The 2016 vintage was 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 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. Lean, stony soils are low in vigour and fertility. 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.
The wine has a pale lemon yellow colour and a bouquet reminiscent of green figs with hints of gooseberries and an intrusion of green peppers. The wine is dry, full bodied and has a long lingering finish.
Aromas are very expressive from the very first year and are essentially fruity citrus (grapefruit), passion fruit, as well as floral (rose petals and white flowers).
A pale lemon green in colour, there are aromas are of gooseberries, cut grass and elderflower. On the palate it is very fresh flavours of pineapple and passion fruit and a light and refreshing finish. A fruity easy drinking wine, perfect as an aperitif.
A subtle, delicate expression of Sauvignon, underlined on the palate with a silky mouthfeel. Lemon, gooseberry and blackcurrant bud are detected in this fruity, elegant and racy wine. A classic expression of Sauvignon de Touraine.
The Chardonnay gives this wine its finesse and elegance, the Sauvignon its subtle aroma of hazelnuts and exotic fruits, and the Semillon provides roundness, length and finesse. The result is an elegant wine with a complex aroma of spice, pineapple and nuts which is followed through on the palate. Medium-bodied, balanced acidity and a medium to long finish.
The Clements family who are behind Domaine Châtenoy have combined their expertise, their commitment to the environment and an exceptionnal terroir to produce wines known and recognized for their finesse, clean style and intense aromas. The Clements has been wine-producers for a very long time - the family are documented as wine producers in in Menetou-Salon as early as 1560.
Menetou is the lesser known of the three towns in the world famous Sauvignon Blanc heartland of the Loire valley. Although Menetou is not as recognisable a name as Sancerre or Pouilly, you will certainly recognise the style of this mineraly, smokey Sauvignon Blanc. The average age of the vines is between 20 and 40 years old, planted on calcareous clay soil and south/southwest exposure.
After harvest the grapes are sorted, then the whole-berries are pneumatically pressed. The juice then undergoes cold stabilisation. Indigenous yeasts are used to ensure a spontaneous fermentation in temperature controlled stainless steel vats. The wine is then matured on its fine lees and is bottled from spring onwards. As this wine is made in a traditional way, there is no oak contact.
Lively citrus and grassy herb aromas. The palate is medium to light in body, dry and with good limey acidity that magnifies the citrus and mineral characters. Lengthy, clean and absolutely no oak on this 100% Sauvignon Blanc.
This is a wine with a bright and clean pale yellow in the company of slight greenish reflections. It has a medium to high aromatic intensity which highlights fresh fruit aromas such as peach, pineapple and lime, mixed with soft aromas of white flowers. The palate is enveloping and feels soft and elegant with a sparkling acidity that balances well with the fruit flavors. Long and juicy finish.
Awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their November 2017 edition review of Australia's "Other" Whites (see blue links below).
Cullen Wines is a certified biodynamic, carbon neutral and naturally powered estate, with their philosophy summed up in three simple words; ‘Quality, Integrity and Sustainability’. It is one of the oldest and most awarded family wineries in Wilyabrup, in Western Australia’s famous Margaret River region. First established in 1971 by Dr Kevin and Diana Cullen and now run by their daughter Vanya, the winery has built an outstanding reputation for fine certified biodynamic wines that receive critical national and international acclaim. All wines produced are sourced from grapes grown on the Cullen and adjoining Mangan Estates. Both are certified biodynamic, to allow the soil to be nurtured and the wines to reflect their sense of place.
Although the weather in 2014 leading up to and during the vintage was warm, the fruit produced by all varieties was exceptional. There was no rain in January, February and not even until the end of harvest in March. The resulting low yields, balanced pH and great acid levels translated into wines of great flavour and style.
Harvest in 2014 delivered Semillon fruit of outstanding quality. The grapes at the Mangan vineyard were hand picked and sorted before being pressed and naturally fermented with no acid additions and limited fining.
This wine has ripe tropical and citrus notes which are prominent on the nose. The palate shows attractive florality, white peach, citrus and pineapple nuances with an underlying minerality.
Brothers Hernán and Eduardo Gras, along with partner Cristián Hartwig gave life to the Mont Gras winery in 1993, combining state of the art technology with the talent and passion of a very special group of people. With the inspiration of Hernán, who had a long winemaking trajectory in Canada, along with the entrepreneurial vision of his brother Eduardo and Cristián's pragmatic businesses view, they made a perfect combination that has converted MontGras into one of the major wine groups of Chile, with presence in the main wine regions of the country – Colchagua, Maipo and Leyda-, along with a high participation in international markets.
Grapes were handpicked in the morning and kept cool until pressing to conserve the fresh fruit. The free-run juice was kept separate from the press to preserve the highest quality achievable. The must was fermented at low temperatures of 12º C in stainless steel for approximately 15 days. The wine was filtered and fined before bottling.
Clear and bright in the glass with an aromatic nose that offers herbaceous characters alongside gooseberry, lychee and lemon aromas. The palate is dry, medium bodied and clean as a whistle as the grassy, lemon lime flavours are encouraged with a crisp structure that makes for a dangerously easy drinking, refreshing wine.
“The philosophy is to create modern Chilean wines that offer exceptional quality and value. We have all the equipment and technology, but it’s the people that make the difference. Crafting wine is an art in which you must use all your senses,” says Hernan Gras, President and Winemaker at MontGras. Feedback from the experts would indicate the success of this approach.
Straw yellow in colour with delicate citrus and melon aromas and a hint of fresh cut grass. Well balanced melon, citrus and herbal notes with a crisp acidity that makes this wine racy and refreshing. Good volume that fills the palate giving a pleasant and lingering finish.
This wine drinks very well with shellfish - particularly prawns or lobster and will compliment salads, club sandwiches and pasta, particularly with chicken or ham.