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Marlborough

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Esk Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2019 (1x75cl)

Situated in the north of New Zealand's picturesque Hawkes Bay, at Bay View is the Esk Valley Estate winery. The winery sources fruit from Hawkes Bay, including the world-renowned Gimblett Gravels, and Marlborough, as both regions consistently produce grapes of an extremely high quality.

Esk Valley is a boutique winery, but it is unique in that many of the techniques used to craft its award-winning wines are dictated by the winery itself. The old concrete vats, the layout of the buildings, and the absence of modern technology mean the winemakers at Esk Valley have had to make wine in a simple, honest, hands-on way.

Vineyard sites in the warm Wairau Valley (69%) and further south in the cooler Awatere Valley were selected for this wine. The Wairau vineyards are planted on a mix of gravel and clay and provide structure and body to the blended wine. The Awatere Valley vineyards are planted on gravelly free drained soils and due to the cooler nature of these sites, pungent notes of nettle, gooseberry, citrus and pea pod are found in the finished wine. Yields are carefully managed with an extensive shoot and crop thinning undertaken to maximise quality. Winemaking The individual parcels were harvested and transported to the winery for immediate crushing to capture the freshness of the fruit. Fermentation was conducted at cool temperatures utilising selected yeast strains. Post-fermentation the wines were left on their yeast lees to gain further richness and body before blending and bottling in August 2019.

Due to a cold and drawn out flowering in spring fruit set was lower than average compared to previous vintages. As a result we saw excellent quality fruit; balanced crop levels ensured the development of open bunches with small and flavourful berries. Once the New Year rolled around, Marlborough experienced a summer of the century. Blenheim’s signature high sunshine hours coupled with a dry season saw crops ripen early without any disease pressure. Long and hot days with moderately cool nights provided the perfect environment to ensure physical and flavour ripeness.

100% Sauvignon Blanc.

This a very aromatic and intensely flavoured wine true to its Marlborough origins. Its flavours are a mix of ripe tropical fruits, citrus and cooler notes of green fruits and fresh herbs. It is rich and full-flavoured with a crisp dry finish which provides freshness and length to the palate.

ABV = 13.5%.

£9.95

Framingham Classic Riesling 2019 (1x75cl)

Awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their September 2020 edition article, Lighter Wines for Summer Drinking (see blue link below)

Framingham Classic Riesling 2019 - September 2020 Decanter review

The Framingham label was launched in 1994 with one Riesling, and has since expanded to include Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. Framingham produces wines from their 19.5 hectare estate vineyard (certified organic since 2014) and other selected sites. Their Riesling vines, planted in 1981, are among the oldest in Marlborough. Andrew Brown joined Framingham as head winemaker in January 2020, replacing Dr Andrew Hedley, who resigned from his role after 18 years at the helm. A highly regarded winemaker, Brown previously spent seven years at Framingham as assistant winemaker and understudy to Andrew Hedley before working as consultant in regions including Oregon, Central Otago and Alsace. Last year, one of Brown's Rieslings won the Champion Riesling Trophy at the New Zealand International Wine Show; a fitting accolade from someone taking the reins at Framingham, who have always been renowned for their Rieslings.

Fruit for the Framingham Classic Riesling was sourced from their estate vineyard in the Wairau Valley. The alluvial, well-drained soils of the Wairau were formed by the sedimentation of the Wairau River. In the warm centre of the valley – where there is low rainfall and relatively low frost risk – Framingham are able to harvest controlled yields at desired ripeness. Extensive crop thinning and a degree of leaf plucking are practised when necessary, giving low yields of grapes that have had managed exposure to sunlight. Fruit comes from three different sections of the estate with each parcel hand-picked and whole bunch pressed.

The 2019 growing season saw a wet and cold spring which continued to the start of summer. However, the last significant rain for the summer months fell on Christmas day, with the remainder of the season turning out to be one of the warmest and driest summers on record. This led to naturally lower yields and very low disease incidence.

The majority of the juice was fermented in stainless steel tanks with approximately 7% fermented on skins over two weeks, followed by ageing in oak. All copmponents were aged on full ferment lees for three months.

Riesling 100%.

Residual sugar = ~15g/litre. That said, this wine is not noticeably off-dry given its high acidity.

This wine has a fragrant, complex nose showing mandarin and cream aromas with stonefruit and hints of smoke and minerality. The palate is vibrant and intense with orange, nectarine and cream flavours with zesty acidity.

