Aroma/Bouquet: White currants, gooseberries, some minerally herbal notes and a whiff of honeysuckle.
Palate: Full flavoured, fuller bodied wine, with easy drinking appeal and an abundance of currant and gooseberry flavour. The clean acid and mineral texture of Awatere valley fruit harmonises well with the more sumptuous weight of the Wairau components.
Suggested Foods: Summer salads, poultry and seafood.
Established in 1994 by Sue and Greg White and winemaker Simon Waghorn, Whitehaven Wine Company is a small, family-owned winery with big aspirations. Sourcing fruit from its own estates and from 12 joint venture or contract growers across Marlborough's Wairau and Awatere valleys, Whitehaven quickly established a reputation for producing quality wines. From modest beginnings, the Company now exports wine, through exclusive agents, to Australia, the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Hong Kong, Japan, and the United States.
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Sitting pretty on the northern tip of New Zealand's south island, Marlborough has become synonymous with New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. As well it should be – Marlborough is the primary region for those delicious, citrusy, summer-lovin' wines with vibrant acidity and pungent, grassy, grapefruit flavors. Sauvignon Blanc is the main grape here; Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Riesling are also made.
The region has well-drained alluvial loam soils, which are perfect for grape growing. The grapes receive a good deal of sunshine during the day, but recovers in the cool evenings. Marlborough's growing season is long, which helps foster the gradual, even ripening of the grapes. Not made for much aging, the Sauvignon Blancs of Marlborough are of the buy ‘em and drink ‘em class of wine. Expect little vintage variation here - quantity differs more than quality.
The country of New Zealand is about 1000 miles from the coast of Australia. It consists of two long islands, end to end, that are approximately the same length as California. Most of the country's climate is maritime due to the abundant coastline. The northern island is warmer and wetter, while the southern island is cooler and dryer. The most popular grapes of New Zealand are Sauvignon Blanc (made most famous by the bright, crisp wines coming out of Marlborough), Chardonnay and the ever-growing Pinot Noir.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.