(2022) From a block on Te Muna Road, planted at high density in 1999. Fermented in large French oak casks, it was aged in 50% new French oak barriques for 18 months. Dark, less vibrantly coloured than the Te Mata, there's a sappy character to this, quite a deep olive note to the black fruit, gentle truffle beneath. On the palate so juicy and bold, a really decisive acid thrust with a creamy and dense tannin and wood background, giving a polish and intensity.
(2022) This is made by Viña Ventisquero who are based in Maipo, but the 'Kalfu' labelling indicates that this range comes from their vineyards in the more northerly, coastal Leyda Valley, more recently put on the map for its Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and other cooler climate varieties. It's a Pinot from granite soils, matured in oak barrels - 10% new barrels - for 12 months. It wears its cooler climate credentials aromatically, with herbs and beetroot notes to savoury red fruit. In the mouth the sweetness and ripeness of the fruit does emerge, but it maintains that savoury, roasted chestnut and herb-touched sense of cool. Acids are bright and cherry-ripe, and tannins smooth and chocolaty, in a wine that will complement well-roasted poultry, but could take on beef too.
(2022) Rust en Vrede specialise in Cabernet Sauvignon, which comprises 60% of their Helderberg vineyards. Soils are granite and Table Mountain sandstone. with small deposits of ironstone. The wine was matured in French oak 300-litre barrels (20% new) for 18 months. Quite a vibrant colour, and into the pure cassis fruit, a very nice quality of oak here adding a touch of coffee and cream, but there is a gravelly, lightly ashy quality in there too. On the palate there is a refined, bright edge to this, partly from its very crisp acidity and tight tannins, but the fruit quality and that fine oak quality gives a long, classy finish.
(2022) Though part of the Doctors' low-alcohol range, this is farmed conventionally - it's the unconverted 30-odd grammes of residual sugar that give the 9% alcohol and lovely balance. A portion comes from clay in Brancott, the rest from Wairau greywacke stones. Lovely floral notes, it's a ringer for Mosel Riesling, with delicious limey fruit, a sherbetty brightness and pure apple acidity. A touch of phenolic grip just adds some structure around the edges.
(2021) Larry McKenna's Pinot Gris sees a little oak, and has a very pleasantly spicy, lightly floral aroma, the fruit being quite rich and deep: more baked apples and pears, some tarte tatin pastry notes too. In the mouth the sweetness of a little residual sugar emphasises the luscious fruit, lots of succulent nectarine leads to fine citrus. Acid slices through rather beautifully.
(2020) An unusual blend of Pinot Noir, St Laurent and the white Arneis variety originally from northern Italy. Pale colour, strawberries and a leafy herbal character. The palate is dry and fruity, retaining that small underripe berry dryness of herbs and pomegranate. Price and stockist is for the previous vintage at time of review.
(2020) A lot of depth to the colour, and loads of aromatics here, with some game perfume, a touch of roasted chestnut and fine ripe cherry and red berry fruit, there’s a lovely softening character to this, good sweet fruit and a weight Pinot Noir that drinks beautifully. Price and stockist is for the 2017 vintage at time of review.
(2020) The most recent vintage on the UK market, aged in 100% French oak, around a third new. Lovely perfume here, elegant and fresh, with floral notes and a sense of fruit concentration. Some raspberry and cherry tones, lovely focus here. The tight structural elements, the fine cherry acids, all give it a bit of cut and freshness.
(2019) From the original 'cool climate' valley of Chile, Casablanca, where morning mists and proximity to the ocean moderate temperatures, this is lightly-oaked, and spends four months on the lees, giving it breadth and texture and a certain creaminess. Aromatically there's a bit of almost Sauvignon-like passionfruit, peach and notes of more exotic tropical fruits. In the mouth that leesiness gives a mouth-filling texture, and again the fruit is ripe and exotic, with mango and papaya, as well as a grapefruity note that continues into the finish to add a welcome acid counterpoint. Quite long, and a lovely style really, blending ripeness and openness, with a stylish, dry finish. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2019) Like the Kadette blend, 12 months in older oak. A little meatiness, a little stripe of grippy plum skins, there is a lot of juiciness and spice on the palate, less dense than the blend, juicier, although it doesn’t have quite the oomph of the Cape Bend. A style choice for the drinker between these two.