2016 TWR (Te Whare Ra) "Toru" White Field Blend Marlborough (Elsewhere $20)

SKU #1297189 93 points Raymond Chan

 Even, pale straw colour with suggestions of blush and green. The nose is softly presented with broad and voluminous aromas, showing delicate rose-petal and white florals, subtle lime notes with an underlying steeliness at the core. Off-dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is gently concentrated with flavours of rose petals entwined with lime fruit and white florals. This is soft and finely textured, the phenolics balancing the exotic aromatic fruit. The mouthfeel is balanced with integrated acidity, but the wine has a positive line and drive, revealing lifted, refreshing lime and floral nuances which carry to a detailed finish of exotic rose-petal and stonefruit notes. This is an off-dry aromatic blend with gently concentrated rose-petal flavours balanced by a refreshing line of white floral and lime, on a very fine-featured palate. Match with Asian cuisine over the next 4+ years. A field blend of 80% Gewurztraminer and 10% each of Pinot Gris and Riesling from the ‘Home’ block, the fruit hand-picked and sorted, the wine given skin contact and co-fermented to 13.5% alc. and 7 g/L RS, the wine aged on lees. Certified BioGro organic.

92 points Sam Kim

 An instantly likable wine, the fragrant bouquet shows ripe stone fruit, mango, citrus and floral characters with hints of lychee and spice. The palate is succulent and rounded, and displays pristine fruit flavours and smooth texture, wonderfully enhanced by whispering sweetness and refreshing acidity. The wine is immediate and flavoursome, and finishes long and satisfying. A blend of gewurztraminer, riesling and pinot gris from their home vineyard in Renwick. At its best: now to 2020.

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 A co-fermented blend of Gewürztraminer, Riesling and Pinot Gris, the 2016 Toru offers pretty floral noses of honeysuckle and lime blossoms over a core of lychees, ripe apples, rose water and allspice. Medium-bodied, it fills the mouth with spicy, perfumed apples and topical fruits, with a pleasantly oily texture and good length. (LPB)  (2/2017)

K&L Notes

Te Whare Ra is a small, organic, family-run winery in Marlborough's Wairau Valley that we loved so much that we decided to import them directly! That means more bang for your buck. Winemaker's notes: "TORU - which means three in Maori is an aromatic blend from our TWR home block which we first made over 10 years ago. This wine is a true field blend of Gewurztraminer, Riesling, and Pinot Gris. We are passionate about these classic Alsatian varieties and we spent a great deal of time coming up with the right proportions in the blend. We were aiming for a wine that displayed the essence of all three varieties, whilst creating a distinctive and interesting wine in its own right. All the fruit is hand-picked and then hand-sorted. Some parcels were destemmed and then pressed, some had longer skin-contact time. The wine was all co-fermented - partially in stainless steel and partially in large-format old French oak. All parcels spent time on lees after ferment for added texture and complexity. No fining. The Riesling portion comes from our oldest block of vines planted in 1979."

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By: Brian Fogarty | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/3/2018 | Send Email
As I am also the new German and Alsatian buyer at K&L I may have geeked-out a little while trying this wine for the first time, but the wine certainly delivered with a clean, refined, yet uniquely expressive voice that I was hoping to find. This wine is a true field blend (harvested and fermented together; rare in the modern era) with three Alsatian varietals: 80% Gewurztraminer, 10% Riesling, and 10% Pinot Gris; thus the name TORU or “three” in the Maori language. Initially I told myself I would hunt for all three varietals on the nose but what I found was much more. In the glass it started with white and yellow honeysuckle flowers, lime blossom, honeycomb and a briny essence that leaned toward Mediterranean sea salt. The quartz minerality that developed was a welcome surprise after a few swirls in the glass. The wine has real “tension” and precision; high praise if used to describe German wines to a German! On the palate I found a gripping wine that is beautifully confounding and amazingly harmonious. Trying to pull the tree varietals apart was a fool’s errand and I was better served understanding the precision and style intended by a master winemaker. Fresh not sweet, and at 13.5% alcohol most would probably define the wine as dry – I would. This wine came home with me and Thai was its happy partner!

By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/7/2017 | Send Email
A fantastic Thanksgiving wine. This delicious and versatile white field blend combines the wonderful aromatics of Gewurtz, the textural qualities of Pinot Gris and the acidic backbone and minerality of Riesling. All fruit is from the organically farmed home block at Te Whare Ra with the Riesling coming from 38 year old vines. This is super quaffable and refreshing but still has detail and complexity. Another cracker from TWR.

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New Zealand

- New Zealand is an extremely diverse wine-growing nation. The long history of producing wine started in the 1830s with wineries such as Mission Estate (1850) and Te Mata Estate (1896) still producing wine today. The two islands hold a multitude of different growing climates ranging from warmer areas such as Hawke’s Bay to very cool regions such as Waitaki, and Awatere. Most regions are defined as Maritime with the exception being Central Otago that has a moderate Continental climate with the high elevation creating dramatic diurnal swings in temperature. The plethora of grapes grown in New Zealand reflects this diverse microclimate make up. Everything has a place here, Bordeaux varietals and Syrah in Hawke’s Bay, Chardonnay and Pinot in Nelson, Pinot Noir and Riesling in Central Otago , aromatic whites in Waipara and pretty much everything you can imagine in Marlborough. New Zealand is also one of the “greenest” wine producing nations on earth (94% of wine certified sustainable in 2013) with a strong focus on organic and Biodynamic farming.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.8