Place of origin: Marlborough, New Zealand.
Note: Reviewed 22 hours after opening
Purchased for $9
Appearance: Pale gold.
Nose: White grapefruit, pineapple, lemon juice. Whiff of acetone.
Palate: Bland on entry, but soon turns grassy and acerbic. Like having a pineapple spear shoved into one’s sinuses.
Finish: Harsh. Citrus pith. Leaves the mouth feeling like one has eaten too much fresh pineapple.
Parting words: Believe it or not, The Pass was even worse when I first opened it. After some time breathing in the fridge it is almost approaching drinkability. 2013 was supposed to be a good vintage for New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, but you’d never know it from this.
The Pass is is a special label for Trader Joe’s from a New Zealand producer with American ownership (maybe something from the Foley group). I can taste why they wouldn’t want this wine under the label of one of their known brands. I enjoy grapefruit notes in NZ Sauvignon Blanc, but this wine is totally out of balance and is more like an assault on the senses than a crisp summertime sipper. My recommendation is that you take a…wait for it…PASS on The Pass.