Kaikoura Estates 2012 Sauvignon Blanc

Marlborough, New Zealand; 13% ABV; screw cap
$3 at the Oakland, CA, store on 16 March.

KaikouraEstates_2012_SauvBlancThis wine has a lovely nose of white flowers, yellow grapefruit, gooseberry, and grass / raw asparagus.  On the palate, there was plenty more of the same plus juice and pith of moderately ripe yellow grapefruit, lemon, and green lime, a little chalky minerality, and crisp acid.  While not the most amazing wine, if you like this style, it is outstanding for the price.

The next day, the rest of the wine is more juicy, less structured and complex, but still pretty good.

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68 thoughts on “Kaikoura Estates 2012 Sauvignon Blanc

  1. G.L. Pease

    I only bought four bottles of this one, and wish I’d cleared the shelf. (Richmond had eight or so.) Sale price or no, this is a pretty nice drinking SB for $3. That WW gave it a 93 surprises me a little, but it’s got pretty good typicity, is representative of NZ SB (and probably a few other acronyms as well), is refreshing and easy to drink. For $3 a jar, I could see easily going through a couple cases during the summer months, but, alas…

    Reply
    1. Darrell

      G.L., if you travel, you should be able to pick this up in many GO’s though not on the sale. Even my local GO, Novato, had it. Since I happened to be in Reno recently, I picked up some there. Your and other opinions about this wine may have assuaged my wife to my stocking up on the wine since I will drinking it by my lonesome. Now to look for a SB to suit her taste at the same price.

      Reply
      1. inthewinecountry

        Darrell,
        don’t know if your going to appease your wife with a wine in this price range, but my wife is the same and I think I mentioned she preferred the Vintage Ranch SB and my wife also didn’t turn up her nose at the Cervantes SB a second label made by Chappellet winery in Napa but that one is pretty limited. I just grabbed the last two bottles on the shelf at the GO in Rohnert Park Sat.

        Reply
  2. permiesworld

    The Lebanon, OR store had this today. I almost picked it up but I couldn’t remember if it was one I wanted to try or not and didn’t have enough cell phone bars in the store to check.

    Reply
    1. inthewinecountry

      permies, if its not too far of a drive to go back, I would get some. Not bad especially for the price even if its a dollar more up there. Even TJ’s where you can get a nice balanced NZ SB where are you going to find one under 7.00?

      Reply
      1. permiesworld

        I found this today in Corvallis. Picked up a bottle based on everyone’s recommendation! They have a few bottles left. I didn’t buy more than one because I rarely do non-sparkling whites but…it was too tempting to pass up.

        Reply
        1. inthewinecountry

          we value your input let us know what you think. Of course like all wines it has to be a style you like.So maybe let us know what your husband thinks if his tastes are different!

          Reply
            1. permiesworld

              They said that it was a bit more vegetal (one said grassy, another said bell pepper) than their preference but refreshing. None of them are familiar with NZ SB’s though. So it may be that berry that Lim often mentions (that I’ve forgotten) that sometimes tastes vegetal.

  3. seedboy

    Oakland has completely sold out of the Kaikoura.

    The Berkeley store wine section is only re-stocked sporadically.

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Quite a bit of that 1.5 cases went while I was there just now, partly on my recommendation. I got a bottle for my wife so she doesn’t get into my to-review stash while I’m not drinking. 🙂

      Also, Eric, there was a very nice-looking Carmenere that I didn’t get in part because Roberto said you didn’t like it so much. Is that so?

      Reply
      1. EricfromRichmond

        No, I thought it was pretty good, particularly given that it was going for $3 (2.40 during the sale). It’s a 2006, and though it didn’t seem too old, I’m trying to buy only wines that I think are really good or have a little flexibility (will last 2-3 years). I currently have quite a few bottles that I should be getting to soon and I’m only a bottle or two per week type of drinker. 🙂

        Reply
        1. BargainWhine Post author

          Darn it! Well, it looked like there was plenty there. Maybe some will still be there whenever I return.

