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 2015 growing season was characterised by a dry spring and summer. Lower yields due to cooler weather during flowering have produced wonderful fruit intensity.
The grapes for this single vineyard wine were grown by the McKee family in the Blind River sub-region of the Awatere Valley. 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. A press cut was made early and the free run juice was fermented in tank to retain fruit character and freshness.
This wine has delicate aromas of orange blossom, citrus and stonefruit blended with hints of sweet floral honeysuckle. Grüner Veltliner is a very textural wine. Flavours of white peach mingle well with the 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. Perfect for enjoying now, the structure and weight of this wine will gain complexity for the next 4 years.
Enjoy with oily seafood such as salmon and tuna or, alternatively, roasted pork and duck.
We like this because it's properly unusual and exciting. Austrian Gruner Veltliner isn't to everyone's liking, but this New World/NZ spin on it - from the ever-excellent team at Tinpot Hut in Marlborough - is wonderful: big and intense. Mark rates it as one of his his Three Favourite Whites of 2017.