Giesen has launched a brand new wine, Unchartered Sauvignon Blanc, which it says has been crafted to reflect the unique Marlborough sub-region of Awatere Valley.
The fruit for the wine comes from two blocks in the Valley, which were selected for their heavier soils to help showcase the flavour profile of the sub-region. One block displays more tropical and green pineapple flavours while the other is more herbal and Giesen said blending the two blocks has created a wine with notes of fresh herbs, green pineapple and kaffir lime, and subtle salt air characters.
The fruit was harvested in April last year with the country in national lockdown, presenting a unique set of challenges for the Giesen team. Once New Zealand’s wine industry was announced as an ‘essential service’, Giesen implemented a raft of measures to ensure continuity in production. This included splitting the wine production team into day and night shifts, relocating to nearby hotels, and developing completely new processes to adhere to the strict lockdown requirements.
Duncan Shouler, Giesen Group’s newly appointed Chief Winemaker said: “This will be a harvest and a wine we’ll never forget. Overcoming the obstacles of a national lockdown was truly a team effort. I’m passionate about producing wine that tells the story of vintage, its variety and the place it was grown and I believe the Uncharted Sauvignon Blanc is a terrific example of this approach.
“We set out to create an expression which lifts those herbal, green elements that famously put Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc on the map. These two pockets of fruit in the Awatere Valley together provided that distinctive taste experience that can only come from this particular place, and we wanted to truly capture and elevate this in our Uncharted Sauvignon Blanc.
“For me, this wine has an effortless charm to it – elegant and has concentration but is also extremely drinkable. It’s lively but not designed to be showy, just a really great example of a Sauvignon Blanc from this sub-region of Marlborough.
“From that first sip, you immediately get a sense of place – Marlborough’s tropical notes and Awatere’s classic herbal characters. The elegance and subtle flavours of the wine is really important and what sets it apart from a more tropical and punchy Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.”
Aged on lees for four months to create a balanced mouthfeel, five per cent of Uncharted Sauvignon Blanc is aged in French Oak and German Fuder barrels. The Uncharted range also includes a Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, which will be released in Australia later in 2021.