(2020) Pale pink in colour, this is fine and aromatic, quite a punchy red fruit nose, and yet there is a light earthiness and yeastiness, something a little ozoney too, In the mouth crisp and crunchy, a bracing green apple twang of acidity against cool, tart raspberry and peach or apricot skins, that little hint of phenolics, and a long, very focused finish. Winemaker PJ Charteris was at pains to say he was not going for a 'pink' wine, more a 'light bronze'. I am guessing that's partly to do with the price: a £30+ New Zealand rosé would require a huge leap of faith from the purchaser. Fact is, athough an excellent wine, that price does seem steep compared to the A1, or indeed, A2.
(2020) A desire to make Bordeaux-style wines is one thing that fuelled Hans Herzog's move from Switzerland, and thankfully this is a beautiful blend of equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Very juicy, intense, a nice level of green pepper and herbs from the Franc, meaty, nutty and a plummy too. Balsamic, plummy and very grippy, as always, strong acidity and very grippy tannins and concentration, but ripe and fine.
(2020) Four days of skin contact give this a pink-tinged, salmon/copper hint of colour, a yeastiness and taut, dry red berries and apple. The skin contact gives a lovely texture, and bone dry in the finish. Grapefruit pith and zesty fruit, long, intense, fascinating and fabulous.
(2020) Classic Viognier, apricot and apricot kernel, a smooth almond touch, creamy in the background. Has a touch of flintiness and stony character, lots of cool fruit and fabulous acidity that keeps everything taut. Another superb and individualistic wine.
(2019) A bllend of 49% Shiraz with Bordeaux varieties. A slightly cooler character, with game and pepper dominating over the meaty and dark fruit. Good grip and structure here, a stony gravel tension to the wine that again offsets the ripe, perfumed black fruit very nicely.
(2018) Nosiola is a native grape of Trentino in the far north of Italy, often harvested late to make sweet Vin Santo wine. But here Bottega Vinai (a brand of the super-coop of the area, Cavit) has made a crisp, fresh and dry Nosiola with broad appeal. The variety takes its name from nocciola, the Italian word for hazelnut, the grape said to have a nutty flavour, and indeed, there is a nuttiness here, as well as firm pear and gentle spices, before the palate reveals its bright, focused and juicy fruit, licked with salts and finishing with a dry lime peel lick of precise acidity. A lovely grown-up wine that has broad sipping and food-matching appeal. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas.
(2018) From a single block of old Gin Gin clone Chardonnay on clay/loam soils that retain moisture and need little irrigation. Again this was whole-bunch pressed into larger French oak barrels and fermented with wild yeast. It spent 10 months ageing in barrel (40% new). Much more obvious Brazil nut oak, but also a little bit of flinty reductive character. Lovely palate, the acid powerful and intense, but a hugely decisive wine without losing fruit or charm. Lovely wine from a winery that does not own vineyards, but sources this fruit from the cooler South of the region. Note stockist and price quoted is for 2015 vintage.
(2017) Very soft, elegant and approachable, light bodied and terribly pretty, the sweetness of the fruit, a touch of rosy red apple, and the framework yielding and elegant. A little hint of briary, damp undergrowth to add interest.
(2017) This has a real lift and perfume, a touch of Sandalwood but also a kirsch-like, floral and cherry brightness. Much firmer on the palate than the straight Holm Oak Pinot, more depth but does not lack finesse. Price and stockist quoted at time of review is for the 2014 vintage.
(2017) Flinty, sulphide note, gives an Epsom salty edge, broadening to a ripe fruitiness. Pleasing palate, just a hint of sugar to soften the picture with quite sweet, peachy fruit moving into a pithy grapefruit finish. Price and stockist quoted at time of review is for the 2015 vintage.