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
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%