DISCLAIMER: Wine-Blog is a journal of my PR wine activities and learnings. 1) I occasionally write stories about wine clients, but don’t charge them hours for that time. 2) Wine reviews (and trips) originate from free samples sent by PR people representing the brands. 3) Images are mostly mine, some are purchased; a few rare ones are part of fair trade usage.

I have to thank a former client Mills Reef , for originally taking me (virtually) to Hawks Bay, New Zealand all those years ago, and discovering this fact, while working for them. I had this epiphany that New Zealand is an upside down boot. I was the first to mention it to them. (I guess I live in a very different mind.) But, then, over the years I’ve modified it. It’s an upside down shoe boot with a leg warmer. And, yes, they’re making great wines, despite my having fun of their unique shape.

San Francisco Wine Exchange had winemaker Tim Preston coming to the US, and I was the person who set up Tim in one American city after the other, during his stay with media lunches and dinners. Tim was a hit. How could he not be? He’s about the loveliest person on the planet, and he makes solidly structure wines. Find a Mills Reef and buy it. You won’t be disappointed, is all I can say, as validated by so many wine writers around the US at the time.

The New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs and Pinot Noirs are very distinctively, terroir driven, and  delicious. I had the of pleasure working with the Preston Family of Mills Reef Winery, when they had their US media blitz. They had launched into US distribution, and wanted that buzz.

So, here we are with Locations Wines, and the one they call NZ. It’s a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, a famous region for their Sauvignon Blancs. This Sauvignon Blanc is 100 percent SB; from a blend of three regions…

  1. Marlborough’s Wairau Valley
  2. Awatere Valley
  3. Waihopai Valley

Last April, I was offered the opportunity to taste Dave Phinney’s Locations Wines, which are non-vintage wines from Portugal, Italy, France, New Zealand, etc.. The fact they are non-vintage has opened the door to not only great opportunities, but also for wines that are tasty, under $20 (Hello!), and have ingenious packages; albeit the same consistent design. Only the name changes to protect the innocent. Each wine is crafted to represent as much of the essence of its country or place as possible; yet, they are non-appellation, non-variety, and non-vintage. They ARE very tasty, I can tell you that…

  • If the wine is from Portugal, the label simply has a really big “P” on it.
  • If the wine is from Italy, the label simply has a really big “I” on it.
  • If the wine is from France, the label simply has a really big “F” on it.
  • If the wine is from New Zealand, the label simply has a really big “NF” on it.

Today’s wine is brought to you by Locations NZ, and it’s a temptingly delicious Sauvignon Blanc. Of my five claw rating, it’s three claws, which means that it is in the perfect Sauvignon Blanc department. See below for the Sauvignon Blanc Claw Factor. Enjoying a wine this good, for $19.99? It’s a really good deal. Getting ready for the holidays… Cheese course and this Sauvignon Blanc, if you like Sauvignon Blancs, you’ll love this one.

About Locations Wine Brand

The base of the blend is comprised of fruit from vineyards in the heart of the Wairau Valley, with its traditional passion fruit and crisp grassy flavors. This component is complemented by the second wave of plantings in the ever-expanding Awatere Valley, which is noted for the minerality and elegant characteristics the fruit gains from the region’s proximity to the Pacific Ocean. For the balance of this wine, fruit was sought out from the southern valley of Waihopai, where the gravel soils, and later, cooler ripening climate produce Sauvignon Blanc characteristics that provide the final layer of complexity and brings balance to the inaugural release of NZ.

Sauvignon Blanc Claw Factor

One Claw = Commodity SB

“Did I order water, Ms. Sommelier? What is this?”

Two Claws = Commodity kitty, headed toward being a well balanced cat, but not quite there, yet.

“This has hints of being a Sauvignon Blanc. I can live with it, but it’s not all that la-te-da…”

Three Claws = Perfect SB

“Ah, I’m back working at Robert Mondavi Winery, and having a SB from the Tokalon ‘old vines’ block. Yes!”

Four Claws = Just off-perfect, and headed toward the litter box

“This is like a day old litter box. I can take it, but I wish I didn’t have to. Make a note to self, ’empty that thing every day.'”

Five Claws = It’s over the top with capsicum like 2-methoxy-3-isobutylpyrazine

“Call in the paramedics, I can’t breathe.”

Yes, this is a well balanced and tasty wine to enjoy.