Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2022 – Tiraki.
Sauvignon Blanc has acquired the position of flagship grape of New-Zealand. That is not without a reason: the wines are crisp en tingling and do have spraying fruit scents. In general, they are easy to drink and easy to like. But, like every success, the commercial success of New-Zealand Sauvignon Blanc has its flipside. Risk-averse winemakers tend to play it safe and stick to proven winemaking techniques. Therefore, many New-Zealand Sauvignon Blancs look alike and are rarely booming themselves. In this review we find out if there is an exception to the rule. We are discussing the 2022 Marlborough Sauvignon by Tiraki.
About the Variety
Sauvignon Blanc is an aromatic variety with high acidity. Due to its early ripening it is very suitable for cool climates. At moderate temperatures the grapes are able to preserve their natural acids. New-Zealand’s famous wine region Marlborough is one of the key regions for Sauvignon Blanc. Due to the cool climate conditions and the extremely intense sunlight the wines are extraordinarily lively and vibrant. Pronounced fruit aroma’s like gooseberry, passionfruit and grapefruit are characteristic for Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
About the Winery
Winemaker Josh Hammond is born and raised in Marlborough. After gaining experience in California and Burgundy and working as a winemaker at wineries as Villa Maria and Isabel Estate he started his own winery called Tiraki. Tiraki is Māori for ‘clearing of the sky’. It’s a reference to the local Māori name for Marlborough (‘Hole in the sky over Wairau’) and is synonymous with new beginnings and optimism. Recently Tiraki was the first wine brand in New Zealand to be B Corp Certified, expressing high standards of social and environmental impact.
About the Vinification
In general, vinification of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is focusing on preserving fruitiness and freshness. Early morning picking, gently pressing, fermentation in stainless steel tanks with selected yeast at low temperatures are part of the standard recipe. Tiraki had chosen a slightly deviating approach, whereas 5% of the wine was wild fermented in oak puncheons (500 liters) and the blended wine was aged on fine lees in tank for 5 months. These vinification techniques foster complexity, weight and texture. Let us find out how that worked out for this wine.
About the Wine
On the nose the pale lemon-green wine contains tons of primary fresh fruit. Fruits like gooseberry, lemon, lime, kiwi, wild peach and passionfruit literally splashes out of the glass, accompanied by a steely, stony, chalky bassline and some uplifting floral (elderflower) and fresh-herbal (ginger) notes. The mouth filling kiwi-dominated start is quickly taken over by concentrated fresh citrus fruit such as grapefruit, lemon and lime. Together with a tropical touch of passionfruit and an herbal flavor reminding of pickled ginger, it is leading to an above-average long aftertaste.
Conclusion: Although the wine is extremely vivid and lively, it is neither bouncy nor nervous. The wine has a rather exceptional gastronomic look and feel – and that definitely deserves a compliment.
The Tiraki Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is imported in the Netherlands by MH Wines. This review is written by our own Hermen Jansen (Origine Wijnen).
Taste date: February 2023
Score: 92/100 DWA Score
Website: Tiraki Winery