Written by: Jamie

Updated: October 30, 2023

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  • Wairau River Sauvignon Blanc 2022 Review [Tasted & Rated]

Wairau River Sauvignon Blanc 2022 Review [Tasted & Rated]

Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand gets a bit unfairly treated.

Some wine critics see its uncomplicated, fruit forward nature as a bad thing but that's the reason I love it.

And because it's usually better young, it's available at amazing prices.

I get my hands on the 2022 Wairau River Sauvignon Blanc to see how it stacks up.

It's available at Costco at rock bottom prices, but should you be filling your cart or spending a little more on a tried and trusted Marlborough SB like Kim Crawford?

Wairau river wine bottle and wine glass

Wine Specs

  • Price: $11 at Costco ($14 - $18 elsewhere)
  • Vintage: 2022
  • ABV: 13%
  • Location: Marlborough, New Zealand
  • Winemaker: Wairau River Wines
  • Grapes: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
  • Winemaking Techniques: Stainless steel fermentation


This wine isn't a Costco exclusive but that's where I found this for just $10.99. You can expect top pay at least $14 elsewhere.

At Costco prices, it's firmly a budget Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc offering extremely good value.

However, at its regular price it's in direct competition with the incredibly popular Kim Crawford SB which is a really well crafted wine. That's not a fight I'd be picking!

So how does it compare? I'll make a point of comparing the two in my final score.

Wairau River bottle


It's a pale straw color, typical of a young Sauvignon Blanc. 


Bang! This hits hard with that fresh tropical fruit that Sauvignon Blanc from Marllborough is known for.

Mango, pineapple, guava, and lychee up front with a little cut grass and some citrus grapefruit in the background. The technical term is 'pungent' but to me that always seems like a negative word so let's go with 'fragrant'.

It's a big, bold, nose that's wonderfully aromatic. Like a tropical fruit punch, it's a lovely aroma that puts a big smile on my face.

It really gets you excited for a drink. Will it deliver on all of this promise?


Well, kind of. The tropical fruit shows up on the palate but not with the intensity that the nose may have you believe.

Pineapple, guava and lychee are there but they make way for the more citric elements that Sauvignon Blanc is known for. Grapefruit and passion fruit make an appearance and acidity comes through strongly.

There's a chalky mineral-like texture that offers a bit of body. It's dry, very dry with a long finish that's mouth watering from the zippy acidity.

Wine color in glass


It's a young wine that's lacks complexity of any kind but that's not why we drink Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.

I have to say the palate disappointed me ever so slightly after the fresh aromatics of the nose.

It's a wine that might benefit from another year in the bottle. It's possible that the pronounced acidity might better integrate over that time. Only time will tell.

At $11 it's amazing value and it's a buy all day. Fill your basket and see how that acidity settles in a few months. I mean it's a good wine now but I think it can improve.

But, outside of Costco where it's in that $14- $18 price range, personally, I would choose the Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc which retails around $17 (here's my review). The nose isn't quite as enjoyable but the acidity is better integrated and it has better balance overall.

So, as for a score, I'll go with 7.5/10 on the expectation that it improves over the next 6 months to a year  (otherwise probably a 7/10). I have another bottle of the 2022 and I'll update in the summer.

But, what do you think? I'd love to hear your opinions down below!

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About the Author Jamie

I'm Jamie (James to some), professional over-thinker and aspiring pun champion. I'm fluent in emoji, sarcasm, and song lyrics.

I'm a certified cork dork wine obsessive and wineturtle.com is my megaphone.

I have the WSET Level 2 (with distinction) in Wine and I'm currently enrolled in level 3. I've also co-written a book on wine.

I look for value in wine and I'm always on the look out for the next hidden gem.

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