01 The Supernatural Wine Co. Supernatural Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2016, $30
A wine that defies every cliché of our sauvignon blanc. Gregory Collinge’s Supernatural Wine Co. brings modern natural winemaking techniques from his time spent living overseas to the Tuki Tuki Valley, and the resulting wines are remarkable for their European-style elegance and age-worthiness. With six months of lees contact, a bare-minimum sulphur addition on bottling and no fining agents used, this sauvignon blanc has richness, texture and enormous complexity. The aromatic, high-accented nose leads into a palate that melds a multitude of stone fruit and citrus flavours with mouthwatering texture and depth.
02 Corofin Settlement Vineyard East Slope Marlborough Pinot Noir 2015, $49.90
Long-time Marlborough residents Mike and Anna Paterson started Corofin as a project to express the diverse characteristics of Marlborough’s many different microclimates, to show that the region’s pinot noir can be as varied as the beautiful landscapes they are grown on. Farmed organically and biodynamically, and, despite the fruit being fermented naturally and bottled unfined and unfiltered, this elegant, well-structured pinot is classic in style and extremely refined. The Settlement Vineyard’s clay-rich soils give this a ripe, aromatic character with lavender, spices, herbs, and dark red fruits on the palate.
03 Mahana Feral Lahar Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2015, $39.50
Another “sauv” that defies all expectations. Mahana winemaker Michael Glover decided to go full-on Miles Davis-style improvisational on the Feral Lahar, using a process of uncontrolled ferment with no enzyme or SO2 and leaving the resulting heavy solids to settle in the tank, rather than filtering them – the sort of process they don’t teach at winemaking school. It’s a tribute to his talents as a winemaker the resulting wine is not only enjoyable but jaw-droppingly beautiful. Only 2800 bottles, each of them hand-numbered by Glover. This one’s all about texture. It’s the purest expression of the Waimea Plains terroir in Mahana’s range – distinctive, unusual and moreish.
04 Pyramid Valley Howell Family Vineyard Hawkes Bay Cabernet Franc 2015, $54.90
Mike and Claudia Weersing pioneered Pyramid Valley as one of the first fully organic and biodynamic vineyards in the country, but the scope of their creativity soon outgrew their tiny Waikari home block, and they began working with carefully selected single vineyards around New Zealand to create the Growers Collection. The 2015 Cabernet Franc comes from the Howell Family’s tiny parcel of land in the Bridge Pa Triangle. After being hand-picked and spending 12 months on lees, it was bottled fully unfined and unfiltered. The wine has terrific structure and length and should cellar well. One of the few 100 per cent cabernet francs produced here. Shows off the varietal’s characteristics to the full: capsicum, smoked meat and North African spices.
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