Drink: A citrusy New Zealand sauvignon blanc


Few drinks quench my summer thirst quite like a citrusy New Zealand sauvignon blanc.

But some can be so over the top they taste like grapefruit lightning in a glass. Here are two fine examples, though, of Kiwi sauvignon that show balance and restraint.

There may be no better bargain in the category than the $13 entry-level "regional" label Nobilo from Marlborough, a pale golden juice that has a burst of tropical fruit edged with garden greens.

For a step up to true elegance, though, I'm still partial to Cloudy Bay, the winery that really helped put New Zealand sauvignons on the global wine map.

It delivers a pretty nose full of stone fruits, guava, and lime. But it's also so much more complex, with just a hint of richness from a little barrel fermenting, tempered by stony minerality that finishes with an herby sweetness reminiscent of jasmine tea. Try it with sushi or Thai mussels.

-Craig LaBan
Nobilo Regional Collection Sauvignon Blanc, $12.99 (code 5765); Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2012, $26.99 (code 37114) in Pennsylvania.