(2021) An arresting nose of pink grapefruit and burstingly-ripe nectarine on this Sauvignon Blanc (with some Riesling and Pinot Gris in the blend I believe) from Steve Smith's Pyramid Valley. There's a preserved lemon suggestion of firmness too, taut and bright. In the mouth so juicy: more nectarine, very ripe melon, just a hint of more exotic fruit and a fat orangey tang. Textured and creamy-rich on the mid-palate, the juicy freshness is maintained by the squeeze of grapefruit acidity and salinity in the finish. Imported into the UK by Louis Latour Agencies. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2021) A single vineyard wine from Chardonnay planted gravel, and one of the warmer sites in Waipara. It is mostly whole-bunch pressed, fermented with wild yeasts, and just a small percentage sees new oak. Some of it was also foot-trodden. Lovely buttery nose, crushed almond perhaps, but a sense of richness and poise, the stone fruit aromas creamy and full. In the mouth a great saline background to this sets a savoury tone from front to back, but there is limpid texture and those ripe fruits and hazelnut richness draped across the framework.
(2021) Fermented in a combination of amphora and stainless steel, fruit is sourced from Waipara, 98% Pinot Gris plus just one percent each of Muscat and Gewurztraminer. Whole-bunch pressed and wild fermented, it matures for eight months in oak. The colour is quite a deep amber/orange, gently hazy, with aromas of orange and bitters - very negroni-like - with small redcurranty fruit and a subtle smoky grassiness too. Full of interest. In the mouth it is bone dry and equally fascinating. That negroni comparison continues here, the bitter orange and very grown up, Fino-like flavours and character into a long finish that always hints at fruit sweetness beneath the cloak of nutty and dry flavours. No UK retail stockists at time of review.
(2021) Though the Earth Smoke and Angel Flower Pinots were produced in 2018, this is a new wine introduced by Smith & Sheth. Parcels fermented in large wooden casks and aged in them too. Red cherry and briar on the nose, a refined floral note too, but more focused on bright fruit and sweet damp earth than the more vegetal (mushroom, truffle) face of Pinot. Quite fresh and elegant on the palate too - a dry pomegranate and cranberry fruitiness, plenty of sour cherry and plum acidity and a grain to the tannins that gives a nice little bite to the profile. Quite long, well-balanced and spicy in the finish too.
(2021) From the Waipara Valley in Canterbury on the South Island, vines are over 30 years old with a large proportion planted on their own roots. It's a Riesling in an off-dry style with 24g/l of residual sugar. The colour is pale green/straw and the nose quite exotic, lychee and tropical fruits, a candied fruit quality. In the mouth delightful bon-bon sweetness, depth of nectarine and mango fruit, and a lovely lime-fresh acidity. A gorgeous drink this, with noteable sweetness.
(2021) Approximately 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Semillon, fermented separately, the Semillon in oak puncheons, and both components aged on the yeast lees for 10 months. Light gold in colour, there's a distinct sulphur character here, moving beyhond struck match for me and possibly a bit too much which is hard to see past, even with a minute of swirling in the glass. The palate has plenty of fruit, a full, ripe stone fruit and pear character, then a rush of pithy lemon, lots of vivaciousness, and a reasonably long finish. I'm a bit non-plussed by that sulphurous nose which I think must detract from an otherwise lovely wine for me.
(2021) From 30-year-old vines in the Waipara Valley, part whole bunch fermented in open-top vessels then matured in oak barriques (40% new) from Burgundian coopers. A little paler and more ruby than crimson, sweet, soft and quite mature aromas, a truffle and damp woodland charm and and lots of soft, pulp strawberry and raspberry fruit. In the mouth a lovely wine, medium-weight and filled with juicy but supple red fruit. The oak adds a coffee and cream touch, the acidity is pert and fresh, and the finish spicy, fruity and long.
(2013) Fabulously flinty and limey nose, a real sense of minerality but an overlay of Brazil nut, buttery, super-ripe fruit too. The quality of oak is all cashew and ground almond in a subtle added dimension. Beautifully sweet fruit on the palate, simmering with peach and ripe apple, a touch of glacé fruit, but again that lime and mineral, stone and sea shell intensity. Approximately 850 bottles were produced.
(2013) What a haunting nose, such a beautiful profile combining ripe, rich, chocolaty fruit, a certain truffle and damp undergrowth intrigue and notes of roast chestnut, game and blood. There's a lifting perfume of orange blossom in there too. The palate does not falter, beautifully soft with a touch of orange again, leafy bracken notes that are gamy and complex and a fine palate of red fruits. Very elegant, silky tannins and discreet, fine acidity complete an utterly convincing picture. Approximately 1780 bottles were produced.
(2013) Beautiful nose, nicely vegetal Pinot aromas of rhubarb and beetroot, but delicious truffly notes too and masses of ripe, luscious berry fruit over a chocolaty background. On the palate the sweet fruit sings out, masses of chocolaty, ripe berries and plum, great structure too with refined tannins and a silky weight of fruit clearly delineated by the acidity. Approximately 1,200 bottles were produced.