact that it was shipped in bulk to the UK, where the bottler must have managed to triumph over today's reported serious shortage of wine bottles.


Mind you, Tesco Chilean Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2007 Casablanca Valley seems a better buy to me at £4.49 – and not just because of the 50p saved. Chile has increasingly been catching up with New Zealand in the Sauvignon Blanc arena. Julia will be providing us with a survey of better Chilean Sauvignon Blancs in the next week or two. And some South African Sauvignon Blancs are also extremely fine…


Harpers also reports that the next investment for AXA Millésimes under the direction of Christian Seely (who gives the annual WSET lecture lectures tonight on 'A row of vines - is it better than money in the bank?)may well be in Cental Otago in the south of the South Island. Presumably he is anxious to spread some Burgundy expertise (from Clos l'Arlot) to the world's southernmost wine region. Although Seely has a habit of dropping hints of intention to hungry journalists that are not always translated into action.

See also the official report on the 2007 Marlborough vintage.