2015 Tohu Sauvignon Blanc Awatere Valley Marlborough

SKU #1274025 93 points Raymond Chan

 Bright, very pale straw colour with slight green hues, near colourless on the rim. This has a softly full and voluminous nose of passionfruit and tropical fruits along with delicately lifted herbs and limes, seamlessly interwoven, and opening up in richness and detail with aeration. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is softly concentrated with a deep core packed with flavours of passionfruit and gooseberries, tropical fruits and herbs. The mouthfeel is seamless in texture and the wine flows smoothly, unfolding rich capsicum and citrus flavours. The richness and depth is balanced by light, lacy acidity, lending freshness and gentle tension, and the wine carries to a rich, lush and concentrated finish. This is a softly concentrated, smooth and seamless Sauvignon Blanc with deeply packed flavours of passionfruit and gooseberries. Serve with Pacific Rim fare over the next 2 years. Fruit from the Awatere Valley cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 13.0% alc. and 3.2 g/L RS, the wine aged on lees.

93 points Sam Kim

 This is full of zesty, lively sauvignon flavours. Fragrant aromas of passionfruit, peach, lime zest and dill lead to a succulent palate that is generously expressed and loaded with tasty flavours. It is refreshing and juicy, and finishes superbly long. At its best: now to 2018.

K&L Notes

Neal Martin explains: "Tohu is New Zealand's first indigenous wine producer, after all nobody has worked the New Zealand land longer than the Maoris. They source fruit from Gisborne and Marlborough from contracted growers though they manage the vineyard sites for their Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc." From the winery: "This single vineyard wine is a unique expression of our high altitude site in the upper reaches of Marlborough’s Awatere Valley. A bright, luminous pale golden green in the glass, it displays aromas of current leaf, citrus and sweet tropical fruits on the nose. The palate is layered and complex with flavours of juicy fruit, herbal notes and a distinctive minerality. Balanced and concentrated this medium-bodied wine finishes long, crisp and dry."

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Price: $13.99

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Sauvignon Blanc

- One of the best known "international" varieties originally cultivated in France and considered the parent of, with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon. Sauvignon's wonderfully distinctive aromatics generate some of wine's most colorful descriptors, among them "cat pee," herbaceous, grassy, citrusy the world over. In France, the apex of Sauvignon Blanc production is the Loire Valley, in the appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, where the terroir expresses itself most beautifully through the grape. Sauvignon Blanc is also the leading white grape varietal in Bordeaux, where it is paired with the fatter, richer Sémillon to varying degrees. Relatively easy to cultivate, though more suited to cool climates, Sauvignon Blanc has made inroads in Europe outside of France, especially in Northeastern Italy's Friuli and Alto Adige, but also on the Slovenian border. These lovely wines are often overshadowed by Sauvignon Blanc's achievements in the New World, namely New Zealand, South Africa and California. New Zealand's Sauvignon Blancs, more conspicuously fruity than most French examples, landed the small island nation on the world wine map in the late-1980s and 1990s. South African Sauvignons are one of the most successful international varieties produced in that country and are often quite elegant and affordable. In California, Robert Mondavi managed to, almost single-handedly, created a market for Sauvignon Blanc by renaming his oak-fermented version Fumé Blanc. While some wineries still use the name, California Sauvignon Blanc has secured its place in the California wine pantheon, particularly those from the Napa Valley. Washington State, Chile and Argentina also have considerable plantings of the grape.

New Zealand

- New Zealand is an extremely diverse wine-growing nation. The long history of producing wine started in the 1830s with wineries such as Mission Estate (1850) and Te Mata Estate (1896) still producing wine today. The two islands hold a multitude of different growing climates ranging from warmer areas such as Hawke’s Bay to very cool regions such as Waitaki, and Awatere. Most regions are defined as Maritime with the exception being Central Otago that has a moderate Continental climate with the high elevation creating dramatic diurnal swings in temperature. The plethora of grapes grown in New Zealand reflects this diverse microclimate make up. Everything has a place here, Bordeaux varietals and Syrah in Hawke’s Bay, Chardonnay and Pinot in Nelson, Pinot Noir and Riesling in Central Otago , aromatic whites in Waipara and pretty much everything you can imagine in Marlborough. New Zealand is also one of the “greenest” wine producing nations on earth (94% of wine certified sustainable in 2013) with a strong focus on organic and Biodynamic farming.