Wine Review: Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand)
My review of the perfect summer wine, a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.
Most good wines include a story. I’m about to tell you one.
I’ve been a daily wine drinker for 20 years. But until about five years ago, I was never an enthusiast of Sauvignon Blancs. I viewed them as too acidy. Also, reflecting my unfair bias against Australian wines (sorry), I grouped New Zealand in the category of wines that were okay to drink occasionally, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to seek them out.
So around 2015, we took a wine class and misread the dates. Turned out, the class was on Sauvignon Blancs. Two hours and a dozen wines, mostly New Zealand, with some California, Oregon, and Washington State vineyards. Oh well, we were there and had prepaid — so we stayed, not expecting much.
Well, what an education the class turned out to be, and what an experience!
Proving that stubborn old dogs can be taught new tricks, I learned to appreciate the Sauvignon Blancs that were offered and recognized they were far more complex (and distinct among themselves) than I’d realized. Instantly, I became a fan of the New Zealand wines and came to find out that about 90 percent of the Kiwi-produced wines are mostly tart Sauvignon Blancs.
This grape varietal really hit the spot with me because in Las Vegas, known for hot weather, a cool crisp white is the perfect afternoon palate cleanser. Like a schoolgirl with a mad new crush, immediately after the wine class, I rushed out and bought two cases from NZ — one was Kim Crawford (which is outstanding) and the other was Oyster Bay, equally good, year-round.
Oyster Bay is produced in the Marlborough region, known for wines that are “elegant and assertive with glorious fruit flavors….with brilliant clarity, extraordinary aromatic taste, and refreshing zest.”
Best of all, Oyster Bay can be found almost anywhere, from grocery stores to casino gift shops. It’s one of the most popular Sauvignon Blancs in the world and is a best-seller by virtue of its pleasing nature and consistency. Is this a wine to “wow” your friends or make a powerful impression? Nope. Is Oyster Bay a wine to drink and enjoy regularly? Absolutely!
Grade (100 point scale): 92
Value: (10 point scale): 7
Recommended: Yes (especially during warmer weather)