Celebrity wines aren’t uncommon. Celebrity wines where the person with their name on the bottle gets hands-on with the winemaking are almost unheard of. This year sees the release of the sixth vintage of Graham Norton’s Own SauviGNon Blanc, and it’s the fifth vintage that the star has blended himself.
Collaborators, New Zealand winery Invivo & Co again brought samples of Marlborough SauviGNon Blanc to Graham in London, for a three-hour session of sampling, blending, assessing and finally approving. Then Invivo & Co winemaker Rob Cameron took the final recipe back to New Zealand to create this year’s vintage.
The wine will then be on sale in ten countries where the Graham Norton wine brand is now available.
Wine media guru Joe Fattorini joins blending session
At this year’s blending session, there was a new face in the room. Wine expert Joe Fattorini, with over 30 years in the trade, joined Graham and the Invivo & Co team to cast a critical eye over proceedings – and came away impressed:
“The blending process Graham and the Invivo boys go through is exactly what you’d see at any winery in the world… this is real winemaking, by people who care deeply about what they’re doing.”
Norton clearly knows what he’s doing. His personally-blended wines which include Rosé, Shiraz and Prosecco have won over 50 medals including 4 trophies from the UK’s People’s Choice Awards, Gold at the Global Sauvignon Masters and Gold at the Prosecco Masters. US publications Wine Advocate and Wine Spectator have awarded the Graham Norton Sauvignon 90 points and the wine has been chosen for Qantas Business class.
The 2019 SauviGNon Blanc
So, how’s the wine? Norton admits that the 2019 blending session was hard work: a standout vintage in Marlborough, New Zealand, meant it was tough to pick winners from this year’s vineyard samples.
WATCH the 2019 blending video with Graham here: https://vimeo.com/349352477
Invivo & Co winemaker Rob Cameron says the 2019 wine is Invivo & Co winemaker Rob Cameron says the 2019 wine is “Delicious! 2019 has been a great vintage and Graham has characteristically weaved his blend between parcels with herbaceous characters and other with more tropical and citrus notes. Overall the wine is a beautifully bold statement of Sauvignon Blanc which I’m sure will be a hit with all GN fans”
Graham Norton’s Own Wines are distributed in Ireland by Barry & Fitzwilliam and are available nationwide in Ireland from SuperValu, Dunnes, Tesco, Spar and Carryout.