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Tasting Reviews




Montana ‘Reserve’ 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay


12-Jun-2017
Montana Wines was the name chosen by Dalmatian immigrant Ivan Yukich when he established his wine growing venture in the Waitakere Ranges in West Auckland in the 1940s. With his sons Frank and Mate, the Yukich family grew the business to become the largest winemaking company in New Zealand, achieving many notable firsts, including the first commercial plantings of vines in Marlborough in the early 1970s. The company had a reach in all the growing regions of the country, and a global recognition. It was this world-wide perspective that brought about the name change from ‘Montana’ to ‘Brancott Estate’, due to possible naming conflicts, especially in the United Stares.

It is all a different scenario nowadays, with Brancott Estate part of the multi-national Pernod-Ricard operation. It is still one of the most significant players in the New Zealand market, however. In recognition of the past, and the heartfelt closeness many New Zealander still have with the ‘Montana’ brand, Pernod-Ricard has released a new range of wines named ‘Montana Reserve’. The range consists of five wines: a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, Gisborne Chardonnay, Waipara Pinot Noir and a Hawke’s Bay Pinot Gris, with the fifth wine, a Hawke’s Bay Rosé to be released in October, later this year. Here, I review three of the wines. They are true to variety and style, quite up-front and pleasing. www.montanawines.co.nz

Montana ‘Reserve’ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016
Bright straw-yellow colour with slight green hues, lighter on the rim. The nose is soft with gently pungent aromas of passionfruit, gooseberries fresh herbs and hints of tropical fruits. The aromatics show without complication and with moderate depth. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has gentle and even flavours of passionfruit, gooseberries, herbs and tropical fruits which form a rounded core. The palate has positive drive with fresh, soft lacy acidity and the wine flows along a soft-textured line, carrying easily to an elegant, lingering, moderately concentrated finish. This is a well-balanced and softly presented Sauvignon Blanc with passionfruit, gooseberry and herb flavours on a rounded, but fresh palate. Match with salads and vegetables, and Pacific Rim fare over the next 2 years. Marlborough fruit cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 13.5% alc. and 5.0 g/L RS, the wine given lees contact. 17.0/20 Jun 2017 RRP $16.99

Montana ‘Reserve’ Hawke’s Bay Pinot Gris 2016
Even straw-yellow colour with pale gold suggestions, lighter edged. The nose is tightly bound with an elegantly concentrated and firm core with aromas of white and yellow stonefruits unfolding suggestions of exotic yellow florals, hints of honeysuckle and nutty elements. Medium-dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate has good weight and presence, with slightly restrained flavours of white and yellow stonefruits entwined with floral and honeysuckle detail. The mouthfeel is rounded with balanced acidity, and the wine is driven somewhat by the alcohol power, leading to a light fruited and nuanced finish. This is a full and weighty off-dry Pinot Gris with light stonefruit, floral and honeysuckle flavours, a rounded palate and some alcohol drive. Serve with Chinese cuisine over the next 2+ years. Hawke’s Bay fruit cool-fermented to 14.5% alc. and 13.7 g/L RS, the wine aged on lees. 16.5+/20 Jun 2017 RRP $16.99

Montana ‘Reserve’ Gisborne Chardonnay 2016
Bright yellow colour with some depth and light golden hues, lighter on the rim. This has an elegantly proportioned and rounded nose with aromas of tropical fruits and an amalgam of nutty and spicy oak with buttery MLF elements. Medium-bodied, the palate has up-front, ripe tropical fruit flavours melded with a layering of nutty oak and butterscotch MLF. The palate shows fruit sweetness and flows easily along a fine-textured line with lacy acidity providing freshness. The wine has a good heart and carries with good linearity to a lingering finish of butterscotch. This is an up-front tropical fruited Chardonnay with a layering of nutty oak and butterscotch on a rounded, fine-textured palate with some richness. Serve with roast pork over the next 2+ years. Gisborne fruit fermented to 13.5% alc. and 1.75 g/L RS, the wine given oak contact, undergoing batonnage and MLF conversion. 17.0/20 Jun 2017 RRP $16.99

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