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
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.
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
“Ripe, pure, complex and developing with a core of tropical and local orchard fruits, a fine toasty leesy layer and enticing minerality. Lovely on the palate with a mealy finely textured mouthfeel, flavours of peach, apple and tropical fruits then herbs and leesy autolysis. Well made with a very lengthy finish. Delicious! Drink now and through 2025+.” DEC 20
Cameron Douglas, Master Sommelier
“Sitting on the Kekerengu Coast, this heavily maritime-influenced site offers a crisp, briny style. Whole-bunch-pressed and wild-fermented in old oak barrels, the thiol-driven, tropical aromas are dialed down, giving a piquant, black-currant-edged and citrus-driven style. Light in body but provides strength through its core, and finishes taut and muscular.” NOV 20
Rebecca Gibb, Master of Wine
Sustainably certified SWNZ