EP 930 US vs. NZ Sauvignon Blanc

Gary Vaynerchuk starts a few head to head blind tastings, trying US wines versus international competitors. He tastes two Sauvignon Blancs and gives his unbiased thoughts!

Wines tasted in this episode:

2008 Mt Difficulty Sauvignon Blanc OtagoNew Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
2008 Matanzas Creek Sauvignon BlancSonoma Sauvignon Blanc

Latest Comment:

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luca bercelli


line of the day – ‘I literally feel like a lawnmower went up my nose and is doing my nosehair’

Both of the wines looked like water, and according to GV, one of them tasted like it too. Sauvignon Blanc is the only variety I can’t drink anymore…think I had too much of it at one stage.

Tags: review, sauvignon blanc, Video, white, wine, wines

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  • Anonymous

    QOTD: Diggin’ SB, especially over the summer. I was mainly drinking NZ SB, but I have purchased many Sancerre bottles as well (I think they are on a truck right now). I think picking a NZ SB from Central Otago is a little unfair (akin to picking Frnech Chardonnay from the Rhone). Marlborough and Martinborough are more classic places for NZ SB. I digress … overall I really enjoy SB, especially for value. However, I agree that some examples have crept up in price. Try the Spy Valley SB from NZ. I think it’s about $13 and is very classic – great with oysters!

  • Anonymous

    For me SB’s dont bring it they are way to light for me like water w/ hints of fruit and grassy flavors. My wife does like them so we will have some on summer nights but other wise the SB’s are not really my thing.

  • jjt

    Given the high production and low price point it’s not surprising to see a lot of variation NZ SB quality, though I do agree with others at least right now Marlborough has it all over Otago – though the later is starting to bring it in Pinot Noir (Peregrine, for example)…

  • Dave

    No idea when Lars last appeared. But I KNOW I will be TRULY disappointed if he does not come back.

    WLTV is a phenomenal production. You take a big leap forward with this sort of enhancement…

  • I just saw the Frank Millet Sancerre at K&L and wondered if it was any good . Thanks for the tip!

  • Don Simpson

    QOTD: Sancerre is amazing. Definitely going to be one of the varietals at my wedding in June. Outside of the Loire Valley, I’m not too happy with the state of the union for Sauvignon Blanc either.

  • I think it is the volume of people jumping on “what is hot” and not having the talent and inclination to make it great. Plus as you increase volume, the great juice gets watered down with the average stuff. It can still be enjoyable on a hot day, but I agree that I would pick a sancerre over almost any of the new world and at a price point that is lower. The one California SB that has always stayed consistently great and a tremendous value is Dry Creek Vineyard’s Fume Blanc.

    Congrats on your Jets, they are backing up the hype.

  • Gogol27

    I think the vast majority of NZ and US S.B. is uninspiring and somewhat vapid. In the hands of the right producer and with the right plot of land, there are some rich and complex exceptions, I’m thinking Mondavi To Kalon Vineyard. I feel the best representation of S.B. is as a blend, with a partner like Semillion, giving the body and weight it lacks. A Bordeaux Blanc or a wine from Graves like Chateau Carbonnieux is were S.B. shines. Citrusy freshness meets elegance and minerality.

  • Anonymous

    I’m kinda glad that a run-of-the-mill NZ SB got trumped by a solid CA SB producer here. Not all NZ SB are created equal, and not al SB are great simply because they are from NZ.
    Also, I think the football predictions and commentary peppered in were well balanced and added interesting flare to the show (as always) and did NOT detract from core wine content.
    QOTD: SO I have been in the same not-so-over-the-moon-about-Sancerre camp lately with Sauvignon Blanc, and although this region is still the pinnacle of the expression of this varietal in the world, it is clearly not the best region for value. I defer to Pouilly Fume for Loire purists that would like to spend a few less bones per bottle, but primarily I am still a HUGE fan of Leyda, Casablanca, and Limari valleys in Chile for great value Sauvignon Blanc with distinct varietal character paired with richness of flavor and mineral undertones. The Chilean coastal wine regions are officially (in my book) the home of the best bang-for-buck SB in the world. Period.

  • great taste dear.keep sharing……..

  • Anonymous

    Meh, there’s a lot more to a wine than the grape it’s made of. There are a lot different clones of the same varietal used in different regions, which already is a huge factor, and of course there are different terroirs. I guess it’s convenient to talk about them all as the same varietal but to me there’s not that much in common between a typical NZ SB and a Sancerre. Kinda like the relationship between a Chianti Classico and an Australian Sangiovese.

