2015 Sauvignon Blanc Rippon Vineyards
|Origin||New Zealand, South Island|
When chatting with Nick Mills during his latest visit, it was a great surprise to hear that if they were starting afresh today they probably wouldn't make a Sauvignon. Nick went on to say what they do have is unique, compared to much of what is planted in New Zealand and as a result gives a very different take on the style we have become used to today. This is a more refined, less showy style with depth, balance and an elegance rarely seen, subtle lime and grapefruit aromas and flavours, the wine delivers itself in a way that makes it a perfect foil for oily fish, crab, lobster and white meats and salads. L&S (Oct 2016)
*Case Price: Mix any 12 bottles of wine or buy 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits or Fortified (as a full pack) to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
You need to head quite a bit further down the South Island to find Rippon Vineyards in Central Otago, where the thoughtful Nick Mills makes exceptional Pinot Noir as well as Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. Rippon Sauvignon Blanc 2015 takes restraint to the limit, with fascinating results: none of the obvious aromatics, but a beautiful, suave texture, complexity and length. My sort of wine. Harry Eyres (Jan 2017)
A New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with personality! What sets it apart is that the usual pungent tropical flavours have been replaced by elegant lime, grapefruit and gooseberry. The small percentage of oak ageing adds texture and creaminess. This has real finesse, minerality and depth. Rating: 91 Christelle Guibert, Decanter
Nick Mills returned home after several years away, working with the likes of Alain and Sophie Meunier at Domaine JJ Confuron, and Pascal Marchand (late of Domaine Comte Armand and now at Domaine de la Vougeraie). This experience with some of the leading players in Burgundy has fired him with enthusiasm, and we are already seeing the fruits of his experience in the changes in viticulture (to bio-dynamism) and the increased depth of mineral complexity in the wines.
Nick Mills on Biodynamics: 'Granted custodianship over this very special piece of land, the family's principle goal is to create vins de terroir, wines that are an accurate reflection of their surroundings. It is the micro-life in our soils which, in their ability to metabolise minerals into a form that vines can assimilate, are the link in between plants and the earth. This simple biology is the essential framework in producing a wine which is true to its soil and site. With this understanding comes an absolute respect for the land and life therein and it is for this reason that Rippon is run biodynamically.
Decisions made in the vineyard and winery first consider the effect the outcome may have on the micro-flora of the soils, vines & wines. Rippon does not use herbicides, fungicides, pesticides or soluble nitrogenous fertilisers on the property. All the property's organic waste matter is recycled to make around 40 tonnes of fungal dominant compost every year. This is spread back over the land during the first descending moon after harvest as an inoculation of beneficial micro-flora for the whole property...and thus starts a diverse and vital web of life on which to live and produce.
You know, you can be too traditional. Ring the changes, ditch the claret, bin the Burgundy, say "non" to Europe. Since Columbus sailed the ocean blue back in 1492 there's been a New World, and that New World is keen to sell us wine. Fragrant New Zealand Sauvignon, gutsy Californian Zinfandel, elegant Argie Pinot Noir, surprisingly elegant Australian and some new and exciting Monterey Chardonnay await. Tuck in.
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