ABV = 12.0%.

£15.05

Greywacke Marlborough Riesling 2018 (1x75cl)

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.

100% Riesling.

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.

Greywacke Riesling 2018 - fiche technique

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%.

£17.85

Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2019 (1x75cl)

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%.

£16.60

Greywacke Wild Sauvignon 2017 (1x75cl)

The 2016 vintage was awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter in their July 2019 panel tasting of Oaked New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs (see blue link below).

Greywacke Wild Sauvignon 2016 - July 2019 Decanter review

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 vineyard sites in the Southern Valleys and the central Wairau Plains, specifically in Woodbourne, Renwick and Rapaura. Soil types vary from the young alluvial deposits of Rapaura and Renwick, which contain high proportions of greywacke river stones, to the older and denser clay- loams of the Southern Valleys. A high percentage of the vineyards were trained using the divided Scott Henry canopy management system, with the balance on two- or three-cane vertical shoot positioning.

The season started in timely fashion and settled conditions during December allowed a generous crop to set. Extremely low rainfall during the early summer put pressure on water supplies, but rain in early January broke the drought and vineyards flourished as temperatures started to climb above average in the New Year. Considerable thinning was carried out across all varieties to establish ideal cropping levels. Harvest started in mid-March, and in late March northerly airstreams brought with it some rain, which put pressure on the harvest and led to remedial canopy and crop management being needed in many vineyards. Temperatures remained well above average and Marlborough’s classic Indian summer made a welcome appearance allowing vineyards to achieve full ripeness. The last Sauvignon Blanc was hand picked on 18th April 2016 under sunny skies.

Some vineyards were harvested by machine and others by hand, all into half-tonne bins, which were tipped directly into tank presses. The grapes were pressed lightly and the resulting juice was cold-settled prior to racking into mostly old French oak barriques. The juice underwent spontaneous indigenous yeast fermentation, the tail end of which continued for well over six months. The wine had occasional lees stirring and approximately two-thirds underwent malolactic fermentation. It was transferred out of oak prior to the following harvest and left on lees for a further six months.

See blue link below for Greywacke's own fiche technique/technical and tasting note on this eine.

Greywacke Wild Sauvignon 2016 - fiche technique

100% Sauvignon Blanc.

The Wild Sauvignon 2016 has aromas of shortbread, quinces and apricots, lemon zest and ginger, honeysuckle and vanilla bean – a delicious, sweet-scented fragrance of ripe fruit and Asian spices infused with a tarragon-like herbal thread and a faint whiff of wood smoke. Fermented entirely with naturally occurring yeast, this is an alternative style of Sauvignon Blanc that is both intricate and textural with a rich, succulent palate finishing crisp and long with a flinty dryness.

ABV = 13.5%.

£21.95

Kim Crawford Spitfire Small Parcels Sauvignon Blanc 2019 (1x75cl)

Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their September 2020 edition article, Lighter Wines for Summer Drinking (see blue link below)

Kim Crawford Spitfire Small Parcels Sauvignon Blanc 2019 - September 2020 Decanter review

Kim Crawford Wines was established in late 1996, when Kim launched a range made from fruit grown in the South Island. Kim sold the company to Constellation in 2005 and has since handed the winemaking reins over to the Constellation winemaking team. Despite Kim no longer being involved with these wines, the current winemakers continue the classic Kim Crawford philosophy and style. Control over grape supply has always been essential for Kim Crawford Wines and they now have the largest vineyard resource in Marlborough of any wine company, across the greatest breadth of sub-regions, ensuring consistent quality and style. For that consistency, and success over the past 20 years, Wine Enthusiast magazine USA recognised Kim Crawford as their “New World Winery of the Year 2016”.

The Small Parcels ‘Spitfire’ Sauvignon Blanc takes its name from a famous site in Marlborough that was used as an air force base during WWII. In 2018, in a first for Spitfire, 50% of the wine came from a grower vineyard in the Upper Wairau – almost the westernmost Marlborough vineyard before the mountains. In a year that defied ‘normal’ this micro area had the most balanced conditions. The rest of the blend was from two favourite Rapaura vineyards which delivered Spitfire’s trademark power and citrus.