          Reply
        2. seedboy

          I bought that Carmenere (actually a blend with Syrah) because it was cheap, even though I generally shun Chilean reds. Nice wine, actually, especially for $2.39 a bottle.

          Reply
          1. BargainWhine Post author

            Hi Seedboy. That Carmenere / Syrah blend (of which I did get a bottle), although also a 2006 for $3, is a different wine than I mean here. I (and I hope Eric, too) was referring to a Carmenere-only wine from a different producer.

            While there, I stocked up on that hard-to-dispense olive oil, in the expectation that I’ll be able to get it out using your advice. 🙂

            Reply
            1. EricfromRichmond

              Shoot, I think I linked to just a plain old Reserve Syrah. Sorry again (don’t trust anything I say)

        1. BargainWhine Post author

          Hi Foodmaven and welcome! Besides the Echeverria Syrah /.Carmenere blend, I recall seeing two other Carmeneres: a 2011 Echeverria and a 2006 Anakena. Do you mean either of these?

          Reply
  4. inthewinecountry

    Found this at the Rohnert Park GO Friday and was only 1-1/2 cases on the shelf so I bought a case based on everyone’s comments as I figured it was a good enough price and didn’t want to miss out waiting for the sale. First glass was predominately a taste of Grapefruit almost overwhelming so, Good acid but not the crispness I expected from a NZ SB. Upon reading the label’s description I saw they agreed with me about the “soft mouth feel”. The next day the 1/2 bottle I saved was better, the Grapefruit citrus was not so predominate but the Lemongrass flavor I was looking for wasn’t there to the extent I expected for a NZ SB. Overall a good wine for the price. I will keep buying and drinking while its still available as its an enjoyable wine. But not something I would keep long term.

    Reply
    1. Delmartian1

      I picked up a bottle of this to try last Saturday and for the price its a winner. I held off commenting just in case the few cases in Oceanside got scooped up prior to this week’s sale and glad I did. It was gone by the time I got there yesterday but luckily I got a case in the San Marcos store. The wine reminds me of the Fernz NZSB that GO had about a year ago. Great value.

      Reply
      1. Darrell

        Del, I guess you might have a readership following in SD county, you sneaky devil you. Glad you got more in San Marcos which must be a nice store given the area. I was told stores have to take a minimum of four cases of a wine if the inventory is large so what you saw was probably that kind of order at both stores. The stores can order more, but the sale will be over by the time it’s received.

        Reply
      2. lim13

        Drank our last bottle of that Fernz SB in February, Delmartian1 and it was as delicious as the first one. Haven’t seen the Kaikoura up here anywhere in the NW and likely never will, which is a real shame. I’d love to try it.

        Reply
      1. weinish

        Steve Heimoff is a friend of mine, so I asked him about Wilf one day. He said to me he was a man of high character. I wondered “that may be true but he’s also a guy with a job!”

        Reply
        1. Darrell

          Back when WW was at the family market selling wine it was much like the press, how one spins things, but when you assign points you must maintain some credibility and you can’t deviate too much within your or his quality parameters. One guy’s 100 pointer is another’s 95 so one must adjust each evaluator to another which is what I think we all do here even without points. The only clinker here at GO is the all too often bottle variation, but for this wine I am finding consistent notes. What I really appreciate here from many contributors is the accurate descriptions and in the end saying it isn’t their cup of tea but may be for others. I like this wine while my wife can’t take NZ SB’s and much to her chagrin, I will getting some of this tomorrow.

          Reply
            1. BargainWhine Post author

              Hey weinish! If you meant you’d be at the Oakland store at 9 this morning, Darrell and I were there waiting for you. Where were you??? 🙂

            2. BargainWhine Post author

              Hmmm… I thought I knew roughly what you looked like since you’ve linked to a photo. Oh, well. I lingered for quite a while, and have bought plenty of wine for today.

