New Zealand Sauvignon 2022

I am a bit of a newcomer to the wine world. I have drank New Zealand Sauvignons from Marlborough for a few years as it has been so reliable. However I was a little shocked when trying the 2022 bottles as I immediately found a not so pleasant taste. Now, wether this is sour grapes :smiley: or the dreaded sulphur, I am not sure. My partner doesn’t notice it.

Now then - is my nose and taste oversensitive ? I am one of those people who can tell that I have had aspargus to eat in the last few hours after visiting the bathroom.

Is it just me, or has anybody else noticed this poor taste in the wine ? By the way the 2021 bottles are still fine.

Any good alternatives ? I do not particularly want spectacular wines, though I might start searching. To start with, something simple, but fresh white wine without any sour/sulphur. I have drank some sparklers as these do not seem to display the taste that I describe, but want some still wines.

Thanks for listening !


I think NZ SB is one of the great wine styles, and I love it. There’s a lot of rubbish ones, but I have had a good hit rate with the society’s range.

If you like in-yer-face wines, I really rate dry whites from south west France made with Manseng etc. try Jurancon Sec. it’s quite a different flavour profile, but it is a similar full-on style.


agree that the proportion of unpleasant / disappointing / over-priced NZSBs I’ve sampled over recent years has deterred me from looking there any more, though I’m sure there remains some excellent NZSB wines out there. Gone are the days that I’d eagerly await the arrival of the latest Cloudy Bay !

Personally if I want value-driven SB I’m looking at France (Touraine or Bordeaux), South Africa (Elgin / Durbanville / Cape of Good Hope, Hemel-en-Aarde or Constantia) or Chile (Casablanca or San Antonio) One of the best SBs I’ve ever had was from Creation, at the upper end of H-e-A.

I haven’t tried this one but I would anticipate it to be delicious and more down to earth, Waitrose usually stock the underpriced SB from De Grendel.

But agree with @Rio_Jano about SW France whites, I spend half the year in the Pyrenees and local Côtes de Gascoignes particularly provide all I want in everyday white wine quaffing.


Either of the SB’s from Springfield Estate (Special Cuvee and Life from Stone, possibly available at Waitrose) should do the trick.

And this is a favourite for many here, albeit not much like a NZ SB

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This thread might be helpful

There’s so many. Surely not all 2022 SBs? Which label?

There’s increasing number of bulk shipped anonymous NZ SBs with invented names. Look for actual winery wines, such as Villa Maria (Mrs M’s favourite), Oyster Bay, Wither Hills or Spy Valley.

If you like the pungency & the gooseberry tastes of NZ SB then you can also find them in South African SB - again look for actual wineries and bottled in the Cape - easily identified because they have a Wine & Spirit Board seal on the capsule.

If that style is too pungent for you, try Chile, great QPR but Mrs M (and I) find them bland.


I’m in agreement, which NZ SB are you specifically referring to ?
You do get vintage variations based on the weather conditions during the season or at harvest time and in February, Marlborough had a particular cold patch before warming up again prior to harvest in March.
Also, you can’t taste added S02, but you can taste byproducts such as thiols/ mercaptans etc…particularly in reductive wines… You can also taste high free S02 which would give a burned match aroma/taste.
It is important to remember though that sulphur levels are tightly controlled and you find higher levels in sweet white wines than dry wines.
You are also more likely to find higher levels in a bag of dried fruit.


Does the description ‘struck match’ aroma resonate? If so it might be they have gone a bit heavy on reduction. Try decanting, or do as my friend does with burgundies: pour a glass and then give the bottle a good shake!

More on reduction here: Struck-match wines – reductio ad absurdum? |

I refer specifically to Villa Maria, though I did try a couple of other supermarket bottles - Yealand, Stoneleigh. I have tried a few bottles of Villa Maria 2022 as my partner still drinks it. It is always the same for me whereas my dwindling supply of the 2021 is always fresh.

I am not obsessed with SB. I am getting more interested in different wines and will try out things. South African as you say, Chenin Blanc maybe, and people have been recommending South West France.

Such a big world, and so little time !

Thanks for the advice. A Wine Society box arrived yesterday and so I am off to try an Exhibition Vinho Verde, guessing it may be sort of simple but hopefully fresh.

Excuse me…


A very interesting article. I am learning all the time. This could well be an explanation. I cannot say I am getting burnt matches in strength but maybe a whiff of something hinting towards that. Maybe there is little ‘reduction’ for sparkling wine, which would fit my experiences.

All I need to do is find wines that do not ‘reduce’ whatever that is.

Welcome to the community @Sylvia-85363 - Great to see you and your topic. I’ve only had one SB recently which was this one - Dog Point Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018 ( - and it was delicious. My guess is this taste will probably disappear with a bit of time, but in the meantime, you could try some older vintages, such as the Dog Point? Alternatively, how about Austrian Gruner Veltliner (eg The Society’s Grüner Veltliner 2021 ( or the Santorini Assyrtiko?


Glad to hear you found it helpful; I did myself in trying to find a good explanation for something those with more experience probably already know. The one interesting thing about reduction is that is a ‘fault’ that is potentially fixable (unlike the reverse, oxidation) by aeration (ie. exposure to oxygen) so, in theory you can experiment with the wine you have and don’t enjoy and see if doing this improves it to the point of being more along the lines of your previous experiences.

That said, I’m quite appreciative of the suggestions for alternative Sauvignon Blancs in this thread as I quite lost interest in this varietal a few years ago and have been wondering if it is the NZ style that has been to blame for this!