2018 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough

SKU #1390475 95 points Bob Campbell

 A blend of wines from the Upper Awatere Valley and the TWR home block in the Wairau Valley. Quite a tight, yet textural, sauvignon blanc with gooseberry, lime zest, lemongrass and a seasoning of tropical fruit and passionfruit character. An appealing wine.  (1/2019)

94 points Sam Kim

 This is a gorgeous rendition of the variety; offering vibrancy as well as complexity within a delightful textural mouthfeel. Fragrant aromas of Gala apple, feijoa, nectarine and lemon peel with a hint of oatmeal on the nose. The palate is concentrated and weighty, while remaining elegant and lively, displaying excellent fruit intensity backed by fine texture and bright acidity, finishing impressively long and engaging. Hand-picked and partial barrel fermented (8%). At its best: now to 2026.  (12/2018)

93 points Raymond Chan

 Bright, light straw-yellow colour with slight green hues, lighter on the rim. The nose is firm with fulsome, well-packed aromas of gooseberry fruit, fresh herbs and subtle notes of nettles and cut-grass with green stonefruit elements. This is refreshing and mouthwatering. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has lively, vibrant and intense flavours of gooseberry fruit along with subtle notes of nettles and fresh herbs and green stonefruits. The palate possesses richness and vitality from the bright acidity, and the wine flows along a fine-textured line leading to a rich, lingering finish. This is a vibrant, intense gooseberry-fruited Sauvignon Blanc with notes of fresh herbs and nuances of green stonefruits on a rich palate with a fine-textured line. Match with Pacific Rim and Mediterranean fare over the next 2+ years. Fruit from 3 sites, 47% 'Shamrock' and 39% 'Trelawne' from the Awatere, and 14% TWR 'Home' block, the latter hand-picked, all fermented in stainless-steel with 8% in seasoned French oak demi-muids to 13.2% alc. and 0.5 /L RS, the wine aged on fine lees.  (12/2018)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2018 Sauvignon Blanc delivers attractive hints of pineapple and white grapefruit on the nose; a silky-textured, medium-bodied palate; and a crisp, refreshing finish. Above all, there's a seamless, elegant flow to this wine as it crosses the palate, coupled with plenty of intensity and length. (JC)  (3/2019)

K&L Notes

#7 on Bob Campbells Top Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, 2018

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Price: $19.99

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By: Jackson Lee | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/1/2019 | Send Email
For me, this is summer in a glass, sitting at a beachfront eatery enjoying the sounds of the ocean as tropical aromas of guava, pineapple, a hint of passionfruit and grapefruit dance with the sea breeze. The palate is well rounded yet refreshing and crisp, reminding me of white nectarine, lemon zest coupled with a subtle limestone minerality and great acid structure, giving it a very clean feel. Perfect at dinner parties or picnics on the beach.

By: Thomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/21/2019 | Send Email
There is not a single producer in the store that I value more than Te Whare Ra. In the ocean of bulk wines coming out of Marlborough, Jason and Anna Flowerday continue to produce wines at a small scale that possess incredible finesse, balance, and remarkable quality, vintage after vintage. The nose here is soft and fragrant. Elements of papaya, whiteflowers, and guava with just a hint of savory displays a sense of elegance. On the palate, there's more density, weight and power where citrus, lemongrass, and hints of stone fruit come through in waves. Beautifully bright and incredibly well balanced, the 2018 may be the best Sauvignon Blanc they have produced to date. I would argue that the TWR Sauvignon Blanc represents not just the height of quality wine production in Marlborough, but among the Sauvignon Blanc produced all over the world.

By: Miles Philippe | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/21/2019 | Send Email
Exotic variations of bright citrus fruits dance wildly on the nose. On the palate, the texture and weight of the fruits lasts just long enough before being cleared away by the awesome brightness of the acidity, leaving you with an edge of minerality on the finish. I'm personally very excited to see how this evolves over the next few years, but the youthfulness and vibrancy of this wine is such a pleasure now!

By: Shaun Green | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/21/2019 | Send Email
A perennial favorite here at K&L, the 2018 version of the TWR Sauvignon Blanc is a real beauty. Fresh and delineated with a sure footed backbone of fine minerality and acidity, yet beautifully fleshed out with mouthwatering tropical fruit, lime leaf and a wonderfully refreshing slightly saline finish. Something about this wine simply sails my mind away to an afternoon of palm trees, beaches and grilled seafood fresh from the ocean. Yes please, I'll have another!
Top Value!

By: Scott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/20/2019 | Send Email
Helllloooo clean! This is one clean, lean, fighting machine! My favorite Sauvignon Blanc features are all here in this wine....grapefruit and limestone with a minerality that is almost lush. It is softer on the finish than in the forefront, so it isn't an acid monster throughout. It is very civilized and yummy!

By: Rachel Alcarraz | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/13/2019 | Send Email
Vintage to Vintage this is one of the staff's favorite Sauvignon Blancs and it is not hard to see why. This stellar wine is sourced from three vineyards all fermented in stainless steel with a small amount finished in neutral french oak for texture and spice. The warmer 2018 vintage brought more depth to the elegant nose and more ripe tropical fruits on the palate. However, the fresh lime and citrus fruit character and generous acidity are not hidden by the warm vintage, but enhances the wines complexities.

By: Stefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/13/2019 | Send Email
This wine to me is by far and away the most interesting Sauvignon Blanc on the shelf from any category. It boasts incredible complexity, a lot of texture and power, but feels graceful and ethereal at the same time. While not short on fruit, this wines doesn't feel overly juicy or ripe, but rather lasting and bright. Winemakers and viticulturalists Anna and Jason Flowerday have long demonstrated their passion for organic and biodynamic farming and that dedication to the health of the fruit truly shows in the pure taste of their wines. Uncompromising in quality, TWR is leading others and pioneering styles that are gaining huge amounts of critical acclaim. I can find absolutely no fault in this wine.
Top Value!

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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.