Framingham 2018 Sauvignon Blanc, 2017 Classic Riesling, 2018 Select and Noble Rieslings, and 2017 Pinot Noir
Rojo ‘Gran Rojo’ Tempranillo Rosado 2017
The Hunting Lodge 2018 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and Albarino, and 2018 White Mischief
Forrest 2017 and 2016 Gruner Veltliner, 2014 Chardonnay, and John Forrest ‘Collection’ Pinot Noir 2013
Te Whare Ra 2018 Aromatic Whites, 2014 Pinot Noir and 2017 Noble Riesling
Tiki ‘Estate’ Waipara Pinot Noir 2018
Mahi 2016 ‘Boundary Farm’ Sauvignon Blanc and ‘Twin Valleys’ Chardonnay
Queensberry Gardens 2018 Chenin Blanc, and The Lazy Dog ‘Sweet on Chenin’ and Gewurztraminer
Palliser Estate Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018
Red Deer Marlborough Rosé 2018
Dry River Martinborough 2017 Chardonnay, ‘The Twelve Spies’, 2015 Syrah and 2018 Botrytis Gewurztraminer
X Wines ‘little x’ Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2014
Akaroa Winery Banks Peninsula 2016 and 2015 Pinot Noirs
Lamont Central Otago 2018 Pinot Rosé and Pinot Gris, and 2017 Chardonnay
Pegasus Bay 2016 Sauvignon Semillon and ‘Aria’ Late Picked Riesling
The Luminary 2018 Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir
Big Bunch Hawke’s Bay 2018 Pinot Gris and 2014 Merlot
Coto de Hayas ‘Roble’ Campo de Borja 2017
Misha’s Vineyard 2017 ‘Starlet’ Sauvignon Blanc, and 2016 ‘Gallery’ Gewurztraminer and ‘Cantata’ Pinot Noir
Brookfields ‘Ohiti Estate’ 2018 Pinot Gris and 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon
Maui Waipara and Tiki 'Estate' Marlborough 2018 Sauvignon Blanc
Taimana Waitaki Pinot Noir 2013
Daniel Le Brun Methodes and Morton Estate ‘Black Label’ Wines from LionCo
Rockburn Central Otago Pinot Noir 2017
A Selection of Italian, French and Australian Wines from Procure
// View More Featured Reviews

Featured Reviews

Brightwater Gravels 2017 and Middle-Earth 2018, 2017 and 2016 Releases

07 August,2018

‘Brightwater Gravels’ and ‘Middle-Earth’ are brands of ‘Winelord’, the Nelson wine venture of Rob Grey and his family. The Grey family have owned their Brightwater land for over 50 years. and they have 50 ha of vines that supply the fruit for their various brands. The vineyard is planted to 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 10% each Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and includes 0.4 ha of Pinot Meunier. The family also contract sources some extra Pinot Gris. Rob’s daughter Kylie and her husband Ryan O’Connell are fully immersed, tending the vineyard and managing the various aspects of business and administration. They have Trudy Sheild making the wines from the start, originally when she was at Waimea Estates, but full-time at Winelord from 2017. Here I review a selection of releases under the ‘Brightwater Gravels’ and ‘Middle-Earth’ labels. The former are more up-front, and the latter possess more elegance.


Brightwater Gravels Nelson Pinot Gris 2017

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Nelson


Bright straw-yellow with lemon-gold hues, lighter on the rim. The nose is fulsome and voluminous, with well-packed aromas of yellow stonefruits harmoniously melded with yellow florals, hints of honeysuckle, unfolding nutty lees elements. This is up-front and shows moderate depth. Off-dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has up-front flavours of white and yellow stonefruits that form an elegant heart. The fruit fills the front palate and is rounded in mouthfeel, underlined by light phenolic textures that lend some presence. Lacy acidity carries the wine to a light, slender finish. This is an up-front and fulsome off-dry Pinot Gris with stonefruit and floral flavours that carry to a slender finish. Match with Asian and Middle Eastern fare over the next 2+ years. 100% Pinot Gris fermented in stainless-steel to 13.0% alc. and 7.5 g/L RS, the wine aged 3 months on lees. 16.5/20 Aug 2018 RRP $20.00