Spring was wet and mild with no frost in any of the vineyards. Summer temperatures stepped up; December was the second warmest on record, while January saw the highest temperatures since records began. By February it was looking like an early harvest, with superb flowering conditions and a sizeable crop necessitating thinning in almost all vineyards. However, two extropical cyclones brought considerable rainfall in February. Harvest started mid-March with grapes at a good level of physiological ripeness but needing careful hand-sorting to eliminate botrytis.

Upon arrival at the winery, the fruit was crushed and the juice was drained for about three hours before the skins were pressed. Fermentation was long, slow and cool, with a yeast selected to express the grapes' grapefruit and passion fruit characteristics. Only the best blocks from the vineyard were eventually selected for the Small Parcels bottling, following a rigorous tasting selection. The wine was bottled early to retain freshness and purity of fruit.

Sauvignon Blanc 100%.

A hugely aromatic wine with aromas of passionfruit, nettles, citrus. The complex palate launches a concentrated burst of juicy tropical fruits and grapefruit backed with minerality and a long lingering finish.

ABV = 13.0%.

£16.50

Saint Clair Tuatara Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2019 (1x75cl)

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 = 13.0%.

£11.95

Seresin Estate Organic Chiaroscuro 2018 (1x75cl)

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.

Here, each varietal is hand harvested and the fruit is combined in the field, then transported to the winery where it was whole bunch pressed.  The juice from all three varieties is tasted by their winemaker and viticulturalist and blended before fermentation, giving this wine a unique character that is different from that of a wine blended post-ferment. A long, consistent fermentation took place – 3 full months - fermented with wild yeasts in neutral puncheon barrels.

This wine is made of Riesling (55%), Pinot Gris (37%) and Gewürztraminer (8%) - only 500 cases were made of this rare blend.

Residual sugar = 5g/litre (ie on the margins of dry and off-dry).

For the full detail on this wine, see the blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from Seresin themselves.

Seresin Estate Organic Chiaroscuro 2018 - fiche technique

Bright with ripe citrus fruits, yellow peach and white blossom. However, the wine is also savoury and spicy, textured and structured. A wine with huge personality.

ABV = 12.0%.

£15.50

Seresin Estate Organic Reserve Chardonnay 2015 (1x75cl)

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.

100% Chardonnay.

For more full detail on this wine, see the blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from Seresin themselves.

Seresin Estate Organic Reserve Chardonnay 2015 - fiche technique

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%.

£19.95

The Crossings Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (1x75cl)

This 100% estate grown Sauvignon Blanc was made from grapes sourced from The Crossings’ three vineyards on the northern banks of the Awatere River, predominently from Willow Flat and Brackenfield vineyards. Viticultural input has been directed at maintaining low yields - averaging seven tonnes per hectare - as well as achieving good vine balance to produce fruit that ripens uniformly and with maximum flavour intensity. These vineyards have a terrace system with each terrace being harvested and fermented separately, then blended.

Self sufficient in harvesting and vinification, we captured this terrific fruit character through cool fermentation and small select components fermented, with indigenous yeasts.

Harvest timing decisions and refinement of our fermentation techniques this year have allowed us to achieve our goal of combining elegant characteristics alongside the more overt flavours we see in some vintages. An increased proportion of the very special Medway Vineyard fruit has enhanced the wine’s intensity and texture. Winemaking was centered on retaining the vintage’s vibrant fruitiness underpinned by lovely acids and the distinct mineral signature of the Awatere Valley.

Sauvignon Blanc 100%.

The Crossings Sauvignon Blanc 2018 is an elegant and fresh style wine, with tropical fruit flavours and hints of citrus. The palate is filled with pure fruit flavours, nicely balanced with a crisp mineral finish.

Enjoy with both fresh and cooked seafood dishes such as oysters, prawns and fish.

ABV = 13.0%.

£11.00

The Frost Pocket Sauvignon Blanc 2019 (1x75cl)

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%.

£10.55

Tinpot Hut McKee Vineyard Gruner Veltliner 2017 (1x75cl)

The 2016 vintage was awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their September 2018 edition panel tasting of "Alternative" New Zealand Whites (not Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay) (see blue link below).

Tinpot Hut McKee Vineyard Gruner Veltliner 2016 - Sept 2018 Decanter review

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.

