Villa Maria Private Bin Marlborough Sauvingon Blanc 2014, New Zealand
Sometimes really successful wine brands can become almost invisible - their sheer familiarity making them fade into the background. Whilst many big brand wines deserve their place in the shadows (often there's much better value to be found elsewhere), there are some bigger brands that turn out consistently good wines that offer a high quality to price ratio too. I'd cite Concha y Toro from Chile and Torres from Spain as two of them, but a third is undoubtedly New Zealand's Villa Maria. Still family owned, details man George Fistonich owns the company and his group of winemakers and fine vineyard sites across New Zealand really come up with the goods wine after wine and year after year. The fun thing about this brand new release of the best selling Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc is that it's also a 2014 vintage: in Europe and the rest of the northern hemisphere the grapes are still ripening on the vine, but in the southern hemisphere the harvest happened six months ago, so we can drink this excellent, crisp and crunchy Sauvignon Blanc today, whilst the 2014s in Europe are still hanging on the vine. It's classic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, with a hugely punchy character, loads of pea-shoot and tropical fruit vivaciousness on the nose, and a big fruity palate too, the notes of peach, mango and lychee swallowed up by a raft of pithy grapefruit and lemon acidity. Fine stuff and although its recommended retail price is £10.99, it's very easy to buy for between £7.40 and £8.00 in major retailers including The Co-operative, Tesco, Majestic and Waitrose. Watch the video for more information, more stockists and food matching ideas.