As we try to savour the last taste of summer, Sauvignon Blanc is the drop we often find ourselves reaching for. But since indulging in Butterworth Estate’s Te Muna Sauvignon Blanc 2020 of late, a wine that we would usually associate with long warm evenings, we’re starting to realise that a wine this good shouldn’t be reserved for summer soirées alone.
With grapes sourced from the Estate’s Julicher Te Muna Vineyard, six kilometres from the main Martinborough township, the climate is similar to that of Burgundy. Long cool summers and low rainfall provide the optimum long ripening conditions, for a taste that lingers on the palate.
Bringing together both the old and new worlds of winemaking, the vines are tended to by hand, and are sustainably grown on a smart trellis system. At this spot, the vines are naturally low cropping, which leads to naturally high-quality fruit — the pick of the harvest.
The soils of the Te Muna Terraces are free-draining alluvial gravel, which means they are rich in minerals. With masterful techniques and time spent in French Oak barrels, the aroma of the Te Muna Sauvignon Blanc 2020 has a grapefruit pitch with tropical fruit salad and freshly crushed sage and basil. An undertone of cracked vanilla bean adds a hint of oaky complexity underneath.
Twelve months on Gross Lees has given a viscosity to the palate that is beautifully juxtaposed with the racy acid line from the ripe Sauvignon Blanc fruit. Textural with fabulous length, this wine is best enjoyed among great company, with divine seafood delights and, preferably, a sunset.