Marlborough

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  • Bottle Size: 75cl

Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2017 edition review of New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs (see blue link below).

Ata Rangi SB 2016 - August 2017 Decanter review

Ata Rangi is owned and run by Clive Paton and his wife Phyll, together with Clive's sister Alison and winemaker Helen Masters. Clive planted the bare, stony five hectare home paddock at the edge of Martinborough in 1980 and, in doing so, was one of a handful of people who pioneered grape growing in the area. Renowned for their Pinot Noir, which is consistently ranked as one of New Zealand's best, Ata Rangi also produces a range of white wines including Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

The Ata Rangi vineyards are situated in Martinborough, to the north of Wellington. The grapes for this wine come from Waiora, Walnut Ridge, Hau Ariki Marae and Southdowns Estate. Vineyard husbandry is important to Ata Rangi, including leaf plucking to keep the canopies open. Naturally low yields, older vines, small canopies and judicious, labour-intensive hand picking of the entire crop are all factors in producing this uniquely Martinborough style of Sauvignon Blanc. The vineyards are in conversion to organic certification and are accredited as 100% sustainable.

Fruit was hand-picked and crushed with around half given a few hours of cold soak skin-contact before draining and pressing. Four separate ferment components make up the final wine. A small portion of de-stemmed whole berries were loaded into a super-sized oak barrel where the juice fermented in contact with the berry skins. Adding further complexity and savoury notes, around 30% was fermented in neutral oak barrels.

The on-skins component has highlighted beautiful citrus florals, with a hint of fresh fennel and lime zest. The wine has an impressive textural quality with mouth-watering drive and a tight, flinty, satisfyingly long finish.

£15.55

Auntsfield Estate Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2017 (1x75cl)

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.

Auntsfield Single Vineyard SB 2016 - August 2017 Decanter review

Decanter review - individual reviewer comments

The Tinpot Hut scored the same 98 points with Decanter and is also superb, see our comparison here

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...

Auntsfield Single Vineyard SB 2017 - vintage release from Auntsfield - September 2017

... and the first word from the New Zealand reviewers...

Auntsfield Single Vineyard SB 2017 - Raymond Chan of NZ review - September 2017

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".

£13.50

Babich Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (1x75cl)

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.

£12.45

Blank Canvas Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 89 points and Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2017 edition review of New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs (see blue link below).

Blank Canvas SB 2016 - August 2017 Decanter review

A classic expression of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc but one which offers complexity of texture and a mineral drive reminiscent of river stones and sea spray. Blackcurrant, guava and passionfruit aromas emerge alongside subtle hints of lemongrass. On the palate, it is focused and vibrant while remaining elegantly balanced and distinctly salty.

£16.15

Delta Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (1x75cl)

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.

£12.70

Eradus Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (1x 75cl)

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.

£14.22

Framingham F-Series Old Vine Riesling 2015 (6x75cl)

Colourfully expressive nose with notes of lemon, white flowers and a wee bit of minerality. Crisp yet well structured acidity balanced with a gorgeous purity of white ripe fruit and a gentle honeysuckle hint on the finish.

£119.10

Framingham Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (6x75cl)

Awarded 86 points and Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2017 edition review of New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs (see blue link below).

Framingham SB 2016 - August 2017 Decanter review

A classic Marlborough style with a mineral edge. Delivers punchy varietal characters of passion fruit, grapefruit and redcurrant. Texture is enhanced by some barrel ferment and our signature mineral finish is retained. Enjoy with oysters, seafood or vegetarian dishes.

£77.95

Framingham Select Riesling 2013 (1x 75cl)

A very elegant wine with incredibly fresh mineral and lime notes on the nose. The palate is rich with more lime and lemon zest notes. Mouth-watering acidity balances the sweetness perfectly.

£15.10

Framingham Select Riesling 2016 (6x75cl)

The 2015 vintage was rated number 21 in Decanter's 'Most Exciting Wines of 2016' (www.decanter.com) in their January 2017 edition (see blue link below).

 

Framingham Select Riesling 2015 - January 2017 Decanter review

 

Delicate aromatics reminiscent of beeswax, raspberry, orange blossom and green tea, with some gentle stone-like mineral tones. Elegant, silky palate with low alcohol making the wine light on its feet, and great tension between sugar and acidity. Rich and pure flavours of orange citrus and red summer fruit compote along with crème anglaise carry through into a very long, stony, almost crunchy, mineral finish. Retained carbon dioxide from fermentation adds liveliness.

