The 2023 Appellation Marlborough Wine (AMW) Annual Collection has been selected. This year’s highly experienced panel – Jane Skilton MW, Erin Larkin and Andrea Martinisi – were given the daunting task of assessing over 70 new release Sauvignon Blancs before determining a unanimous top 12. The resulting collection is a celebration of Marlborough’s diverse landscape.
“AMW’s Annual Collection is an opportunity to recognise world-class Sauvignon Blanc,” says AMW chair John Buchanan. “Our recent collection tasting highlighted that AMW producers are refining their house-style whilst exploring in parallel Marlborough’s sub-regions and single vineyard sites. The 2023 Annual Collection is a clever reflection of our dynamic wine growing region and is an attractive range of expressions and price-points.”
APPELLATION MARLBOROUGH WINE ANNUAL COLLECTION 2023
Arona Sauvignon Blanc 2023 (Blind River, Central Wairau and Inland Awatere)
Astrolabe Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2023 (Multi sub-regional)
Dog Point Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2023 (Southern Valleys and Central Wairau)
Forrest Sauvignon Blanc 2023 (Central Wairau)
Greywacke Wild Sauvignon 2021 (Southern Valleys and Central Wairau)
Mount Riley Limited Release Sauvignon Blanc 2023 (Multi sub-regional)
Nautilus Estate, The Paper Nautilus Sauvignon Blanc 2022 (Central Wairau)
Opawa Sauvignon Blanc 2023 (Central Wairau)
OTU Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2023 (Blind River and Ot?whero)
Smith & Sheth, CRU Wairau Sauvignon Blanc 2022 (Wairau)
TAPI Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2023 (Lower and Central Wairau)
Three Brooms Sauvignon Blanc 2023 (Blind River)
The AMW Annual Collection is selected by an independent panel of three, following a robust blind tasting of submitted member wines. The expertise of this year’s judges traversed the industry; including wine educator, media and on-premise. “We were thrilled to have such a distinguished panel determine our 2023 Annual Collection,” says Amanda McRae, AMW executive officer. “The judging process was a pleasure to witness. The professional approach, cohesive processes and collegial respect was admirable.
“I enthusiastically accepted the AMW Collection panelist role because Marlborough wines have always fascinated me,” says Andrea Martinisi. “It was a chance to explore the best the region has to offer – and Erin, Jane and myself, had the privilege of tasting wines that were both traditional and avant-garde, reflecting the region’s spirit.”
“Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc captured the attention of wine enthusiasts around the world because of its exceptional sense of place. It is critical that grape growers never assume this position lightly,” says John. “Our collection tasting is an important exercise in peer benchmarking and it was interesting to see three wines included for the second year running.”
“In a relatively short time, Marlborough gained global recognition for creating superlative Sauvignon Blanc,” says lead panelist and Master of Wine Jane Skilton. “As the Marlborough industry strengthens (and in no small part consolidates) it is important to shine the spotlight on those upholding the core values of NZ wine.”
Andrea says the AMW Annual Collection will continue to motivate Marlborough winemakers to push boundaries and share their expertise. “It will also help to preserve and protect the great reputation that Marlborough has gained globally as a quality wine growing region.”
“Marlborough has the distinct potential for a detailed tapestry of terroir driven wines,” says Erin Larkin. “A kaleidoscope of individual house styles from estate to estate across the region, and a strong message to convey about the capability of Sauvignon Blanc particularly, to convey site, place and maker. This will ultimately be the basis for the Marlborough fine wine story in the future, all of which was abundantly clear to me in my week of visits and tastings.”
AMW’s Annual Collection has a halo effect on the entirety of its membership. The 12 wines selected to comprise the 2023 collection range from $17 to $36 (NZ) and encompass a broad range of wine-making techniques, from 100% stainless steel through to wild fermentation and extended barrel aging.
“Last month’s collection tasting revealed that Marlborough retains its tradition of producing exemplary Sauvignon Blanc but isn’t afraid to innovate or explore alternative styles,” says Jane. “The 2023 Collection shows that every producer is capable of making wines to the highest standards.”
“I was struck by the vibrancy, finesse and elegance of wines at the tasting,” says Andrea. “I really enjoyed that so many wines spoke of the place where they came from; some with high tones, some more subtle, but all with that unmistakable Marlborough mark that made its Sauvignon Blanc famous all around the world.”
“We hope that we landed on a balanced and eloquent range of wines in the top twelve,” says Erin. “Wines that offer joy, that speak of place and which challenge the notion that ’Sauvignon Blanc is Sauvignon Blanc’.”
The Appellation Marlborough Wine Annual Collection 2023 gives consumers the opportunity to witness the breadth and calibre of 100% pure Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. In New Zealand, the collection can be purchased online or in-store through Glengarry Wines.
“The aim of AMW wineries, with their stated objective of producing wines with provenance and integrity, is a truly commendable one,” says Jane. “Tasting through the wines last month, it was clear the organisation and its members are committed to upholding these core values to ensure Marlborough Sauvignon remains one of the world’s iconic wines.”
About Appellation Marlborough Wine
Appellation Marlborough Wine™ was established in 2018 with a strict certification process for which the region’s producers are able to apply. The appellation is trademarked in all key global wine markets, and it is the legal recognition that sets it apart from other new world certification practises.
In January 2022, Appellation Marlborough Wine strengthened its protocols by extending its certification practices to all varietals grown within the Marlborough region and incorporating a mandatory tasting component for its Sauvignon Blanc submissions.
Wines bearing the Appellation Marlborough Wine (AMW) quality mark provide consumers the following guarantees:
ORIGIN – Wines are made from grapes that are 100% sourced from Marlborough.
AUTHENTICITY – Wines must be bottled in New Zealand.
INTEGRITY – Wines must be made from grapes cropped at or below set parameters, established according to soil type and vine density variability. If a proposed wine contains any portion exceeding that level, it must be approved by an independent panel of qualified, experienced local producers.
SUSTAINABILITY – Vineyards are certified by a recognised sustainable viticulture scheme.
For more information Visit: www.appellationmarlboroughwine.co.nz
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