The Murdoch James vineyard is named after Murdoch James Fraser, and was planted in 1986 by his grandson, Carl Fraser. Sadly, the vineyard's namesake passed away shortly afterward, but the name lives on.
The vineyard is at the southern tip of New Zealand's North Island. The island is roughly 400 miles long. New Zealand has a maritime climate and volcanic soils, perfect for growing grapes. Yet it wasn't until about 30 years ago that anybody ever heard of wine from here.
In that short period of time, New Zealand has become one of the world's most revered regions for Sauvignon Blanc. They now export the wine to more countries than California and Spain combined!
In 2014, Carl purchased the nearby Luna Estate, not far from his Murdoch James land. It made no sense to keep two wineries going, so just this year, he closed Murdoch James, and now makes all his wines at Luna.
Most New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc comes from Marlborough, at the northern tip of the South Island. The climate is cooler, so the grapes are less ripe and show a bit more herbal notes.
Martinborough's climate is warmer, so the wines are fuller, livelier and more aromatic. Here we get the lovely white peach nectar expanded upon with a touch of green apple, lime zest and guava notes. The finish completes the experience beautifully, with lively, piquant acidity and layers of stone fruit.
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