Featured Reviews

Koha Marlborough 2018 Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris, and 2017 Pinot Noir

15 November,2018

Koha is a brand of the te Pa winegrowing business of the MacDonald family who have their home on the Wairau Bar in Marlborough. Koha is ostensibly the ‘entry level’ tier of te Pa, but the quality is of a high standard and a number of the wines have won major awards both domestically and internationally. The wines are made the represent the ‘Kiwi lifestyle’, and espouses the clean and beautiful country. ‘Koha’ means ‘gift’ in Maori and at te Pa they say these are wines that are gifts from their home to the world. Here, I review the Koha 2018 Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris, and 2017 Pinot Noir. They are light, clean, well-made and accessible. www.tepawines.com


Koha Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright, very pale straw colour, near colourless on the rim. The nose is fresh with soft and light aromas of passionfruit, tropical fruits and herbs with a hint of blackcurrant leaf. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is slender with flavours of passionfruit, nettles, cut-grass and green capsicums. The mouthfeel is refreshing with lacy acidity and the wine flows along a light-textured phenolic line that carries to a moderately long, dry finish. This is a slender Sauvignon Blanc with light passionfruit flavours with nettle and cut-grass notes on a textured palate with fresh acidity. Serve with seafood, salads and vegetables over the next 2 years. Fruit 65% from the Redwood Hills, Awatere and 35% from the ’Home’ vineyard, Wairau Bar, cool-fermented in tank with 5% of hand-picked fruit from the ’Hillside’ block in the Awatere WBP to barrel for indigenous yeast fermentation and 3 months aging on lees; the wine is 13.0% alc. and 3.5 g/L RS. 16.0/20 Nov 2018 RRP $18.99

Koha Marlborough Pinot Gris 2018

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright, even, light straw-yellow colour with a little depth, paler edged. This has a light nose that opens in volume to show yellow stonefruits, a hint of apricot with nuances of pears and exotic florals, building to show moderate depth. Dryish to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has an elegant core of yellow stonefruits with notes of pears, apricots and honeysuckle, with lifted floral detail. The flavours are up-front and flow along a very fine textured line with balanced, integrated acidity. The flavours recede a little as the wine carries to a lingering, nuanced finish. This is an elegant, up-front, dryish Pinot Gris with stonefruit, pear and apricot flavours on a fine-texture palate and a light finish. A blend of 95% Pinot Gris and 5% Gewurztraminer, 70% from the Wairau Bar and 30% from the Redwood Hills, Awatere, cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 13.5% alc. and 5 g/L RS, the wine aged 4 months on lees. 16.5-/20 Nov 2018 RRP $18.99

Koha Marlborough Pinot Noir 2017

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Marlborough


Light ruby-red colour with a little depth, paler on the rim. The nose is light with gentle aromas of dark-red cherry and berry fruit harmoniously entwined with fresh and savoury dark herbs. The nose is well-proportioned and straightforward in expression. Medium-bodied, the palate has a softly fresh core of dark-red cherry and berry fruit with sweetness and some richness. The fruit is enhanced by lifted herb notes, and supported by light tannin structure lending a balanced, textured mouthfeel. The acidity is integrated, and the wine finishes with light red fruit nuances. This is a softly fresh, light Pinot Noir with cherry and berry fruit along with fresh herbs on a lightly-structured palate. Serve with antipasto and tapas over the next 2+ years. Fruit from the ‘Taylor River’ vineyard in the Omaka/Southern Valleys region, clone 115 fruit hand-picked and fermented with 20% whole bunches, and Abel clone fruit fully destemmed, fermented to 14.0% alc. and aged 9 months in 33% new French oak. 16.0-/20 Nov 2018 RRP $22.99

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