Wines of Hans Herzog, Marlborough

These tasting notes accompany our feature on Marlborough as part of our New Zealand 2020 series

White and Sparkling Wines

(2020) A depth of colour to this, strawberry pink and 80% Pinot and Chardonnay. It's a rich style, the base wine spending 10 months in barriques, but with only 3.5g/l dosage, dry and savoury. Ripe strawberry aromas, but intense and dry on the palate, a lovely fruit concentration and hint of something like bitters giving umami savouriness to the finish. No UK retail stockists at time of review.
(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) Made in 500 litre French oak puncheons (50% new) with natural yeast fermentation. Bold lemony colour, again has that touch of yeast, light earthness, chalky mineral character too. Melon skin and lemon rind, that touch of phenolic, delicious, textural character again, A hint of bitter orange and a terrific length and acidity. No UK retail stockist listed at time of review.
(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.
(2020) Vineyards for this Southern Rhone blend are grown on the hottest block of pure gravel and sand at an extremely low yield. Blend is 60% Viognier, 20% each of Roussanne and Marsanne. Beautiful glowing gold. There's more tropical fruit and a lemon confit character, again that little touch of flint and great zestiness, a lovely sweet roundness to this, but the striking phenolics and acid of the apple core dryness is so fine. No UK retail stockists at time of review.
(2020) Bone dry Sauvignon, marching to a different beat from many in Marlborough. Golden delicious apple and citrus aromas, a little nutty almond yeastiness. The palate dry and full of fat, lemony fruit and acidity into a lightly saline finish. No UK retail stockists at time of review.
(2020) Aged for nine months in French oak puncheons, on fine lees, nevertheless this is probably the most orthodox of the wines so far aromatically, with beeswax and stones, flint, lime and lemon. A terrific, weighty, lightly oily wine on the palate with a beautiful balance and great clarity into its intense finish. Six years under its belt and just hitting its stride. No UK retail stockists at time of review.
(2020) Three weeks on the skins gives this a bronze-pink hue, really pungent, floral, exotic, almost medicinal, aromatics. Searing acidity, the roses and Turkish delight notes do come through, the final effect phenolic, grippy but with a certain fruity delicacy. Unusual and intriguing. No UK retail stockists at time of review.

Red Wines

(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) Quite pale, fragrant, cherry and clove, tobbaco spices, the dry cherry fruit wrapped in some thyme and dried herbs. Firm tannins, but long and sweet-fruited, deliciously long and spicy/fruity finish. No UK retail stockists at time of review.
(2020) Hugely deep crimson/black colour, and beautifully dense, balsamic and graphite characters, rich and sweet fruit, lovely suede-like tannins. A little currant character, but such a depth of blueberry giving wonderfully bittersweet intensity. No UK retail stockists at time of review.
(2020) Made in old Swiss oak then aged in French oak barriques, this take on Georgia's Saperavi is meaty, with incense and such intense smoky, deep blue black aromas. Dry, coal-like and graphite rich, but with a really sweet mid-palate fruit weight and intensity. Long, deep, essence of the grape. No UK retail stockists at time of review.  

Back to Hans Herzog profile in our feature on Marlborough

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