Summer beckons us to find something that refreshes and tantalizes the palate. Vibrantly aromatic sauvignon blanc from “The Land of the Long White Cloud” assails the senses with gooseberry and citrus characters, passion and other tropical fruits, and green herbaceous notes. They are distinct and bold enough to carry big flavors of spicy food, capable of cutting into creamy dishes, and lifting seafood dishes.
Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2014, Marlborough
The founding winemaker at Cloudy Bay, Kevin Judd, turns out a lovely fusion of sweet-scented stone fruits with a zest of orange and white florals. Greywacke offers a generous palate, with deliciously ripe citrus and cassis flavors, and finishes with that classic Marlborough zing.
Pair it: Chili-lime grilled swordfish with mint and basil.
Buy it: Costco, $30.
Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc 2014, North Canterbury
Farther south and cooler than Marlborough is the certified sustainable boutique producer that delivers subtle tropical aromas of mango and papaya. A creamy mid-palate finishes elegantly with crisp, bright minerality.
Pair it: Seared scallops with lemon-infused couscous.
Buy it: Marché Bacchus Wine Shop (special order), $21.
Loveblock Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Marlborough
“Low intervention” and organic grape growing promotes a focus on texture rather than aromatics, with an explosive palate of white peach and citrus finish. A small amount of sauvignon gris is blended in, creating a soft, savory experience.
Pair it: Fresh, raw oysters.
Buy it: Smith’s, Green Valley Parkway, Henderson, $21.