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Astrolabe Taihoa
Sauvignon Blanc

Astrolabe Taihoa
Sauvignon Blanc

When I’m looking to make my most unique sauvignon blanc, I go to the most unique area of Marlborough to do it. The fruit for this wine is grown by Paddy and Anna Trolove at Taihoa Vineyard on Marlborough’s southern Kēkerengū coast. This wine is a bit of a sentimental favourite for me. It is an outlier, both geographically and in a winemaking sense, to the typical sauvignon blanc wines of Marlborough; it is all about complexity, texture and age-worthiness.

The grapes for my Taihoa Sauvignon blanc are grown with organic management and a low-cropping regime on a beautiful little terrace, high above the sea. We expose the fruit more to the sun by taking leaf away from around the bunches. When it gets to the right stage of ripeness, it’s hand-picked and taken as whole bunches back to the winery, where we press it in the champagne-style method to delicately get the free-run juice away.

Cuvée juice is wild fermented in old 500 litre oak puncheons that have seen several years of chardonnay and then retained in barrel for extended maturation. I find that the wild yeast from this site has a very unique character. This sauvignon blanc is all about the wild yeast, high solids ferment, aging on yeast lees and a little bit of the nuances that come from the Kēkerengū area. I am crafting a wine with a very linear, focused structure around which I can build beautiful textures.

This is an ageworthy sauvignon blanc for the connoisseur who wishes to keep it for the long haul.

Simon Waghorn — Winemaker


Lemon gold.

Focused aromas of guava, lime rind and papaya with light leesy nuances.

Powerful and concentrated, with a tight mineral texture and flavours of melon, green peach and limoncello.

This wine is already drinking well, but it will continue to evolve, increasing in complexity and roundness over several years.

Soft white cheese, chicken and tarragon pie, and smoked eel. A natural partner for seafood —particularly oysters.

Lightly chilled.

2021 vintage

"Flagship wine from one of the New Zealand's top sauvignon blanc producers. Kekerengu-grown grapes are wild-fermented in barrel before extended barrel fermentation. The wine combines purity and power. Winemaker artefact is clearly evident without sacrificing varietal definition. A backbone of delicious acidity adds energy. Drink 2022 to 2027." APR 22
Bob Campbell, Master of Wine                                                                                         The Real Review © The Real Review

2020 vintage

5 Stars
"In Maori, "taihoa" means to wait — to be unhurried — and the fruit from this vineyard has clearly been given the time and care it needs to create serious yum-factor. Winemaker Simon Waghorn wild - fermented Kēkerengū-grown fruit from the southernmost part of Marlborough in old, 500-litre oak puncheons that have seen several years of chardonnay. The high-solids juice was then retained in barrel for extended maturation on its yeast lees to create luscious, lime, marzipan, and soft passionfruit plushness, which means it's miles away from the capsicum and huge acidity of old. Make no mistake, this sauvignon is ultra-textural, tangy and twanging with flavour, it's a clean, complex superstar. Fish pie? Perfecto! Drink now through 2027." - JAN 23
Yvonne Lorkin


“Flagship sauvignon blanc from the Taihoa vineyard in the Kekerengu subregion of Marlborough. Weighty, textural wine with a mix of tree fruits, orange blossom, struck-flint and rockmelon flavours. A complex wine with a pleasing savoury edge. Drink 2021 to 2026.” OCT 21
Bob Campbell, Master of Wine
The Real Review © The Real Review

"Grown and hand-harvested at Kekerengu, the 2020 vintage (5*) was fermented and matured in old French oak puncheons. Pale gold, it is a mouthfilling, complex wine with generous, ripely herbal flavours, tightly structured, dry and lingering. Full of personality, it’s still unfolding. Best drinking 2022+." FEB 22
Michael Cooper
New Zealand Wines: Michael Cooper’s Buyer’s Guide 

"The 2020 Sauvignon Blanc Taihoa is a rich, smoky Sauvignon Blanc sourced from the cool, windy Kekerengu coast of Marlborough. Wild fermentation in old oak barrels using only the cuvée juice, followed up with lees stirring means that you find delicate yet layered textures through the wine. There are cool-climate green notes as well as black currant, citrus, flint and underlying lees-derived characters. The lively, clean finish is lengthy and intriguing. Drinking 2022-2029." MAR 22
Rebecca Gibb, Master of Wine

2019 vintage

95 POINTS Best Sauvignon Blanc Tasted 2020
“Flagship sauvignon fermented in old puncheons using endemic yeasts. The result is a serious sauvignon with impressive complexity and underlying power. Fruitiness takes a back seat to savoury, nutty yeast lees and subtle toasty nuances. Peppery phenolics give the wine a distinctive backbone.” DEC 20
Bob Campbell, Master of Wine
The Real Review © The Real Review

Read Bob's review here or watch here


Sustainably certified SWNZ

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