23 Oct 2018
By Wright Communications
The three wines made in his Awatere Valley winery - Methode Traditionelle NV, Chardonnay 2016 and Pinot Noir 2016 - debut in the New Zealand market this month.
Vavasour says the LV brand and the wines themselves reflect more than a little of his own rebellious personality and a colourful part of his family history.
The brand, captioned "in the spirit of rebellion since 1207", references Maud Le Vavasour who married local outlaw Fulk Fitzwarin in 1207 and is rumoured to have inspired the legend of Robin Hood himself.
More recently, the Vavasour family has been very much part of the Marlborough winemaking establishment for several decades, and while Louis has carried on the family tradition, he has very much cut his own path from humble beginnings trading out of his bedroom in 2006.
"If you knew me, you would know I don't like doing things the way others do - I'd rather go against the grain - and that's reflected in these wines," he says.
Vavasour concedes he had to earn the right to the resources required to invest in a luxury range such as LV and it's taken him more than 20 years of hard slog to get there.
"It was always my ambition to put the Awatere Valley on the map and make the best possible wines from this area," he says. "So it is important to me that these wines have real personality and a sense of place."
Given the luxury nature of the wines and the slightly rebellious nature of the brand, Vavasour says if there was one person that was a bullseye for the target market it would be a certain red-headed prince, who would be welcome for a tasting any time.
Vavasour is not one to get technical with winemaking details and tasting notes when talking about his wines, but suffice to say they have had the royal treatment in the vineyard and winery.
"It's just about enjoying the wines, not all the technical stuff," he says. "They are bold and distinctive in the way they are made and deliver purity, concentration and texture."
Vavasour's extensive experience in both old and new world winemaking contributes to the nature of the LV wines.
He says the Methode Traditionelle has exceeded even his own expectations of quality while the Chardonnay is very different from others in the market and the Pinot Noir offers a very pure expression of the grape variety.
Vavasour says he is most proud of the fact that he hasn't compromised on anything in producing the wines and that comes through in the quality in the bottle.
Even the LV packaging stands out as big and bold with its regal purple and gold livery, complete with the family coat of arms. For the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, that's wrapped around a solid bottle with an outsized punt.
LV Methode Traditionelle (RRP $48.00), Chardonnay 2016 (RRP $48.00) and Pinot Noir 2016 (RRP $64.00) are distributed to trade customers in New Zealand by Macvine and are available in select leading wine stores, restaurants and bars or via www.sapor.co.nz.
Visit www.sapor.co.nz for further information.
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