The Ned Sauvignon Blanc 2011

the ned sauvignon blanc

I’ve really liked a lot of the 2011 Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs that I’ve tried. And here’s another good one. It’s from Brent Maris’ new venture in the Waihopai subdistrict of Marlborough, where the other big player is Ara.

The Ned Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Waihopai River, Marlborough, New Zealand
12% alcohol. Nice intensity here: bracing, fresh and lively with some herby, green pepper notes alongside sweet passion fruit and gooseberry characters. Lovely vibrant aromatics, too. Bright and pure, this is a really nice wine. 90/100 (£9.99 Waitrose, Majestic, but expect to see this promoted and pounce when it’s at £7.99 or £6.99)

10 comments to The Ned Sauvignon Blanc 2011

  • bob parsons alberta

    The Ned wines get good shelf space here in town. Will try the SB asap.

  • Ian Wesley

    Agree with your review; available at Majestic Calais for a fiver

  • Dunc

    The wine is a significant improvement on last year’s offering – which exhibited a sulphur nose, was out of balance, and where acidity and sugar fought one an another.
    The ’11 Ned is a better wine, with mild pungency. Very spritzy, overly so, behind that spritz is a basic Corona lemonade flavour, this from the 70’s, in the one litre clear glass bottle. The wine is quite sweet for a
    Waihopai River SB, rather one dimensional, and little pith to give more interest. It is still the girly version established in 2009, with very little minerality. The Ladies will like this wine. As for its vinous quality ? Best as an apperatif, drink warmer than usual to get very minor tropical notes in the flavour, but classic lychee or mango are not found in this style. Not very impressed at £9.99. A good party wine for £6.99. No one will complain.

    Vavasour’10, Goldwater’10 Jackson Estate Stich’10 much better MSB. Yet to try many elevens, although JE Stich ’11 has a good report from a friend.

    I believe I’ve written a fair review. There could be bottle variance with this massive volume sold all over the globe.

  • Giles

    It’s now on offer (or “special” as the Kiwis would say) at Waitrose. Which makes me realised that The Ned (both pinot gris and sav blanc) has joined the list of NZ wines that I would never buy at full price, on account of a discounted price always being just around the corner. Also on the list are entry level wines of Brancott/Montana, Wither Hills and Villa Maria, and a raft of made-for-supermarket savs. I note that these discounted brands are often the makers of the supermarket’s own labels (e.g. Villa Maria for Waitrose) – presumably that’s not a coincidence.

  • Dunc

    Most diplomatically put Giles.

    I regret that supermarkets are now controlling the style of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc (MSB) that reaches our shores. For some uk consumers looking for the beauty and personality of the mamy styles that once existed, say up to about 2007, they will have to up the anti to find MSBs that satisfy their palates, and originally why this regional became so famous for superb sauvignon blanc. NZ has been awash with ordinary and occasionally over acidic MSB. The acidity now, is increased in an attempt to make the wine even more racy.

    A penny for your thoughts for the independant, and generally smaller and more interesting producers.

  • Giles

    Dunc, you’re completely right – people who buy on the high street here are being going a rather one-sided view of what NZ SB is, and will miss out on the variety. The worst offenders are the leftovers that the supermarkets buy in bulk and then bottle in the UK. I’ve tried one or two of these and I wouldn’t even clean my loo with them.

    My favourites among the higher-profile brands are Spy Valley (I always find it well balanced), Seresin (nice drop of semillon in there), Goldwater, and Villa Maria Reserve Wairau Valley (I prefer the greater richness to the VM Clifford Bay). I’m generally a fan of Saint Clair, although they have far too many labels in their Pioneer Block range and I can never remember which ones I’ve had. I also have a soft spot for the weightier North Island SBs, particularly Palliser and Trinity Hill. Mission Estate used to do a good Hawkes Bay SB, but last time I was there they’d ditched it for a Marlborough wine. I haven’t tried the Cloudy Bay 2011 yet; I gather it’s back on form after the lacklustre 2009 and 2010. A recent bottle of Greywacke 2011 knocked me around a bit – I think it needs another month or so to settle down.

  • Mike and Sue

    Really nice wine x tastes lush

  • Big Fat Bastardo

    The Ned, when it first came out, was simply a relabelling of the incredibly good value Wither Hills SB for independent wine merchants.

    The distributor wanted to put Wither Hills in the supermarkets, which would instantly make it too expensive for the independents (crazy right?) and to keep the independents who made Wither Hills so popular ‘happy’ (sort of), they started shipping it to them as ‘The Ned’. The cool thing was that the Ned was the exact same wine, but around two quid cheaper. This isn’t the case anymore, but it’s still a pretty decent and well priced wine.

    Side note: It was bloody hard to sell it in Scotland, as ‘Ned’ means chav/trailer-trash/bogan up here 😉

  • Claire

    Does anyone know where I can buy this wine in Wilmington, North Carolina, USA? I had some at lunch the other day and loved it 🙂

  • Tim

    Claire – The Ned is distributed by a company called Mutual in NC. They have a Wilmington office and i’m sure they will tell you where to find a bottle. Give them a call on(910)763-8450.

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