McBride Sisters Collection Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016

Deep gold color; grapefruit, nectarine, lemon-lime on the nose; nectarine, peach, some citrus and tropical fruit on the palate.

McBride Sisters Collection Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016

Dry (3.6 g/L), with some vivid fruit that gives nice illusion of sweetness; good acidity (3.2 pH), lime and sage come late in the mid-palate and on the finish that lingers on the back of the tongue. Smooth with lovely texture; this is not knife-on-the-tongue Marlborough sauv blanc. It also does not have the distinct grassy nose you anticipate with New Zealand efforts. Some may say this is more refined and casual-drinker friendly, more approachable, while others may complain it lacks the expected Marlborough profile. There should be room in the NZ sauv blanc world for both styles.

The McBride Sisters target Millenials and Gen X markets particularly, which reflects in the style of this effort. They also are admirably committed to pricing under $20 as part of this strategy. When I first encountered the McBride sisters—Robin and Andréa—the wine company was named Truvée and they partnered in the effort with Diageo & Estate Wines. When Australia’s Treasury Wine Estates purchased Diageo, the sisters ended the relationship and now control their McBride Sisters Collection. Good. The new “McBride Sisters” name is a wise brand move: beyond the wine, the story here is the McBride sisters, and what a story it is.

McBride Sisters

The sisters were born and raised 7,000 miles apart. Robin grew up in California, Andréa in New Zealand. Neither knew of the other’s existence. Things changed when Andréa was 12 years old and received a call from her father. “He said he had just gotten out of the penitentiary. He said he had terminal stomach cancer. And oh, by the way, you have a sister.” Andréa’s father said he thought Andréa’s sister lived in California. Andréa’s life had been somewhat chaotic. After divorcing Andréa’s father, her mom died of breast cancer when Andréa was seven and she was raised by a foster family.

Fortunately, the foster family had the resources to send Andréa to California to both meet her long-lost sister and to go to the University of Southern California, where she was a 6-foot-1-inch USC volleyball and track and field star who studied international business and was fascinated by wine. Robin worked in electronics marketing and also was fascinated by wine. Together the sisters started an import company bringing boutique New Zealand wines to the states. Within three years they were supplying wines to more than 100 restaurants in California.

That start allowed the sisters to start EcoLove in 2010, a wine company sourcing grapes from New Zealand vineyards to make food-friendly wines. In early 2015 they forged their brief partnership with Diageo—Truvée Wines. Today they are on their own and no longer have a relationship with Truvée, Diageo, or Treasury Wine. Their wine company is the first one run by African American sisters. They are a millennial amazing story making wines targeting Millennials. Expect them to be a wine force for years to come.

McBride Sisters Collection Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016 is a delicious wine, an adjective not often used with sauv blanc where food friendly is the go-to descriptor. This will work very nicely as an aperitif; it also will pair with wide range of foods—it is a sauvignon blanc after all, even if it also is delicious. $17

McBride Sisters Collection website

Robin and Andréa McBride
Robin and Andréa in vineyard