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.
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.
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.
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.