Sauv Blanc and Pinot Noir from Stoneleigh Winery in Marlborough, NZ

Steve and I have been dying to visit New Zealand wine country. We love the wine from New Zealand and we have seen beautiful photos from the region. A visit to New Zealand is definitely on our bucket list.

As part of our education, we thought it would be fun to try Stoneleigh Winery’s Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. (Full Disclosure: The winery sent us the bottles to taste.)

Stoneleigh Vineyard sign

Stoneleigh Winery is located in Marlborough, New Zealand in the “Golden Mile” of vineyards in the Rapaura area in the Wairau Valley. Interestingly enough, there is a Wairau River that runs nearby and the winery is near the Richmond Ranges.

We love the fact that the Stoneleigh Winery has stones throughout its vineyard from an ancient riverbed; they call them sunstones. It is believed that the sun reflects from the stones onto the vines helping to ripen the grapes and enhance flavor.

Now on to the wine!

Full bottle sauv blanc

Sauvignon Blanc

Jane Says

I have a love/hate relationship with Sauvignon Blanc. I usually love a nice Sancerre (which is the French Sauv Blanc) but I often find Sauv Blancs to be too grapefruity and in-your-face with twang for me. But Stoneleigh Winery’s Sauv Blanc is lovely. It has just a hint of grapefruit, even though it’s nose is very strong – something I found enticing in this wine. I thought of cardamom spice but then I went to my spice rack to confirm, I realized I didn’t have any cardamom. It’s very limey and has notes of melon. Overall, I really enjoyed it.

4 out of 5 stars

Steve Says

I usually really enjoy the bracing acid and big grapefruity character of most Sauv Blancs so I was curious to see or rather taste what take Stoneleigh had on the New Zealand classic varietal. Instantly I was blown away by the impact of the nose; sweet guava and passion fruit dominated the second I gave it a good sniff. I was pleasantly surprised to find no trace whatsoever of the unfortunately ubiquitous “cat pee” nose found on many SB’s. On the palate it is surprising as well, it shows well-balanced acid while at the same time a smooth and round mouthfeel. I will certainly be interested to find who is distributing this bottle in the Los Angeles area.

4 out of 5 stars

Full bottle pinot

Pinot Noir

Jane Says

This Pinot Noir is very interesting. It too has a rich nose. It’s light on the palate but definitely has depth. It’s earthy, with a hint of barnyard, and there’s oak too. I think it would pair well with meats like duck or lamb. We enjoyed both the Sauv Blanc and the Pinot Noir with Indian and both fared well with it. I usually lean toward fuller bodied reds but I did enjoy this Pinot Noir. Lastly, it’s an affordable Pinot. Good Pinots can be well north of $50 per bottle so at $25.95, it’s definitely a bottle worth trying.

3 out of 5 stars

Steve Says

As you might expect, the Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir couldn’t be more different. The Pinot shows a much more demure nose, I found the most subtle, almost undetectable hint of smoke with very pulled back fruit. In terms of body it is quite light, even for a Pinot Noir. That shouldn’t be surprising given the price point on this bottle. I can’t really find any glaring fault with the Pinot, but I will say that it isn’t terribly expressive and is lacking in the personality department. Personally, I would rather spend a bit more money in pursuit of a more complex bottle.

2.75 out of 5 stars

Just the Facts M’am

Sauvignon Blanc

2013 Sauvignon Blanc

Stoneleigh Vineyards, Marlborough, NZ on Golden Mile

13.5%

$21.95

Pinot Noir

2012 Pinot Noir

Stoneleigh Vineyards, Marlborough, NZ on Golden Mile

13.5%

$25.95

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