Marlborough, New Zealand
From the producer:
"Kato Sauvignon Blanc is sourced from Marlborough, New Zealand, the premier New World winegrowing region for this variety. The vineyards are located in the Ataware Valley, where coastal influences protect the fruit from sharp morning frosts. The word Kato means "harvest" in Maori, referring to the unique heritage of the region.
The Kato logo is a representation of three intertwined whale tails and was inspired by the Cook Strait, which separates the North and South Islands of New Zealand, and is a migration route for humpback whales. As a wine company dedicated to sustainable principles in the vineyard, we are also concerned with the protection of all natural environments, including the ocean and the creatures in it.
Exhibiting zesty and aromatic notes of melon, passionfruit and citrus, Kato Sauvignon Blanc is well balanced, vibrant in flavor, persistent in finish and perfect for everyday enjoyment with seafood, pasta, white meats and salads."
New Zealand Sauv Blancs tend to be very grapefruit-forward with high acidity, but Kato has a nice balance of more mellow fruit notes that keep it from being too citric. This is an elegant, but fresh wine that is perfect for summer.
Tres Palacios Reserve ($10.99)
Maipo Valley, Chile
From the producer:
"The Viña Tres Palacios winery and vineyards are located in the Cholqui sector of the Maipo Valley, 16 km (10 miles) from the city of Melipilla. Cholqui is a closed valley 9 km (5.6 miles) south of the Maipo River, although it is separated from it by a chain of hills that surrounds the area to the north, east, and south. The Horcon de Piedra Mountain, one of the highest peaks in the Coastal Mountain Range, lies toward the eastern end of the valley. The western side is open to the influence of the Pacific Ocean 30 km (25 miles) away, and cooling breezes from the sea and inter-mountain circulation refresh the vineyards in the summer. Tres Palacios is the only winery in the Cholqui Valley and all of the wines are estate produced.
The fruit for this Sauvignon Blanc comes from a vineyard planted in the coolest area of the Cholqui Valley, where the breeze coming from the Pacific Ocean enters the valley. Minimal pruning is done to the vines in order to not overexpose the clusters to light and to keep the freshness and the primary aromas of the fruit. The soils are gravely and mineral, and this, accompanied by the cool maritime climate of the valley, allows grapes to be produced with great aromatic expression and abundant freshness.
The nose is fruity with aromas of tropical fruit like pineapple, lime and grapefruit. It is also fresh and herbaceous, with an intense pear perfume. The palate is fresh, lively, and tasty with good acidity due to the maritime influence. Also, the presence of minerals in the soil gives a good balance to the wine, resulting in a lingering, fresh and mouth watering Sauvignon Blanc."
I tend to prefer South American Sauv Blancs because they have a kind of "earthiness" that comes through in their minerality and in the grassy/herbaceous undertones. This is an incredible value for estate grown and bottled wine. You will not find better quality for money.