Behold now, Behemoth…Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015

When I was first really starting to “get into” wines about 15 or so years ago, I remember taking a bottle of this to a friend’s place, thinking I was oooooh soooo smooth. White wine…from a bottle….from OVERSEAS. How many more boxes can you tick? It should have been called “Suave-ignon Blanc.”

But then the “Savalanche” came and floods of it washed over the ditch from an area most Australians didn’t even know existed (to be fair, outside of rugby followers, most Aussies probably didn’t realise there was a north and a south island), but Marlborough changed all that. Villa Maria were right at the vanguard of that operation. Consistently, year in year out, it does exactly what it says on the label. Reliable? Understatement. There are Toyota Land Cruisers less reliable than Villa Mara SB. So it comes as no surprise whatsoever that the sample bottle supplied has a little gold sticker, “NZ’s Most Admired Wine Brand.”

Villa Maria ‘Private Bin’ Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015

PB Sauv Blanc M NV

Boom. There it is. Passion fruit over asparagus, stuffed in a capsicum and wrapped up in grass. Look…I know that could be for 100 Marlborough SBs, but nothing sticks out here, which is a good thing. There’s even a little of the Sauvignon “black currant leaf” sweetness/earthiness that better SBs have. The palate is crisp, lean and the acids aren’t sour or flabby. There’s tartness sure, but the tropical passion fruit and even red capsicum balance the greenery. It’s like seeing Notting Hill on TV, repeated for the 37th time. Familiar and reliable. If you have to buy a Marlborough SB, don’t spend less than $10 for a Colesworth House Label. You can still get change from a $20, pull this out a barbie, and unashamedly share the bottle.

RRP: $15

Alc: 13%

Wine sample courtesy of Villa Maria

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