Had a lovely visit to Churton Wines a couple of months ago driven around the vineyard by the lovely Julie Taylor, Marketing and Communications Manager who gave me a great introduction to the lay of the land. I enjoyed watching the first 2013 Sauvignon Blanc harvest as the grapes were all hand picked from the beautiful vineyard up the Waihopai Valley Road in Marlborough under the watchful eye of Mandy Weaver, GM and wife of Sam Weaver the Winemaker.
Churton Wines is a small Marlborough winery, which has been owned and operated by Sam and Mandy Weaver and has been exporting its wine since 1997. Their winemaking is focused on “producing premium quality Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier and Pinot Noir that combine the renowned flavour and aromatic intensity of Marlborough fruit with the finesse and complexity characteristic of fine European wines. Our philosophy is to produce wines that capture the intensity of flavour and aroma that are the hallmarks of Marlborough and combine these primary fruit characters with palate weight, texture and suppleness.“
The vineyard site itself is quite spectacular, tucked away up a winding drive from the home and office, through a stand of old pines and other trees until it opens out at 200m above sea level overlooking a spectacular Northeast-facing ridge between the Waihopai and Omaka valleys in the Southern Valleys area of the Wairau plain.
Here’s my take on 4 wines from the Churton Wines range – more detail on the viticultural and winemaking practices are on their website.
Churton Estate Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2011
Soft lemon lime – pungent savoury sweaty earthy armpit in the nose balanced with citrus and floral hints. A really dry but crisp fruit driven palate, savoury and citrus / grapefruit pith acidity, nice weight on the palate, quite european in style, classy and elegant, a great food wine. Alc/V: 14% RRP: $26.00
Churton Estate Viognier Marlborough 2011
Lovely lemony golden colour in the glass with apricots and stonefruit aromas in the nose with a hint of savoury oak: Apricot comes through again on the palate and although quite dry at 1.7g/l has a soft and creamy mouth feel. Has that viognier bitter apricot kernel on the back palate which I like – a beautifully textured and complex layered wine. Alc/V: 13% RRP: $37.00
Churton Estate Pinot Noir Marlborough 2010
Great deep black cherry / garnet in the glass with savoury, spice, earthy, and prefumed notes in the nose. Masses of dark cherry / berry flavour on the palate, with really fine tannins and subtle oak, really nice savoury and spice finish with great length – a fabulous wine – loved it. Alc/V: 13.1% RRP: $44.00
Churton Estate The Abyss Pinot Noir Marlborough 2010
Wow!!! What can I say? Quite a different wine from the previous one – It was like Churton Pinot on Steroids. Fabulously deep coloured wine with “smoker lolly” and spice notes in the nose, incredibly balanced with earth, fruit and savoury elements all in harmony – a very beautifully textured wine. Gorgeous! Alc/V: 13% RRP: $70.00
I suggest you have to go and visit them if get a chance next time you are in Marlborough, (by appointment, so call first) but to find out more about them and buy their wine online, you can visit their Website, like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.