The previous 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 links below). It has been one of our biggest sellers of 2017.
The big question is: is the new 2017 be as good as the 2016? We think so, but see also the link below for the word from Auntsfield themselves...
... and the first word from the New Zealand reviewers...
A true cracker of a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc that simply bursts with both quality and flavour.
Marlborough is famous for its two main river valleys, the Wairau and the Awatere, from where many of its great names hail. The Auntsfield plots lie directly between the two, in what is are known as the Southern Valleys. This is a sub-region where the climate is cooler and drier. With its mix of high-mineral Greywacke rock and old, low-fertility Loess clay soils, the Southern Valleys is regarded for its riper styles of wine with more structure, texture and minerality. The Auntsfield vineyard covers 65 hectares and is planted in Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir.
This, the Single Vineyard SB, lies some way above Auntsfield's entry level and is made only from grapes grown on the main Estate. The style is aimed towards texture, complexity and length, balancing the typical Marlborough fruit spectrum and aromatics with richness and mouth feel. Unusually for an NZSB, although the majority of the wine was cool-fermented in stainless steel (standard), this was balanced by a portion of the fruit being subject to traditional winemaking practices: handpicked, whole-bunch-pressed and fermented in seasoned oak barrels, which very materially adds texture, body and length to the wine.
On the nose, it has powerful aromas of fresh passionfruit, ripe citrus and lime, with lesser notes of dried herbs, lemongrass, jalapeno and blackcurrant. It's no exaggeration to say that we at Exel reckon this is one of the most deliciously aromatic NZSBs we have yet encountered.
On the palate, the Auntsfield is truly powerful and yet retains its elegance: it displays intense ripe fruit flavours of passionfruit and white peach, again with citrus notes of lime and mandarin. Minerality is a term all-too-often banded about in these tasting notes, yet there is a decided wet-stone twang here. Overally, the palate has intense concentration and generous weight, balanced by an underlying minerality and tight structure. All of which is to say: "glorious".
Bright lifted herbals, fennel, blackcurrant and lemon. Fruit salad entry over a base of apple, nice herbals again with mineral and citrus on the finish. Creamy mid-palate.
Classic Marlborough pungency and varietal definition. Aromas of white currants, blackcurrants, nettles, and ripe tropical notes including passionfruit. A full palate, which finishes with fresh acidity. Currant and mineral characters linger for minutes.
This vibrant, aromatic wine comes from the Awatere Valley, south of the better-known Wairau Plains. Michiel Eradus, owner/winemaker, believes the prolonged ripening period here is key to the wines' flavour intensity. Eradus Sauvignon is herbaceous and mineral with a long, rich finish.
Classically styled and characteristic of Hunters trademark Sauvignon Blanc, this wine immediately shows a mixture of passionfruit, crisp apple and citrus fruit aromas. The refreshing multilayered palate exhibits a blend of ripe tropical fruit, sweet herbs
Pale straw with green tinges. A bouquet of intense citrus fruit with mandarin orange and floral notes. The palate is crisp and fresh with lime characters and a hint of confected lemons.
Straw yellow in colour. Intense aromas of ripe pear, melon and apples with appealing floral notes. The palate shows delicious ripe quince and pears combined with a hint of peaches and cream from the malolactic influence. This wine exhibits all the classic Pinot Gris characteristics.
Bright, pale lemon-green. Citrus and tropical fruit aromas are backed by the characteristic herbaceous notes that Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is renowned for. An exuberant wine on the palate brimming with flavours of pineapple, passionfruit, stonefruit and a hint of herbaceousness. The finish is fresh, zesty and lingering.
Amazingly powerful aromas, distinctively Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Lemon meringue pie, sweet passionfruit, melon and tropical fruits with hints of crushed tomato leaf. Intense complex flavours of citrus balanced with ripe tropical fruits of passionfruit and white peach. Crisp acidity and a lingering finish round out this stunning wine.
Highly aromatic, displaying lively grapefruit and citrus characters. Medium bodied and intensely varietal in character, dripping with green apple, lime and grapefruit flavours with subtle hints of honey and finishing with a steely, mineral streak.
Straw green. Gooseberry, redcurrant and lemon aromas, full and assertive on the nose and palate. Medium to full bodied with vibrant acidity intertwined with crisp fruits. Finishes with a zesty, long finish.
The Crossings Sauvignon Blanc shows lifted notes of gooseberry and passionfruit, underpinned with citrus notes. The palate is full with pure fruit flavours, yet balanced with a persistent, crisp mineral finish.
This Grüner Veltliner is aromatic, fruit-forward and pale straw in colour. Delicate aromas of orange blossom, citrus and stone fruit blend with hints of sweet floral honeysuckle. The Grüner Veltliner is a very textural wine. Flavours of white peach mingle well with subtle peppery spice notes. Mineral complexity, which is so reflective of the Blind River sub region, 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.
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.
Fruit grown on Fiona’s own 16.5 hectare Turner Home Block Vineyard was blended with fruit from the neighbouring McKee vineyard in the Blind River sub-region of the Awatere Valley. Each vineyard was carefully monitored during ripening so it could be harvested at optimum maturity in cool conditions.
The 2016 growing season was characterised by a dry, warm spring and summer. Intensely managed yields during flowering have produced wonderful fruit intensity.
After harvest, the fruit was quickly transported to the winery for immediate pressing, with minimal skin contact to avoid juice deterioration. Once settled, the clear juice was cool fermented in stainless steel using an aromatic yeast to help tease out the delicate flavours, and to retain the fresh fruit characteristics and underlying spicy notes. The two parcels were then blended and prepared for bottling under screwcap.
Fragrant aromas of spice, pear and stone fruit mix with underlying notes of brioche and freshly cut spring flowers. This wine is medium bodied and textural, with flavours of ripe pear and white peach and a touch of spicy nutmeg - all characteristics that are synonymous with Pinot Gris grown in the Blind River sub region of Marlborough. This wine has beautifully ripe fruit flavours and is silky with good palate weight. The finish is both succulent and lingering.