Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their April 2021 article: New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc - 20 from 2020 (see blue link below).
Zephyr, Sauvignon Blanc 2020 - April 2021 Decanter review
For our article on that review - and the other wines that topped it (that we offer) - click here.
Ben Glover, of Wither Hills fame, is now focusing on matters closer to home and has taken charge of his family winery, Zephyr. Referring to himself humbly as the janitor, Ben creates wines from their own vineyards in the renowned Marlborough sub-region of Dillon's Point. The whites especially deserve to be compared with other world class whites rather than merely the best of Marlborough. No more so than with the MKIII Sauvignon Blanc, that is a star in any line up. Taken from the Rabbit Island block that, thanks to its East/West planting, captures both wonderful aromatics and lush tropical notes in its grapes. Once pressed, the juice ferments in barrels to produce a complex, waxy Graves lookalike, albeit at a rather more accessible price point.
The Glover family vineyards, planted in 1985 alongside the meandering Opawa River, have inspired the family’s passion for wine. The vineyard is now very much an aromatic specialist with Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurztraminer and Riesling. The viticultural and winemaking philosophy embraces the structural strengths of the vineyard. The wines show classic cool climate precision matched with palate depth and the ability to support texture. Winemaker Ben Glover says "I have always wanted to express the exquisite refined bouquet, the precise structure and the 'line' of these aromatic wines from our farm. Zephyr allows me to do this - winegrowing is a natural expression and extension of what our family and I have done on this property for years and the opportunity to pay them back with home grown, world class wines is too good to be true".
The fruit comes from the Kerseley Estate Single Vineyard. Machine harvested whilst cold, and quickly pressed off skins with free run juice kept separate. This then undergoes a cool ferment with selected Blanc yeasts to ensure the wines are true to the vineyard expression - 2020 is the first vintage where this single vineyard Sauvignon Blanc will be certified organic and is also vegan friendly, both being something the Glover Family have been working towards for the past 5 years as a true expression of Turangawaewae.
See also the blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from Zephyr HQ.
Zephyr, Sauvignon Blanc 2020 - fiche technique
100% Sauvignon Blanc.
Very pale straw with a slight green hue. On the nose, ginger, green apple and crisp highlights of lime. Citrus focussed palate with quenching acidity and varietal elegance.
Exel tasting note: Of the three panel-toppers, this is the zingiest (ie most vibrantly acidic), the driest and the leanest. Fruitwise, its profile is citric (grapefruit), but it does quite closely mimic South African and even French/Loire Sauvignon Blancs in having a cut-grass, nettle and elderflower hit to both the nose and palate. I'm really not a fan of the much-used concept/term of 'minerality'; I personally regard it as something of another - and quite misleading - way of expressing the feel of very dry wines (eg Savennieres, Chablis etc). After all, nobody ever uses the term for wines with more than a gram or so of residual sugar. However, to the extent that it can or should be used, it's true here; there is a dry, stony feel to this wine (I'm not personally a huge fan of this effect in NZSB, but some people will be). The sharpness and crackle of this wine - regard me as mad if you will - have something of an Italian-ness about them - it an effect that would not be out of place with a Verdicchio or a Soave. For sure, it is one clean, dry NZSB, and quite an unusual (and less purely fruit-driven) take on the category.