09 August 2014

Villa Maria Wines of New Zealand

With a name like Villa Maria, it's got to be... New Zealand?

Yes indeed... And on top of that, the winery does not have a Spanish or Italian background. It was founded by Sir George Fistonich, the son of Croatian immigrants who got tired of being a carpenter and decided to start growing wine grapes in 1961.

New Zealand is often associated with only Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, but Villa Maria has a pretty wide range including rosé and sparkling wines.

2014 Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc
Marlborough
100% Sauvignon Blanc
$15, 12.5% abv.

The wine opens up with a bold gooseberry profile with an herbal edge. On the palate it is tart with firm acidity. I enjoyed it with a nice tuna salad sandwich, where the bright citrus style made a nice contrast with the creamy food.

2013 Villa Maria Cellar Selection Sauvignon Blanc
Marlborough
100% Sauvignon Blanc
$20, 13% abv.

These two wines are an outstanding example of how different two wines can be from the same grape. The Cellar Selection is far more restrained nose with a hint of orange blossom, not the powerful grapefruit you might be expecting from New Zealand. It is more light and delicate with just enough acidity to achieve proper balance. Highly recommended for serving with good scallops and a simple summer salad.

Note: These wines were provided as samples for review.

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