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2023 Whitehaven Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc




Colour / Appearance: Pale lemon.

Aroma / Bouquet: Classical Marlborough with aromas of grapefruit, lemongrass and crushed herbs underscored with complexing hints of tropical fruits and gooseberry.

Palate: Pure and concentrated with flavours of grapefruit, white peach, lemongrass and boxwood and citrus with oyster shell and saline notes promoting a focussed textural element.  Medium bodied, the palate is layered and dense yet retains elegance with a lingering precise finish.

Cellaring: We recommend drinking our 2023 Sauvignon Blanc while it is young and fresh, but the wine is capable of developing nicely beyond five years if carefully cellared.

Food Match: A perfect accompaniment to oysters and fresh seafood, Japanese cuisine, summer salads, light poultry and goat’s cheese.

Serve: Lightly chilled.


Alcohol: 13.0
Residual Sugar: 2.4 g/L
Titratable Acidity: 7.3 g/L
pH: 3.33



    Harvest Date: 23rd March – 12th April 2023

    Grape Growing: We are proud to source the fruit for this wine exclusively from Marlborough and to be certified with Appellation Marlborough Wine (AMW). A mix of company owned or managed vineyards, and contract grower vineyards, are pruned to between two and four canes on a vertical shoot positioned trellis. Shoot thinning, leaf plucking and trimming are used to achieve balanced vines, a healthy canopy and clean fruit.

    Climate: Similar to the previous season, the 2023 growing season started with soil moisture at capacity following a wet winter. Flowering conditions in November and December were not even across Marlborough with some sub-regions achieving a good set and crop load, and others below average set. Vigilance around disease pressure was paramount, with regular rain events through the season and unusual humidity and warm nights through much of December and January. Day time temperatures were not warm, delaying the vine’s physiological advancement. Marlborough breathed a sigh of relief as cyclone Gabrielle minimally impacted the region in February, while wreaking havoc through much of the North Island. The season turned a corner for Marlborough in early March with a return to cool nights and sunnier conditions allowing us to delay harvest for as long as possible, resulting in fruit that reached good sugar levels with attractive flavours, while disease levels remained low and manageable. Peak time for intake was the two weeks starting from the 27th March and fruit condition remained very good through until the end of harvest.


    Winemaking: The fruit was machine harvested, often overnight, and pressed immediately with minimal skin contact.  After settling, the clear juice was fermented in stainless steel tanks at 16°C – 12°C with selected yeast strains to preserve pure sub regional characters and varietal flavours.  Wines sat on light yeast lees in tank for up to 6 weeks prior to blending in June 23. The wine has been heat and cold stabilised, and sterile filtered, prior to bottling.



    • Intensely aromatic and instantly appealing, the wine shows passionfruit, kiwifruit, jalapeno and lime zest aromas, followed by a powerfully expressed palate delivering terrific fruit power and persistency. It's punchy and vibrant with loads of delicious flavours. At its best: now to 2027. 95/100, Oct 2023.

    • Michael Cooper, NZ "The 2023 vintage (4*) is very fresh and lively. Light lemon/green, it is medium to full-bodied, with very good depth of tropical fruit and herbaceous flavours, in a vigorous, strongly varietal style with a finely balanced, crisp, dry (2.4 grams/litre of residual sugar) finish."
    • Bright, even, pale yellow. The nose is fresh, packed with gooseberry, passionfruit, green capsicum, lime and blossom aromas. Medium-bodied, aromas of passionfruit lead the palate with lime, gooseberry, unfolding capsicum, green herb and delicate blossom. The fruit is vibrant with zingy acidity, carries lovely fruit weight and length. Match with steamed clams and battered sole fillet over the next 2-3 years. Fermented to 12.9% alc, 2.4g/l RS. Candice Chow, 18.5/20 pts (93 pts) Oct 2023
    • Light citrus and peach juice nose. Nicely balanced with lingering green fruit, citrus curd and kiwi fruit. Decanter, 85/100, Tasted by: Roger Jones, Freddy Bulmer, Cat Lomax. Nov 2023.
    • This Sauvignon Blanc represents the classic New Zealand style, with lemon zest, grapefruit, and juicy peach notes. It's a great go-to wine for those who love Marlborough's fruit-forward profile.  Hannah Stabb, VinePair, 89/100
    • A classically punchy sauvignon from one of Marlborough’s much-loved producers. Founded in 1994 by Greg and Sue White, Whitehaven is known for its ability to turn out sauvignon with flavour intensity and personality year after year. Crunchy lemon and lime layers wrap around passionfruit, jalapeno and bruised basil to create a decent twang in every sip. Yvonne Lorkin, NZ 
    • Aromas of green melon, green apples and some lemon rind follow through to a medium body with fresh fruit and a simple finish. Clean and easy. Drink now. Screw cap. James Suckling, 2024.

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