Textural new releases from Mahi

Mahi winemaker Brian Bicknell. Evensi

After working in wineries in Hungary, France and Chile, Brian Bicknell returned to New Zealand in 1996. He settled in Marlborough where he offered his services as a winemaking consultant.

By producing textural wines in totally dry styles, Mahi has earned a reputation for making food-friendly wines.

Intrigued by the distinct regional styles across Marlborough’s valleys, Bicknell created a label that he hoped would celebrate Marlborough’s subregional differences rather than blend the differences away, which was often the custom of the day.

Bicknell chose a hands-off winemaking style. His main goal is to produce wines with texture, wines that would give “palate satisfaction rather than fruit bomb styles”.

By producing textural wines in totally dry styles, Mahi has earned a reputation for making food-friendly wines. It is no coincidence that a significant proportion of Mahi’s sales are devoted to the on-sale trade.

Mahi’s single-vineyard wines are hand-picked and sorted before being whole-cluster pressed and fermented using indigenous yeasts. Bicknell favours French oak which gives the wines a more savoury character.

The three wines reviewed below are not single-vineyard wines, but they reflect the Mahi philosophy where texture is king and they enhance food. They also represent excellent value at NZD $24.90.

Mahi Sauvignon Blanc 2021

A serious sauvignon with passionfruit, pineapple, guava, lime and root ginger flavours supported by vibrant acidity that promotes a long and mouth-watering finish. A punchy, textural wine in a modern style.

Mahi Pinot Gris 2021

An attractively aromatic pinot gris with honeysuckle and ginger on the nose leading to tree fruit, pear and apple on the palate. It’s a dry wine with a pleasing backbone of fruity acidity and fine, ripe tannins. A good food wine.

Mahi Rosé 2021

A pale-tinted pinot noir rosé with cherry, raspberry, green apple and lime flavours. A crisp, dry, mouth-watering wine in a very refreshing style.


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