Whites and Rosé

Chenin Blanc 2015

Like any business in a crowded market place, winemakers are often asked to elaborate on their “point of difference”. This can be very difficult to define, especially when the majority of “boutique” wineries are striving to produce top quality, handmade wines from the very best grapes they can grow to faithfully portray their vineyard site and particular terrior (yadda yadda!). For Margrain, somewhat unwittingly it seems Chenin Blanc has become our point of difference.

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Proprietor's Selection Riesling 2015

Just as quality Polaroid sunglasses afford the keen angler a better view of what lies beneath the glary surface of a beautiful lowland stream, so a well shaped wineglass assists the job of the professional wine taster. When evaluating a wine in order to prepare tasting notes, I always reach for my trusty, if rather inelegant Riedel Vinum “Tasting Glass”. From a pour of just 20ml this hollow stemmed vessel helps separate out elements of the nose and palate that could otherwise remain locked away for ever.

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Sauvignon Blanc 2014

With Sauvignon Blanc comprising 85% of New Zealand’s booming wine export trade, that doesn’t leave much for thirsty locals, right? Fear not, for to fill the gap you need only look outside of Marlborough to find some quirky savvy’s with that extra x factor.

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Pinot Gris 2013

Here is a wine that speaks directly of (or is it to?) its Terroir –in fact the very soils from which it was raised. One can literally taste and feel the weight of the large river boulders that the deepest roots have wrapped themselves around after 22 years of searching out the remnants of soil moisture during long dry summers. The 2013 follows the path set by previous vintages yet carries an extra level of complexity, almost to the point of complication.

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Chardonnay 2012

What a task and a joy it is each vintage to run the semi-clear juice of this aristocratic variety, one day after pressing, down to the cellar and straight into waiting 228 litre French oak barriques. Once the liquid gold warms to 15 degrees, a small amount of yeast is added and a day or 2 later so many magical fermentations begin. This is winemaking at its most traditional and basic yet as the wine proceeds at its own pace toward dryness, so there emerge as many distinctly different batches as there are barrels each unique in its flavour, texture and mouthfeel.

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Pinot Rosé 2015

I wonder if those who read market trends saw this coming? From poor relation to belle of the ball, in just a single season Rosé in this country has pulled up sticks from Ekatahuna to set up camp on Takapuna Beach! In 2013 we made more than ever before (largely by chance) and it sold out in just months, so this season we made yet a larger volume again and although it is fighting for market share with many new comers who have jumped onto the Rose’ bandwagon, it is once again flowing out the Cellar door. There is one simple explanation; it’s gorgeous!


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