SLOAN! Magazine asked Matua Chief Wine Maker Nikolai St George to tell us more about Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.
“There are so many different types of Sauvignon Blanc around the world. Even in New Zealand we have Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc, which are more subtle, and Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, which are more intense and aromatic. So really, you can enjoy Sauvignon Blanc with so many different meals and so many different occasions. But for me, I think that seafood such as oysters and mussels can’t be beaten,” says Nikolai St George, Matua Chief Wine Maker.
“Bill and Ross of Matua made the wine that made New Zealand famous. When they produced the first bottle of New Zealand Sauvy back in 1974 people thought they were mad, but they knew they were on to something special. Today many of the plantings of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc are direct descendants of the vines that Matua grew in the 1970s.”
“The world has fallen in love with New Zealand Sauvy because it is so distinctive and flavoursome – it’s aromatic, refreshing, non-pretentious and great value for money. It’s also the perfect entertaining wine that pairs beautifully with food from fish and seafood, to salads, goat’s cheese and green vegetables,” says St George.
Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Accolades: Gold: Royal Easter Wine Show 2015, GOLD: China Wine & Spirits Awards 2014
How it tastes: This classic-award winning Marlborough Sauvy is bright with aromatic herbal notes and a complete array of aromas the style is famous for. Matua use fruit from more than 100 different vineyards encompassing all the subregions within the Wairau and Awatere Valleys – and this wine showcases a complete expression of the vintage in Marlborough. Think sage and fresh mint, followed by delicious tropical fruit. The palate has vibrant citrus and pineapple flavours with great length and structure.
Cellaring: Serve at fridge temperature, for about 45 minutes.
How we made it: This is the wine Matua’s viticulture and winemaking teams get most excited about. It showcases what the vintage has been like for Marlborough’s most famous varietal. Matua pick Sauvignon Blanc grapes from vineyards across Marlborough, encompassing all the sub-regions within the Wairau and Awatere Valleys. The wine is the most complete expression of Marlborough. Selected parcels of Sauvignon Blanc were separated from the skins before pressing. Cool fermentation in stainless steel combined with their yeast selection enhances the natural aromas we love in Sauvy. Following fermentation, the wine was left to sit on lees before blending and making its way into a bottle for you to enjoy.
Lands and Legends Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014
How it tastes: This wine is bursting with crisp fruit so vibrant you can almost hear it crunch. Pure and bright on the nose, the palate brims with zesty citrus flowing seamlessly to a delectable, lingering finish.
How we made it: The 2014 Marlborough vintage was another classic, resulting in wines with herbaceous notes followed by crisp, tropical flavours the region is world renowned for. Warm and settled conditions produced a bumper crop, which meant Matua were spoilt for choice at harvest time for high grade Sauvignon Blanc. Matua chose a previous few of the most expressive Sauvignon Blanc parcels from Marlborough to create something quite unique, and (in their words) legendary.
All our Sauvignon Blanc grapes are machine harvested in the cool of night to ensure pristine condition and maximum wine aromatics. Once in the winery, the fruit is pressed and cooled immediately and allowed to settle naturally for 48 hours. The clear juice is the separated from the solids and one of our specially selected yeasts added. Selecting just the right yeast for the wine is essential, as it aids the release of the punchy aromas that are synonymous with Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
Marlborough Pinot Noir 2013
How it tastes: Without wanting to overplay things, Matua reckon this is their best Pinot yet. With a great growing season the fruit is truly ripe and full and the predominant flavour is cherry, which reflects the wine’s lovely vivid cherry colour. You also get blackberry notes and some lovely sweet smoky oak. Mouthfeel is initially soft and luscious, held up nicely by the supple tannins for a savoury lingering finish.
Cellaring: It’s delicious right now, but shorter term cellaring, of about 3 years, will add to the complexity and interest.
How we made it: Crafted by senior winemaker and Matua’s main man, Nikolai St George. He’s let the varietal and vineyard shine through to showcase the excellent fruit quality. The grapes are mostly Marlbrough, but have also been blended with a percentage of Central Otago fruit to give the wine more depth and body. An initial cold soak of 3 days prior to fermentation helped maximise both flavour and tannin extraction. The wine was then aged in tanks with staves plus a small amount of barrel for 8 months to allow everything to come into balance. Bottled October 2013.