Greywacke was created in 2009 by Kevin Judd who was the chief winemaker at Cloudy Bay for 25 years. The name 'Greywacke' was adopted by Kevin for his first Marlborough vineyard located in Rapaura in recognition of the high prevalence of rounded greywacke river stones in the soils of the vineyard, a sedimentary rock which is widely found in Marlborough. Kevin Judd is also New Zealand's finest wine photographer and has recently published a book The Landscape of New Zealand Wine.
The fruit for this wine was grown at the organically-farmed Ashmore Vineyard in Fairhall, adjacent to the mouth of the Brancott Valley on gravelly clay-loam soils, conditions more typical of the Southern Valleys than the Wairau plains. The 20-year-old vines are trained on a two cane VSP (Vertical Shoot Positioning) trellis with careful shoot and bunch thinning carried out.
Residual sugar = 19.5g/litre (ie off-dry).
To see an excellent information sheet and tasting note for this wine produced by the team at Greywacke, please click on the blue link below.
This wine has intense aromas of honeydew melon and tangerine infused with kaffir lime leaves and honeysuckle flowers. On the palate, there are notes of freshly grated ginger and juniper berries. An invigorating off-dry style that delivers a great balance of bright, natural acidity with a subliminal touch of sweetness.
ABV = 12.5%.
Greywacke was created in 2009 by Kevin Judd, chief winemaker at Cloudy Bay from its inception for 25 years and instrumental in the international recognition which Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc enjoys now. The name 'Greywacke' was adopted by Kevin for his first Marlborough vineyard located in Rapaura in recognition of the high prevalence of rounded greywacke river stones in the soils of the vineyard, a sedimentary rock which is widely found in Marlborough. Kevin Judd is also New Zealand's finest wine photographer and has recently published a book 'The Landscape of New Zealand Wine'.
Fruit was sourced from various prime vineyard sites in Marlborough’s Southern Valleys, the central Wairau Plains (specifically in Woodbourne, Renwick and Rapaura) and a spectacular river terrace site in the upper Awatere Valley. Soil types vary from the young alluvial soils of Rapaura, Renwick and the upper Awatere, which contain high proportions of greywacke river stones, to the older and denser clay-loams of the Southern Valleys.
A wet, mild spring ensured soil moisture levels were topped up and the growing season raced off to a frost-free start. Intermittent rain in late spring brought ideal growing conditions, but cool periods during December resulted in variable fruit set. Sauvignon Blanc set with small, open bunches, leading to modest yields. The new year brought sunny, settled weather with no significant rain for the first two months. In typical Marlborough fashion the hills to the south became parched and the dry conditions necessitated careful management of water resources. The drought was partially quenched by a brief period of rain in early March just after harvest had commenced, evoking considerable anxiety, but thankfully was followed by more settled weather. All varieties were harvested at optimum ripeness, albeit lower yields than expected. In all an excellent, dry season that provided superb quality grapes, with great concentration.
Harvested largely by machine during cool (often cold) night-time conditions, the Sauvignon Blanc grapes were picked into half-tonne bins, tipped directly into the tank press and lightly pressed. The resulting juice was cold-settled prior to fermentation in stainless steel, primarily using cultured yeast for cool, slow fermentation. A portion was allowed to undergo spontaneous indigenous yeast fermentation. All individual vineyard batches were left on lees and kept separate until late July, when the blend was assembled.
100% Sauvignon Blanc.
Yellow- fleshed peaches, rock melon and blackcurrant alongside lemon icing, chamomile and hints of rose petal – this is a delicately perfumed and deliciously ripe-fruited interpretation of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. The palate is both subtle and textural, showing considerable ripeness and concentration, with a crisp and long, juicy finish.
ABV = 13.5%.
Neal and Judy Ibbotson were pioneers in the Marlborough wine industry, first planting vineyards in the valley in 1978 and then establishing Saint Clair Family Estate in 1994. They own 160 hectares of vineyard in 10 different Marlborough locations chosen specifically for the attributes of their individual "terroir" and ability to produce top quality grapes. Neal Ibbotson combines his extensive expertise in viticulture with the talent of one of New Zealand's leading winemaking teams led by Hamish Clark. Since 1994, when wines from the first vintage all won medals including gold, the name Saint Clair has been synonymous with quality and its award-winning record continues today. This is a sentiment shared by Bob Campbell MW, who says “Saint Clair now makes the country’s and perhaps the world’s best Sauvignon Blanc”.
