CHURTON VINEYARDS MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANC 2011, $27
A rarity in that it's sealed under cork - a real cork, I might add - and it's just lovely to drink. Lifted lime and chalky mineral aromas and a lean, super-clean white peach, elderflower and summer herb notes on the palate. The texture is spritzy, cleansing and deliciously dry, and yet it has good weight and length of flavour. Incredibly good with fresh oysters in the half shell.
CHURTON VINEYARDS MARLBOROUGH VIOGNIER 2011, $35
1/2I love the tangy orange, mango and mandarin flavours in this viognier and its interesting, multi-layered mouthfeel. It's big (14.5 per cent alcohol) and the acidity is strong and racy. Two-thirds were fermented in barrels which has added succulence, depth and roundness to the wine, which also has that classic apricot kernel character on the finish.
CHURTON VINEYARDS MARLBOROUGH PINOT NOIR 2009, $45
"This is the first wine which I feel really shows the benefit of us operating biodynamically," says Sam. "Everything just evolved naturally, there was no need to add anything at all and it's beautifully balanced." I'd have to agree. It has a gorgeous rusty-magenta colour and aromas of five spice, earthy cherry and ripe hedgerow fruits. It is velvety, silky and juicy in the mouth and has a long, lingering finish.