Wines of Mahi, Marlborough

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


(2020) A blend from six vineyards, 10% is wild-fermented in barrel, 15% wild-fermented in tank, the rest inoculated but stays on the lees. Pungent elderflower nose, lots of passion fruit and flinty, sulphide notes. Zesty citrus in the background. The palate is all about that dry, zingy citrus lemon and grapefruit pith. The finish verges on a touch of endive bitterness.
(2020) Whole clusters are barrel-fermented with wild yeasts, 5% new barrels at most. This is a single vineyard wine, where cream and oatmeal merge with classic passion fruit notes, still showing a bit of flinty reduction too. Big burst of juicy fruit on the palate, then a searing dry acidity, lots of orange and brightness.
(2020) Made in the same way as The Boundary, but with two years longer in bottle, this single vineyard wine has a fascinating nose, very subtle, less flinty, but the tropical fruit lift more obvious, a touch of nuttiness from the barrel. Creamy, smooth and delicious fruit on the palate, minty, lovely oak, pure lemon and lime, and great length, a touch of gravelly Pessac-Leognan quality too.
(2020) From the southerly region of Ward, more exposed to southerly winds and producing tight bunches of small berries. 10% wild fermented in barrel, blended with the stainless component. Very young, still quite tanky and pear-droppy at first, lemon jelly and pear, a touch of the flinty reduction. Lovely orange and lime zest and punchy acidity, fresh, fruity and long. No UK retail stockist listed at time of review.
(2020) Good natural acidity because the vineyards for this wine are further up the valley, and one of the Chardonnay clones is a sparkling clone, with higher acidity. Loads of reduction here, all flint and struck match, perhaps a little bit too much?  Some Brazil nut butteriness comes through, the palate showing really good fruit, stone fruit moving into pineapple and ripe melon, acidity is plentiful but not aggressive. No UK retail stockists listed at time of review.
(2020) Very appealing nose, with butter and exotic fruit, ripe, a touch of mint, a touch of passion fruit. The palate has creaminess and texture, but has great freshness and clarity, the tropical mango and nectarine notes fill the mouth, but it stays juicy and focused to the finish.
(2020) Only five barrels were made of this wine from a single vineyard in the Rapaura region, 18 months or so in barrel, but the new wood proportion is small. Back on the flinty side of things, a more reductive style, but there is nuttiness and texture to spare, those aromatics have also opened up to show more stone fruit, then on the palate; super grapefruit and lime zest punch and freshness, long, the tangy acidity against hints of passion fruit, long and fascinating. No UK retail stockist listed at time of review.

Red Wines

(2020) Pale but bright in colour, this is a blend from three vineyards including a portion from the small berries of the cool southerly Ward sub-region. 2018 tended to give bigger berries so a nice component in 2018. Partial whole bunch. Wild ferment and in barrel for around a year, 5 - 10% new. Earthy with a touch of beetroot and rhubarb, but still good fruit, a touch of exotic spice. There’s a leafiness to this, through the fruit is sweet and ripe as it strikes the palate, decent concentration, though the juiciness of the acid and taut tannins keep it tight in the finish.
(2020) Fragrant, even high-toned at first, sandalwood and exotic spices, cherry and a dusty, tomato leaf note too. Quite unusual aromatically. On the palate it is savoury and meaty, an umami and sour finish that is meaty and mouth-watering. Tannin and acid adds a tangy element to the finish.No UK retail stockist listed at time of review.
(2020) Softer in colour and in aromatics than the Byrne vineyard, but does have a little of the tomato leaf character, but soft mushroom and truffle notes too, leafy and nicely herbal and vegetal. Some soft brown sugar notes too. The fruit is sweeter and more developed on the palate, but has that sourness on the finish, that tang of blood orange. No UK retail stockist at time of review.

Back to Mahi Wines profile in our feature on Marlborough

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