Featured Reviews

Auntsfield ‘Single Vineyard’ 2018 Sauvignon Blanc and 2017 Pinot Noir, and 2016 ‘South Oaks’ Sauvignon Blanc

03 October,2018

The Cowley family have continued the heritage of David Herd, who founded ‘Auntsfield’, Marlborough’s first vineyard of 1873. The Cowleys now have 65 ha of vineyard in 50 different plots surrounding Herd’s first area of plantings. The modern vineyard has Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir (and a little Riesling), the vines tended by Ben Cowley. His brother Luc is the winemaker, and Auntsfield has three tiers of wine: the ‘Single Vineyard’ bottlings representative of the whole site, the ‘Single Block’ wines that showcase the personality of specific blocks, plus their flagship ‘Heritage’ wine, a Pinot Noir. Here, I review the ‘Single Vineyard 2018 Sauvignon Blanc and 2017 Pinot Noir, plus the 2016 ‘South Oaks’ Sauvignon Blanc. www.auntsfield.co.nz


Auntsfield ‘Single Vineyard’ Southern Valleys Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright, light straw-yellow colour with slight green hues. The nose is full and softly voluminous with subtle aromas of passionfruit entwined with hints of nettles and fresh herbs. The aromatics form a fine and intense core. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has soft and elegantly packed flavours of vibrant passionfruit intermixed with fresh herbs, nettles and cut-grass. The fruit is finely concentrated and flows along a very fine-textured line, enlivened by lacy acidity. The flavours are restrained, but the palate has good presence and vinosity, and the wine carries to a lingering, nuanced finish. This is an elegant and softly restrained Sauvignon Blanc with cool-spectrum passionfruit, herb and nettle flavours on a finely concentrated core with fresh acidity. Serve with salads and vegetables over the next 2 years. Fruit fermented in stainless-steel, with 2% in seasoned oak to 13.0% alc. 18.0/20 Oct 2018 RRP $25.00

Auntsfield ‘Single Vineyard’ Southern Valleys Marlborough Pinot Noir 2017

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Marlborough


Very full, dark purple-hued ruby-red colour, youthful in expression. This has a firmly packed and deep nose of vibrant and bright dark-red berry and plum-fruit subtly entwined with a core of dark herbs, unfolding hints of liquorice and spice. Medium-full bodied, the palate has sweetly rich flavours of ripe dark-red and black-berried fruits harmoniously melded with plum notes. The fruit is plush and mouthfilling, and is supported by fine-grained, supple tannin extraction and grip. The acidity is soft and balanced. Notes of liquorice and herbs, along with spice unfold, as the wine carries to a soft, flavoursome finish. This is a sweetly rich dark-red and black berried and plummy Pinot Noir with spice and herb notes on a plush palate with supple structure. Match with duck and pork, or lamb and beef over the next 4+ years. Pinot Noir fruit hand-picked, destemmed and fermented partially by indigenous yeasts to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 28% new French oak barriques. 18.0+/20 Oct 2018 RRP $45.00

Auntsfield ‘South Oaks’ Southern Valleys Marlborough Barrel Fermented Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough


Full, even, light straw-yellow colour with green tints. The nose is full with good depth and presence of ripe green stonefruits along with dark herbs and gooseberries melded harmoniously with a subtle layering of creamy, nutty oak, hints of toast and complexing oxidative suggestions, forming a concentrated, rounded core. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate has good depth and richness with a heart of complex interwoven flavours of ripe, green stonefruits with gooseberries and herbs, complexing nutty oak and oxidative hints. The flavours show with good presence, forming a solid heart, with fresh, lacy acidity lending energy and cut. The wine flows harmoniously to an elegant, lingering finish. This is a complex, oak-influenced Sauvignon Blanc with green stonefruits, gooseberries, herbs and nutty flavours, on a palate with good weight and complexing detail. Match with herb-marinated poultry and pork dishes over the next 3+ years. Hand-picked fruit from a 2 ha elevated corner block next to some old oak trees, WBP and fully barrel-fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 10 months on lees in 20% new French oak. 18.5/20 Oct 2018 RRP $38.00

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