Though you may not be familiar with Loveblock, the winery based in the Lower Awatere Valley of Marlborough, you most certainly have heard of its owner and winemaker, Kim Crawford. After achieving sizable success with his eponymous label, Kim and his wife Erica sold that winery, and after some well-deserved rest, opened this personal wine farm. Their estate vineyards grow on the hills of the Awatere, collecting freshness via altitude and breezes. Organically farmed, most of this wine spent its time in stainless, with 7% aged in neutral French oak for 6 month (also undergoing MLF). Unmistakably Kiwi savvy and inherently Awatere, with its cooler, fresher profile of white grapefruit, lemon pith, starfruit, pineapple rind and lime. A fine layer of lees coats the palate and buffers the intense acidity and fruit. Shy, this is not, but balanced it is.
In the Maori language, HãHã means savoury and luscious. And that pretty much sums it up. Bright straw in colour, it offers a grassy, grapefruit and apple nose with a mineral note; medium-bodied and crisply dry, flavours of gooseberries and green beans carried on zesty acidity fill the palate.
When it comes to white wines, New Zealand offers more than just Sauvignon Blanc. Here’s a Pinot Gris from Marlborough that’s worth picking up. Light straw in colour, it offers a peach pit nose with lemon and mineral notes. Medium-bodied and dry, imagine a dish of sliced peaches and apples – that’s the flavour you experience. The wine has a lovely texture and an engaging bitter almond note on the finish.
Serious, structural and potent, with youthful intensity just now starting to yield into velvety, sueded tannins. Deerstalkers is entirely Gimblett Gravels fruit, only produced in the very best years. Gravelly, with humus earth, tar, camp smoke texturing inky dark black plum, liquorice, dusky violets, ripe black cherry, thick blackberry on a potent, refined palate, this finishes with ample fresh cracked pepper and smoked beef. Open top fermented with extended post-ferment maceration before being basket pressed into French oak barrel (30% new) for 18 months, this is a well-constructed big red, intended to impress and hold a good few years in the cellar.
Almost water-white in colour but don’t be fooled by its lack of depth. With grassy, green herbs, lime on the nose with a light floral note, it fairly explodes with vibrant green fruits on the palate; light to medium-bodied, it’s crisply dry, beautifully balanced with a lovely mouth-feel and good length. Highly recommended.
Such great focus and balance between elegance, penetrating flavours and underlying structure with loads of juicy black cherry and plum, liquorice and spice, plush texture, firm backbone, slightly chalky and a deliciously long and lingering fresh and lively finish. Hard to stop drinking and an incredibly versatile food wine.