Winemakers Matt Thomson and Fiona Turner were looking for a cool climate variety with striking aromatic qualities supported by firm acid structure to add to the Tinpot Hut range. They soon became convinced of the potential for Grüner Veltliner in Marlborough and convinced two local growers to plant a few rows. The grapes for this single vineyard wine were grown by the McKee family in the Blind River sub-region of the Awatere Valley.

2017 was a challenging vintage for wine growers as conditions were wetter and cooler than usual. This reduced yields by approximately 9% compared to 2016. It also pushed harvest dates back for all varieties. The final wines are more restrained on the nose and the palate but still display distinctive varietal characteristics.

Careful vineyard management during the growing season ensured the grapes were kept in balance to allow even and optimal ripening. Once the flavours of the grapes reached their peak, whole bunches were hand picked to minimise phenolics from the skins. Precise press-cuts ensured that only the less phenolic free run juice was used in the finished wine. After settling, the juice was fermented in stainless steel tanks at cool temperatures to retain fruit character and freshness.

100% Grüner Veltliner.

This Grüner Veltliner has delicate aromas of orange blossom and citrus blended with hints of sweet floral honeysuckle. It has great texture with a full mouth feel. Flavours of white peach mingle well with the subtle peppery spice notes. Mineral complexity gives this wine a clean and crisp appeal. The balance of the fruit, acidity and phenolics work very well together and lead to a long dry finish.

ABV = 13.0%.

£15.95

Tinpot Hut Sauvignon Blanc 2019 (1x75cl)

** MORE STOCK ON WEDS 12th AUGUST **

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 SB 2016 - August 2017 Decanter review

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%.

£13.70

Villa Maria Single Vineyard Taylors Pass Sauvignon Blanc 2019 (1x 75cl)

** STOCK WITH US ON THURS 1st OCTOBER **

Awarded a Gold medal and 95 points at the 2020 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details and review).

For other 2020 DWWA winners, click here.

The 2018 vintage was awarded a Platinum & Best in Show medal and 97 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

It is not easy to tell your Dad that you are quitting a career in carpentry to try your hand at making wine. But in 1961, at the age of 21, that's exactly what Sir George Fistonich did. He leased five acres of land from his father, planted one acre with grapes and started making wine under the name 'Villa Maria'. Since those first cuttings took hold in the soil out in Mangere, near Auckland, Sir George has been determined to be at the cutting edge of quality winegrowing.

Sir George Fistonich, Owner and Managing Director "Uppermost in my mind as we grow is that we should maintain the principles with which we started over 50 years ago: the pursuit of quality, innovation and passion for a particular style that is New Zealand. Above all, we want to make wines that everyone can enjoy, everywhere." 

Still 100% New Zealand and family-owned, Villa Maria Estate has gone from strength to strength over the last 50 years and is now distributed in over 50 countries worldwide. Sir George's dedication to quality remains unwavering and as a result, Villa Maria Estate has claimed the title of New Zealand's Most Awarded Winery for over thirty consecutive years.

The picturesque Taylors Pass Vineyard is located on the northern bank of the Awatere River in southern Marlborough. The average vine age is between 12-17 years-old. Sheltered from prevailing cool easterly winds, each terrace of the vineyard has varying soil types, stony gravels are nearest the river, whereas the mid-terrace has silt over gravels and the highest terrace is a deeper silt over clay-papa base. This patchwork of soil types provides the vineyard with dramatically variable ripening patterns, therefore producing a "fruit salad" of pungent Sauvignon Blanc flavours to select from.

Selective harvesting in cool night temperatures.

Fermentation: 100% stainless steel tank fermentation, selected aromatic & textural yeasts.

Maturation: Carefully monitored time on yeast lees to build palate weight and texture.

Fining: Minimal phenolic fining. Filtration: Sterile lenticular filtration.

100% Sauvignon Blanc.

The 2019 Single Vineyard Taylors Pass Sauvignon Blanc has lifted aromatics of fresh garden peas and blackcurrants mingled with herbs such as coriander. On the palate are concentrated flavours of jalapeño and grapefruit, with a punchy finish of lime zest and a hint of gunflint. A key point of interest in this wine is the chalky texture reminiscent of wet river stones.

ABV = 13.0%. 

£16.30

Wairau River Pinot Gris 2019 (1x75cl)

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.

Pinot Gris 92%, Chardonnay 6% and Gewürztraminer 2%.

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.

ABV = 13.0%.

£13.40
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