Tag: white wine

Wairau River 2017 Sauvignon Blanc

It’s New Zealand’s success with Sauvignon Blanc that really gave the tiny country it’s winemaking “gravitas.” Nearly 70% of New Zealand’s vines are planted to the white grape, totaling about 200,000 tons harvested each year. And the Wairau Valley in Marlborough, home to Wairau River’s estate vineyards is no exception. “Its a very popular wine here – our number wine is Sauvignon Blanc followed by Pinot Gris and Rose,” says Lindsay from Wairau River. Let’s find out why… 

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Wairau River 2015 Pinot Gris

New Zealand’s grape-growing and winemaking history is a fairly recent one. Indeed, it wasn’t until the 1960s and into the 1970s that New Zealand was put on the winemaking map. And this is when the Rose family of Wairau River took their first steps into the world of wine. Recognizing the potential of the then untapped region of the Wairau Valley, Phil and Chris rose planted their first vines in 1978. They started their career selling grapes to other winemakers, but in 1991 created the Wairau River label and began crafting their own wines. Today the family owns estate vineyards containing some of the oldest vines in Marlborough, which result in a bodied, often textural wine experience — even with their whites.

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Mud House 2016 Sauvignon Blanc

This week I’m showcasing the “perfect pairings” or “great wine couples.” For California wine lovers, we know that, oftentimes (though not all the time), if a winemaker finds a great region for Pinot Noir, they’ve also found a place to source Chardonnay — and vice versa. Despite the great wine grape diversity in our Golden State, it seems that these two varieties are the most popular and tend to go hand-in-hand. But when it comes to New Zealand, the great white grape is, without a doubt, Sauvignon Blanc. And so it is with this varietal that we will take our romantic journey to the kiwi isles.

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The Withers 2015 English Hill Chardonnay

Andrew Tow, owner of The Withers winery, has a passion for the Rhone wines. In fact, much of his portfolio is dedicated to Rhones — single-varietals and both classic and innovative blends. And for those grapes he turns to what has become known as California’s “Rhone Zone,” El Dorado County. Here the rusticity of the Sierra Foothills absolutely influence the grapes grown and, thus, the wines produce. When it comes to California’s “classics,” however — namely Chardonnay and Pinot Noir — Tow knows there’s no better place to source than the Sonoma Coast. But his preference for big bold flavors shows no bounds. And so it is that he and winemaker David Low crafted this Big Boy Chardonnay.

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Cuvaison 2015 Adda Chardonnay

I’d heard of the prestigious Cuvaison vineyard and winery, but this is my first adventure alongside them. What makes the wines so special? Not only are their grapes all estate grown, but the vineyard management is focused on block-by-block farming methods. So when tasting from their single-block series, as with this Chardonnay, one is tasting a very specific slice of Napa Valley terroir — which means precision in flavors and textures with every single sip.

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