2018 Te Whare Ra, Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand £15.15, lescaves.co.uk
Te Whare Ra (TWR) is located in the Marlborough sub-region of Renwick and is owned by Anna and Jason Flowerday. The estate was founded by Allen and Joyce Hogan in 1979 when they first planted vines on a small block of land in the heart of Marlborough – they were ahead of the trend, and long before Cloudy Bay and the like made it to our shores in the mid-80s, and so this is Marlborough’s first ever boutique winery. Anna and Jason appeared on the scene in 2003, fresh from working as winemakers in Australia.
Truly great wines have a sense of place combined with texture, balance, fruit concentration and great length. These are qualities that cannot be added; they have to come from the vineyard, and TWR has first-class vineyards with old vines that are farmed organically and biodynamically and with minimal intervention in the winery, which has been specifically set up for small-batch winemaking. They are leaders in their field and their wines are staggeringly delicious.
My featured sauvignon is insanely well-made with bitingly fresh fruit and laser-driven accuracy on the palate. In addition, the 2016 pinot noir (£27.90) is one of the most beautiful on the palate in the region. Last week I wrote about Paringa’s cool-climate shiraz from Australia – Anna and Jason make a Kiwi version: the 2016 syrah (£35) is one of the most lip-smackingly lovely syrahs on earth.
• Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (matthewjukes.com)