(2022) From one of New Zealand's best Chardonnay terroirs, Nelson at the northern tip of the South Island. This consists of fruit from Mendoza and UCD15 clones planted on clay and river stone soils, giving intense, concentrated bunches. Fermentation with wild yeasts and high turbidity is in French oak barriques (14% new) with 10 months maturation on the lees. The wine went through malolactic fermentaion spontaneously. A bit of depth to the colour and loads of flinty character, smoky and intensely perfumed by its complex sulphides. Nutty Cox's pippin apples come through, and on the palate it is searing with both ripe, deliciously juicy fruit and salt-licked lemon acidity. The axis of toastines, sweet fruit and saline acid structure makes for a very powerful rendition of Chardonnay.
(2022) The Seifried family have more than 320 hectares of vineyards in the Nelson region of New Zealand, and make this Sauvignon Blanc exclusively for Waitrose. Nelson is not that far from Marlborough, enjoying both coastal influences and the shelter of the Richmond Ranges, and this is a tropical but still vivacious style. There is pea-pod freshness on the nose, but lots of exotic mango and lychee fruit too. The palate has a spine of lemon and lime fruit and acidity that is not at all harsh, but does cut through the fruit ripeness to finish dry and tangy. Note that the price falls to £8.49 until 12th July 2022 and that's the price to be on. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2022) A bit of a classic this, made from semi-raisined grapes picked very late, it is fully sweet with 198g/l of residual sugar. A burnished deep gold colour, the nose has notes of leaf tea, saffron and apricot, lots of honey and glycerine rich onto the palate. A beautifully sweet, luscious and limpid style, great balance with orange peel bite and great acidity into the finish.
(2021) From Nelson at the top of the South Island, this is fermented with wild yeast and spent 10 months in French oak, 20% new. Pleasing, pale garnet colour, and warming aromas with vanilla melting into summer red fruits, but there is depth too, a little briar or chestnut perhaps. In the mouth a lovely Pinot, filled with well-tempered and gently earthy fruit, and though there's tobacco and more vanilla, the firm edge of the tannins and crispness of the acidity give lovely balance.
(2021) From vineyards six kilometeres from the ocean, this is certified organic and comes from clay and gravel soils. It spends 12 months in French barriques, only 8% new, after fermentation with wild yeasts, and it goes through full malolactic. Quite a quiet, understated nose here, creamy ripe apple and pear, the merest touch of flint in the background. In the mouth an intense, concentrated wine in terms of both texture and flavour, a lot of salty, racing mineral acidity drives it at this stage, staying taut and linear. Should be better in a couple of years too.
(2020) From Nelson. Fermented in barriques. Creamy oak and slatey, flinty components to the fore. The fruit is sweet and ripe, but has a great thrust of lemon zest. Grapefruity and vibrant. No Uk stockists at time of review.
(2019) The secret to the low 9.5% alcohol in this wine is early picking of the fruit from Seifried's Nelson vineyards, though in fact the result is a Sauvignon more in the tropical spectrum than the grassy, which somewhat surprises. It does have a touch of residual sugar (5.6g/l) but that's not un-typical for commercial kiwi Sauvignon, with fresh elderflower and passion fruit aromatics, and a burst of peach and sherbet in the mouth, a mango note, and that flattering touch of sweetness against the good, pink grapefruit acidity. Well done.
(2017) A wine I always enjoy, and this 2016 vintage is a good one, 175g/l of residual sugar putting it fully in the dessert wine category. Made from late-harvested grapes and made in steel tanks, its a pristine style, though laden with honey, glycerine and nectarine fruit. On the palate it has richness of texture without being 'sticky', and real intensity: there's keen acidity at the core to ensure that, put the lush tropical and very ripe pear fruit flows towards the finish impressively. Price for a half bottle. For more information, please watch the video.
(2017) From Nelson on the northern coast of the South Island, this is a particularly punchy and vibrant Grüner Veltliner, with lots of pronounced lychee, mango and a touch of Turkish delight, an almost Gewürztraminer perfume with a ripe peach underlay. In the mouth it is weighty and viscose despite only 12% abv, with loads of that peach and nectarine succulence and ripeness, but a dry, pithy lemon finish. A singular style, and a good one.