Joelle Thomson

Wine writer and award winning wine author

What I am drinking, reading and savouring each week


First off the bottling line… new 2020 Sauvignon Blancs

The 2020 vintage may have been one of the most challenging in the history of the modern New Zealand wine industry, but the quality of these two fresh new whites shows that it will also go down as one of the best.

These two mid week white wines are very different styles from two vastly different regions, which share the same vintage freshness, concentration and zesty characters.

2020 Nga Waka Sauvignon Blanc Martinborough $19-$21, 18.5/20
Winemaker Roger Parkinson, brix at harvest 21.3, 12.5% ABV, RS less than 1g/l, ph 3.1

Nga Waka Sauvignon Blanc is a small Martinborough winery whose winemaker Roger Parkinson produces this Sauvignon Blanc from grapes grown on the Pirinoa Block in the township. It’s fermented to dryness in stainless steel at cool temperatures to preserve freshness and zingy characteristics. It has bright  noticeable acidity and a flinty dry flavour profile.

2020 Seifried Sauvignon Blanc Nelson $19.99, 18.5/20
This is a dry, refreshing new release from the 2020 vintage. It’s pale in colour with pronounced vibrant tropical fruit aromas of passionfruit, white peach and grapefruit all intermingling in a lush, delicious dry Sauvignon from the northernmost tip of the South Island.
Seifried Estate is one of Nelson’s oldest wineries and now run by the second generation of winemakers, namely, the children of founders Hermann and  Agnes Seifried. The family specialise in aromatic white wines as well as a range of reds, including cool climate red grapes from Austria, such as Zweigelt, which is made in small quantities.