(2021) From the renowned Gimblett Gravels in Hawke's Bay, this is made with 30% whole bunches and a small percentage of Viognier skins, in 5,000-litre foudres. Slightly more closed than when I last tasted this at the winery a year ago, but a bit of air starts to reveal the perfume, red fruits, violet, but maybe a touch of grilled meat in there too. Juicy stuff in the mouth, sour cherry and liquorice, that smoky/meaty element still there, energy and again, juiciness, strong into the finish.
(2020) Bold colour, lots of creaminess and toast, a lovely rounded character with great ripeness, peaches and cream, a juicy generous lime and orange acidity and a touch of buttery oak to ease the finish.
(2020) Gently pressed into puncheons, 40-50% new, and fermented with wild yeasts. Creamy, almond and oatmeal, a bit of flint too. Fabulous burst of fruit: nectarine and peach moving into lime and pink grapefruit, with generous citrus acidity. The oak adds a nutty sheen to a long finish that is focused on fruit and taut acidity. Price and stockist is for the previous vintage at time of review.
(2019) From 51-year-old vineyards. Fermented in Austrian oval casks and 9 months on the lees. There's A touch of green fig and smokiness, lots of green bean, oily and rich, the palate rounded and pungently flavoursome, great acidity but such lovely punch and vibrancy in a Graves style.
(2019) More toasty than the G.V.B for sure, fat lemon fruit, a little orange rind and sesame seed. A powerful palate yet again: immense concentration, the texture, the bold and assertive acidity and the luscious fruit make a heady, delicious concoction.
(2019) After 10 years in the cellar under screwcap, a Pinot in perfect condition and so drinkable: just gaining a little brick colour on the rim, the nose has spices and tobacco, and sweet cherry fruit, quite figgy and rich. On the palate that lovely sour orange and sour cherry acidity drives this, sweet and earthy, in-filled with smokiness and more tobacco wreathed around the fruit and acid core, the tannins resolved but still adding a firm edge into the finish. Price and stockist quoted at time of review is for the 2015 vintage.
(2019) This blend of aromatic varieties including Voishino, Malvasia and Moscatel, was a Wine of the Week in its previous vintage, and this could easily have made that slot too: beautifully fresh, perfumed and crisp, yet with a bit of slippery texture and weight, good orchard and stone-fruit concentration, and a zippy finish.
(2017) A firm, tannic and intense Châteauneuf, this is mostly Grenache with 20% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre and is polished, dense and fairly closed on the nose, though with a black fruit concentration. The palate maintains that concentration, a rich, deep inkiness, but real sweetness of fruit does come through as well as spice, and the heat and fat of the alcohol. Liquoricy and very firm, it nevertheless does reveal little glimpsed of more aromatic and peppery, even floral characters, but the intensity never lets up.
(2017) A typically steely rendition of Riesling from Hugel, and a fabulously accurate one. There is some spice, some beeswax lift, but the thrust is resolutely of precise apple fruit. It's an effortlessly concentrated wine, the dry extract is there to give it some gravitas, but it's all about those apple and tangy sherbet lemon flavours and streaking lemon and grapefruit acidity to make the mouth water. This has the concentration and balance to cellar rather well.