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Featured Reviews

Invivo Marlborough and Central Otago, and Graham Norton Wine Selections

21 August,2018

Invivo Wines was created by Rob Cameron and Tim Lightbourne in 2007 and has experienced amazing growth since from a combination of good winemaking and bold marketing. The brand is seen widely in the New Zealand market and enjoys excellent overseas sales. The inclusion of T.V. host Graham Norton as a shareholder with input in winemaking has been a strong influence on the company’s success, but the most important aspect of its growth has been the outstanding equity crowd funding, firstly in 2015 and then again earlier this year. Invivo now holds the record for the Southern Hemisphere’s largest crowdfunded company for any business. The latest news is that Invivo has a new winery home in the government built winery at Te Kauwhata. The branding is more distinctive now, the ‘Invivo’ wines representing Rob and Tim’s work, and the ‘Graham Norton’ wines having the blending inputs of Graham Norton. The latter brand is growing particularly well. Here, I review a selection from both labels.


Invivo Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright, very pale straw colour with slight green hues, near colourless on the edge. The nose is full with packed aromas of pungent passionfruit and tropical fruit with fresh herbs and nuances of minerals. This has good depth and presence and unfolds in volume. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has bright and vibrant flavours of pungent passionfruit with tropical fruits, and fresh herbs forming a softly packed heart. The wine has a firm line and carries with god drive and energy, with balanced, background acidity, leading to a lingering finish of passionfruit and herbs. This is a fresh, pungent passionfruity Sauvignon Blanc with a firm core and line, with good drive. Match with salads and vegetables, and Mediterranean fare over the next 2 years. Fruit from the ‘Cobden Farm’ and ‘Westhaven’ vineyards fermented to 13.0% alc. and 3.7 g/L RS. 17.5+/20 Aug 2018 RRP $17.99

Invivo ‘Michelle’s Central Otago Pinot Noir 2017

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago


Dark, deep, ruby-red colour with slight garnet tints, a little lighter on the edge. The nose is full with aromas of ripe dark-red and black plum fruit interwoven with a layer of liquorice, spice and nutty oak unfolding subtle earthy and cedary elements. Full-bodied, the palate is fulsome with rich and sweet flavours of dark-red berry fruit and black plums, along with spices and liquorice. The fruit is layered with spicy, cedary and nutty oak which adds a degree of richness and exoticism. The mouthfilling flavours are underlined by fine-grained tannin extraction lending structure and line. The acidity is integrated. The wine carries to a long, cedary and spicy oaky finish. This is a mouthfilling ripe Pinot Noir with black berry and plum fruit with spicy oak and a well-structured palate. Match with slow-cooked game meat dishes over the next 6+ years. A five barrel selection. Predominantly clone 667 fruit from Bannockburn, fully destemmed and fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 11 months in 20% new oak. 17.5+/20 Aug 2018 RRP $40.00

Graham Norton’s Own ‘SparklinG ItaliaN’ Prosecco Extra Dry DOC NV

Sparkling Wine from Italy – Veneto


Bright, pale straw-yellow colour with slight green hues, the bubbles very fine and the bead persistent. The nose is fresh and clean with subtle aromas of white stonefruits and fresh apples and a suggestion of fresh herbs. This is gentle in expression and possesses delicacy, building in depth in the glass. Off-dry to taste and light-medium bodied, the palate is refreshingly crisp and lively with light flavours of white stonefruits and fresh apples. The flavours are up-front and the mouthfeel is creamy with fine effervescence. The wine is zesty with fresh acidity, and the wine carries to a light, dry-textured finish. This is a fresh and clean, up-front Prosecco with delicate stonefruit and apple flavours. Serve as an anytime wine over the next 2 years. From Cantine di Canelli. 100% Glera from Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia, fermented to 11.2% alc. and 16 g/L RS. Lot L1806-1S. 16.5-/20 Aug 2018 RRP $18.99

Graham Norton’s Own ‘Pink by DesiGN’ Rosé 2018

Rose from New Zealand - Other


Bright, very pale pink colour, with slight purple hues, near colourless on the rim. The nose is fresh and up-front with bright and vibrant passionfruit aromas along with mouthwatering herb and mineral elements forming a tight core, revealing subtle red berry fruits and red floral suggestions with aeration. Dry to taste and light-medium bodied, the palate has delicate and restrained flavours passionfruit in an amalgam with white stonefruits and hints of red florals and red fruits. The flavours form a tightly bound heart and the wines flows along a light, phenolic-textured line with refreshing background acidity. The wine carries to a slender, thirst-quenching, dry finish. This is a refreshing dry rosé with passionfruit flavours along with stonefruit and flora hints on a light-textured palate. Serve as an aperitif, with antipasto and tapas over the next 2 years. A blend of Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc, 50% Marlborough, 30% Gisborne and 20% Hawke’s Bay fruit, fermented to 13.0% alc. and 2.5 g/L RS. 16.0/20 Aug 2018 RRP $17.99

Graham Norton’s Own Marlborough SauviGNon Blanc 2018

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright, light straw-yellow colour with lemon-green tints, very pale on the rim. The nose is elegant in proportion with penetrating aromas of passionfruit and tropical fruit with white florals, fresh herbs and steely mineral notes. This has very good intensity. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has tight and intense flavours of passionfruit, tropical fruits and florals forming an elegant core. The wine flows along a slippery line with smooth textures and fresh, lacy acidity providing good energy and tension. The flavours carry to a moderately lingering finish. This is a taut and sleek Sauvignon Blanc with passionfruit flavours on a slippery, refreshing palate. Serve with seafood and Pacific Rim fare over the next 2 years. Marlborough fruit, 60% Awatere Valley and 40% Wairau Valley, fermented to 13.0% alc. and 3.65 g/L RS. 17.0+/20 Aug 2018 RRP $17.95

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