This was only our second time tasting this category of wine (the second scuffle was for Pinot Noir), and we were not disappointed. All of the wines exhibited varietal correctness, with lots of character and zippy acidity. There was also lots of value here, with the top wines being very reasonably priced, and none over $25. Five out of the six were from the 2013 vintage.
First Place: Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (Marlborough). Tasters found aromas of gooseberries, minerals, and wet rock. Ali found "some B.O. going on", with Andy noting "salty air". Had a darkness to it, with a great texture, and featuring lemon, honeydew, and sweet smoke flavors. Josephine felt that is was "more subtle and mature, understated". Very pleasant, with a good finish that echoed more gooseberries. Andy, David, Josephine, and Hart's favorite. Andy's bottle. About $12.
Second Place: Harbor Town Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (Marlborough). Very light in color. Clear. Scents of gooseberries, butter, lime zest, green grass, Vaseline, and black olive. Tastes tart, and not very complex, with flavors of orange blossom, honey, and lime. Silky texture. Finishes a bit short. Everyone agreed that this one was the most improved with time, and all gave it some points. Ali and Kristin's favorite of the night. Received 27 points. Kristin's bottle. About $8.
Third Place: Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (Marlborough). More classically scented, with notes of gooseberries, lemons, grass, Bazooka bubble gum, green guava, passion fruit, and lotus flower. A hint of body odor. Pleasing. David described this as "exuberant", with a palate full of juicy, pink grapefruit and mango flavors. Great texture. Received 20 points. Ali's bottle. About $15.
Astrolabe Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (Marlborough). A bit darker in color for a Sauv Blanc. The nose was similar to grass, green bell pepper, pea shoots, asparagus, smashed peas, and okra. Josephine found a note of "slight wet diaper", with Hart finding "peanut poop". Josephine also felt that this "has a singular note". David agreed, feeling that this was "not bad, but not complex". Something darker on the finish. Received four points. Hart's bottle. About $23.
Three Brooms Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (Marlborough). Scents of rotten celery, tomatoes, ash, cumin, and wet stones. Ali detected "bonfire on the beach", while Kristin was overwhelmed with "pickle juice". Tart palate, featuring flavors of cough medicine, pickles, oil, and Tabasco sauce. Ali felt it was reminiscent of "fireplace ash, little bit of cigarette". Received 2 points. Josephine's bottle. About $17.
Dog Point Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (Marlborough). Smells like "red dodge ball" (Andy), "something burning" (Hart), asphalt, nuts, "something metallic" (Andy), "something harmful to the environment" (Ali), rubber, peat, and fungus. Josephine noted that this "translates into something fecal". More rubber notes in the mouth, with a flat/tired quality to it, moving to flavors of oranges. Josephine was reminded of "Sears automotive department", and "the gym teacher with B.O." No points. David's bottle. About $22.
Taylor Fladgate Fine Tawny Porto. Frankly sweet, but with enough acidity to hold it down. Just okay. About $20.