The fruit for this wine was selected from vineyards across Marlborough’s sub regions, including the Wairau Valley. In this region a magical synergy of climate and soil come together to produce wines with extraordinary purity of fruit. Situated in the north eastern corner of New Zealand's South Island, the vineyards are surrounded by the Pacific Ocean to the east and hinterland mountain ranges to the north and south.
Flowering conditions in December were perfect, followed by the hottest temperatures Marlborough has experienced in January. February produced a month of rainfall. Despite these challenging weather conditions, the fruit ripened well - 10 days earlier than usual. Effective methods of canopy management and cropping levels; and extended dry periods in March kept the vines healthy. Lower yields produced ripe and intensely flavoured fruit in 2018.
The fruit was carefully monitored throughout maturity and was harvested upon reaching optimum flavour development and ripeness. The grapes were immediately transported to the winery and pressed with minimal skin contact; the resulting juice was cool fermented in stainless steel to retain freshness and aromatics.
Sauvignon Blanc 100%.
Aromas of passionfruit and blackcurrant are complemented by fresh, lifted notes of green leaf and a hint of flint. The succulent and flavoursome palate is imbued with citrus flavours, grapefruit, blackcurrant and layered with a mineral note. Ideal on its own or with light dishes such as chicken or a seafood salad.
ABV = 12.5%.
Established in the early 1990s, Seresin is one of New Zealand’s finest wine producers as well as a leading name in organic and biodynamic production. Cinematographer Michael Seresin (Bugsy Malone, Midnight Express, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Gravity) had his passion for wine ignited after exploring Italy during visits to his second home in the hills of Tuscany. Employing a traditional, gentle and philosophical approach to winemaking, everything on the Seresin estate is hand-tended and hand-harvested using as little intervention as possible. Based in the sunny heart of Marlborough, they aim to put more back into the soil than they take out, building strong vines and promoting biodiversity. Seresin Estate encompasses not only the vines and olive groves, but also pasture land, livestock, vegetable gardens and orchards, as well as native vegetation.
The hand-print is a symbol of Seresin's philosophy to work traditionally and with nature to create wines. Seresin Estate is a new world winery with an old world approach. Seresin wines are sourced from three vineyard sites, all of which are certified as Organic (Biogro) and Biodynamic (Demeter). The three vineyards have their own unique characters and produce fruit that adds to the complexity and interest.
The certified organic fruit was hand-picked from the rich, clay-based slopes of the biodynamically-certified Raupo Creek vineyard in the Omaka Valley. Fruit was hand-sorted and whole bunch pressed straight into barrel. Each parcel was naturally fermented in 26% new French oak, and went through naturally occurring malolactic fermentation. After 11 months in oak, the wine was blended and transferred to puncheons for a further 5 months. Unfined and only slightly filtered.
Seresin taste all their Chardonnay barrels a year after vintage, selecting the best and most interesting to become the Reserve.
For more full detail on this wine, see the blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from Seresin themselves.
This Chardonnay Reserve is a wine full of concentration and poise. It has a broad mouthfeel, backed with firm acidity and salty minerality. The nose is savoury and complex, with finely-balanced oak and just a hint of warm orchard fruit. Being based around firm acidity and structure, this wine will age gracefully.
ABV = 13.5%.
The grapes used in The Frost Pocket Sauvignon Blanc are harvested over 7 - 10 different picks, as they are looking for a range of flavours to blend. Harvested from 1st April to 15th April, all harvesting is done in the cool of the night. It is machine harvested and is then trucked to the winery within 90 minutes. All the Sauvignon Blanc grapes are de-stemmed by the machine harvester which has the latest in selective process technology. This results in fruit which still has some whole berry content once it hits the press. Frost Pocket's winemakers use a gentle press regime to reduce phenolic pick up in the juice.
Deliciously crisp and fresh, packed full of vibrant and long lasting lime, gooseberry and tropical fruit flavours. Try this with Asian fish dishes including scallops or prawns in spicy sauces such as Thai green curry. Grilled squid or swordfish are a good match for this wine as well as goat cheese salads. It works well with herbs such as dill, basil and coriander.
ABV = 13.0%.
The 2016 vintage was awarded 98 points and ultra-rare Exceptional status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2017 edition review of New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs (see blue link below).
