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Top Marlborough Sauvignon

Loveblock Sauvignon Blanc 2016

With Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, balance is important. No-one wants the sensation of being pummelled in the face with a passionfruit, but neither do we want to drink something that tastes bland and vegetal; similarly most of us would prefer to avoid any wine that reminds us of old pussen's litter tray or the moistened underarm of a flabby old wrestler. Tragically this can and does happen. But, paragons of self-sacrifice that we are, we've tasted our way through these abominations to find the proper stuff - a balanced Marlborough Sauvignon of exemplary deliciousness, quaffability and versatility.

In all honesty we could have saved ourselves a lot of time and trauma - we knew already that Kim Crawford was a byword for quality in this region. Since establishing the Loveblock brand just under a decade ago, Kim and his wife Erica have grown it into one of the most successful organic winegrowing operations in New Zealand. They've realised that to rise above that sea of middle-of-the-road Marlborough Sauvignon it's no good to just churn out fruit-bomb, flavoured-yeast, steel-fermented stuff using fruit from wherever the hell you can find it. Rather, they've set themselves up to use only estate fruit, farming 100% organically, and keeping yields low (about half of the regional average) to ensure a better quality product. On top of all this.

To our mind, they're nothing short of pioneers, raising the bar for the whole New Zealand wine industry. The proof is there in the bottle. It's a more refined style of Sauvignon, one that's more grown-up. As Kim, himself says: "We've developed from our teenage years and we're now middle-aged, so we're so much more. We're not throwing our hormones and testosterone out there any more. We're quite restrained but hopefully a bit more complex." With 90+ points from New Zealand's top critics, and a gold medal in New Zealand's organic wine awards - you really can't dispute that they've nailed it with this wine.

"For me the challenge of Loveblock was to tame the wild piece of land up there on top of the hill [overlooking the Awatere Valley]. I thought the flavours we could extract had the potential to be quite special and distinctive, intense yet elegant. I am just lucky enough that we are in a position to experiment, return the balance to the land and make the best wine I can, doing what I love.” Kim Crawford

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