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Featured Reviews

Fairbourne Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017

16 July,2018

Fairbourne Estate is the Sauvignon Blanc-focussed wine venture of Marlborough wine industry veterans Russell Hooper and Sarah Inkersell. Their knowledge of the Marlborough region and sub-regions led them to make their Fairbourne Sauvignon Blanc from the north-facing hillside clay-gravel soiled vineyards in the Southern Valleys, to capture the unique character of this area. There has been one vineyard that has provided the backbone for the wine, the fruit employed for the inaugural vintage in 2009, and all others since. Other fruit sources can be used to provide the balance that winemaker Sarah believes gives a more complete wine. As a top-flight Sauvignon Blanc, Russell and Sarah have gone down the path of refinement and elegance in the Loire style, rather than the more often use of complexing inputs especially from high solids, indigenous yeasts, extended lees aging and batonnage with barrel-fermentation and aging. Purity, subtlety and balance are the keys to the Fairbourne style, and previous vintages have demonstrated this amply. Here, I review the new 2017 Fairbourne Sauvignon Blanc, from one of the more challenging Marlborough vintages. It continues the style already achieved, while expressing the growing season.


Fairbourne Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright, light straw-yellow colour with pale green tints, lighter on the edge. The nose has an elegantly concentrated and taut core of aromatic gooseberries and fragrant white florals with an amalgam of fresh herbs, snow peas, unveiling cooler nettle and mineral notes. The aromatics are refined with a mouthwatering and penetrating intensity. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is sleek and finely concentrated with a heart of gooseberry fruit entwined with fresh herbs, nettles and cut-grass, unfolding white florals and minerals. The palate flows along a fine line with electric tension from the zesty acidity, leading to a lingering finish of gooseberries and nettles. This is a refined and elegantly concentrated Sauvignon Blanc with gooseberry fruit and cool-spectrum notes, white florals and minerals on a racy palate. Serve with seafood and Pacific Rim fare over the next 2-3 years. Fruit from a single north-facing site in the Southern Valleys, cool-fermented in stainless-steel with a small portion in new French oak to 13.0% alc., and 2.4 g/L RS. 18.5-/20 Jul 2018 RRP $34.95

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