The northern tip of South Island has become New Zealand`s most important wine region since sheep farming and cherry orchards were first replaced with vineyard in the 1970s. Much of the land is alluvial river basin with well-drained soils that provide an ideal environment for pungent, grassy Sauvignon Blanc. Pinot Noir from the more suitable clay slopes and Pinot Gris are also proving world-beaters.
Wairau River wines take their name from the river that runs through the heart of the Marlborough wine region. (Wairau is Maori for `many waters`). The Rose family were pioneers in planting vines in the 1970`s and after originally selling the grapes to other wineries (like Cloudy Bay) they launched their own label in the early 1990`s. Today their foresight has created a very successful company which remains family owned and run. Wairau River is one of the largest independent wine estates in Marlborough, and the range of elegant wines is characteristically expressive of its Marlborough roots.
Wairau River`s reserve range are high quality wines made from carefully selected parcels of fruit. The reserve Sauvignon is from the Longbend vineyard on the banks of the Opawa River, this single vineyard wine has an intense nose of citrus and passionfruit with vibrant gooseberry, gunflint and mineral nuances. A fresh tropical palate is finely textured and seamless from extended lees contact creating a complex finish and creamy texture.
A good accompaniment to seafood including grilled sea bass, roasted mediterranean vegetables, fresh pea soup, asparagus or chicken chasseur.