(2023) From the biodynamic Black Estate on the South Island's North Canterbury, this was made in 600-litre barrels, is un-sulphured, and pours with a light haze. Arresting natural wine aromas, expressing fruit skins and nuttiness, sweet new-baked bread and some golden apple fruit. There's a perceptible fruit sweetness on the initial attack, very ripe and punchy fruit, but the light kaolin earthiness and plenty of vibrant Mandarin orange acidity kicks in. Delicious interpretation of Chenin. Black Estate imported by Lea & Sandeman, but no UK retail listing for this Chenin at time of review.
(2022) Bollinger is renowned as a house that celebrates Pinot Noir - witness their über-expensive Vieilles Vignes Françaises, just like this wine, a Blanc de Noirs. PN TX17 is part of the PN project, celebrating vineyards in areas Bollinger consider as prime Pinot Noir terroirs. From a base of 2017 (though with 48% reserve wines dating back to 2006 in the blend), this comes from the unheralded 1er Cru of Tauxières (with just a smidgeon of fruit from Verzenay and Avenay). Tauxières is known for its limestone and clay soils, and for this wine around 50% was barrel-fermented. The dosage is a lowly 4g/l. I find the nose here particularly attractive. There's rich biscuit and brioche, but a cedary, almost meaty umami character, ripe stone fruits layered beneath. In the mouth it tensions dramatically: zesty lemon and lime is the spine here, but building around it are toast and mouthfilling peach and ogen melon, but that cedary, wood tannin grip, along with minerals and salts adds significant structure. It's an extremely intense wine, lingering on fruit, acid and a sense of  graphite precision.
(2021) What a lovely wine this is. Abundantly fresh, green herb-flecked lemon and crunchy apple aromas lead on to a palate that is also cool, elegant and crisp, but has texture and presence too, a supple ripeness, mid-palate sweetness and creaminess to the fruit, but the dazzling, salt-licked freshness of the finish powers through. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2020) This is a large estate upstream from the town of Pinhão, rehabilitated by Christian Seely and his investors who took over when it had fallen into some disrepair. Dark and opaque, quite a meaty and herbal nose here, less overtly sweet-fruited, an immediate sense of serious concentration. The nose pretty accurately predicts the palate here: there is sweetness and abundant black fruit flesh and ripeness, but as well as that blackcurranty richness of fruit, the ashy herbs, the leather and the meatiness give a more savoury character. Good freshness, though the tannin and acid axis is a little softer than some, making this meaty wine surprisingly approachable in its youth. Indicative price based on the previous vintage.
(2020) Pale but saturated colour, very fine perfume with a hint of game and plenty of dry berry and cherry fruit. The palate has lots of savoury, dry tannin, a really gastronomic mouthwatering style, meaty and a touch herby, but savoury to the last. Price and stockist quoted is for a previous vintage at time of review.
(2020) Just softening in colour, not the decaying fragrance of very old Pinot, but a rounder, slightly more giving quality, the plushness and the sweetness of the fruit - again cherry and red plum developing more flesh, but gorgeous juicy character, long. This vintage not available in the UK, so price and stockist is for the current vintage at time of review.
(2020) From schist soils, this has a fine cherry aroma, a taut precision and juiciness, just a lovely line of tannin and acidity. Lovely acidity pulls this through to the finish, deep and quite muscular fruit, but an edge of articulation and detail. Price and stockist is for previous vintage at time of review.
(2020) Here's another New Zealand Sauvignon that bucks the stereotype, 50% barrel-fermented in old barrels. Only a minimal herbaceous character, much more about stone fruit, a touch of cherry and beautifully saline, pure and citrussy acidity. Fine texture too. Price and stockist for previous vintage at time of review.
(2020) Intense, generous, flowing but pure, a Riesling showing the ripeness of a warm vintage. Creamy, with custard apple and the merest hint of sweetness from a little residual sugar. Fabulous dry finish, stony, a touch of apricot and peach stone dryness against the saline acidity. Terrific. Price and stockist is for the previous vintage at time of review.
(2019) A bone dry white wine made in the Tokaji region, from one of the varieties that is a mainstay of the region's famous sweet wines, this has a subtle creaminess but is mostly about minerals and sea-shells, a dry apple core character that is very 'serious' in the way that a good Chablis would be, the juicy apple fruitiness always tensioned and restrained by its acidity and taut, linear structure. A banker for white fish and seafood, with Sole meunière or a big bowl of mussels an absolute dream. Watch the video for more information.