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Appellation Corofin: Organic Small-Batch Marlborough, Including the New ‘Villages’ Wines

Appellation Corofin: Organic Small-Batch Marlborough, Including the New ‘Villages’ Wines

View the full available range from Corofin here.

“For me, Corofin is one of Marlborough’s (and New Zealand’s) most exciting wine projects. The people behind it are Mike and Anna Paterson, and the idea is to tell the new Marlborough story: interesting, organically farmed terroirs seen through the lens of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.” Jamie Goode, Wine Anorak

What Mike and Anna Paterson don’t know about Marlborough you could probably fit on the back of a postage stamp. And, with each passing vintage, Corofin further consummates its position among New Zealand’s most exciting producers. Now we have a new chapter in the story. The small but perfectly formed 2021 vintage provided the impetus to act on a years-long desire to add a ‘Villages’ Marlborough Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to their range. From a year when yields were so miserly, Corofin could not feasibly make the usual range of single-vineyard wines, and so 2021 marks the first release of its Marlborough blends. These wines bring another layer to an already impressive range of wines and importantly, a little more volume to Corofin—and its customers, who have been yearning for more!
 
Notably, the Marlborough wines are not composed until just prior to bottling, meaning they are made just like the single-vineyard wines. A vineyard acquired by Dog Point in 2017 will form the backbone of these two wines from 2025 onwards—Mike and Anna will have access to 1.5 hectares of fruit, which represents a significant bonus for this small operation. Until then, the Marlborough Chardonnay and Pinot Noir will be blended according to the vintage, from Corofin’s exceptional roster of organically managed hillside vineyards in Marlborough’s Southern Valleys. Given the quality of the first release, we can see this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
 
The 2021 season in Marlborough followed the early trend seen across Aotearoa recently. Early budburst, cool conditions and the third consecutive year of drought-like settings resulted in dramatically reduced yields. Mike told us crops were down as much as 60% in some of his blocks and, were it not for the dedication and commitment of their small cadre of organic growers, the figures could have been worse.
 
Fortunately, what the year lacks in quality, it has more than made up for in quality. The new Settlement Pinot Noir (first made in 2012) is the most complete and sophisticated example we have seen. Patterson explains the quality of farming is resulting in an uptick in phenolic maturity to match the Settlement crop’s vibrant red fruit flavours and supple structure. The ’21 is a knockout. The Wrekin Chardonnay, always restrained, lithe and saline, is bang on form. It’s a pure and precise single-vineyard Chardonnay rippling with fleshy intensity and savoury length.
 
As for those new Marlborough ‘Villages’ wines: welcome to the family! Both are fresh, complex, charming wines that set the bar high for future releases. We’re also delighted to offer the Patersons’ entry-level Meltwater wines with this release. This range is now capped at just two varietals: the Sauvignon Blanc and a small-batch Chenin Blanc from the Wrekin vineyard. In a recent article on Corofin, Jamie Goode stated that the “Meltwater range massively over-delivers. These are proper wines.”—we wholeheartedly agree.

The Wines

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