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Featured Reviews

Bladen Marlborough 2017 Sauvignon Blanc and 2016 Pinot Noir

08 June,2018

Bladen is the wine venture of Chris and Dave Macdonald who established vines at Conders Bend Road, Renwick in 1989. The 8 ha vineyard is planted to Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Riesling and Pinot Gris, the latter being the oldest plantings of this variety in Marlborough. The supplement the fruit from their vineyard with Gewurztraminer from 0.6 ha from the ‘Tilly’ vineyard on Paynters Road and Sauvignon Blanc from 1.5 ha of vines from the ‘Hunter’ vineyard in Alma Street in Renwick. The wines made by Rowan Langdon at the nearby Whitehaven facility are always elegant and delicate with attractive aromatics. I review the latest release 2017 Sauvignon Blanc and 2016 Pinot Noir.


Bladen Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright, light straw-yellow colour with slight pale green hues, lighter on the rim. The nose is elegantly presented with fragrant and perfumed aromas of white florals and white stonefruits entwined with taut notes of gooseberries, fresh herbs and hints of passionfruit. The aromatics are refreshing, with finesse and intensity. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is elegant and tightly bound with a fine core of gooseberries, snow peas, white stonefruits and florals. The mouthfeel is bright and zesty with crisp, racy acidity, and the wine flows along a light, fine-textured line with good drive, leading to a dry finish. This is a taut and tightly bound, fragrant Sauvignon Blanc with aromas and flavours of gooseberries, snow peas, herbs and white florals on a zesty, linear palate. Serve as an aperitif and with seafood over the next 2 years. Fruit predominantly from the ’Bladen’ vineyard with a portion from the Alma Street vineyard, harvested, approx. 10% by hand, this portion handled separately, fermented to 13.0% alc. and 2.5 g/L RS, the wine aged 4 months on lees. 17.5/20 Jun 2018 RRP $23.00

Bladen Marlborough Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright red colour with dark hues at the heart, a little lighter on the edge with garnet tints. The nose is full with good volume and breadth of dark-red and black-berried fruits along with black plum elements and a fine thread of dark herbs. The fruit has depth, penetration and presence, unfolding black cherry and oak notes. Medium-full bodied, the palate has elegantly concentrated, sweet and juicy flavours of dark-red and black cherry and berry fruit, along with subtle notes of dark herbs. The fruit is luscious and slippery, and forms a fine core, and is supported by supple, finegrained tannin extraction and lacy acidity. This has vibrancy and freshness, and the flavours carry smoothly to a lingering cherry and berry fruited finish. This is a sweet and juicy, elegantly concentrated Pinot Noir with dark-red and black cherry and berry fruit along with dark herbs and fine, supple tannins with vibrancy. Match with duck and pork dishes over the next 4 years. Hand-picked fruit from the ‘Bladen’ vineyard, destemmed and fermented, partially by indigenous yeasts, with a good proportion of whole berries to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 20% new French oak, then given a further 4 months on lees in tank. 17.5+/20 Jun 2018 RRP $35.00

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