I always knew there was something extra special about Grove Mill sauvignon blanc. The last time I was in the wonderful Marlborough region of New Zealand, I sipped a bottle of this and found it a really extraordinary wine. Apparently, I am not alone; the gorgeous 97 vintage, so richly crammed with fragrant aromas, has just won a barrel of awards. Decanter, the world wine magazine, recently picked it as the best white wine in the world for July. High praise, but well deserved. Marlborough is a magic region for sauvignon blanc. The amiable David Hohnen picked this cool climate area in New Zealand's South Island to plant that white grape when he was seeking to make a sauvignon blanc of distinction: the result was the famous Cloudy Bay. Last year, when I spent a few days in Marlborough, I found to my gloom that glory had propelled Cloudy Bay to expensive heights. To my delight, however, I discovered the area produced a big selection of other sauvignon blancs, many of which never get to the Asian supermarket shelves. I explored them with glee. Dare I say that some of them equalled the fabled Cloudy Bay? One I liked particularly (well, I must admit I really fancied about a dozen of them) was Grove Mill. One of the 23 founding shareholders of the company is an engaging English land developer called Terry Gillan who owns and runs the local Marlborough Hotel. We shared a couple of bottles. Open one, and the aroma of passion fruit is powerful. You get great pleasure just from nosing the wine, with its ripe mix of pure fruit flavours. Drinking it is even better; there is a clean crispness to the taste and a tart acidic bite. But it also has a lot of fruit character that balances the acid. To my taste, it is just right. This is a perfect wine for a grilled fish lunch. I find it also goes nicely with a roast chicken. But do not wait for a meal; on a hot Sunday afternoon, this is a magnificent aperitif. It costs $129 from the importer (Northeast Trading, fax 2554-5369) and you see it at outlets around town like Oliver's. This is a wine that is a true pleasure to share with friends.