This is a new import into the US, from New Zealand. If It wasn’t proudly proclaimed on the label, I would not have guessed this wine was made with sauvignon blanc. It’s produced in the Upper Wairu Valley of Marlborough, which is known for its Sauvignon Blanc. I guess it shouldn’t have surprised me because, no matter what they grow, so many winemakers find it irresistible to make a sparkling version of their wines – which is fun to ask about when you visit wineries, by the way. With this wine, the color does provide a clue: a pure green-gold-tan, easily visible in its clear glass bottle. In the bottle, I found a medium mousse and a gentler fizz — seemingly slightly lower in atmospheres than Champagne, which is fine. In the glass I found very light yeast and floral aromas. The wine is slightly fruity with an underlying trace of chalkiness and acidity.  All in all, a pleasant, mild sparkling aperitif, a surprise to me, for this grape.


WHO:  Hillersden Wine
WHAT: Sauvignon Blanc
WHERE: Marlborough, New Zealand
HOW MUCH: $23.99 (available online; media sample)

About The Author

Becky Sue Epstein
International Editor

Becky Sue Epstein is Palate Press’s International Editor. An experienced writer, editor, broadcaster, and consultant in the fields of wine, spirits, food, and travel, her work has appeared in many national and international publications including Intermezzo Magazine, Fine Wine & Liquor, Art & Antiques, Luxury Golf & Travel, Food + Wine, and Wine Spectator. She began her career as a restaurant reviewer for the Los Angeles Times while working in film and television. Epstein is also the author of several books on wine, spirits, and food, including Champagne: A Global History; Brandy: A Global History, and Strong, Sweet and Dry: A Guide to Vermouth, Port, Sherry, Madeira, and Marsala.

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