Sauvignon Blanc – 2023

Region: New Zealand


Michael Seresin was born in Wellington, New Zealand, but left in the 1960s, when sheep, not grapevines, covered the Wairau Plains. He settled in Italy, where he was captivated by Italian food and wine culture and began his career as a cinematographer. Over time Michael’s interest in wine developed into a passion. In the early 1990s after investigating opportunities to start a winery in Italy, he became aware of the quality wines starting to emerge from his homeland. After visiting Marlborough, and falling in love with the Marlborough Sounds, Michael decided to purchase a home there, followed by the purchase of some land in the Wairau Valley, which became Seresin’s Home Vineyard. He began planting vines and imported Tuscan olive varieties immediately along with significant plantings of native plant species.

Seresin, one of the first wineries in New Zealand to operate organic vineyards, released their first vintage was in 1996 and the winery was completed in mid-2000. A year later, the Tatou Vineyard was purchased and land in the Omaka Valley was purchased for development into what is now the Raupo Creek Vineyard. Seresin won the Marlborough District Council’s 2009 Marlborough Environment Award.

In 2018, the Tatou vineyard and winery were sold to local NZ winemakers Ben Glover and Rhyan Wardman who was the inaugural assistant winemaker at Seresin. The wines continue to be made by winemaker Tamra Kelly-Washington at what was the original Seresin winery and is known today as The Coterie, a winemaking hub championing small-batch, single-site wines.

Winemaker Tamra Kelly-Washington graduated as a top scholar from Lincoln University with a degree in Viticulture and Oenology. She started out her career at Seresin Estate. After spending time making wine in the USA, Australia and Italy she headed back to her roots where it all started at Seresin Estate, joining the team in time for the 2018 harvest.

Working with viticulturist Cameron Vawter, a passionate advocate for biodynamic farming, their focus is spent on precise picking decisions, embracing acidity in order to guide pristine fruit through the winemaking process with minimal handling. The resulting wines are elegant, structured and a genuine reflection of their provenance.


The Wine

Vineyard Profile

Raupo Creek Vineyard in the center of the Omaka Valley, Marlborough.

  • Exposure: Gentle Northwest-facing
  • Soil: Clay
  • Climate: High number of sunshine hours, minimal rain
  • Farmed using organic and biodynamic practices
  • Yield: 5.8 tons/acre
Harvest Notes
  • Even flowering produced smaller bunches and berries, evenly spread across the canopy
  • Wet growing season followed – intense vineyard management
  • Dry weather throughout harvest enabled precise picking decisions
  • Seven parcels hand harvested
  • Free run juice settled naturally
  • 90% fermented using only indigenous yeast in stainless steel tanks, 10% in used French oak barrels
  • Barrel fermented wine aged 5 months on lees
Winemaker's Notes

A truly thoughtful and classy expression of Sauvignon Blanc. The nose exudes vibrancy, showing lifted notes of white passionfruit and lemon balm, supported by a savory, leafy edge, contributed by the inclusion of Sémillon. The palate is layered and textural, balanced by a slate-like, mineral acidity. The exclusive use of native yeasts and a portion of the wine aging on lees in oak barrels has aided in creating this sophisticated Sauvignon Blanc.

Wine Summary

90% Sauvignon Blanc, 10% Semillon; alcohol: 12.5%; estate Raupo Creek vineyard in central Omaka Valley; farmed using biodynamic and organic principles; clay soil; 7 parcels hand harvested; 90% fermented using only indigenous yeast in stainless steel tanks, 10% in used French oak barrels; barrel fermented portion aged 5 months on lees; vegan friendly.

Technical Information
  • 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 10% Semillon
  • Alcohol: 12.5%
  • Total Acidity: 6.4 g/l
  • pH: 3.23
  • Residual Sugar: 0.8 g/l
  • Clones: Sauvignon Blanc MS, 316, 317, Semillon BVRC14
  • Vegan Friendly


93 Points

Rich, weighty and tangy with a pleasing texture and flavours that suggest green capsicum, lime juice, cut grass and passionfruit supported by assertive acidity which helps drive a lengthy, drying finish. 2024–2027

– Bob Campbell MW, The Real Review NZ

Wine News, February, 2024

4.5/5 Points

This is one of the region’s most sophisticated, subtle and satisfying Sauvignons Blancs. It’s also one of the most important, given its widespread international distribution and certified BioGro status. The wine (which includes Sémillon – 10 per cent in 2023) is estate-grown in the Raupo Creek Vineyard, and mostly fermented in tanks with use of indigenous yeasts, but part of the blend (10 per cent in 2023) is fermented and lees-aged in seasoned French oak casks. Bright, light lemon/green, the 2023 vintage (4.5*) is fresh and medium-bodied, with strong, ripe, tropical fruit flavours, showing considerable complexity, and a dry (0.8 grams/litre of residual sugar) finish. Crisp and savoury, it should be at its best mid-2024+.

– Michael Cooper, Michael Cooper’s Buyer’s Guide NZ

Wine News, February, 2024

90 Points

Wild fermentation, a little bit of barrel-aging on lees and a 10% addition of Sémillon in the blend make the 2023 Sauvignon Blanc far from your stereotypical Marlborough style. This wine plays on its clarity, texture and freshness. It’s aromatically subtle, with green notes meeting nectarine and blackcurrant. While the region’s natural freshness abounds, the wine retains a round shape and natural curve before being sewn up by a thread of acidity. There are layers of interest here that will keep you coming back. 2024 – 2028

Vinous, April, 2024

General Info

Country New Zealand
Region South Island
Appellation(s) Marlborough
Proprietors Michael Seresin
Founded 1992, first vintage 1996
Winemaker Tamra Kelly-Washington
Annual Production 30,000 9L cases (including Momo)
Farming (Sustainable, organic, biodynamic) Biodynamic (grapes certified with Demeter), Organic (property and wines certified with Biogro NZ)