2015 Matahiwi Estate Holly Sauvignon Blanc, Wairarapa
Matahiwi Estate is a New Zealand wine producer that offers 3 ranges of wine starting from Mt Hector and the Mathiwi Estate wines. The ‘Holly’ range represents their flagship, the finest expression of the producer’s savoir-faire. See further detail in Matahiwi Estate full producer profile.
The fruit for this wine was sourced from the Matahiwi home vineyard in Opaki, Masterton, which features free-draining, stony silt loam soils and is sheltered by the Tararua mountain range to the east. The Holly vineyards are specially managed throughout the year to deliver smaller yields for maximum ripeness and flavor.
It was fermented in older French oak barrels, then spent 11 months in barrel on its lees with occasional stirring (batonnage), before being gently fined and filtered prior to bottling.
The wine comes in a lemon-yellow color of medium intensity, with a touch of green hue. Nit very intense, but far from pale.
What’s even less pale is the aromatic intensity. OMG!
Even before swirling the wine, pungent ripe passion fruit smells jump out of the glass. Extremely fruity and powerful.
As you take the time to analyze the nose further and agitate the glass, the smells aren’t less enjoyable, and just as fruity: pear liqueur, apricot jam, rhubarb crumble, a world of delicacies and fruity richness.
A stunning aromatic profile, quite unique from its level of intensity and its purity and focus on complex fruit characters.
But let’s dive in and see if the palate lives up to this tempting nose!
In the mouth, flavors are powerful too, but seems to be tamed down.
We are here with more of a balanced and controlled universe, yet with solid intensity.
The pear noticed on the nose is powerful and dominant, giving this distinctive impression of freshness pear or pear juice give. Of course, the passion fruit and other tropical fruits (mango and pineapple to name but a few) haven’t gone away are still here. I noted a touch of white pepper spiciness to it too.
Great overall balance with solid acidity with a lightly-oily texture, medium body, and a very discrete hint of sweetness that still leaves the overall impression of dryness to the wine.
The whole is easy to enjoy, refreshing with a citrusy zingy feel. Easy to swallow and drink to. None of the heavy overly-acidic bombs sometimes found in NZ Sauv Blanc. The aromatic power of it, but ripe fruit instead of grassiness, and a very elegant palatable experience.
A very solid 90-point wine, with at least an extra point for its balance and enjoyability
Wine & Food Pairing
This is a wine that will suit many occasions. Clearly it can be enjoyed by itself. Tasting it without food obviously, I could see myself sipping it enjoyably with garnish.
Yet, it would of course work wonders on seafood dishes, perhaps the sweet-sour ones like in Thai and other Asian cuisines. The tropical fruit character in it is so dominant and pungent, it will marry beautifully creamy and tasty sweet-sour Thai curries.