STRONGLY RECOMMENDED: Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc, 2009. Marlborough, New Zealand. Alcohol 13%. Usually priced at $15.99-17.99, but available for as little as $12.99.

I’ve never had a bad Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region of New Zealand. However, if you want a SPECTACULAR one, then Whitehaven is an excellent go-to.

The first sip was slightly effervescent and gently exploded in my mouth with delightfully rich flavors including grapefruit. After the initial surprise, it continued to reveal its depth and citrus richness. I don’t even LIKE grapefruit, but I love this wine.

The Whitehaven is surprisingly powerful and ever-so-pleasurably drinkable on its own, with the long, dry finish one would expect from a wine that’s this full-flavored. However, even with this much character, it stands up to different (and strong in their own right) flavors such as veal marengo, or chicken piccata with capers and artichokes—yet it doesn’t dominate a delicate tiramisu.

If you’re as much of a wine geek as I am, you’ll enjoy learning more at the Whitehaven Web site: http://whitehaven.co.nz/

OTHER REVIEWS:

WINE SPECTATOR: Lemony, offering melon, peach, lemongrass and mango details that are ripe, fleshy and easily refreshing. Drink now. 74,000 cases imported.

WINE ENTHUSIAST review of the 2008 vintage: Winemaker Simon Waghorn has been able to maintain this brand’s quality even as production has ramped up to 100,000 cases, a remarkable feat. The 2008 features ripe, tropical fruit aromas of guava and pineapple that morph easily into flavors of nectarine and fig; expect some herbal notes to emerge by the time it reaches consumers. It’s plump in the mouth, yet finishes with a mouthwatering, clean, crisp finish.

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