Joelle Thomson

Wine writer and award winning wine author

What I am drinking, reading and savouring each week


New releases from Hunter’s Wines

This year marks the 38th for Hunter’s Sauvignon Blanc, which makes it one of the oldest wine producers in Marlborough and one of the first to put Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc on the world’s wine map, so to speak, in 1986 with its oak aged Sauvignon. Hunter’s remains family owned and run by Jane Hunter OBE and Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) for services to viticulture. She is also a recipient of the UK Women in Wine Award.
The winery continues to make Sauvignon Blanc today but also produces aromatic whites, Pinot Noir and has a long history of high quality sparkling wine made in the traditional method; using the same techniques as champagne.
Newly released statistics from New Zealand Winegrowers show a rise in Marlborough’s producing vineyard hectares to 27,808 hectares today, up from 27,176 last year.

2020 Hunter’s Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc $19.90
The first vintage of Hunter’s Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc was 1982 and the style is tropical and fruit driven on the nose and palate with vibrant acidity giving it drive. It’s bone dry in taste, which adds another refreshing string to this white wine’s crisp, bright bow. It drinks well now and can age, thanks to that high acidity, which helps to preserve the wine.
The logo on the back label adds creditability to this wine because it represents Appellation Marlborough Wine (AMW) which means 100% of the grapes used in it were grown in Marlborough.
Vegan certified by the New Zealand Vegetarian Society.

2020 Hunter’s Marlborough Pinot Gris $19.90
This tasty Pinot Gris is between medium dry and medium sweet. It was fermented to 13.5% ABV. The grapes were picked progressively at different stages of ripeness to add complexity to the finished wine. After picking, pressed grapes were fermented in a combination of stainless steel and old French oak barrels then blended back together for a relatively short lees aging time, which adds body and softness in the mid palate. A touch of fresh acidity balances the medium dry style. Flavours include notes of white pear, nashi pears and green apple with a hint of citrus.
Vegan certified by the New Zealand Vegetarian Society.

2020 Hunter’s Marlborough Gewurztraminer $24.90
Gewurz is the German word for spice and an apt name for wines made from the Gewurztraminer grape; one of the spiciest, most aromatically intense in the wine world. This is an excellent example made in a style between medium dry and medium sweet with fermentation finished at 14% ABV. All grapes were machine harvested in two separate picks from a single vineyard on Rapaura Road, Blenheim, next door to Hunter’s Wines. The wine has pronounced spice and floral aromas balanced by a note of fresh acidity to balance its richness.
Vegan certified by the New Zealand Vegetarian Society.

2018 Hunter’s Offshoot Marlborough Chardonnay $34.90
Offshoot is the innovative label at Hunter’s and this toasty, full bodied Chardonnay was made from grapes cropped at low levels, all Mendoza clone grapes grown on the winery’s Rapaura Road vineyard. Mendoza Chardonnay is also known as hen and chicken because this variation of Chardonnay grows with relatively small bunches with variable berry size on the same bunches, which typically provides high concentration and bright acidity (from the smaller grape berries).
The grapes were crushed and cloudy juice fermented in French oak, 30% new, 70% being two year old, 900 litre oak barrels, for 12 months. It was fermented to 12.5% ABV and retains 1.46 grams per litre of residual sugar. The wine was given an extra six months in tank for aging, prior to bottling. It is savoury and rich in flavour with a creamy smooth texture and long finish. Super tasty with aging potential of up to five years.

2019 Hunter’s Marlborough Pinot Noir $28.90
This excellent Pinot Noir comes from the 2019 vintage, one of the best for Marlborough Pinot in the past five years. It’s made from grapes grown mostly in the Southern Valleys of Marlborough where the climate and gently sloping hillside vineyards provide wines with great structure and earthy intensity as well as brightness of fruit flavour. All grapes were hand picked, 30% whole bunches added to the ferment to provide structure and texture, reducing the need for oak to add this body. The wine was aged in French oak for 10 months, a modest 25% new and it was bottled without fining and had some filtration.
Vegan certified by the New Zealand Vegetarian Society.