Spoke: a new range of boutique wines from New Zealand’s Marlborough region

Website: https://vineyard-productions.com/wine/spoke/

Marlborough is home to some big wineries. By my reckoning there are five that each process more than 20 000 tonnes of grapes each year. By way of comparison, the whole of Central Otago produces around 14 000 tons a year. So it’s nice to see the emergence of some more boutique projects, and a new one is this, from the Glover family in association with Liam Steevenson’s Vineyard Productions. The packaging is spot-on, but more importantly the wines are really good.

Spoke Awatere Sauvignon Blanc 2022 Marlborough, New Zealand
12.5% alcohol. From the Breezemere Vineyard. This is bright and focused with a crisp grapefruit and lime character, as well as some pretty passionfruit notes in the background. There’s a hint of green here, too: delicate and fine, with some tomato leaf. Such purity and focus to this wine. Benchmark. 92/100

Spoke Amped Chardonnay 2021 Marlborough, New Zealand
12.5% alcohol. Wilde Vineyards. Hand-picked Mendoza clone Chardonnay fermented and aged in clay amphora, wild yeast, unfined and unfiltered. This is taut and beautifully layered with a fine spicy edge to a spectrum of fruit flavours that range from mandarin, pineapple, pear and lemon. Nicely concentrated with good acidity a prominent feature. There’s a hint of nuttiness, too, and some mealy notes. But the main thrust is the core of lemon and lime brightness. Really impressive. This could develop in interesting ways. 93/100

Spoke Brink Sauvignon Semillon 2021 Marlborough, New Zealand
12.5% alcohol. From Marlborough’s oldest organic vineyard. Co-fermented in old French oak. This is complex and lively, with some fennel and grapefruit, as well as a core of yellow fruits including apricot, peach and plum, as well as some persimmon notes. It combines freshness and fruity richness, with these lovely aniseed and fennel notes. Like top white Bordeaux with the volume knob turned up. 92/100

Spoke Resolute Sauvignon Blanc 2021 Marlborough, New Zealand
13.5% alcohol. Alice Mills vineyard. Single-vineyard hand-picked Sauvignon, wild ferment in old barrels. This is a truly beautiful expression of Marlborough Sauvignon, tensile and complex with a spicy frill to the powerful citrus, apricot, passionfruit and fennel notes. There’s a beautiful acid line here, with crystalline citrus fruits dominating, and a long spicy finish. High acidity, but it doesn’t jar, such is the richness of the fruit here. This should age really well. 94/100

Spoke Rudimental Pinot Noir Wilde Vineyards 2021 Marlborough, New Zealand
13% alcohol. 30% whole bunch, 18 days on skins. Brooding black cherry and blackberry nose with some spice and tar notes. The palate has depth and concentration with rich black fruit character as well as some brighter cherry and redcurrant notes, supported by some structure and a touch of oak. A bold, serious expression of Marlborough Pinot Noir. 94/100