Tinpot Hut Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2023  £17.20

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Tinpot Hut wines are made primarily from fruit grown on winemaker Fiona Turner's vineyard in Blind River. Fiona, who has worked with Matt Thomson for a number of years, supplements her own grapes with fruit from other growers in Marlborough and Hawkes Bay. The tinpot hut that gave its name to Fiona's wines is an old mustering hut in the remote hills between the Wairau and Awatere Valleys. The huts were used as a base for musterers as they rounded up the sheep that had been in the hills from spring to autumn. The name links Marlborough's past as a sheep farming centre with its current state as one of the world's most dynamic wine regions.

Fruit for this wine was sourced from the home vineyard at Blind River in the Awatere Valley and from the coastal Lower Wairau subregion 30 minutes to the north. At an elevation of 28m and only a mile from the Pacific Ocean, the home vineyard is cooled during the height of summer by afternoon onshore easterly winds. A rich loamy topsoil of around 500-750mm overlays wind-blown clay loess here. In the Lower Wairau vineyards, the dominant feature is the very deep fertile silt loam soils laid down over thousands of years near the coast. All vines are trained with vertical shoot positioning.  Fruit was machine harvested in the cool of the night and transported to the winery as quickly as possible. The grapes underwent gentle pressing to ensure minimal skin contact. The must was cold-settled for 48 hours before being racked to stainless steel tanks for inoculation. Fermentation took place at cool temperatures to preserve freshness and aromatics in the wine.

The 2023 growing season was characterised by La Nina conditions. Warm flowering conditions and regular summer rainfall meant rigorous canopy and yield management was crucial to bring the vines and yields into balance, producing fruit of exceptional character.

A pleasingly rich Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc with vibrant aromatics and a fine balance of acidity. Complex and elegant, the nose opens with classic characters of blackcurrant bud and freshly cut thyme. Underlying mineral, saline nuances from the grapes grown in the Blind River sub-region combine well with the tropical notes of passion fruit and melon from the Wairau Valley vineyards.

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