This is a Sauvignon Blanc that should appeal to just about anyone who enjoys the variety, whether they prefer the mineral-driven style of France’s Loire Valley, the more generous wines of California, or the racy, high-acid Sauvignons of New Zealand or Chile.
Indeed, I think of Giesen’s 2019 Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand’s Marlborough region as a hybrid of all those styles. It’s notable for its balance and complexity — and a $12 price tag that makes it a top Sauvignon value for summer drinking and beyond.
Giesen is a family-owned winery run by brothers Theo, Alex, and Marcel Giesen. Their roots are in Germany, from which they emigrated in the early 1980s to start their New Zealand wine venture. At the time, Marlborough, now world famous for its Sauvignon Blanc, was barely on the wine map.
Giesen has since grown into a New Zealand wine powerhouse, and its 2019 Sauvignon Blanc speaks to that success. While many New Zealand Sauvignons are rather one-dimensional affairs (you know, gooseberry and cut grass), Giesen’s wine, while unmistakably from New Zealand, offers more dimension than many.
Light on the grassiness, it shows stone fruit, orange, and tropical fruit notes punctuated by mineral and herb touches and a little cream on the finish — all supported by refreshing and balanced acidity that makes it easy to drink. While there’s a temptation to serve wines like this ice cold, the complexity reveals itself as the wine warms up a bit.
Food pairings include all kinds of possibilities: Fish and shellfish, salads, soft goat cheeses, and vegetable dishes are a few. With its great price, wide availability, and winning flavor profile, Giesen’s 2019 Sauvignon Blanc is hard to beat for everyday drinking.
Published: July 9, 2020