Wine Front 93+ Points!
Wine Front 93+ points!
“Spends a month on skins then went into acacia and oak for 12 months, then another six months on lees in tank. Shane Munn, the previous winemaker made 2013 Mammoth White (also skin contact fermented), and he wanted to go left of centre with sauvignon blanc, and so this happened. The 2013 dipped a toe in the water, around 10% skin ferment, then in 2014 he fully committed. “I don’t go as long on skins, but this worked out when I finished it off”, says Mahana winemaker Michael Glover.
Loads of aroma, lots of spice, lots of ripe fruit, lots of apple skin, dried apple, exotic quince aromas. Really pleasing, complex intro. The palate shows you who’s boss. Thick in chalky tannin, punchy in peppery spice, juicy in lemon/lime citrusy flavours. Layered, complex, strong. It’s very good in it’s style. Hello porchetta.”
Mike Bennie, Wine Front, September 2016
"Cropped from the yellow ultic soils of the Mahana vineyard, this multifaceted, intense white was fermented entirely on skins with indigenous yeasts, before spending 10 months in a mixture of old French oak barriques and new acacia puncheons. This approach requires a great deal of skill and sensitivity to get right and it requires superb fruit. The result is something inspired we reckon. Lifted aromatics of honey, smoke and wet gravel as well as a complex, peppery wildness that Glover notes as "genuine sauvage characters". In the mouth the wine is both creamy textured, super complex and long, yet it also has mouth-watering, grapefruity freshness. The world didn't really need another (as in, like any other) Sauvignon Blanc, but I think it did need this wine. It truly breaks the mould and points the way towards a possible redemption for NZ Sauvvy. Hard to rate, wonderful to drink."
The pursuit of texture, complexity and interest that was tentatively begun in 2013 has continued in 2014 but with even more drive and commitment to the ‘alternative’ path. The Mahana Clays and Gravels Sauvignon Blanc has a bright and clear appearance. The yellow colour of the wine gives away the use of skins, wood and time on lees in the winemaking process.
The nose has a remarkably complex nose of honey, smoke and gravel. There are genuine ‘sauvage’ characters in there as well as both green fruit and tropical fruit characters: pineapple, guava and gooseberry are all present. The nose carries to the palate which is full, rich and complex. The palate shows both primary and secondary characters. It has a lovely creamy texture and good length. In short, this is more than just a varietal Sauvignon Blanc; this is a serious white wine…full stop! 300 dozen produced.