Tutor insight | What is your favourite wine?

Tutor insight | What is your favourite wine?

NMIT Viticulture Tutor Glenn Kirkwood can confidently say, “it is the one in the glass I’m currently drinking!” – find out which Sauvignon Blancs are hot on his list right now.
Glenn Kirkwood
Glenn Kirkwood, NMIT Viticulture Tutor, in the Marlborough campus research vineyard

Wine can be such a polarising topic to discuss as there are so many views as to what is considered a quality wine and how on earth do you actually define a quality wine that is the age-old question! This is a discussion I have with our students every year and I attempt to explain it in some kind of layman’s terms what I define as wine quality, but I am sorry to say this is not the time nor the place for a discussion of that magnitude. 

There is another question that I get asked on a regular basis that really drives me to despair “what is your favourite wine”. I can answer that very easily, “it is the one in the glass I am currently drinking!” For most wino’s like myself there is no such thing as “a favourite wine” or a “favourite wine style” as we can generally appreciate just about all of them, and from within them all, we will have our little gems that are our “go-to” wines of choice. Then there are the special occasion wines that only see the light of day when there is something really big to celebrate!

I have been living here in sunny Marlborough for 18 years now having been brought to these fine shores by a man called Jim Delegat of Oyster Bay fame. He poached me from an Australian wine growing region right over the far side of the country in Western Australia called Margaret River. Now, for those of you that have never been there and would like to see a little bit of Aussie paradise, I would highly recommend it. Originally from the state of New South Wales, I now call Marlborough home.

Sauvignon Blanc

Now onto the all-important task of making some recommendations, and where better to start than with our world-famous Sauvignon Blanc. This variety is a very polarising variety and you tend to either love it or hate it. There does not seem to be any in-between. Marlborough has gone through a kind of metamorphosis over the last 10 to 15 years and has had to re-invent itself. Gone are the days of mass production, and here are the days of quality production, and what a treat we now have in store for us!

There are wines available at entry-level that are really not too bad at all and highly recommendable. Then there is the middle of the road wines which are really quite solid every-day drinking. Then we move to the very good wines that are really trying to make a statement, followed by the serious wines that are going to make you stand up and take notice.

So, who is making these wines?

Entry level:

Mud House Sauvignon blanc 2020 ($15)

Rapaura Springs Sauvignon blanc 2020 ($16)

Middle level:

Love Block Sauvignon blanc 2019 ($22) Organic

Seresin Estate Sauvignon blanc 2018 ($24) Bio-dynamic

Upper level:

Greywacke ‘Wild’ Sauvignon blanc 2017 ($40) Organic and oak-aged

Giesen ‘Fuder’ Matthews Lane Sauvignon blanc 2015 ($43) oak-aged

Top shelf:

Cloudy Bay ‘Te Koko’ Sauvignon blanc 2016 ($58) Oak aged

Hans Herzog Sauvignon blanc 'sur lie' 2017 ($70) Bio-dynamic and oak aged

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