“A prolonged Indian summer with cool nights led to expressive wines with great natural acidity. The season produced pristine fruit with ripe concentrated flavours." And that's just the start.
This article was created in partnership with Appellation Marlborough Wine
A fantastic summer with hot days and cool nights has produced some outstanding Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs from the 2020 harvest.
Vibrant, bristling with energy and ripe concentrated flavours is how Marlborough’s winemakers are describing the wines – many of which are bottled and ready for release. Appellation Marlborough Wine members say the season was one of the finest Marlborough had ever experienced with favourable weather throughout the growing, ripening and harvesting season.
Fruit quality from the vintage was the best winemaker Dave Clouston from Two Rivers had seen for more than 10 years. “It was outstanding,” he said. “A prolonged Indian summer with cool nights led to expressive wines with great natural acidity. The season produced pristine fruit with ripe concentrated flavours. We have never been more excited and more proud to release an Appellation Marlborough Wine.”
AMW, which now boasts 52 members representing more than a third of Marlborough wineries, was established in 2018 as a way of protecting Marlborough wine, especially sauvignon blanc, whose purity and flavour intensity has earned it a phenomenal global reputation. The AMW guidelines are synonymous with those of the world’s most respected wine regions, such as Champagne.
To bear the AMW mark, a wine must be made with grapes grown 100% in Marlborough, harvested at stipulated cropping levels from vineyards certified by Sustainable Winegrowing at New Zealand, and must be bottled in New Zealand, under New Zealand regulation.
Ivan Sutherland, owner of Dog Point Vineyard and chair of AMW, says “our aim is to protect Marlborough wine by creating a guarantee of authenticity so that there’s no doubt in the consumer’s mind. Our logo gives an assurance they can see and trust”.
“Our members know its vital to protect the integrity of our industry, recognising that Marlborough wine is globally unique, extraordinary and 100 per cent worth protecting”, says Sutherland.
Sutherland praised the quality of this year’s vintage particularly given the challenges many of them worked through to get their crop harvested and processed.
The country went into lockdown just as harvest was starting which presented massive challenges with stringent Covid-19 rules in place including rigorous social distancing. Wineries dealt with the situation admirably and the vintage will go down as one of the most extraordinary Marlborough has ever had.
Jim White from Cloudy Bay said the 2020 vintage was one of their best. “Mother Nature gave us incredible conditions in the vineyards throughout the year and the fruit that came into the winery was as perfect as we could have wanted,” he said. “The Sauvignon Blanc shows a remarkable balance and refined acidity alongside the vibrant fruit qualities that we always want to see.”
Nautilus Estate’s Clive Jones said classic Marlborough autumn weather of cool nights and warm days prevailed through harvest. “This allowed for slow flavour development and the ability to fine tune Sauvignon picking decisions to maximise flavour potential,” he said.
AMW is excited about the release of their 2020 Sauvignon Blancs which promise to be some of the best and most vibrant to come out of Marlborough with zingy and zesty flavours that leap out of the glass.
Watch the video below to see why the Appellation Marlborough team are so proud of the 2020 wines.
Next time you’re choosing a Marlborough sauvignon blanc be sure to check for the AMW promise of provenance and authenticity on the back label. For a list of AMW certified wines click here.
Appellation Marlborough Wine