The 90+ Cellars NZ Sauvignon Blanc Lot 2 2018 is sourced from vines grown in the Awatere Valley of the Marlborough region on the South Island of New Zealand. 90+ Cellars are Negociantes, that means they purchase left-over or surplus wine from Wineries all over the world. This is a centuries old French tradition and it works because negociantes buy surplus wine (an excellent profit source for wineries since their costs are recouped from the original wine, selling the surplus is pure profit) and sell it under their own labels at a significant discount from the origin wine and not directly competing with the original wine. The consumer is able to purchase a successful wine from a leading producer, though the identity must remain hidden for this arraignment to work, at a bargain price. But that doesn’t mean folks are not trying to do some detective work to figure out who makes what. Sauvignon Blanc Lot 2 is 90+ Cellars best-selling wine, for good reason, it’s a great bang for the buck wine. But here is a story I heard years ago about the producer of this wine, the story goes that once the winery was done sticking their own labels on the bottles and changed the label machine to slap on 90+ labels, they forgot to switch out the corks and all the 90+ Cellars Lot 2 shipped with the original wineries name printed on the cork. Their cover was blown and the whole world now knows that this $17 Sauvignon Blanc is selling for 90+ Cellar prices. I always believed that story, until I got a bottle in my hands and saw it has a screw top, so much for the cork story. There is another Negociant company who was supposed to be selling Screaming Eagle Cab (a super exclusive and expensive Napa Red) for 1/2 the price, that bottling sold out on record time. Was the story true? Maybe, maybe not. But whatever was in the bottle was probably a really good wine at a very nice price, that is how a negociant works. The alcohol content for the Lot 2 is 12.5%.
The color is a clean, clear wheat yellow. The nose is bold and beautiful, all tropical fruit, peaches and pears, lemon, apple, grapefruit, and flowers. This is classic New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, not at all shy, with bold, but balanced flavors and lacking some of NZ Sauv Blanc excesses. It tastes of pink lemonade, a splash of pineapple, green apple, and peach. The mid-palate offers ripe, sweet peach, lemon grass and lime. The acidity is excellent, this is one of those lip smacking White wines that I am so fond of. The finish is sleek and long.
The 90+ Cellars NZ Sauvignon Blanc Lot 2 2018 is an excellent example of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc selling at a bargain price, I found it on sale for $8.99 and I suspect the original wine sells in the $15 to $17 range. This is a nice wine, good flavor, good acidity, good price. Now, if you need to know who made the wine you drink you can pay more and be sure or you can Google Awatere Valley wines and try to match the tasting notes on the 90+ Cellars website with some likely candidates. Or maybe it is better to not think too hard about it and simply enjoy a terrific glass of wine at a very nice price.