2018 Grey's Peak 'Barrel Fermented' Waipara Sauvignon Blanc
New Zealand: Waipara Valley
A New Zealand invasion has been threatening US shores and that’s a wonderful thing!: The local wine press and the British seem to have felt the ripples and the shakes of this vinous phenomena, while we’ve been sitting pretty through the silence before the storm, until now…
This white possesses the colors of a wheat field in late summer, waving gently with the warm embrace of a breeze. Now, is that a freshly chopped mango in there or a whole pineapple? Candied citrus and minerals too. The palate offers balance at its best, a dry-sweet tanginess offset by bursts of fruity esters all meld, with an ethereal mouthfeel. Fresh and long on the finish as the prefect lemonade on a hot, hot day, but with layers of complex salinity unfolding through. If you don’t have a wok, borrow one to toss the freshest shellfish in ginger, garlic, and paprika. Spice it up as this has the intensity to shine through, though it’s very difficult to refrain from finishing the whole bottle within minutes of opening, don’t say we did not warn you!
While you might say it’s too early to tell, this IS our favorite Sauvignon Blanc of the year. Maybe the decade?! Fans of Sauvignon Blanc either love or hate the typical overtly fruity, pungent, textbook New Zealand style and dear Operatives, let’s face it, this ain’t our daddy’s New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Those come from Marlborough and are almost always all stainless steel made, but this is from Waipara and made in oak barrels, and radically different techniques. As defined by Master of Wine Bob Campbell in a Decanter magazine feature about a decade ago; “Waipara is the new Marlborough” and this wine shows why. The double 94 point reviews can’t be wrong, for our humble Tasting Panel, they are even conservative!
Campbell continues; “Forget Marlborough. With excellent growing conditions and an influx of producers, Waipara is stepping out of New Zealand’s shadows straight into the spotlight… Despite the interest from some of New Zealand’s largest wine producers, Waipara will never be a bulk wine region. Low and uneven cropping levels mean that quality winemaking is a key strategy for survival. The region’s heat and rainfall during the critical October to April growing season are similar to Marlborough. Yet while Marlborough’s grape growers point to cool night and hot daytime temperatures as one of the region’s key quality factors, in Waipara the disparity is even greater…”
Here’s what the wine press has to say:
94 Points - Cameron Douglas MS - “Varietal Sauvignon Blanc greets the nose with a sweet herb and angelica leaf tease. Golden Kiwifruit, apple and grapefruit follow close behind. No mistaking the sweet sweaty lift of barrel ferment and lees as well as natural ferment flintiness. A youthful reductive note swirls away easily. Very citrusy and crisp on the palate with lees and barrel flavours to follow. Grapefruit, apple and peach to finish. Youthful and delicious, lengthy and exciting. Drink now and through 2022.”
94 Points – Wine Orbit - “Wonderfully fruited and intensely aromatic, the wine shows Gala apple, grapefruit, lemon peel and nectarine characters on the nose, leading to a succulent palate that is superbly weighted and flavoursome. It is vibrant and texturally delightful, finishing long and refreshing. At its best: now to 2022.”
The colors of a wheat field in late summer, waving gently with the warm embrace of a breeze.
That a freshly chopped mango in there or a whole pineapple? Candied citrus and minerals too.
Balance at its best, a dry-sweet tanginess offset by bursts of fruity esters, ethereal mouthfeel.
Fresh and long as the prefect lemonade, but with layers of complex salinity unfolding through.
If you don’t have a wok, borrow one to toss the freshest shellfish in ginger, garlic, and paprika.
What the Winery Says
- Dom Maxwell
- 100% Sauvignon Blanc
- Waipara, Canterbury, New Zealand
- 8.52 g/l
- Average Brix
- Harvest dates
- March 20 - April 10, 2018
- 7 months on lees
- Neutral French oak