(2020) A little bit of wild ferment in this wine, around 6%. Just a touch of deepening, oily, waxy character, a touch of green bean, a little touch of flint and reductive notes nicely managed. There is a lovely creaminess and punch to this, all salts and minerals, and pithy, keen citrus. Touches of peach, passion fruit even a little quinine/tonic in the finish. Who says Marlborough Sauvignon does not age well? Price and stockist given for the most recent vintage at time of review.
(2020) John thinks this drinks best from 5 - 10 years, so this is the current UK release. Extended lees ageing, and a portion of that is in oak foudre. Still has a bold green colour, but a lovely buttery Brazil nut and creamy, sourdough yeast character, very clean and pure lemon fruit. Creamy texture and great length. No UK retailers listed at time of review.
(2020) Has the touch of lanolin and wax, a clear apple fruit, lots of lime and orange. The combination of ripeness and sweetness and sheerness and clarity of the acidity is excellent. Has 15% of foudre-fermented component, and that adds the texture an the touch of creaminess. 8g/l of residual sugar. No UK stockist listed at time of review.
(2020) From vineyards close to the winery, stony soils, inspired by John’s two years in the Loire. Made in 1,000-litre oak foudres from Germany and very old barriques for part of this blend. There is some herbaceous character, some elderflower, but it is tempered and restrained, cool leafy thyme herbs. Super sweet fruit, a lovely nectarine and peach touching on mango, with sheer acidity. Excellent. Price and stockist is for the previous vintage at time of review.
(2020) Pretty pungent, thiols, elderflower and gooseberry, turns into juicy peach and nectarine on the palate, hinting at mango, a touch of orange to the acidity. Nice. Price and stockist for the previous vintage at time of review.
(2019) There are a bunch of really good Marlborough Sauvignons hovering around that £13 to £15 pound mark that are dry and more intense than many cheaper variants, and this is one of them. Clean, fresh, only lightly touched by herbaceous blackcurrant leaf and elderflower, more focused on citrus and lemongrass aromas, a touch of lime zest too. In the mouth much more linear and tightly framed than more flamboyant examples, dare I say it, a little more European in style, mouth-watering grapefruit and saline acidity driving the crystaline nature of the wine into a long, savoury finish.
(2018) What a fascinating contrast with the Tinel-Blondelet Pouilly-Fumé also reviewed: that wine not short on vibrant personality, this one richly textured with a cool restraint, and yet each is beautifully expressive of its region and terroir. Partial ageing in older barrels has given this texture, but has not dulled the vivacious pin-sharp aromatics, gooseberry and a punch of pea-shoot freshness, and sweet nectarine fruit. The palate brims with exotic fruit, and yet there is fine acidity - not at all jarring - a natural concentration, and great balance. Will delight both classic European Sauvignon drinkers and fans of Kiwi exuberance in a clever marriage.
(2014) Wow - like sticking your head into a bowl of freshly podded peas, this has such a blast of herbaceous, pungent vivacious character, with the palate streaking through, slashes of lime and orange and a fabulous zestiness. Model stuff from Yealands Estate, world class, and Marlborough close to its best.
(2011) 'Our alternative take on Sauvignon, chasing away those green flavours'. From a single acre estate, all handpicked, no sulphur at the front end, wild ferment in old oak and small stainless steel barrels. Lees stirring for 10 months. Very wild and earthy, with real wild ferment character, leesiness, and a nutty, coffeeish quality. The palate has wonderfully sweet fruit at its core, with a lemony sweetness of peach fruit and herbs and a really long, umami flavours and terrific acidity.
(2011) A new wine Andrew introduced when he took over the winemaking. Fine sherbetty nose, lovely herby character and a touch of bruised apple. Has a grippy impression of stoniness too. The lime-streaked purity of the palate betrays the sweetness, the finish being all about minerality and stony freshness. Delightful and delicate, without the harsher acidity that makes some sweeter Rieslings seem dry.