News & Events

A Word from Simon Wood on Mahi – Start the Revolution!

Recently, I was extremely lucky to be invited to lunch at the excellent Alpino restaurant in Cambridge, to try new offerings from the legendary Brian Bicknell’s Mahi Wines.

Brian’s philosophy is to make food friendly wines with minimal intervention – wines that while excellent early drinkers, will also stand the test of time. All Mahi wines are made using solely unpressed, free-run juice, which lends a marked clarity and purity of flavour, and allows them to celebrate the remarkable, and remarkably varied, terroir of the Marlborough area.

Ordinarily, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc follow the tried, tested and wildly successful model of drink early fruit bombs – waves and waves of in-your-face, up-front fruit salad. While often nicely approachable and always reliable, they often have a hole in the mid palette. A big belt of WOW, then they fall away.

Mahi, however, make the thoroughly remarkable Boundary Farm Sauvignon Blanc. A Single Vineyard, 100% barrel fermented, 100% indigenous yeast, 100% free run juice, aged Sauvignon Blanc that should be enough to kick start a revolution. It is, quite frankly, an absurdly good wine, and a wonderful expression of what is evolving into a uniquely New Zealand style.  The 2016 is drinking beautifully, but apparently vintages as far back as 2008 are still very much viable propositions. 5* $30-$35

As if it isn’t enough to kick start a revolution, Brian continues it with his scrumptious new 2019 Rose – which is about to be released. Thankfully, gone are the days of a New Zealand Rose being essentially an afterthought or by-product. A growing number of producers are now making Rose’s from grapes earmarked just for that, with the same care and attention given to them than they would to any other wine.

The Mahi Marlborough Rose 2019 is bursting with the fragrance of rose petals, honeysuckle and strawberries. It is a wonderful, approachable, vibrant wine with surprising depth of flavour and concentration. 4* $22-$25

To complete what should be the great Marlborough wine revolution, the soon to be released Mahi Marlborough Pinot Gris 2019 is, once again, a top notch wine. Remarkably for the variety in New Zealand, I couldn’t smell or taste a single pear in this wine – which is something to be celebrated. Instead, we get incisive, robust yet delicate, elegant multi-faceted fruit with a touch of caramel. Made bone dry, it is an example of what New Zealand Pinot Gris COULD be, rather than the usual run of the mill pear juice. 4 ½ * $22-$25

You won’t find any Mahi wines at supermarkets, instead, look for them at good specialist wine stores. They also appear on a number of wine lists in better restaurants around the country (and indeed around the world), which is ideal, as they are well priced and lend themselves to food.