Marlborough at 50: tasting three of the region’s best-known Sauvignons on camera

I popped into a local supermarket and found these three popular Sauvignon Blancs from the 2022 vintage, took them home, and tasted them on camera. The Villa Maria and Brancott were on sale (£8 and £7.50; list price is £10) while I paid the full £10 price for Oyster Bay. In the UK most supermarkets stock the big brand Marlborough Sauvignons, as well as some private label wines, and they tend to rotate the special offers so you can almost always pick one up for £8. Considering Montana’s Sauvignon Blanc was £5.99 when I first bought it in 1993 (it was an eye-opener for me as a novice drinker), the price of these wines has steadily eroded.

Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2022 Marlborough, New Zealand
12.5% alcohol. Nicely aromatic with some subtle passionfruit and nice tomato leaf greenness, as well as vibrant citrus fruit. The palate is taut with good acidity and vivid lemony fruit, as well as some green hints and nice juiciness. A good example of the Marlborough style. 88/100

Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc 2022 Marlborough, New Zealand
12.5% alcohol. Lovely aromatics here with passionfruit, grapefruit and lime. Quite exotic. The palate is light, balanced and fresh with good acidity and delicate citrus and passionfruit notes, with a hint of chalkiness. Fine green notes add a point of tension. Really expressive, and a benchmark example of Marlborough Sauvignon. 89/100

Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2022 Marlborough, New Zealand
12.5% alcohol. Muted aromatics, but a fruity palate with some green notes as well as bright lime and grapefruit, showing some broad pear and green apple fruit. There’s some volume in the mouth, but this lacks that real Marlborough Sauvignon character, and is a bit generic. 84/100