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Featured Reviews

Waipara Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017

16 January,2018

Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is the New Zealand wine industry’s engine room, with the variety dominating our plantings and the wine the most successful export. For a long time, there were detractors of the style, saying the wines had less dimension and style variation that made them ‘boring to drink more than one glass of’. If anything, it was faddish and trendy to adopt this stance, but in these modern times, it doesn’t hold true, and it certainly isn’t wise to have this approach. Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc has evolved to be sub-regionally expressive, and winemaking can highlight the best qualities of the variety that make it refreshingly appealing. Also, there is a far greater appreciation of the styles of Marlborough Sauvignon on the world stage, and their uniqueness. And of course, the industry is aware on how reliant it is on the success of this variety, to enable the viability of the industry in New Zealand as a whole, so negative commentary is regarded as damaging. However, critical analysis has always been welcomed, and that is why the category has continued to evolve and retain its global popularity.

Although Waipara Hills originated as a Canterbury company, being part of the Mud House umbrella under Accolade has given it access to Marlborough fruit. The Waipara Hills Sauvignon Blanc has always been a quality representation of place and variety, as well as vintage. Here, I review the 2017 wine, from a ‘challenging’ vintage, but one deemed a successful one.


Waipara Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright, light straw-yellow colour, pale on the edge. The nose is elegant in presentation with fine aromas of pungent passionfruit and tropical fruit with snow pea and fresh herb notes, unfolding subtle mineral elements, white florals and nuances of gooseberries. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is elegant in proportion with finely concentrated flavours of passionfruit, tropical fruits and notes of gooseberries, along with white florals and minerals. The mouthfeel is poised with lacy acidity and very fine textures providing a refined line, leading to a tight and slender, nuanced finish. This is an elegantly poised Sauvignon Blanc with passionfruit, tropical fruit and gooseberry flavours on a fine palate with a light finish. Serve as an aperitif, with shellfish and Asian fare over the next 2 years. Fruit from the Awatere and Wairau valleys, fermented in stainless-steel to 12.5% alc., the wine aged 4 weeks on lees. 17.5-/20 Jan 2018 RRP $21.90

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