Since 2014 Graham Norton – comedian, actor and talk show host – has been endorsing a range of wines made by Invivo, a New Zealand winery. Maybe endorsement is not the right term here, because he has been involved in blending decisions, too. Invivo, founded by Rob Cameron and Tim Lightbourne in 2007, is a sort of Brewdog of the wine world. They have a very entrepreneurial feel about them, and have raised funds through two rounds of crowdfunding. Norton is an investor in the business. Their latest venture is Invivo X, SJP, a wine made with celebrity Sarah Jessica Parker.
Here I am tasting three of the wines – the Sauvignon 2020, the Pink By Design Rosé 2020, and the Prosecco:
Here’s Graham blending his 2020 Sauvignon:
And these are my notes on the wines:
Invivo Graham Norton’s Own Sauvignon Blanc 2020 Marlborough, New Zealand
13% alcohol. This is a really good expression of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. It’s aromatic with some passionfruit and grapefruit on the nose, as well as a touch of tomato leaf. In the mouth, it’s zesty and lively, with bright citrus fruit, a hint of green, some grapefruit and a lovely tropical twist. I’m quite impressed: it has focus, and a good concentration of flavour. 90/100 (£9 Asda, £9.50 Tesco)
Invivo Graham Norton Pink by Design Rosé 2020 New Zealand
13% alcohol. This is a rather unusual blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot, from both Gisborne and Marlborough. An orange/pink in colour, which clashes with the vivid pink of the packaging, it has a sweetly fruited nose with a touch of syrup. This is dry and fruity on the palate, with some citrus zest from the Sauvignon, a bit of peach and pear richness from the Chardonnay, and just a bit of colour from the Merlot. It very much tastes like a white wine, finishing fresh and juicy. 84/100 (£9.50 Tesco, with some wiggle room for promotion)