Villa Maria perform in a tough vintage

The Villa Maria winery. (Photo: Villa Maria)

When the going gets tough … 2018 was a challenging vintage for Marlborough’s sauvignon blanc producers. Heavy rain mid-harvest divided those who picked before the rain from others who picked after the weather event. It also rewarded growers who had opted to carry a lighter crop.

Villa Maria, unsurprisingly, was a high performer particularly with their top end Reserve and Single Vineyard labels.

Villa Maria, unsurprisingly, was a high performer particularly with their top end Reserve and Single Vineyard labels, which I assume accounted for a fairly small percentage of their total sauvignon blanc production.

The 2018 Villa Maria Reserve Clifford Bay Sauvignon Blanc has typical Awatere Valley nettle and oyster shell characters together with some riper tropical fruit flavours. It’s a weighty, textural sauvignon blanc that stood out in a line-up of 2018 wines. (NZD $27.99)

Villa Maria’s 2018 Reserve Wairau Valley Sauvignon Blanc is softer and broader than it’s sister label from Clifford Bay thanks to fruitier, mellower acidity, which builds an attractive tension in the wine. I liked its floral, citrus and tropical fruit flavours. (NZD $27.99)

Finally, the 2018 Villa Maria Single Vineyard Taylor’s Pass Sauvignon Blanc is a moderately complex example of a variety that is sometimes criticised for being fairly simple, thanks in part to an appealing struck flint reductive character which adds extra interest to passionfruit, capsicum and citrus flavours. (NZD $29.99)

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