How Good is Churton Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc?
Reviewing & Scoring 2015 Churton Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough from New Zealand
Churton is a wine producer of Marlborough, New Zealand, established in 1997 by Sam and Mandy Weaver. From site selection and bio-dynamic practices through to low intervention winemaking, Churton aim is at producing terroir driven wines from vineyards managed according to the principles of biodynamics and organic viticulture.
The estate is now a 22-hectare single vineyard (54 acres) encompassing an undulating ridge line between the Omaka and Waihopai valleys of the Marlborough region of NZ.
This Kiwi Sauv Blanc comes in a rather intense, bright and sharply shiny straw lemon color. It looks quite intense for a Marlborough Sav, and a little golden too, as opposed to the green hues that are more expected from the North of the NZ’s South Island.
The intensity of the nose, is more typical of the style. Although the aromatic profile is NOT like your average Marlborough. It’s clearly fruitier than grassier, bursting with vibrant aromas of fresh and dried pineapple, zingy lime, and sweet apricot and peach. Add a sense of flintiness, like sulfuric volcano fumes —discrete ones, not the smelly annoying ones— and a delicate grassiness that comes in a suave form, more like the sweet vegetal smell of cucumber rather than grass.
A tempting and salivating aromatic profile!
Related Read: About Sauvignon Blanc
The palate continues delivering surprises. Undoubtedly, this is a very concentrated wine, packed-full of a high acidity, with a rich body, and tons of flavors. A sense of sweetness comes through, but it is so balanced by the crisp acidity and the round body, it doesn’t feel sweet overall.
The residual sugars one can sense are here, only highlight and amplify the bursting fruity flavors. Rich lemon juice, juicy fresh pear and peach, a touch of ginger to spice things up, and a hint of passion fruit. It’s so fruity and generous, yet fresh and acidic all at the same time, like the most perfectly balanced cocktail you’ve ever tasted. Frankly irresistible!
The finish is long, and very crisp, thanks to the mineral acidity. But it is also smoothened by subtle silky phenolics. More importantly, the wine leaves you with a salty aftertaste, that makes you salivate with the temptation to go for another sip, like some characterful and terroir-oriented wines do. Here, you’re left somewhat with the salivating taste that salted cucumber gives you, with a big burst of layered tropical fruit on top of it!
A rather rare, positively surprising, and so enjoyable a tasting experience lies in this Churton Sauvignon Blanc.
There is so much going on. Everything is driven by stunning fresh tropical fruit characters spiced up by a variety of other delightful flavors. This wine delivers a gorgeous explosive fruity feel, rare in any wine at this level of freshness, liveliness, and concentration.
In some way, this utter concentration reminds of the profile of some Sauternes wines, which see their flavors concentrated by Botrytis. This density of flavors is in Churton SB, but here in a dry and zesty white. The zestiness and tropical opulence of a Sauternes, in a dry white. Outstanding!