Kato Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2008

Clear, pale gold appearance. Intense green pepper and spice nose with a hint of ripe fruit; very distinctive. Dry, high acidity, light-plus body. Again vegetal on the palate, green and red peppers, mineral, and citrus. Very long lemon finish. A strong example of the vegetal qualities of New Zealand Sauv Blancs. 13% alcohol. Recommended. Bought with a good friend for $23.60 at Kitsilano Wine Cellar, which has recently moved next door into the old Duthie Books space (still mourn their loss) and there’s more space but they’ve perhaps lost a bit of the character of the old store. Still, a great selection.

Tantalus Old Vines Riesling 2008

Several people have suggested the Tantalus Riesling to me and I was a little underwhelmed, but I hadn’t tried the Old Vines. This is a clear, pale-plus lemon-gold with a clean, medium intensity lime, mineral, and petrol nose with a hint of sweetness. Dry on the palette, though, with high acidity. Medium body with green apple and mineral dominating with a touch of tropical fruit. Good long finish. Recommended; far superior to the regular Riesling from Tantalus. 12.1% alcohol. $30 at Taylorwood. See Tantalus Vineyards (warning: Flash); wine maker’s notes. Tantalus has gone organic, which is great news.