Faith restored in Kiwi wines

Villa Maria - Graham Vineyard
Villa Maria - Graham Vineyard

WINE WITH ALISTAIR GIBSON: Another Hampshire sparkler fizzing its way to top awards

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Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc may be one of the nation’s favourite whites, but I’m a little disappointed by many of the more commercial examples.

Yet my faith has been restored following a tasting of single vineyard and reserve bottlings from one of New Zealand’s best producers, Villa Maria.

I like the idea of single vineyard wines. Villa Maria Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2011, Wairau Valley (Majestic £12.49 or £9.99 if you buy 2) has pungent grapefruit and gooseberry, but not the intensity of Villa Maria ‘Taylor Pass’ Vineyard 2011, Marlborough (Tesco £14.29) which offers passion fruit, citrus and a mouth-watering finish of zesty, fresh citrus fruit.

Top tipple

Villa Maria ‘Graham Vineyard’ 2011, Marlborough

From a vineyard in the Awatere Valley, this is sauvignon blanc with limes, lemongrass and tropical fruit.

Majestic £15.99, or £12.79 if you buy 2, Ocado £12.99