            3. weinish

              I asked an older guy in a Patriots jacket if his name was Darrell.. It was not. Someone told me there were some fellows gone for a few minutes. I just figured it was you guys, & I didn’t have a lot of time to spare

            4. BargainWhine Post author

              Sorry to have missed you. Maybe later in the sale. I’ll likely check back Thursday or Friday to see if anything new has shown up.

            5. weinish

              I just gave away half of my wine to friends who were passing through from Los Angeles so now I need to go back after physical therapy.

            6. Darrell

              Sorry I missed you, too, Weinish and I do remember a link to your photo, but that is getting dimmer. Funny about the ordering of the Kaikoura among the stores. Berkeley didn’t have any and Oakland had plenty. Petaluma didn’t have any, but they certainly were busy at 3:30 today, people buying cases of Bennie’s selections.

            7. weinish

              Anyone use the WordPress app? You can’t view comments on it that aren’t directed at you. Kinda sucks.

              Post reviews of recent purchases if you try things. Stuck in a hospital so I have time to read.

              Is there still kaikoura on oakland? Had to give away half my stash.

        2. inthewinecountry

          weinish, same thought ran through my mind when I saw the highly recommended sign at the G.V. store on the 2006 Ardente. Not a wine too many people liked here. But you have to do something to move it after you brought it in.

          Reply
          1. Darrell

            ITWC, I have an example of this too at the SF Geary GO where the onus of top pickin this 2006 Ardente CS fell to a fella named Troy instead of Travis and this knocked him down a peg or two in my view in spite of his seemingly knowing about wine.

            Reply
  5. BargainWhine Post author

    On the third day, curiously enough, the last glass of this wine in the bottle (kept capped in the fridge) was really delicious! It included an almost Viognier-like honeysuckle / yellow peach component in addition to the above-described, more usual, NZ SB flavors.

    Reply
  6. Darrell

    Initial impression on the nose is grapefruit w/ gooseberry, decent acid, med. body, no off flavors and clean. Good QPR. More body, flavors and A&B than a Loire and I would serve with med. rich dishes. I have nothing against this style and so for the price, it is amazing.

    Reply
    1. inthewinecountry

      Thanks Darrell, I will do like you suggested and call around. Anyone notice who the importer is? AWD out of Novato has brought in some good SB’s from New Zealand.

      Reply
        1. weinish

          Very odd to see Pasternak wines at GO.

          It’s a solid Marlborough SB. If you’re into that you’ll be into this. If you’re not into that you won’t be into this.

          Reply
  7. inthewinecountry

    I saw the Fog Head in Grass valley, but in none of the other stores I visited. Was intrigued as the Wine buyer Tom had it as his best pick, But at 10.00 I hesitated to buy. When I got home I did some research and it is a label by Delicato Vineyards over in the Central V. Most prior vintages people gave a 85 to 88 point rating, I think on Cellar tracker. might be worth the price to try during the sale, especially as last weekend I went tasting in the R.R. Valley and most PN were in the 35 to 40.00 range.

    Reply
    1. Darrell

      I tried the Fog Head and I know where the vineyards are which I had driven by all the time, unbeknownst to me. ITWC, I’m glad you didn’t get one as I can’t recommend it at $10. Can get better for less e.g., Cima Collina, Hill Carneros, Echelon. Others that are now gone are 2005 Russian Hill Leras PN ,Tarkettle Sonoma Coast PN and others I can’t recall. I won’t be getting any on the sale.

      Reply
  8. Darrell

    It seems to be well distributed at the GO stores as is the Fog Head PN, Vin Parfait PN and Cascade Range Riesling.

    Reply
    1. lim13

      Of course, none of those wines are up here in WA. And actually there’s little of anything interesting up here…which has been the case for a month and a half now. I received a long list of wines via email from the local GO that just hit the shelves yesterday…and not a one holds any interest for me. Sure would like to see the Kaikoura SB.

      Reply
      1. lim13

        Absolutely amazing…the Kaikoura SB finally showed up at the Silverdale, WA store, but I only saw one case (although there may be more elsewhere in the wine section). And of course it’s a dollar more at $3.99

        Reply

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