Having been slightly disappointed with Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc Private Bin in recent years, I approached this new 2023 vintage with hope.
Upon tasting, the first thing you notice is its robust passion fruit aroma, a hallmark of classic New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, which remains pronounced even at refrigeration temperature. The palate is greeted with a harmonious blend of tropical fruits, citrus and a distinct note of passion fruit. Unlike some of its contemporaries, this wine doesn’t overwhelm with complexity. Instead, it offers a clear, focused taste experience. The 2023 vintage has pleasantly surprised me, rekindling the essence of what made Villa Maria my go-to Sauvignon Blanc a decade and a half ago.
The grape production of the 2023 vintage was notably influenced by the warm weather during the flower initiation stages in late 2021, followed by a warm growing season in 2022/23, accompanied by regular rainfall. This combination of climatic conditions has yielded grapes with high bunch and berry numbers and a well-developed flavour profile.
Priced at an RRP of £13.90, it’s currently available at a more competitive price due to market dynamics. It’s widely available across major UK retailers including Asda, Majestic, Morrisons, Tesco, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s. My recommendation is to specifically seek out the 2023 vintage.
New Zealand is taking efforts to combat the challenges posed by climate change. Villa Maria are celebrating 50 years of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. The original grapevines, planted in August 1973, led to Marlborough’s ascension as New Zealand’s premier wine-producing region. The Sauvignon Blanc Grapevine Improvement Programme, or Sauvignon Blanc 2.0, aims to develop 12,000 variants of the vine to increase resilience to extreme weather, diseases and frost while reducing water reliance.