Home Wine Regions New Zealand Wine Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc 2008

We head back to New Zealand today to try another Sauvignon Blanc.  As I’ve previously mentioned, New Zealand has a reputation for good Sauvignon Blanc and this one lives up to the reputation.

The seeds of Nobilo as a winery began when Nikola Nobilo immigrated from Croatia to New Zealand in 1937 in anticipation of World War II.  The Nobilo family had been producing wines in Croatia for some 300 years and Nikola continued the tradition in New Zealand.  The Nobilo winery was acquired by BRL Hardy in 2000, which was then acquired by the wine and spirits giant Constellation Brands in 2003.  Nikola Nobilo continued to produce wines for the company after the acquisition by Constellation, but he passed away in 2007 at the age of 94.

Nobilo produces wine from many regions in New Zealand, but this Sauvignon Blanc comes from  Marlborough—reputed as the most desirable region in New Zealand for Sauvignon Blanc.  After tasting this wine, I can understand why.

Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc

The intensity in the nose is good and it is a highly tropical Sauvignon Blanc.  Pineapple, honey, melon, pear and a hint of flint give this wine a wonderful bouquet. When I first opened the bottle, it didn’t have the vegetal characteristic that many SBs from New Zealand have, but after it opened up a distinct green pepper aroma came to the surface. The palate is flavorful, well balanced and just as exciting as the nose.  It has lemon, pear, melon, apple and mineral flavors.  The finish is fairly long and enjoyable.  All told, this is a great Sauvignon Blanc at a decent price.

Wine: Nobilo
Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc
Vintage: 2008
Alcohol: 12.5%
Rating: 90
Price: $11.99

25 replies to this post
  1. I read your review and I must beg to differ. I found this to be much too sweet and a rather terrible wine. I was so looking forward to trying something new but unfortunatley had to dump the wine as I just could not even finish the glass

  2. Sorry this one didn’t work out for you, Trish. Is there a Sauvignon Blanc that’s a favorite of yours?

  3. Trish is out of her mind. Wine Spectator would not agree with her either. Nobody likes everything, but “could not even finish the glass”. Nothing more than self important snobbery.

  4. Thanks for the comment, Rich. I too was a bit surprised by Trish’s reaction. But everyone has their own preferences. I try to review wines based on varietal correctness, balance and complexity (among other measures). I’m glad to know Spectator and others agree with my assessment.

  5. I first tried this wine in 2005 at a Jazz club in Ferndale, MI and was hooked! I was never a white wine drinker until Nobilo. I came across this review, looking for comparisons between Nobilo Sav Blanc 2004 and 2008. Those are the only years available thru the supplier for my wedding. We will be serving only Nobilo at our reception. Brancott Sav Blanc is another fav. from the Marlborough vineyards.

  6. Hi Beth. Thanks for visiting the site and for the comment. I would definitely recommend going with the 2008. While I haven’t had the 2004, Sauvignon Blanc is usually best consumed young. The exception are some barrel-aged versions, which this is not.

  7. Thanks for the review! I picked up a bottle form myself on a whim at Trader Joes and thoroughly enjoyed it! I fully agree with your review, and we have purchased more just to have on hand. Loved this one!

  8. I picked up this bottle to cook with. It paired beautifully in a plum-apple sauce over braised chicken thighs. We finished the bottle with dinner. For 12 dollars this wine is a real find at my local grocery store.

  9. I tried this wine for the first time in a restaurant and was absolutely stunned at the flavor (based on per glass, and the price). Have since discovered it’s sold at Safeway and it has become my #1 house wine for day-to-day, absolutely fabulous.

  10. If you like Sauvignon Blancs from Marlborough, you have to try Whitehaven. I like Nobilo, but Whitehaven kicks its behind! Yum, I’m craving some now!

  11. I don’t recall coming across Whitehaven, but I’ll make a note of it and keep an eye out. Thanks for the recommendation!

  12. I was looking for a white wine i haven’t taste before -I always choose SELAKS – I must say it was a delightful exsperience!now I have 2 very good wines on my list!
    happy summer to you from Denmark :-).

  13. I love many new zealand Sauvignon Blancs from Marlborough, i received the nobilo you reviewed for a christmas present and we just got around to trying it last night and i found it to be quite good,and agree with with your review.. it still has quite a bit of complexity to it with a very balanced finish at the end.
    many sauvignon blancs seem to lose a lot of there balance and flavor after 3 or 4 years but this this ones is still a very nice wine..
    by the way, have you ever tried or reviewed a Villa maria Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough cellar selection 2008?
    it is one of the BEST New Zealand wines i have ever had, thanks for the reviews.

  14. sorry.. i wanted to know if you have tried or reviewed the Villa maria Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough cellar selection 2009
    not the 2008…

  15. Hi Tim. I haven’t had the chance to taste the Villa maria SB of any vintage yet. But thanks for the recommendation. Cheers!

  16. LOVE this wine, really fine taste. Been looking for it again in my town of Kelowna,B.C. Canada and have found only 12 bottles left. Great stuff, keep on making it.

  17. I love Nobilo and have enjoyed it for years, but I absolutley hate the new twist caps. It is nearly imbossible to remove.I do not like waiting for someone else to open my bottle of wine.

  18. I had this one for the first time recently and loved it! So Marlborough SB! Satisfies my SB cravings. Perhaps the bottle Trish had was ‘bad.’ The ‘sweet’ could have been oxidation.

  19. Wow! I’ve been raving about this wine since I tried it a few months ago. I used to be partial to reds, but find them too heavy in the summer. My bestfriend drinks white and I’ve been trying them behind her and asking questions. I found Nobilio on my own, well vendor recommended. Problem is the store I found it is far from my house. So I’m looking online now to find where to purchase again! And, I can’t wait to have my friend try it. I’m hooked on Sauvignon Blanc now!! I never thought that would happen.

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