Tinpot Hut wines are made primarily from fruit grown on winemaker Fiona Turner's vineyard in Blind River. Fiona, who has worked with Matt Thomson for a number of years, supplements her own grapes with fruit from other growers in Marlborough and Hawkes Bay. The tinpot hut that gave its name to Fiona's wines is an old mustering hut in the remote hills between the Wairau and Awatere Valleys. The huts were used as a base for musterers as they rounded up the sheep that had been in the hills from spring to autumn. The name links Marlborough's past as a sheep farming centre with its current state as one of the world's most dynamic wine regions.
The fruit for this wine was sourced from specially selected vineyards in the Blind River, Dashwood and Lower Wairau subregions. Blind River and Dashwood fruit contributed the acidity, mineral and fresh herbal notes, while the Lower Wairau, as always, contributed the tropical top notes and mid-palate roundness. This blending of flavours gives a balance between herbaceous and tropical. All vineyard parcels are kept separate in the winery prior to blending post fermentation.
The 2019 growing season saw a wet and cold spring; conditions which continued up to the start of summer. However, the last significant rain for the summer months fell on Christmas day and the remainder of the season was one of the warmest, driest summers on record. This led to naturally lower yields and very low disease incidence.
The fruit from each vineyard was independently monitored and harvested before being carefully pressed to ensure minimal skin contact preventing juice deterioration. Once settled, the batches were cool fermented in stainless-steel tanks using specific cultured yeasts to add complexity while retaining the fresh fruit characteristics from each of the individual vineyards. Shortly after blending, the wine was prepared for bottling under a screwcap closure.
100% Sauvignon Blanc.
A complex and elegant wine with intense aromas of blackcurrant, crushed lemongrass and thyme, mingled with passionfruit and melon highlights. On the palate, underlying ripe fruit and mineral notes from the grapes grown in the Blind River sub region of Marlborough combine well with the more tropical notes of passionfruit and melon from the Wairau Valley vineyards. A stylish and pleasingly rich Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc with vibrant aromatics and a fine balance of acidity leading to a lingering finish.
ABV = 13.0%.
Wairau river has some of the oldest Pinot Gris vines in New Zealand, planted in 1990. This trendy mineral influenced Marlborough white, captures the very essence of the regions clean and pure climate. Succulent ripe pear on the nose, with melon, apple and apricot flavours. Light lees ageing gives the palate some weight and a creamy texture without being cloying. A lingering finish complements the exotic spice and fleshy character, with well-integrated lemon notes.
Pinot Gris 92%, Chardonnay 6% and Gewürztraminer 2%.
CHAMPION (Sauvignon Blanc) TROPHY & GOLD - New World Wine Awards 2019.
The northern tip of South Island has become New Zealand`s most important wine region since sheep farming and cherry orchards were first replaced with vineyard in the 1970s. Much of the land is alluvial river basin with well-drained soils that provide an ideal environment for pungent, grassy Sauvignon Blanc. Pinot Noir from the more suitable clay slopes and Pinot Gris are also proving world-beaters. Producer Wairau River wines take their name from the river that runs through the heart of the Marlborough wine region. (Wairau is Maori for `many waters`).
The Rose family were pioneers in planting vines in the 1970`s and after originally selling the grapes to other wineries (like Cloudy Bay) they launched their own label in the early 1990`s. Today their foresight has created a very successful company which remains family owned and run. Wairau River is one of the largest independent wine estates in Marlborough, and the range of elegant wines is characteristically expressive of its Marlborough roots. Home to some of the oldest vines in Marlborough and planted by hand, this is a hands on ‘family’ vineyard with 11 members of the Rose family involved in working the 10 estate vineyards they now own. Wairau River maintains total commitment to quality by carefully managing these vineyards to keep yields low and produce quintessential wines that reflect this prominent region.
Marlborough is well known for its Sauvignon Blanc but at Wairau they are constantly looking to expand their range of vines planted and this includes Albarino and Viognier, both from estate vineyards.
100% Sauvignon Blanc.
For this wine, see the blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers themselves.
Classic expression of the dry, gooseberry, grass and passion fruit style of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Clean and crisp it is bursting with a flinty minerality with flavours of grapefruit, gooseberry, herbs and white stone fruit. Expressive on the palate, finishing with great length. This fashionable white wine is a benchmark by which New World Sauvignons are judged.
ABV = 13.0%.