Joelle Thomson

Wine writer and award winning wine author

What I am drinking, reading and savouring each week


Wines of the week – It’s Sauvignon but not as you know it

To say it’s been a hell of a year is an understatement for most, including those of us who remain gainfully employed, but there are silver linings as well as the dark clouds brought on by Covid-19. One of the silver linings is being able to spend more time working from home, most of that time incredibly productively spent too, and when it comes to wine, another silver lining is the high quality of vintage 2020 in New Zealand.

This year’s wines are steadily pouring out of wineries now, starting with the whites, including one this week’s top wines – the Churton Estate Sauvignon Blanc. It’s not your usual style, that’s for sure.

Here are two dry Sauvignon Blancs from our biggest wine region, Marlborough, but they both taste incredibly different to the fruity fresh style that defines most Sauvignons. One of them is from 2020 while the other is a new release of an older wine, fresh from the museum shelves at Dog Point Vineyards in Marlborough.


2019 Churton Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc $24.99

Churton Estate is a family owned winery in Marlborough dedicated 100% to certified organic and biodynamic wine production. It was established and remains owned by Sam and Mandy Weaver and their sons, Jack and Ben, in 1997.

This wine shows Sauvignon Blanc in a succulent, complex and deliciously savoury new light. It’s full body, rounded creamy flavours and high acidity are all interwoven in an extremely impressive wine,which is fully certified organic and biodynamic.


2014 Dog Point Vineyard Section 94 Marlborough $39 to $40

This is a museum release Sauvignon Blanc from Dog Point Vineyards’ Section 94; a plot named after the original Lands & Survey map. It is dry and full bodied  thanks to 100% barrel fermentation in new French oak, which adds savoury notes and depth as well as a smooth texture. It has creamy flavours to burn and a long, zesty, citrusy finish.