About The Ned
The Ned Sauvignon Blanc, has shot to fame over the last 5 years – dubbed ‘the favourite wine of the Middle classes’, it’s now the top selling wine in Majestic, with over 1 million bottles per year going through their tills. It’s a must stock item for Majestic, and the reputation of ‘The Ned’ has grown organically, with zero advertising, brought out at dinner parties, barbecues, and girls nights in – the word has spread, the fan base is there.
It’s not only beloved by millions, it’s also given the thumbs up, in a major way, by the wine critics, winning a silver medal in the 2013 Decanter awards, following on from its outstanding success in the 2012 awards, where it took the crown as ‘the outstanding Sauvignon Blanc under £10’, against worldwide competition.
From a tiny segment of the wine market less than 10 years ago, New Zealand now represents an impressive 6% of total sales in the UK, with over 50% of all Sauvignon Blanc in the UK being from this country. The Ned exports over half its production to the UK, and looks set to continue to build its profile and reputation.
What is the Background to The Ned?
The Ned is the brainchild of winemaker Brent Marris, who snapped up 268 hectares of land on the banks of the Waihopai river, in prime Marlborough territory in 2003.
Brent was the winemaker at Oyster Bay, and then was employed to help set up Wither Hills. However, he wanted his own project – to create something unique, off a single vineyard. He planted vineyards on the terraces of the old river bed, overlooked by the mountain top after which the wine is named. The terraces of varying clay and shingle soils have helped provide the unique, and perfect vine growing conditions, on one single estate.
Part of Brent’s vision was to work in harmony with the local flora, fauna and natural land contours, and the vineyards and winery site bear testament to that, with a reservoir, using local river stones, to encourage water fowl. The estate is also home to a pair of a rare New Zealand breed of falcons – the Karearea.
The winery was set up in 2005, with stage one of the estate complete and further development plans afoot.
What Styles of Wine do The Ned produce?
The Ned is famous for its Sauvignon Blanc, but it produces two other wines entirely from the estate, which celebrate the diversity and sub-regionality of the premium, and world famous area, from which they come. The labels are striking, with the brand name standing out from the matt black label.
The Ned Sauvignon Blanc – a vibrant, balanced wine, with a cool spring, and a long, Indian summer; the location of the estate is slightly cooler than most of Marlborough, encouraging the natural minerality and freshness of the wine – with bright, lime zest and passion fruit character, it has a green apple tang, and an intense, tropical style.
The Ned Pinot Grigio – the Pinot Grigio is increasingly seen on UK shelves also - it has the merest hint of pink in the colour – natural from the pink skins of the Pinot Grigio grapes; it puts the majority of the insipid Pinot Grigios to shame – rich, textured, yet, with a crisp freshness, and dry finish, with very ripe orchard fruit and floral aromas and flavours of peaches and baked apples.
The Ned Pinot Noir – produced from grapes grown on the deep clay loam soils of Marlborough, deemed the very best for Pinot Noir, this wine, from the Ben Morven vineyard has refined elegance and textured; with cold maceration, a short fermentation, and 9 months of ageing in French oak barrels, the wine is ripe and silky with violet, blackberry, and rich berry fruit flavours, overlaid with a spicy, mocha edge, and soft, velvety, yet textured tannins.