Ex­cep­tional De­can­ter av­er­age score: 98/100pts In­di­vid­ual judges’ scores: Me­lanie Brown 98 Bob Camp­bell MW 98 Cameron Dou­glas MS 98 £13.50-£15.99 Exel, Flag­ship, Grape & Grain, St An­drews Wine Co, The Wine Twit

98–100pts

Decanter - - PANEL TASTING -

Aunts­field, Sin­gle Vine­yard, South­ern Val­leys, Marl­bor­ough 2016

When Graeme and Linda Cow­ley first bought a cat­tle farm in the 1990s, no vines ex­isted on the prop­erty. Much re­search showed that the re­gion’s very first vine­yard and win­ery was es­tab­lished here back in 1873. This affin­ity of land to vine has cer­tainly car­ried through to the present day where the 40ha plot of Greywacke rock and fine clay has cre­ated this fan­tas­tic ter­roir. Today it’s Graeme and Linda’s sons, viti­cul­tur­ist Ben and wine­maker Luc, who main­tain this great legacy.

Me­lanie Brown Beau­ti­fully poised and ex­trav­a­gant: goose­berry, green grass and el­der­flower, crunchy acid and har­mo­nious, good length. Yum!

Bob Camp­bell MW Weighty, quite in­tense red cap­sicum, goose­berry and nec­tarine flavours, also show­ing im­pres­sive pu­rity and length.

Cameron Dou­glas MS Clas­sic mix of fresh and dried herbs, fine cit­rus and trop­i­cal pas­sion fruit and peach hints. This is bal­anced and fresh, lively and lengthy, a nice wine over­all.

Drink 2017-2024 Al­co­hol 13%

Tin­pot Hut, Marl­bor­ough 2016

98 MB 98 BC 98 CD 98 £12.99-£13.99 Widely avail­able via UK im­porter Lib­erty Wines Tin­pot Hut’s wines are made from owner and wine­maker Fiona Turner’s own vine­yards in Blind River and com­bined with grapes from other care­fully se­lected sites in Marl­bor­ough and Hawke’s Bay. Tin­pot Hut win­ery is named after an old his­toric mus­ter­ing hut which is a lo­cal land­mark in the area. Be­fore vines were planted here, sheep roamed the lands, and these huts were cru­cial in gath­er­ing them to­gether. It’s a won­der­ful re­minder of Marl­bor­ough’s sheep farm­ing past, in con­trast to what it is ar­guably most fa­mous for today, Sau­vi­gnon Blanc.

MB This is a flinty, dry and tex­tu­ral wine. A con­cen­trated and poised amal­ga­ma­tion of com­plex­ity and style, ef­fort­lessly pure and well com­posed with nice phe­no­lics and crisp acid­ity.

BC A broad Sau­vi­gnon Blanc with cut grass and sub­dued pas­sion fruit flavours. This is quite a lively, en­er­getic wine with a lengthy fin­ish.

CD Clas­sic herbal, grassy and fruity bou­quet with flavours of fresh lemon and grape­fruit, then red ap­ple and some trop­i­cal fruit; vi­brant acid­ity, re­fresh­ing, bal­anced and well made with de­cent length.

Drink 2017-2023 Alc 13.5%

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