Local winemaker Theo Coles has been attracting worldwide attention and demand for his wines under The Hermit Ram label. Falling under the somewhat elusive to pin down "natural wine" banner he has been producing wines such as Pet-Nats or Ancestral Methode Sparklings, interesting field blends, whole bunch fermented Pinot Noir and skin fermented wines such as this Sauvignon Blanc. They all undergo natural ferments, are not fined or filtered and only very occasionally will he add a minimal dose of SO2 at bottling.
Aromatically more restrained than your typical Marlborough Sauvignon, this wine shows stonefruit, fresh racy acidity, and a rich textural mouthfeel. Saline, linear and precise. Stylistically more a white wine with palate weight and tension than a typical 'orange' skin-fermented wine.
Winery notes (2019 Vintage)
"Taken from two sites in the Waipara Valley (one renown for orchard fruit aromas and textures, the other more citrus tones), this wine dances along the line of freshness and power – 20% whole clusters were included in the ferments to give a crunchy girdle to the weight of the palate – delicious plus!"
Reviews for the 2017 vintage below…
92/100 Jamie Goode, March 2018 (2017 Vintage)
"Grippy and bright with a saline edge to the citrus fruit and some fine herbal notes. Grippy and focused. Lovely stuff."
Simon Woolf, March 2018 (2017 Vintage)
"My favourite is the equally naked, but rather more refined skin fermented Sauvignon Blanc 2017. This is alchemy. No autotune, no amuse bouche, but it most certainly will amuse your bouche. It’s every bit a Kiwi Sauvignon at first – ripe limey aromas, candied peel. But then it opens up into pillows of hay, carried by lithe citrussy sparks. And at 11.5% this wine has no right to pack as much flavour or concentration as it does. In short, magic. But magic achieved only with amazing grapes, a mix of barrels and cement tanks and a tiny pinch of sulphites."