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This wine is pure TWR - that is to say it is produced by the amazing Te Whare Ra Winery, a small, family-run vineyard and winery. 75% of the fruit for this Sauvignon Blanc comes from the cooler Awatere Valley and the remaining 25% is from the TWR's warmer Renwick vineyards which are certified organic and also from a vineyard owned by Jason Flowerday's brother, Kurt. Though not all the vineyards are certified organic, they are sustainably certified and are cared for according to organic principles and to TWR's own environmentally friendly and sustainable principles.
I agree with Anna Flowerday's comment that this is "a Sauvignon Blanc for people who think they don't like Sauvignon Blanc". It's not the tropical fruit, Cloudy Bay style but a much fresher, more subtle style - very citrussy with lemon and lime on the nose and palate and notes of elderflower and gooseberry and just a hint of something more tropical in the background.
Although the wine is marked as oaked, only 12.5% of the blend was fermented in barrel - and those barrels are large and old so the effect is neutral and done more for texture than for taste. Read more about this in my oaked vs. unoaked wines blogpost. The lemon and lime flavours on the palate are round rather than sharp which make this a very smooth wine with just the right amount of acidity to make this a very balanced and pretty sophisticated wine.
Recommended with fish, shellfish, chicken, pork and roast ham. It will stand up to richer dishes better than some other white wines.
"This 2019 Sauvignon Blanc is a blend from four specially selected vineyards in two different sub-regions of Marlborough. We have focussed on this sub-regional combination for the last 12 or so years, as we love the resultant style of Sauvignon Blanc. Two of the vineyards are in the upper Awatere – Shamrock & Trelawne Farm and two are in the Wairau - one being our certified organic home block here in Renwick, and the other is a young block owned by Jason’s younger brother Kurt...
Our 2019 release shows lovely ripe Awatere characters of guava, white currant, and elderflower coupled with the Wairau hallmarks of passionfruit & tropical notes and hints of basil and lime. These follow through to the palate – which is fine and soft with loads of fleshy fruit balanced by a ripe, juicy acidity and lingering minerality. There is real fruit weight here and that is complimented by lovely texture from the time on lees and the barrel parcels – It is utterly delicious!"
95 points Cameron Douglas
“Pungent, varietal, fruity, savoury and exotic with aromas of fresh and dried herbs, sweet green papaya, grapefruit, apple and wet river stone minerality. On the palate – equally exotic, fruity and pungent. Dry with abundant acidity contrasted by a core of fruit that mirrors the nose. Fleshy satin textures, herbs and peppery white spice.”
94 points Sam Kim
“Offering fabulous varietal purity and vibrancy, the wine shows green rockmelon, Gala apple, jalapeno and lime peel aromas on the nose with a hint of oatmeal complexity. It’s delightfully weighted and persistent with fine texture and bright acidity, making it immediately appealing. Deliciously stylish.”
92 points Bob Campbell
“Fresh, crisp, high-energy sauvignon blanc with appealingly pure lemongrass, lime juice, gooseberry and capsicum. A refreshing wine from a hot, dry vintage where many wines lacked acidity”
90 points Huon Hooke
“Light straw colour and a very appealing, fragrant bouquet of gooseberry, fresh herbs and passionfruit – a Marlborough style nose, with similarly good intensity of palate flavour that lingers on well.”
Winery of the Year 2014 Raymond Chan Dec 2014
"... the Flowerdays represent the modern and young face of winegrowing in New Zealand, making a range of beautifully elegant, exceptionally high quality wines, with the greatest respect for the environment from which the fruit is obtained.
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."
A concentrated and refined Sauvignon Blanc, not the typical tropical fruit style of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc; This wine was described by winemaker Anna Flowerday as a Sauvignon Blanc for people who think they don't like Sauvignon Blanc. Not too in your face but a fresh and subtle style