Mahi Sauvignon Blanc "Marlborough"

Mahi Sauvignon Blanc “Marlborough”


  • The focus with this wine is to provide a drink that has texture and depth, rather than focussing solely on primary fruit notes. Brian wants a wine that satisfies across the palate, and employs a number of techniques to achieve this.
  • This release comes from seven different vineyards, all of them giving particular attributes to the final wine. Each year the fruit is slightly different and so the blending is constantly interesting and they will keep assessing the blends on an annual basis, aiming to make ‘real’ wines that express our vineyards and personalities.

Varietal Composition: 100% Sauvignon Blanc

Elaboration: The hand-picked fruit was whole-cluster pressed so that the time on skins was minimised. A portion of this juice, 7%, is barrel-fermented in older French oak to give greater weight, though ensuring that wood is not evident on the nose. The balance of the wine was fermented cool to retain the fruit characters from our vineyards. The native ferment portion, 22%, also adds levels of flavour and texture, giving a savoury note that balances some sweeter fruit. All free run juice! Texture is everything for Mahi and beginning with the 2017 they have taken it another step further by leaving the wine sitting on ‘lees’; dead yeast cells, for a longer period, now up to 8 months. They feel that the longer time on lees adds another layer of complexity to the wine, giving greater depth of subtleties while still retaining balance.


2016  90 pts – Wine Advocate//2017  90 pts – Wine Spectator // 2017 93 pts – James Suckling


Brian Bicknell had been making wine in different parts of the world for fifteen years before deciding to return to New Zealand and settle in Marlborough in 1996.  At this time he could see that vineyards in Marlborough’s various valleys produced remarkably unique profiles, yet most wineries were lumping these sites together to make “consistent” regional blends.  Brian saw an opportunity to show the world a more interesting side of New Zealand, and with this in mind he and wife Nicola purchased the historic Cellier Le Brun winery and quickly set up shop.

At present Brian and Nicola own and organically farm seven diverse and highly esteemed vineyard sites spread through the valley – Byrne, Cook, Francis, Twin Valleys, Boundary Farm, Wadworth, and Ward Farm.  As far as winemaking goes, things at Mahi are very “hands-off” – These are textured wines that give real palate satisfaction, and they showcase Marlborough’s diverse microclimates in a way that we’ve never before experienced.

PRINT rated SHELF TALKER (2017 93 James Suckling)