Revisiting the Vandals, in New Zealand’s Marlborough region

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Revisiting the Vandals, in New Zealand’s Marlborough region

So I went back to the secret location in Marlborough to connect with the Vandals, taste some wine, and drink gin and tonic, and guzzle beer. This is such a fun project, and the wines are quite lovely (read more about them from my first meeting). More like this, please, Marlborough.

Gonzo Resistance Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Marlborough, New Zealand
This is a whole-bunch carbonic fermentation. The fruit was wrapped up in a fermenter for two weeks and fermentation finished after pressing in a barrel. The Vandals chucked a dozen oysters into the ferment for good measure. Aromatic and slightly cloudy with lovely textured, grainy citrus and pear fruit. There’s freshness and brightness here and a bit of grapefruit and lemon pith, as well as lemongrass and fennel. The oysters clearly hold this all together. 93/100

Gonzo Militia Field Blend 2018 Marlborough, New Zealand
Viognier, Riesling, Pinot Gris with smaller contributions from Pinot Noir, Syrah, Tempranillo and Chardonnay. 40% of the blend is skin contact Viognier and Riesling (overnight in the press). There’s a touch of botrytis too. Lovely aromatic apricot, pear and peach nose. The palate has a bit of sweetness (6 g/l residual sugar) and it’s fresh, fine, textured and quite delicious. Spicy and rich. 92/100

Gonzo Combat Rouge 2018 Marlborough, New Zealand
50% Pinot Noir, 45% Syrah, 5% Viognier, all co-fermented in a one-ton plastic bin. It had just one plunge. Supple and cloudy with nice sweet, alluring, spicy raspberry and cherry fruit. No sulphites until bottling. There’s a juicy, grippy edge to the fruit with some nice spicy hints. Lovely wine. 93/100

Find these wines with


Part 1, Te Whare Ra
Part 2,  Mahi
Part 3, Fromm
Part 4, Saint Clair Pioneer Block wines
Part 5, Spy Valley
Part 6, Two Rivers
Part 7, Zephyr
Part 8, Framingham
Part 9, Clos Henri
Part 10, Brancott, Stoneleigh and Deutz
Part 11, Meeting the Vandals
Part 12, The Growers’ Story (video)
Part 13, Novum
Part 14, Folium
Part 15, Villa Maria
Part 16, Corofin
Part 17, Hans Herzog
Part 18, Te Pa
Part 19, Giesen’s single vineyard wines

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