Costco is the retail sales leader in most categories of wine, spirits and beer, prompting several Wine Adventurers to request that I review some of the wines available there at good prices. This is the first installment from a journey down that road. With summer nearly here, we’ll begin with a warm weather wine that I’m pleased to recommend for your summer cellar: 2014 Matua Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
Marlborough is the most famous of New Zealand’s several wine growing regions. Located on the northeast corner of South Island across Cook Strait from Wellington (see map below), the Marlborough region’s premium vineyards extend through several river valleys where glaciers have created deep layers of soil rich in rock and sand (read about the Marlborough Wine Trail). The growing season in New Zealand (September – April) is cool and produces excellent harvests of varietals similar to what you’d find in Northern California – Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Reisling, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Malbec. Matua’s Marlborough vineyards produce primarily Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Pinto Noir.
The 2014 Matua Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is light and crisp with strong influences of citrus and pineapple. The citrus leans gently toward the grapefruit side, which fits my personal taste. The winemaker’s tasting notes say you might also pick up a little sage and mint. Fermentation was in stainless steel tanks at cool temperatures. Alcohol is moderate at 13 percent. For those shopping Costco near me in the Napa/Solano area – either the Vallejo or Fairfield locations – the price is about $10. Costco doesn’t carry all wine brands at all their locations, so you may not find this wine at your local store. For comparison, Wine.com listed this wine at $11.99 but is currently sold out.
Matua (“head of the family” in the native Maori language) is a multi-award winning winery started in the 1960’s by brothers Bill and Ross Spence. From their original tin shack on Matua Road, they crafted premium wines that eventually led to production of the first New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc in 1974. Today the brand is part of Treasury Wine Estates.