Loveblock – Tee Sauvignon Blanc (Orange) 2020
Country: New Zealand
Grapes: Sauvignon Blanc
Loveblock – Tee Sauvignon Blanc is a new addition to the list and wow, what a wine. Their white Sauvignon Blanc has been immensely popular and i’m sure this will be too. No added sulphur, vegan, single vineyard orange Sauvignon Blanc. Loveblock uses green tea extract as the preservative, which not only allows for a zero added sulphur wine, but adds a certain magic to the palate. Add to that some skin contact and we have quite an extraordinary, sublime and quite unique wine.
On the nose it has lemon verbena, saffron, orange peel and ruby red grapefruit, followed by a vibrant, green-edged herbaceous layer and some earthy cumin tones.
On the palate it is is elegant, with juicy white peach and citrus complemented by fresh acidity and a mild tannin note from the skin contact. Layered and textured, the wine has a crisp, lingering minerality on the finish.
Pairs well with goats’ cheese, oysters, seafood, pasta and chicken.
Loveblock – Tee Sauvignon Blanc Orange is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
Loveblock – Tee Sauvignon Blanc Orange contains no sulphites. Read more.
Candice Chow, Raymond Chan Wine Reviews: 5 Stars
Rupert Joy, Decanter: 91 Points
Bob Campbell MW: 4 Stars
Winestate Marlborough Tasting (March/April 2020): 3.5 Stars
Mark Henderson, Otago Daily Times: Excellent
Natalie MacLean: 91 Points
Cameron Douglas MS: 86 Points
Winestate Marlborough Tasting (March/April 2019): 3.5 Stars
Bob Campbell MW: Bronze
More about the wine
The grapes for this wine came from a small parcel of vines on our certified-organic Woolshed vineyard on the Loveblock Farm, in the Lower Dashwood sub-region of Marborough’s Awatere Valley. The soil type is predominately aged alluvial loams containing some silt loam over stone. Dependent on vigour, the vines are pruned to two or three canes and trained in a normal vertical shoot position. Harvest occurred in the month of April. No sulphur or ascorbic acid were used in the vineyard. Use of regenerative growth, manure and horn on the vineyard is employed to promote balanced, fertile soil, biodiversity and healthy grape growth in order to produce wine without the use of chemical pesticides, fungicides or additives of any kind.
The antioxidant properties of green tea (Camelia sinesis) have been known for centuries in China and Japan. These properties are being rediscovered in fields such as medicine and beauty, and we are now exploring the use of green tea in the preservation of wine. Every time the juice/wine was exposed to oxygen (i.e. every time it was moved), a small amount of green tea powder was added. 100% of the grapes were machine harvested, destemmed, pressed to stainless steel tanks and floated and inoculated with organic yeast.
Relatively unique in Marlborough, the grapes for this wine were sourced entirely from our family-owned vineyard in Lower Dashwood, Marlborough. Here the soils are alluvial silt over stone and we manage the vines according to organic winegrowing practices. Organic management decreases the vigour of the vines, reducing berry size and hence overall yields. The grapes were harvested in March yielding seven tonnes per hectare.
At Loveblock we are charged with making low-sulphur wines and are always looking for alternative antioxidants. In 2018, a small parcel of vines was selected for a winemaking trial whereby a powdered green tea product was used as the sole preserving agent. Every time the juice was moved, 5 mg/l of this green tea compound was added. Apart from this, the handling of the grapes, juice and wine were as per normal. During the bottling process the wine picked up some dissolved Oxygen, so is showing the effects of a little oxidative pinking that can be seen in its almost rosé-like colour.
Winemaker: Kim Crawford
Tasted: August 2019
TA 7.1 g/l
Residual sugar 4.8 g/l
More from the producer
Back in 2004, this was a wild piece of land, untamed and hidden from the world. We, Kim and I, have both been working in the wine industry for most of our lives and wondered what we could do with this wildness: how would the unique terroir translate to flavours in wine? Can we make wine that is elegant, restrained and complex? Wine that speaks of its place and a season.
Here in New Zealand land is precious; the economy largely depends on agriculture. As grape growers and wine farmers, we are custodians of this land. We must take care of it, restore soil balance and fertility without commercial fertilisers and chemical protection. We have learnt that the rhythm of the land is immoveable, that we need to submit to it and respect it to get the best from it.
We want to make the best wine we can, wine that speaks with the voice of naked terroir. To do this I hired the best winemaker I know…
Organic practitioners seek cooperation with nature and rely on an understanding of the ecological processes. The basis of organic farming is rich, robust, fertile soil and healthy, balanced vines through proactive management of plant, microbial and insect biodiversity. Organics encourages the use of diverse plantings and insect life, but permits only naturally derived plant protection products.
Simplistically speaking, the use of synthetic chemical products (soluble fertiliser, pesticides, herbicides) is prohibited.
For instance, natural compost, cover crops and livestock are used to enhance soil health. A resident population of beneficial insects is established to control pests and weed growth is managed mechanically by undervine cultivation or mowing. On a deeper level, an organic farm demands a great level of commitment from its farmers. Financial commitment is often greater and returns less. Skilled people are needed to do the vineyard work to higher standards. While the demands are higher, in return the land rewards the farmers’ dedication with greater quality and longevity.
Our Loveblock Farm, the anchor Estate Vineyard in Marlborough’s Awatere Valley is certified organic by BioGro New Zealand. We incorporate methods that are centuries old such as composting to promote biodiversity and build soil, but we draw from modern technology and equipment to make the vineyards more carbon efficient.