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2021 Wairau River Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough

2021 Wairau River Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough

We’ve been enjoying the last string of New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs we’ve bought at Costco. For a time I thought they were just too acidic and obvious, but lately I’m finding them a bit more interesting.

We recently reviewed the Nautilus ($14, 88 points) and the Whitehaven (also $14, 89 points) that we found at Costco and they might be among the better ones we’ve tasted from New Zealand.

Here’s another one to add to that list, and it comes in at only $11.59 at Costco making a great value buy. The last vintage received 90 points from Wine Spectator as you can see from the notes on the Costco placard below.

Wairau River

In the glass the wine pours a pale yellow gold; grassy tropical fruit on the nose; good acidity as you would expect but not overbearing. This is a really nice presentation of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

Flavors of green apple, pineapple and peach; tangy, crisp and juicy. I’m a fan, and those are thoughts during the wintertime. I can only imagine how thirst quenching this wine would be in the sun, on a beach.

Wairau River

For fans of New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs, this might be one of the best offerings for the money at Costco that we’ve tasted. For fans of other white wines who don’t always enjoy New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs for one reason or another, this one is a little different and might be worth a try. Rating: 88 points

Costco item number: 295008

Purchased at Costco in: Kennesaw, GA

Alc. 12.0%


Wednesday 2nd of February 2022

Always interesting to read your write ups on New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs. At one time I was part of a team that introduced Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc to the United States. At that time people actually loved it or hated it. In the end we know which side won the battle.

I was wondering if you had an opinion on how these various brands of wines compared to the big dog in the room otherwise known as Kim Crawford. I’d be interested on your take about this matchup.

J Cooper

Thursday 21st of April 2022

@Frank, I personally fell in love with Wairuau at the first sip. Unfortunately my local Costco have not continued to carry it so I now buy it elsewhere. I prefer the flavors of it over that of Kim Crawford.

Tim sweet

Saturday 5th of February 2022

@Editor, have to agree on the Craggy Range. We’ve tried them all and this one stands out especially for the mineralogy which is exceptional.


Thursday 3rd of February 2022

Hi Frank, thanks for the note. The NZ SBs are always interesting as you mention. For me, they are also largely situational. On a super hot day, at the beach or pool, they all taste amazing. Comparing them gets a little challenging too. I haven't tasted Kim Crawford in a while, but historically I have been a fan. I thought this Wairau River SB really fired on all cylinders though and I'd put it towards the top of my favorites list, probably a slight edge above. I also really enjoyed this one a while back from Costco:

Bill Blackmore aka G. Cienfuegos

Wednesday 2nd of February 2022

I go to Costco in Coralville Iowa and have never seen any of the Sauv Blancs you mention. I am OK with the Kirkland Ti Pointe, but that is compared to Yellow Tail that comes from the grocery store. My current fav is Tuatea from TJ's, $6.99 and very tasty.

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