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Bottle Rocket: Te Koko will change your mind about New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc


If you still think all New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc tastes alike– lime, passionfruit, grapefruit and just-picked tropical fruit –then pick up a bottle of  Cloudy Bay’s Te Koko and see the world change.

Unscrew the top on a bottle of Te Koko (virtually all NZ wines have screw tops), pour a glass, and take a whiff. Yep, you just popped the top on summer. Te Koko is Sauvignon Blanc that hums rather than vibrates, a wine made from wild yeasts and French oak (rather than specifically selected yeasts and stainless steel aging) that develops more spiciness and savoriness than what you traditional associate with kiwi Sauvignon Blanc.

Instead of a mouthful of Hawaii, you get tangerine, lemon, peach and ginger, and a creamy texture that’s offset by rocky minerality and tame acidity. The 2008 Te Koko reminds me more of recent Loire Valley Sancerre than typical New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Pick up a bottle and see if you don’t agree.

You can find Cloudy Bay Te Koko at Pogo’s Wines and many Sigel’s locations in North Texas for about $50.

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