  • Damien Jackman

    Sauvignon Blanc has never been my favourite variety, but like any variety, when it is truly well made it can be lovely.

    J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets!

  • RonDarling

    Sauv Blanc for me is summertime and friend has invited over for a cheap dinner. BBQ, homeaid pizza, burgers etc. And I have found that I like S Africa for the price. Not my favorite varietal either.

  • Anonymous

    GV – Good show, interesting match-up! Love brown baggin’ it, keep em’ coming! The Jets won, so congrats, but I am pissed cause I needed either Braylong to score a TD or Peterson to get a touchdown! Ruined my fantasy week!

    QOTD: The SB ship has sailed! It has been going throughou what Malbec is going through, but at a higher price per bottle! Very average wine, they people will pay $20 – $30 for that is consistantly disappointing. Not to mention I think people are over the abrupt New Zealand distinction! However, with all the bad there is some good and I think Merry Edwards is rockin’ the park vintage after vintage! OUT!

  • Anonymous

    Lars is a hoot! Too bad he was wrong about the Vikings Mon. night. I think Favre had too many distractions going into that game.

    We don’t drink many SBs, but when we do it is Kim Crawford or White Haven.

  • QOTD – There is definitely a trend that I have been seeing with the increasing number of high-end sauv blanc. However, there are still some great producers in Cali like Brander, Mason, Chateau St. Jean, Benziger, Robert Mondavi, Walter Hansel, and Groth that are $15 or under. These are all worth checking out in my opinion.

  • Robdevaney

    I’ve actually had enough disappointing expierences with SB lately out of New Zealand i’ve stopped giving the region a chance. Really liked Honig SB. Gonna try the room temp deal and see what that does to the flavors.

  • RAIDERS! That dude deserves a raise!

  • QOTD – I have also had a few disappointing US and NZ sauvignon blancs lately, but loved some really inexpensive version from the Loire. Overall I think tastes are just trending, as they often do, towards GV and riesling, or exploring torrontes, albarino, etc. It may simply be a case of fad that has gone out.

  • Anonymous

    QOTD – It’s the one popular varietal I never order.. mainly as I had too many NZ ones when I first got into wine and it’s a style I’m not a fan of any more. I find Sancerre generally overpriced too.

  • Anonymous

    QOTD: At our store, Sauvignon Blanc is definitely the least popular of the primary white varietals…I love a good NZ Sauv. Blanc with some trout, or sea bass, but otherwise I prefer Pinot Gris from Oregon, or Alsace, and there’s a great Torrontes from Famiglia Bianchi in Argentina that we’re selling well.

  • Anonymous

    hey im a Forum guy [not old school but ] Loyal new guy! and I comment regularly pfft

    qotd: Had a SB from Marl. that I thought was a awesome Muscadet

  • Back to your best! Very entertaining show!

    QOTD: I think price is coming down and so is the quality… but boy I still dont mind a cool class of a good bottle in summer!

  • QOTD: Touraine, Touraine, Touraine AoC. Everyone thinks of Sancerre when they think of the Loire, and the geekier ones will recognize Pouilly-Fume. Touraines are generally a tiny bit less complex and drink younger than the more famous upper-Loire regions, but generally good, clean wines at affordable prices. They’re my go-to, everyday Sauv Blanc. NZ Sauvignon got clobbered by the hype cycle, but Touraine is under the radar and continues to produce good QPR wines.

  • I’ve kind of given up on SB lately. I think there are a lot of really weak wines of this varietal on the market. There is a very popular NZ SB seen often on restaurant wine lists that I’ll never purchase or order again! Why not just pour a glass of grapefruit juice! It’s just completely over the top and very fakey fake. More often I’ve had watery, lemon water SBs. Frankly, I was disappointed by the few French SBs I’ve tried. Maybe I’ve been unlucky, but I just don’t bother anymore. I did have one nice NZ SB about a year ago, but I couldn’t find it locally… I think there are a lot of nice light whites available that are more predictable in style than the SBs. Torrontes (fruitier, I know), Pinot Gris, Vinho Verde, Albarino. These wines are all refreshing and bring more to the table than many SBs. I’d still pick up a bottle fro the right dish. Maybe some very light, simply prepared seafood… But I’ve got about 45 bottles sitting around now, waiting to be enjoyed, and not a single SB among them.

  • bmauler

    QOTD: prices seem to down, and I am finding less and less difference between the upper and lower price points.

