Graham gets hands on with his latest 2015 vintage
Talk show king Graham Norton has been moonlighting as a winemaker, and his 2015 Sauvignon Blanc is anything but your standard celebrity tipple.
Last year Graham Norton rolled his trouser legs up and personally stomped a barrel of our New Zealand grapes to help create his own limited edition Sauvignon Blanc with us. The wine was a sell-out success in New Zealand and achieved rave reviews from leading wine critics. This year he’s gone hands-on, and added his “Norton Hemisphere” magic to our Southern Hemisphere Sauvignon Blanc grapes – by personally blending his 2015 vintage!
Invivo Chief Winemaker Rob “Crusher” Cameron picks up the story. “Graham is a huge Invivo fan and a shareholder, our dealings with him showed us he really knows wine. So this year we thought we’d put him in the driver’s seat.”
That involved flying the entire Invivo wine blending setup all the way from Marlborough, New Zealand, to London, so Graham could blend his own wine from scratch (with Rob’s expert guidance).
“We’d never tried anything like this before,” says Rob. “As well as all the blending and tasting glassware we had to transport 6 distinctive samples of Sauvignon Blanc from our 6 different Marlborough growers and get them there in perfect condition for the blending… what a mission!”
The winemaking session itself took place over several hours. You can see all the blending action with new Chief Winemaker Graham “The Nose” Norton in the film the Invivo boys have released on youtube. The final blend features Sauvignon Blanc from 3 of Invivo’s Marlborough growers.
For Invivo cofounder Tim “Twinkletoes” Lightbourne the process has been a great fit with the Invivo brand. “We’re not a big corporate that tries to hide behind advertising or endorsements… we’re all about authenticity and we didn’t want the bottle to just have his name on the label, so we love that Graham wanted to get personally involved to this degree. And he’s come up with a bloody good drop!”
And how does it taste? Well, in the words of our new Chief Winemaker Graham Norton, “It’s lovely! Tropical fruit… a bit of zing… cheers to that!” All of Graham’s proceeds will be donated to Dog’s Trust charity
What the wine journalists are saying about Graham’s Sauvignon!
- Double Gold Medal, China Wine & Spirits Awards 2015, Asia’s largest wine competition
- 5 Stars & 93 Points, Wine Orbit Magazine
- Silver Medal, International Wine Challenge 2016
- Silver Medal, International Wine & Spirit Competition 2015
- Silver Medal, International Aromatic Wine Competition 2015
- Silver Medal, Marlborough Wine Show 2015
- 4.5 Stars & Wine of the Year Finalist, Winestate Magazine
- 4 stars, New Zealand Wine Buyer’s Guide Michael Cooper
- 4 Stars, Raymond Chan Wine Reviews
- 89 Points, Bob Campbell MW
- "Yes, it's the chat-show master with a wine that he personally blended at the famous Marlborough region of New Zealand, producing a drink that has all the characteristics of the best wines from that area - lashings of gooseberry and a clean finish. A percentage of the sales benefits the Dogs Trust, so this is one for pet lovers." John Clarke, The Independent, 15 best Sauvignon Blancs
- "From Invivo, the 2015 vintage is a blend of 'southern hemisphere Sauvignon Blanc and Norton hemisphere brilliance'. It's an aromatic, vibrant, tangy wine, strongly varietal, with melon/lime flavours, showing good vigour and intensity, and a lingering finish." Michael Cooper, Michael Cooper's Buyer's Guide to New Zealand Wine 2016
- "Nose of white and green asparagus with freshly sliced white peach and a palate to match. Focused, pure and refreshing." Judges' comments, International Wine Challenge Tranche 1 2016
- "This is fresh and lively on the nose displaying perfumed aromas of feijoa, passionfruit, peach and dill, which lead to a succulent palate that is flavoursome and shows excellent fruit purity. It is lingering to a fabulous juicy finish." Sam Kim, Wine Orbit Magazine
- "Viewers of the Graham Norton show will know that he is always within grasping distance of a large goblet of wine. But you may not know that his tipple of choice is always an Invivo Marlborough sauvignon blanc. He became such a fan of the wine he took a stake in the company and even blended his own version from samples flown to London. Tongue-tingling tropical fruit, lemon and lime and lawn clippings, it’s full of punch and personality." Yvonne Lorkin, The New Zealand Herald
- "The mouthfeel is harmonious with fine acid zestiness and delicate, chalky minerality adding detail and interest. The wine flows smoothly and carries to an elegant, dry finish with passionfruit notes. This is a softly refreshing Sauvingon Blanc with passionfruit and tropical fruit flavours and a harmonious mouthfeel. Serve with seafood, salads and vegetables over the next 2 years." Raymond Chan Wine Reviews
- "Classic Marlborough Savvie, aromatic and full of lime zest and rounded green fruits." The Irish Times
- "So this is the Kiwi Sauv Blanc Graham slurps on his hit TV show. Apparently he had a hand in blending it too. Verdict - tropical and citrus fruit flavours and good acidity on a persistent palate. Graham's profits go to the Dogs Trust. Drink it with: Grilled sardines or mackerel." Matthew Nugent, The Irish Sun
Founded in 1891, Dogs Trust is the largest dog welfare charity in the UK and Ireland. Our mission is to bring about the day when all dogs can enjoy a happy life free from the threat of unnecessary destruction.
Each year we care for around 17,000 dogs across our network of 21 rehoming centres in the UK and Ireland.
Due to the generosity of our wonderful supporters, including Graham Norton, we are able to maintain our promise to never put a healthy dog to sleep for want of a loving home.
The environmental impact was minimised through a contribution to Air New Zealand’s Carbon Offset Programme.