Featured Reviews




A Foley Family Wines Kiwi Selection

21 August,2017
Foley Family Wines has had an ownership presence in New Zealand since 2009, when it took over Vavasour and its associate labels from the New Zealand Wine Fund in 2009. It has since further expanded its holdings with investment in wine distribution and the food industry, as well as luxury accommodation. The other wineries now owned by Foley Family Wines include Te Kairanga, purchased in 2011, Grove Mill, since 2012 and Martinborough Vineyards, buying it in 2014 Initially there were suspicions that the identity of the labels and quality of the wines might be eroded, but it did not take long to realise that the further investment in vineyards and plant, and the consolidation of resources has seen a dramatic rise in the consistency and quality of the wines. All of these companies were previously operating under considerable financial pressures, but with this alleviated, we have seen not only noteworthy progress, but a strengthening of each of the brand’s personalities. I was taught to look at a winery’s lower tier wines to make a judgement on how well it was performing. Here, I review a selection of Foley Family Wines’ Kiwi entry level bottlings that indicate an extremely positive situation. www.russianjack.co.nz www.dashwoodwine.co.nz www.tkwine.co.nz

FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW



Russian Jack Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough

17.5/20
Bright, very pale straw-green colour, near colourless on the rim. The nose is fresh with softly full aromas with an elegant core of tropical fruits in a harmonious amalgam with passionfruit, gooseberries and a fine edge of herbs and thirst-quenching mineral elements. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has a well-proportioned core of fresh tropical fruits, gooseberries and herbs. The mouthfeel is enlivened by fresh, lacy acidity, and the wine flows along a subtle, mouthwatering, phenolic-textured line, leading to a refreshing, zesty finish of gooseberries, herbs and minerals. This is a finely proportioned Sauvignon Blanc with harmonious, mouthwatering flavours of tropical fruits, gooseberries and fresh herbs on a refreshing, fine-textured palate. Serve as an aperitif and with Pacific Rim fare over the next 2 years. Predominantly Wairau Valley fruit, cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 12.5% alc., the wine aged on lees. 17.5/20 Aug 2017 RRP $15.00

Russian Jack Martinborough Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington

17+/20
Moderately deep ruby-red colour, lighter on the edge with a garnet hue. The nose is elegantly proportioned with fresh dark-red berry and cherry fruit along with subtle notes of savoury herbs, unfolding earthy and nutty oak notes, the red florals. Medium-bodied, the palate has a lively core of savoury dark-red berry and cherry fruit melded with dark herbs, some earthy elements, minerals and nutty oak. The fruit is supported by light, grainy tannin grip providing a subtly sinewy line and mouthfeel, with fresh, lacy acidity lending energy. The flavours carry to an elegant, lingering finish of savoury red fruits and dark herbs. This is an elegantly concentrated Pinot Noir with savoury red fruits, herb and earthy notes and a light, grainy structure with fresh acidity. Serve with gme meat dishes over the next 3+ years. 100% Martinborough fruit, clones 10/5, Abel, 5, 667, 777 and 115 from ‘Fraters’, ‘Rua’, ‘McLeod’s’ and the ‘MV Home’ blocks, vines 10-30 y.o., approx. 40% indigenous yeast fermented with 2% whole bunches to 14.0% alc., 80% of the wine aged 10 months in 2% new French oak barrels. 17.0+/20 Aug 2017 RRP $20.00

Dashwood Marlborough Pinot Gris 2017

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Marlborough

17.5/20
Bright, even, light straw-yellow colour with slight green hues. This has an elegantly proportioned nose with concentrated aromas of bright white stonefruits and pears, with subtle notes of exotic florals and hints of honeysuckle. The nose grows in depth and intensity with aeration. Dryish to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has good vinous presence with stylishly restrained flavours of white and yellow stonefruits with lifted floral and pear notes forming an elegantly concentrated core. The fruit flows along a light-textured phenolic line with fresh acid liveliness, leading to a light, floral-nuanced finish. This is a bright, stylish, off-dry Pinot Gris with stonefruit and pear flavours on a light, textured palate with good freshness. Match with Asian fare over the next 2-3 years. Marlborough fruit, 95% Wairau Valley and 5% Awatere, cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 13.0% alc. and 6.5 g/L RS, the wine aged 2 months on lees. 17.5/20 Aug 2017 RRP $19.00

Dashwood Marlborough Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Marlborough

17+/20

Ruby-red colour with some depth, lighter on the rim with some purple tints. The nose is softly packed with concentrated aromas of ripe, primary, dark raspberry fruit along with dark-red plums and subtle notes of herbs and red florals. Medium-bodied, the palate is soft and plush with sweetly ripe fruit flavours of dark raspberries entwined with plums and dark herbs. This is rounded and fleshy with up-front fruit flavours, and the fruit is underlined by light, supple tannins with integrated acidity, lending softness to the mouthfeel. The wine carries smoothly to a rounded, plummy finish. This is a soft, rounded, plush and juicy Pinot Noir with dark raspberry and plummy flavours on a supple palate. Match with antipasto, poultry and pork over the next 3 years. A blend of Awatere and Wairau fruit, fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 9 months in 20% new French oak. 17.0+/20 Aug 2017 RRP $20.00

Even ruby-red colour with youthful purple hues, a little lighter on the edge. This has a fresh and elegantly presented, lively nose with bright and vibrant fruit aromas of raspberries and red cherry fruit, lifted by fragrant red florals. The aromatics are uncomplicated and inviting. Medium-bodied, the palate is bright and juicy with sweet and lively flavours of dark cherries and raspberry fruit along with lifted red florals and nuances of liquorice. The mouthfeel possesses vitality with fresh acidity and light tannin extraction providing a balanced, supple texture. The wine flows easily to a lighter, clean and pure-fruited finish. This is a delightfully vibrant and juicy Pinot Noir with bright, aromatic raspberry and cherry fruit with floral fragrances on a fresh, light-structured, accessible palate. Serve with tuna, salmon, and antipasto over the next 3 years. A blend of Awatere and Wairau fruit, fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 9 months in 20% new French oak. 16.5+/20 Jun 2017 RRP $20.00.

Te Kairanga Martinborough Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington

18.5+/20
Dark ruby-red colour with some depth and light purple hues on the rim. This has an elegantly concentrated nose with fine and firmly aromas of dark-red berry and black cherry fruit, along with subtle notes of black plums and savoury herbs, unfolding lifted violet florals and a little spice. Medium-full bodied, the palate has rich and vibrantly sweet, lively fruit flavours of dark-red berry and cherry fruit with an amalgam of red and violet florals, with subtle herb note. The palate is very finely concentrated with good linearity, and the fruit is supported by fine-grained, supple tannins and fresh, lacy acidity. The wine has a velvety flow with good energy and tension, leading to an elegant, lingering finish with a little spiciness. This is a vibrant, lively, dark-red berry and cherry-fruited Pinot Noir with a finely concentrated palate, supple tannins and structure. Seve with poultry, pork, beef and venison over the next 5-6 years. A blend of 9 clones, the fruit from the ‘Home’, ‘McLeod’s’, ‘Fraters’, ‘Spring Rock’ and ‘Rua’ vineyards, vines 13-27 y.o., fully destemmed and fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 20% new French oak. 18.5+/20 Aug 2017 RRP $28.00
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