2016 TWR (Te Whare Ra) "Toru" White Field Blend Marlborough (Elsewhere $20) SKU #1297189

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RC 93 SK 92
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Professional Reviews

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."

Staff Reviews

  • Brian Fogarty
    By: Brian Fogarty
    K&L Staff Member
    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!
  • Ryan Woodhouse
    By: Ryan Woodhouse
    K&L Staff Member
    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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