Whilst the quality and popularity of New Zealand's signature wine (Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc) can hardly be called into question, Kiwi winemakers have been accused in the past of lacking diversity. This could hardly be further from the truth and owes largely to the sheer popularity of a few brands of Sauvignon. If you know where to look you can find stunning examples of exquisitely perfumed reds as well as interesting takes on their signature variety.
Nestled away in the Waihopai Valley lies the tiny Little Beauty estate. Here their small team produce only a few thousand cases of wine a year exclusively from their own pristine vineyards. They pride themselves on offering up unusual takes on wines that are not always associated with the area and also put a great deal of emphasis on aging their wines for extended periods before release.
This 2013 expression of the Burgundian classic is harvested exclusively from the estate's prize vineyard where conditions are perfect for the cultivation of this notoriously difficult grape. The wine is also aged for 12 months in oak barrels which are imported from France which leads to a palate of baked cherry pie, ripe blackberry, and wood smoke.
Whilst the region is known the world over for it's highly aromatic Sauvignon Blancs the unique nature of the Little Beauty vineyards combined with the skill of the winery team have allowed them to create something of a departure from the usual hit of intense gooseberry, and mouth watering finish. Rather they have succeeded in producing a wine that shows complex flavours such as pink grapefruit, fresh basil, snow pea shoots and feijoa.