Brightwater Gravels Nelson Chardonnay 2017

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Nelson


Bright, light golden-yellow colour with some depth, lighter edged. The nose is full and broad with deep and well-concentrated, rounded aromas of ripe yellow stonefruits and savoury citrus fruit, along with creamy barrel-ferment and nutty, toasty oak, buttery MLF and a little complexing flinty detail. Medium-full bodied, the palate has rich and full flavours of yellow stonefruit and citrus fruit, creamy, nutty oak and a full layering of lemon-curd and butterscotch MLF. The flavours are up-front and robust with fresh, brisk acidity driving the fruit along a light, phenolic-textured line, leasing to an elegant MLF prominent finish. This is a fulsome and broad Chardonnay with stonefruit, creamy, nutty oak and a layering of lemon-curd and buttery MLF flavours that carry to a light finish. Match with creamy poultry, pork and veal dishes over the next 3 years. Fruit fully barrel- fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 35% new oak, undergoing batonnage and 75% MLF. 17.0/20 Aug 2018 RRP $22.00

Brightwater Gravels Nelson Pinot Noir 2017

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Nelson


Moderately dark and deep ruby-red colour, lighter on the rim. The nose is softly fresh with aromas of red cherry and berry fruit along with a fine, integrated thread of fresh herbs and lifted dark-red florals. The aromatics are harmoniously presented. Medium-bodied, the palate has a sweetly rich core of dark-red cherry and berry fruit along with subtle notes of fresh herbs and a little red floral lift, unfolding notes of liquorice and spice. The fruit is underlined by supple, light tannin extraction providing fine textures and linearity, with balanced, lacy acidity lending energy. The wine carries smoothly to an elegant finish. This is an elegant, sweetly rich Pinot Noir with red cherry and berry fruit with herb and floral nuances on a supple palate. Serve with poultry and pork over the next 3+ years. Fruit fully destemmed and fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine aged in tank and a smaller portion in French oak hogsheads, 10% new equivalence. 17.0/20 Aug 2018 RRP $22.00

Middle-Earth Nelson Rosé 2018

Rose from New Zealand – Nelson


Bright, very pale pink, near colourless on the edge. The nose is very fresh, elegant and fragrant with lifted aromas of strawberries and red florals entwined with confectionary elements and fresh fermentation esters. Dryish to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has aromatic strawberry and red floral fruit along with herb nuances with confectionary and lifted fermentation esters. The flavours form a taut core with brisk acidity providing energy, the wine flowing along a slippery-textured line, leading to a lingering aromatic finish. This is a crisp and taut dryish rosé with strawberry, floral and herbal flavours along with confectionary and youthful fermentation esters. Serve with antipasto and dim sum over the next 2 years. A blend of Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir, hand-picked and given a short soak on skins, and fermented in tank with a very small portion finishing ferment in barrel, to 12.0% alc. and 5.5 g/L RS. 16.5+/20 Aug 2018 RRP $24.00

Middle-Earth Nelson Chardonnay 2016

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Nelson


Bright, even, light golden-yellow colour, a little paler on the edge. The nose is elegant in presentation with fresh aromas of white and yellow stonefruits along with subtle, fragrant nutty and spicy oak. The aromatics are slender, but with depth, and possess a refreshing minerally cut. Medium-full bodied, the palate is elegant in presentation with light white and yellow stonefruit flavours, along with restrained nutty and spicy oak. Fresh, lacy acidity lends freshness to the mouthfeel and the wine flows along a smooth line with underlying alcohol drive leading to a lingering finish of stonefruits. This is an elegant. fresh, fruit-focussed Chardonnay with stonefruit and subtle nutty detail on a smooth driven line with acid energy. Match with seafood and poultry over the next 3+ years. Chardonnay fruit, clones 15 and Mendoza, tank-fermented with high solids to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 10 months in French and American oak, undergoing batonnage and MLF. 17.0+/20 Aug 2018 RRP $24.00

Middle-Earth Nelson Pinot Noir 2017

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Nelson


Even, light ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is firm with good depth and intense aromas of dark-red berry fruits along with dark herbs and nutty oak elements, unfolding dark-red floral notes. Medium-full bodied, the palate has vibrant and gently rich fruit flavours of red cherries and berries, along with fresh herbs, fragrant dark-red florals and subtle nutty oak elements. The fruit forms a rounded, but concentrated core and is supported by fine-grained supple tannins providing structure. Fine acidity contributes to the freshness and vitality. The wine carries to an elegant, lingering finish. This is a sweetly rich, vibrant Pinot Noir with a rounded, but concentrated palate supported by fine structure. Match with duck and pork over the next 3-4 years. Pinot Noir fruit, clones 5 and 10/5, undergoing minimal crushing to encourage carbonic fermentation, fermented to 13.5% alc. the wine aged 10 months in French and Hungarian oak. 17.5-/20 Aug 2018 RRP $25.00

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