- 2018 Hay Maker Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand $3.99 (@Trader Joe’s; California)
Yes, that’s not a typo. This classic – and delicious – Sauvignon Blanc is a ridiculously good value for $3.99. You know how much we like wines with high QPR, well this one has an OTCQPR. You know: Off the Charts Quality to Price Ratio.
Sauv Blanc is best enjoyed very cold, when the weather is very hot. If it’s not hot yet in your neck of the woods, just wait. Summer’s right around the corner. So here’s a helpful tip. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, then you know how Trader Joe’s is one of our favorite places to find great wine values. But did you also know that TJ’s gets really high marks on the spray sunscreen pictured above? Now you do. You’re welcome.
Now, back to our regularly scheduled wine program:
The first thing I noticed about this wine was the fact it is a little less acidic and bracing as many Sauv Blancs from Marlborough. The first thing my wife noticed (the girl knows Kiwi Sauvignons, mind you) was the mouthfeel. She described it as more “viscous” than most. Which was an astute observation, and which suggested to me that there is a supporting role being played here by another grape. I’m thinking it’s Semillon, which is a classic partner to Sauvignon Blanc. It mellows out the wine a bit.
Whatever the blend is, the result is a wine that is a bit more honeyed and tropical that many wines that come from Marlborough. If California and New Zealand “had a baby” named Sauvignon Blanc, this is what it would taste like. I think I mixed some metaphors there…
Medium straw color. Elegant aromas of grapefruit, guava, grass, yellow peach and wet stone. Medium intensity, acidity, and body. alcohol. Flavors of grapefruit, gooseberry, kiwi, peach, pear, and yellow apple. Lovely finish of tart citrus.
This wine would pair exceptionally well with ripe cheeses, chicken, fish, shellfish and vegetarian dishes. It’d be sublime with oysters on the half shell or grilled prawns.
We have reviewed some really high QPR Sauvignon Blancs in the recent past. There was this $5.99 French rendition and these two $6.99 ones from Marlborough. Add to the list this Haymaker which, at $3.99, is punching above its weight.
Marlborough, the country’s largest winemaking region, is located on the tip of New Zealand’s South Island and covers more than 64 thousand acres. Marlborough’s low seasonal rainfall, high sunlight exposure, and high diurnal temperature range provide ideal conditions for growing Sauvignon Blanc.
If you are lucky enough to find this OTC QPR at your local TJs, promise us you’ll do two things: 1. Stock up on some, trust us. 2. Let us know what you think of it. You can do that here in the comments section, or visit us on our Facebook page.
Until next time, stay healthy.
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