What do you do when you've been making wine in France's Loire Valley for well over a century and there is no more suitable land left to grow and make premium sancerre (sauvignon blanc)?
Come to New Zealand's Marlborough, of course.
And so it came to pass, in 2001 the famous sancerre wine-growing family of Henri Bourgeois bought a 109ha property near Renwick, nestled in the southern foothills of the Wairau Valley.
Specialising in sauvignon blanc and pinot noir, they quickly established a reputation for quality wines, combining "old world" experience with the "new world" innovation.
For the Bourgeois family, New Zealand is like France because there is no consistency of vintages and, they say, "There's always a new challenge."
2013 Petit Clos Sauvignon Blanc - $20
The first fully certified organic wine from Clos Henri. Petit Clos captures the essence of the estate. A sauvignon from younger vines and a blend of grapes from three different soil types, Clos Henri CEO and winemaker Damien Yvon says, "This wine is ready to drink at any moment, with light fish or on its own. Its perfect fruit balance makes it a wine we want people to have fun with." It is a well-rounded, well-priced sauvignon with lots of citrus and stone fruit flavours.
2012 Clos Henri Sauvignon Blanc - $31
Marlborough sauvignon but not as we know it or expect it to be. This is a wine of intense character, an expressive wine with elements of mystique, topped up with an appealing dry finish. Superb on its own or an excellent match with seafood, light white meats and salads. "Un rock star" of a sauvignon - in a class of its own.
2010 Clos Henri Pinot Noir - $42
From a great vintage where everything came together. As Yvon says, "It's the best vintage we've made so far in New Zealand." With high-density planting, low yields and strict vigour control so the vine roots dive deeper into the soil, resulting in a pinot noir with a mineral and complex expression. This one is very appealing, with elements of spice and dried herbs.