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Good growers flourished

Good growers flourished

In October I was able to taste more than 500 2017 Kiwi sauvignons over three days as part of my judging duties at the New Zealand Wine Awards. (You can read about it and watch a video here). This gave me a pretty good feel for the vintage!

For many it wasn’t plain sailing with a moderate summer and two cyclones during the harvest. This meant that many picked early – before the rain – and the wines are a little underripe, or later – after the rains – suffering with a little dilution. Either way many saw reduced yields.

It has given the wider vintage picture a more citrus than tropical feel, with bright acidity and lower average alcohol volumes – so pretty positive outcomes from tricky weather.

However, many of our producers fared even better as they never aimed to make high-volume wines to start with. This means that they had fewer bunches per vine, which were able to ripen better through the cool summer and show more vibrancy and concentration (despite early picking before the rain arrived).

Many examples have the elegance of the vintage, with a touch lower alcohol, but also display the classic intense grapefruit and gooseberry sauvignon notes we all love so much.

Sarah Knowles MW
2018

Sarah Knowles MW

Sarah Knowles MW
Buyer for New Zealand

2018



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