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Featured Reviews

Fairbourne Sauvignon Blanc 2016 and Two Tails Pinot Gris 2016

28 June,2017
Experienced wine industry identities Sarah Inkersell and Russell Hooper operate the Marlborough specialist brands of Fairbourne Estate and Two Tails as winemaker and marketer respectively. Being proponents of the unique style of Sauvignon Blanc from the hillside vineyards of the Southern Valleys, they developed Fairbourne Estate as a Sauvignon Blanc-only brand, aiming to show the finesse, class and style of the wines that emanate from this sub-region. The wine has consistently achieved superior quality and refinement from the inaugural 2008 vintage, and the flavour profile is delicate and minerally, rather than fruity. In the course of developing Fairbourne, Sarah and Russell began with their Two Tails brand, first made in 2004, to offer a more approachable wine that was the forerunner to Fairbourne. As does happen, such brands that offer value and accessibility grow not only in volume but in the varieties that can be offered, and the Two Tails Sauvignon has Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir as its stablemates. Here, I review the new release 2016 Two Tails Pinot Gris and 2016 Fairbourne Estate Sauvignon Blanc.


Two Tails Marlborough Pinot Gris 2016

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Marlborough

Bright, light golden-yellow colour, paler on the rim. The nose is soft and full with good depth of bright and ripe yellow stonefruits along with subtle notes of tropical fruits and hints of spice, unfolding honeysuckle notes and suggestions of marmalade. The aromatics grow in presence and depth with aeration. Off-dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has rich, bright and up-front fruit flavours of yellow stonefruits, exotic florals, honeysuckle and a little spice and marmalade. The mouthfeel is refreshing with good lacy acidity, and the wine flows with good energy along a positive, fine-textured line. The flavours carry to a rich, slightly honied finish. This is an off-dry Pinot Gris with stonefruit, floral and honied flavours on a soft-textured, but fresh palate. Match with Asian and Middle Eastern fare over the next 3+ years. Fruit from the Waihopi Valley fermented in stainless-steel to 14.0% alc. and 5.9 g/L RS. 17.5/20 Jun 2017 RRP $21.95

Fairbourne Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough

Bright, very pale straw colour with slight green hues. The nose is very elegant and delicate with subtly detailed aromas of pure fruit, showing white florals, white and green stonefruits, a suggestion of gooseberries, along with fresh herbs, This is tightly bound, and reveals a core of thirst-quenching wet-stone minerals. This is sheer finesse and refinement. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate has a refined and tightly concentrated core of white and green stonefruits entwined with white florals, herbs and a hint of gooseberries, along with mouth-watering minerals. The core is fine, firm and taut, and the wine flows along a very fine-textured phenolic line with crisp and brisk acid energy. The flavours have linearity and drive, and carry to an elegant, lingering dry, minerally finish. This is a very taut and concentrated, refined and detailed Sauvignon Blanc with thirst quenching stonefruit, herb, floral and minerally flavours. Serve with shellfish and seafood over the next 3+ years. Hand-picked fruit from a single north-facing hillside vineyard in the Wairau Valley, fermented in stainless-steel with a small portion in new French oak to 13.5% alc. and 1.2 g/L RS. 18.5+/20 Jun 2017 RRP $34.95
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