£95.65

Frostpocket Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (1x75cl)

Deliciously crisp and fresh, packed full of vibrant and long lasting lime, gooseberry and tropical fruit flavours.  Try this with Asian fish dishes like scallops or prawns in spicy sauces such as thai green curries. Grilled squids or swordfish as well as goat cheese salads. It works well with herbs such as dill, basil and coriander.

£9.05

Greywacke Chardonnay 2014 (1x75cl)

This wine was awarded 89 points and Highly Recommended status in Decanter's February 2018 review of New Zealand Chardonnay. They say "An elegant Chardonnay beaming with tropical fruit, pineapple, ginger and creme brulee sprinkled with toasted hazelnuts, finishing with a warm lick."

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'.

The grapes for this wine are primarily sourced from the low-yielding Mendoza clone, known for its concentration of flavour and crisp acidity; the balance were from Clone 95. The majority of the fruit was sourced from the lower reaches of the Brancott Valley and Fairhall, grown in gravelly, clay-loam soils, the remainder coming from Rapaura, grown in young alluvial soils containing high proportions of New Zealand’s ubiquitous greywacke river stones. All vineyards were trained on a two-cane VSP trellis.

The vineyards were hand-picked separately at high ripeness levels and fruit was whole bunch pressed. The resulting juice was lightly settled and racked to French oak barriques (20% new).The juice underwent spontaneous indigenous yeast fermentation, the final phase continuing for many months. The wine received occasional lees stirring and underwent a complete malolactic fermentation. It was transferred out of oak after 18 months and bottled in December 2015.

A deliciously rich amalgam of pink grapefruit, figs and baked apples intertwine with more savoury characters redolent of meadow hay, toasted hazelnuts and buttered brioche. This grapefruit and nutty savouriness pervades the crisp, dry palate, while the power and concentration of the Mendoza clone creates an extraordinarily long finish that lingers and lingers.

£24.50

Greywacke Marlborough Riesling 2014 (1x 75cl)

A virtual fruit salad of mandarin segments, white fleshed peaches and crisp apples, sprinkled with lemon blossom and a dollop of honey. A lively, aromatic off-dry style that delivers a sherbet-like balance of bright, natural acidity and a subliminal touch of sweetness.

£17.42

Greywacke Pinot Gris 2015 (1x 75cl)

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'.

Much of the fruit is from the Selection Ovaille and Mission clones grown at Wrekin Terrace Vineyard in the Brancott Valley, a valley floor site on gravelly clay-loam soils typical of the Southern Valleys. A smaller parcel of the newly released Entav 52 clone (known for its small bunch and berry size) was grown at Riverbrook Vineyard in Rapaura, in young alluvial soils containing high proportions of greywacke river stones. The vines were trained on a two-cane VSP (vertical shoot positioning) trellis and crop thinning is carried out to target a modest yield of 7.5 T/Ha.

Warm spring weather created early flowering and early ripening. The vines were very low yielding, with smaller berries than usual, which led to increased concentration and quality in the 2015 wines.

The three clones were hand-picked separately at high ripeness levels and whole bunch pressed using very low maceration press cycles. The resulting juice was cold settled then racked to fermentation vessels. Most of the juice was allowed to undergo spontaneous indigenous yeast fermentation in old French oak barriques and the balance was fermented in stainless steel tanks using cultured yeast. The fermentations were stopped to achieve an average of 8g/l residual sugar. The barrel fermented components remained in oak for seven months during which time a portion underwent malolactic fermentation. All the batches were kept on lees in stainless steel tanks for a further six months and the wine was then blended and bottled mid-2016.

An autumnal bake-up of soft sweet figs, poached pears and quince, scented with a hint of mulling spices and almond crumble. An opulently ripe expression of the Pinot Gris grape with great texture and a luscious off-dry richness that finishes crisply with considerable power and length.

£17.45

Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (1x 75cl)

A refreshing sorbet-like medley of fresh lychee, grapefruit and honeydew melon laced with flinty minerality and finished with an infusion of mandarin and lime zest. A lively, invigorating wine with persistent grapefruit flavours and a steely blackcurrant tang. Crisp with a long, enduring finish.  

£16.15
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