Wine of the week: Kono Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

Wine: Kono Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

Grape: Sauvignon blanc

Region: Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand

Vintage: 2012

Price: $9.99

Availability: Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods Markets

In the glass: Kono Sauvignon Blanc wine shows a faint lemon-yellow color with bright greenish streaks, a fine, clean, clear translucent appearance at the core with glass-clear rim definition and medium viscosity.

On the nose: This fragrant wine has concentrated notes of northern gooseberries, crushed white peaches, pomelo flesh, chalky minerals, fresh lime rind, Key lime pie, Granny Smith apples and some gardenia floral character.

On the palate: The wine is crisp with crushed gooseberry, white currants, fresh citrus zest and soft, balanced white fruit that perfectly balances the fresh acidity, making this a highly drinkable and approachable sauvignon blanc. The midpalate goes into the finish seamlessly, and the wine appears to have really soft, balanced harmony between the fruit and the acidity.

Odds and ends: As Marlborough on the South Island of New Zealand is considered the benchmark for New World sauvignon blanc and therefore the foremost appellation for these wines, they are always priced accordingly high, with the epitome being the famous Cloudy Bay at three to four times the price of this Kona Sauvignon Blanc. But why pay that kind of money, when you can enjoy a similar experience with this wine and get several bottles for the same price? Although the Italian white wine varietal pinot grigio is enjoying popularity in the market, New Zealand sauvignon blanc is certainly right behind it, and there’s no denying that when you have the opportunity to get in at this price, there’s nothing more delicious to drink as temperatures rise in anticipation of full spring. This is great as an aperitif, chilled to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, or in the company of some freshly shucked oysters, which should be good in April. Drink it now through 2013.

Gil Lempert-Schwarz’s wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89106-0749, or email him at

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