  • Enjoyed the show – sorry for the long absence, work travel is killing me. Except for the access to new wine areas which has been great.

    QTOD – SB is killing me. NZ almost is beginning to be a parody of itself. So I am actively avoiding it in favour of other regions where there seems to be a more sincere effort. I am an Adelaide boy and so have started to investigate some Adelaide Hills efforts and am finding it hit or miss – but at least there seems to be a greater variation in them and some more complex flavours and structures.

    I have been pleasantly surprised with some Chardonnays that I have been having (usually when there is no good SB available) and I think it could be coming back a little. SB has had its day?

  • I have read many comments about the state of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and the great disappointment they’ve become, but NZ is making some great boutique Sauvignons. Try the smaller producers with real provenance and integrity.
    Sauvignon Blanc from wineries such as Seresin, Te Whare Ra, Rippon, Ash Ridge, Craggy Range Te Muna, etc are all worth seeking out.
    Forget the more industrial homogenous wines, the likes of Monkey bay, Nobilo, and Montana!
    Then you’ll see that NZ continues to make quality Sauvignon Blanc!

  • Anonymous

    QOTD: It’s the same as any varietal, there is a wide range of quality. There is a heck of a lot of wine in the world. I like Matua from New Zealand. I liked the Seresin and Framingham from New Zealand. Of course I like Sauv Blancs from all over the world in moderation.

  • Anonymous

    Nice job by Lars… like the brown bags!

    QOTD – Price going up, I’m getting tired of them… enough…

  • Troytee

    Great episode. Seems you are enjoying doing the show again.
    QOTD: NZ is a good everyday drinker if you like that style. CA is a HUGE disappointment. Feels like the effort to reign in some of the Grapefruit, grass, etc the wine is getting “watery”
    Lately I enjoyed Man O’ War from Waiheke Island NZ

  • Anonymous

    QOTD: I’m pretty bored with Sav Blanc these days. My introduction to wine came at a time when my brother was drinking a ton of Cloudy Bay, then I started to try a lot of Sancerre. But now there are so many more interesting and dynamic whites for under $20 that I rarely buy a bottle. I will order a glass of NZ Sav Blanc at a restaurant if my other options are Cali whites.

  • Anonymous

    Love Lars (and big Ole!) lmao
    Also love the ADD- or maybe I’m just used to it as #1 son is ADD…. 😉

  • Anonymous

    QOTD: I agree, lately it seems SB=meh.

  • Anonymous

    Lars rules! What’s up with Mott not remembering that you said 24-13 Jets? C’mon Mott! Who has ADD now?

    QOTD: I’m not a big Sauvignon Blanc fan. I like a lot of Sancerres and some New Zealand SBs from Marlborough (I think Otago is much better at Pinot than SB), but other than that, I’m just not a big fan. To me, an SB is good with shellfish, but then I’d rather have a Riesling or Gewurtz.

  • Anonymous

    Have been a huge fan of Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region of New Zealand. I think it because it was one the first wines I tried and could actually agree with the tasting notes.

    As far as an everyday, sitting in the backyard, sipping, it does not get much better than than.

    The only California Sauvignon Blanc I have found that I like is Hanna.

    Oh, Lars does rule.

  • Scott

    Interesting. I was drinking a 2001 Everet Ridge Sauvignon Blanc (Mendacino – Calif) while watching this show. What I got was a lot of Pineapple with some green apple tossed in. Nice, tart but not sour. I’m more of a red wine guy but thought I would go with the show, and I had some in the cellar.

  • Love the Lars appearance!!!!

    QOTD: I am not sure about SB. Bought a 3 pack at a local store earlier this representing 3 different countries but the same producer, and didnt like any of them. THe last SB I had I remember really liking was the one you had mentioned in your wine book.

    Maybe because of its recent popularity, too many bandwagoning producers have been trying to get it out there and not making quality wines????


  • Funny the NZ SB was from up a mountain?! imagine this in France – ok France produces Sanncre – lets look at an Alsation dog to judge French SB… just silly. NZ is about the length of California, and I’m confident that Napa vally producers don’t lose sleep over the crap that comes out of Santa Monica. Ditto (for whites) Malbourogh and Central.

  • luca bercelli


    line of the day – ‘I literally feel like a lawnmower went up my nose and is doing my nosehair’

    Both of the wines looked like water, and according to GV, one of them tasted like it too. Sauvignon Blanc is the only variety I can’t drink anymore…think I had too much of it at one stage.


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