Labelled as coming from ‘South Island’ fruit, this is in fact a blend from Spencer Hills’ Nelson vineyards. Part of the juice was fermented and aged for two months on ‘high spice and vanilla French oak.’ The nose does display a little of that spiciness in the background, but really this is dominated by typical notes of tropical fruit and a certain gooseberry vivaciousness, with touches of lychee and mango. On the palate it is concentrated, powerful wine. Not as flamboyant as one might have expected from the nose, the fruit is actually quite subdued and savoury, with a bit of peach-juice sweetness on the mid-palate, and then a lemony core of acidity pushing through. This is a chewy, big mouthful of Sauvignon in quite a serious style.- Tom Cannavan’s