2014 Elephant Hill "Reserve" Sauvignon Blanc Hawke's Bay
Weighty, textural Sauvignon Blanc with impressive concentration and mouth-feel. Melon, perhaps nectarine and mineral characters with a seasoning of nutty yeast lees. I like the wine's balance of acidity and fruit/alcohol sweetness. It promises to become even more interesting with bottle age. Good food wine.
Bright, very pale straw-colour, near colourless on rim. The nose is expressive of finesse, with elegantly and tightly bound, delicate aromas of green stonefruits interwoven with soft herbs, wet-stone minerals, unveiling sweet gooseberry fruit and rainwater suggestions. Dry and medium-bodied, the palate is refined in proportion with a soft, mouthwatering core of gooseberries, green stonefruits, white florals and minerals. The mouthfeel is smooth in texture and flow, building is subtle sweetness, with soft, ripe acidity lending energy and drive. The palate possesses a fine, linear core that carries the flavours to a soft, sustained, minerally finish. This is a subtle, refined dry sauvignon Blanc with delicate richness and mouthwatering minerality. Serve with seafood and herb-marinated poultry dishes over the next 2-3+ years. Hand-picked fruit from the stoniest block of the ‘Te Awanga’ estate vineyard from vines planted in 2003, whole bunch pressed and indigenous yeast fermented, 50% in seasoned puncheons and 50% in stainless-steel. 12.5% alc. The wine aged 8 months on lees in 3 year old oak.
Made from hand-picked grapes, this elegantly expressed sauvignon shows white nectarine, lemon peel, lime zest and dill aromas on the nose. The palate is finely textured and delicate flavoured, yet powerful and persistent at the same time. A brilliant wine to partner elegant seafood dishes. At its best: now to 2019.
(12.2% alcohol; from a stony vineyard next to the sea, planted in 2003; half fermented in older 500-liter oak puncheons and half in stainless steel; spent a full 11 months on its lees; this wine is not made every year): Bright, pale yellow. Underripe pineapple, grapefruit, lime and lemon zest on the nose, plus a hint of piquant green tropical fruits. Offers a pliant texture with bracing acidity but no hardness. A captivating, fine-grained fruit bomb that shows its oak element only in the texture of the wine. Finishes with sneaky length. An excellent example of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc that's not from Marlborough.
The melon, lime skin and green apple notes are fresh and smooth, showing a hint of minerality. This is appealing for the refreshing finish and clear focus. Drink now. 400 cases made. (Web Only - 2014)
Elephant Hill's "Reserve" Labels are only made in the best vintages. 2014 was one such exceptional vintage. This Sauv Blanc is made from a couple parcels of fruit selected for their extremely stony soils and proximity to the ocean. The fruit was hand-picked, whole cluster pressed and wild yeast fermented 50% in stainless tank and 50% in old French oak barrels, where it then rested on lees for 8 months to gain texture and complexity. This is serious, weighty, rich, textural Sauvignon Blanc. It shows riper citrus flavors, white peach, tangerine peel and lovely saline, mineral tones. A slightly nutty, baguette nuance from the extended lees ageing adds complexity and intrigue. Very long on the palate with great concentration of flavor. Simply stunning. (Ryan Woodhouse - K&L NZ Wine Buyer)