December 3rd: Tohu Sauvignon Blanc

Wine Advent Calendar December 3rd: Tohu Single Vineyard Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc  2015

Where should I begin with whites, this being the first one of my 24-day Wine Advent Calendar countdown. I’ve plumped for Tohu Single Vineyard Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2015  because I love a bit of a back story.

I took the wine as a warm-up for a fizz tasting with pals. (See December 2nd). I knew my pals liked sauvignon blanc but I wanted to see if they could spot the grape if I blind-poured the wine into their glasses. To be doubly mischievous, I also poured them a glass of Sancerre to sip alongside.

So we had two sauvignon blanc wines – one from NZ, the other a classic Old World French style from the Loire Valley.

Did my pals spot the connection – erm no.  We had a smiley, happy face on one of the Tohu notes; the downside my pal thought it was Liebfraumilch and worth £6.50. Oops. Sorry Tohu. But my pals are still learning …. my gentle wine mentoring has some mileage in it yet!

Tohu Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc notes

Tohu Single Vineyard Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc  2015

What is it: It’s a white. A classy one.

Where’s it from: Marlborough is on the north-eastern tip of New Zealand’s South Island. It produces over 75%  of the country’s wine, with sauvignon blanc making up about 85% of that output. The Tohu vineyard and winery is in the Awatere Valley. Find out more about Marlborough wines here.

I’ll tell you some more: I mentioned the wine has a back story.

Tohu Wines was launched in 1998 as the world’s first Māori-owned wine company.  Which is pretty cool.

This is the heart of Tohu’s values …  “as a Māori company we have a Tohu Marlborough Sauvignon Blancstrong spiritual connection to the land, to our culture and a tradition of kaitiakitanga, guardianship of our natural resources”.

The spiral on Tohu’s labelling symbolises growth, life and the natural world in Māori culture. Find out more about Tohu wines here

The grape:  Sauvignon blanc, which claims France as its ancestral home.

What of the taste? Well Tohu’s own technical notes describe this wine as “a bright, luminous pale golden green in the glass, it displays aromas of current leaf, citrus and sweet tropical fruits on the nose” with  “flavours of juicy fruit, herbal notes and a distinctive minerality”.

Anything else?: Yes. This is what I thought. It is a splendidly fruity and elegant wine with limes and passion fruit on the nose, and a clean, bright, tight, acidity that shivers the tastebuds.

It is gorgeously lip-smacking with uplifting flavours of citrus and a slither of upright minerality.

The small print: Its 13% abv and has an RRP from £13.99. The downside to this 2015 vintage is it’s not widely available to buy online. Saying that – a quick Google a couple of minutes ago and I’ve found it here at Kwoff (liking the name folks) at £14.99.

A 2012 vintage is available at Rude Wines for £14.02 and Rude also sells a Tohu riesling.