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Featured Reviews

O:TU Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018

23 October,2018

With the acquisition of the Otuwhero brand and 300 ha of vineyard land near Clifford Bay in the Awatere, Marlborough, O:TU Wines has been steadily growing its domestic market presence, though most of the wines are sold off-shore. The owners understand that a strong home market base augurs well for export transactions. The majority of the production is in Sauvignon Blanc and the owners and winemaker Jan Kux has done much to create different tiers, blends and styles from the variety. Some Pinot Noir from Marlborough is also made, but they company has red and rosé wine from Hawke’s Bay now. It will be interesting to see how the O:TU range grows over the future.

At the start of August this year, I reviewed a selection of wines from O:TU, including the secondary ‘Music Bay’ label, some of the Hawke’s Bay wines, but mostly Marlborough wine from the challenging 2017 which required earlier harvesting to avoid the rains, or risk the development of disease. (click here to see my reviews). The cool growing season and earlier picking gave wines on the cooler spectrum. However, the encouraging thing was the fruit quality in the 2018 Music Bay Sauvignon Blanc. Speaking to one of the O:TU owners, Conan Wang, he was very aware of the nature of the 2017s, but still pleased with their commercial viability. But he did note that he was looking forward to seeing how the other 2018 releases would show. Here, I review the new 2018 O:TU Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.


O:TU Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright, pale straw-yellow colour, near colourless at the edge. The nose is fresh and frim with well-concentrated aromas of pungent passionfruit harmoniously melded with notes of cut-grass and nettles, with fresh herbs. This is elegantly presented and shows very good depth and intensity, unfolding mouthwatering steel, mineral nuances. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has elegantly concentrated, intense and well-packed flavours of pungent passionfruit with notes of tropical fruits, along with subtle notes of nettles and cut-grass and thirst-quenching minerals. The fruit forms a vibrant and lively palate core and line, and the wine has good acid drive and energy, leading to a lingering, taut finish of passionfruit and chalky minerals. This is an elegantly concentrated and intense Sauvignon Blanc with passionfruit, tropical fruit, nettles and herbs with mineral notes on a palate with a taut core and lively acidity. Serve with Pacific Rim fare over the next 2 years. Awatere estate fruit from both the alluvial flats and north-facing slopes, cool-fermented in tank to 13.0% alc. and 1.9 g/L RS, the wine aged 3 weeks on lees. 18.0/20 Oct 2018 RRP $22.99

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