The focus with this wine is to provide a drink that has texture and depth, rather than focussing solely on primary fruit notes. We want a wine that satisfies across the palate, and employ a number of techniques to achieve this.

Our Sauvignon this year comes from six different vineyards, all of them giving particular attributes to the final wine. The hand-picked fruit was whole-cluster pressed so that the time on skins was minimised. A portion of this juice, 12% this year, was barrel-fermented in older French oak to give greater weight, though ensuring that wood is not evident on the nose. The balance of the wine was fermented cool to retain the fruit characters from our vineyards. The native ferment portion, 12%, also adds levels of flavour and texture, giving a savoury note that balances some sweeter fruit.

The final blend was made solely from free-run juice, as we feel it gives a more elegant and subtle wine, a key for us.

With this sixteenth year of Mahi Sauvignon we have changed one thing in particular which is part of our constant endeavour to improve and refine the texture of our wines. Texture is everything for us and with the 2016 we have taken it another step further by leaving the wine sitting on ‘lees’; dead yeast cells, for a longer period, now up to 10 months. On our tastings here we feel that the longer time on lees adds another layer of complexity to the wine, giving greater depth of subtleties while still retaining balance.

Each year the fruit is slightly different and so the blending is constantly interesting and we will keep assessing the blends on an annual basis, aiming to make ‘real’ wines that express our vineyards and personalities.


This wine comes from a small hillside parcel on the southeast boundary of the township of Blenheim. The vineyard is run by Perry and Stephanie Gilbert, who also live on the property, ensuring great attention to detail.

The north-facing aspect means that the grapes receive as much sunshine hours as possible helping them to ripen well and are often some of the earlier grapes of our vintage.

The soil structure has a higher percentage of clay, which we have found gives extra weight and interest to the palate, adding texture and suppleness to the wine.

The grapes were hand-picked, whole-cluster pressed and taken straight to French barriques without any chemical additions. It was fermented with indigenous yeast in the barrels, helping to add complexity and texture, without dominating the nose.

The wine was left on yeast lees for eleven months, which were stirred regularly. This meant that the yeast added both savoury notes and also served to work as a natural fining agent.

After time in barrique it was gently racked then bottled.