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Te Whare Ra Winery or TWR is a small, family-run vineyard and winery whose Pinot Noir is much loved by Wines With Attitude customers; I decided therefore to stock some of their white wines. This one is from a vineyard that is one of the oldest in Marlborough and is certified organic. Three grapes, Gewurztraminer, Riesling and Pinot Noir are grown together in a single vineyard and co-fermented to produce this beautiful field blend. The winemakers, Anna and Jason Flowerday, really care about the end product and it shows:
they love the grape varieties of Alsace like Gewurztraminer and Riesling
all grapes are hand-picked and hand sorted
the co-fermentation means the three grape varieties are fully integrated
there is minimal intervention and the wines are given sufficient time on lees in the winery to build texture and complexity
I was not expecting to like this wine at all because of the predominance of the Gewurztraminer grape (64%); I find many Gewurztraminer or GWT wines to be overly fragrant, with over the top tropical fruit flavours and a level of acidity too low to balance the sweet fruitiness. Boy, was I pleasantly surprised by this wine!
It is beautiful - dry, elegant with subtle spice and fruit from the GWT, structure from the Riesling (24%) and texture from the Pinot Gris (12%). That texture has also been enhanced by a considerable of time sent on the lees (the dead yeast cells). It is creamy without being rich and has a very long finish of mineral, citrus and pear flavours. I love it!
This wine is drinking beautifully now but will keep a few years.
This dry white wine is beautiful to drink on its own but it will also pair well with spicy Chinese dishes and other Asian food
"TORU (which means “three” in Maori) is an aromatic blend we first created in 2006 and has now become one of our flagship wines. Toru was the first of its kind in New Zealand; it is a delicious, co-fermented “field blend” of three varieties - Gewürztraminer, Riesling and Pinot Gris. We are passionate about these classic Alsacian varieties and we spent a great deal of time coming up with the right proportions in the blend. We were aiming for a wine that displayed the essence of all three varieties, whilst creating a distinctive and interesting wine in its own right, and co-fermentation is key to that result. It has the aromatic spice and weight of Gewürztraminer, the line and length of Riesling, and the great texture of Pinot Gris...
This 2019 Toru has an intriguing nose with notes of mango, fresh citrus, white florals and exotic spices. These lead into a multi-layered palate with flavours of mango, citrus, red apple and lychee with a lingering spiciness. The palate has excellent fruit concentration and weight with lovely creamy texture, plus a mineral edge which gives it great length of flavour."
I’ve come across very few winegrowers and winemakers who give so much thought to every aspect of the vineyard, winery, winemaking, how their wines show in stylistic and quality terms, and how the wines are presented in the marketplace, as Jason and Anna. This reflects their passion, enthusiasm, extremely high standards, hard work and attention to detail in creating and crafting wines that reflect their vineyard and region, and their guiding the wines sensitively so that they are expressed with great finesse. At present, New Zealand wines are generally enjoyed for their strong and distinctively clear fruit flavours. It is apparent that our industry must progress towards producing wines which are more refined, subtly complex and textured with the ability to develop, so as to appeal to the increasing and maturing fine wine drinkers of the world. The Te Whare Ra wines are at the forefront of this movement in this country."
Gewurztraminer, Riesling and Pinot Gris grow together in this single vineyard in Marlborough so it made sense to blend the three grapes into the Toru White 'field blend'. It's an elegant, dry white wine that goes well with spicy food and it is beautiful on its own. This wine was made by the winemakers as a wine they want to drink and it often sells out rapidly upon release