Featured Reviews

Delta Marlborough 2017 Rosé, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir, and 2016 ‘Hatters Hill’ Chardonnay

20 July,2018

With Neal Ibbotson of Saint Clair taking over full ownership of Delta Wines last year, there has been a consolidation of the brand, its market position, tiers and aspirations. Originally the wines came from the Delta Farm at the mouth of the Waihopai Valley, but now the brand includes fruit from other sub-regions in Marlborough, and from the Saint Clair owned property in the Gimblett Gravels in Hawke’s Bay. The tiers are more clearly defined, with ‘River Delta’ offering value and accessibility, the ‘Delta’ wines expressing variety and region, and the ‘Hatters Hill’ range to more sophisticated qualities. Other styles and varieties have been introduce the range from just Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. The experienced and respected winemaker Heather Stewart oversees the production. This brand is quickly attaining its ideal position. Here, I review the new Delta 2017 Pinot Noir Rosé, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir, and ‘Hatters Hill’ Chardonnay, all from Marlborough fruit. www.deltawines.co.nz


Delta Marlborough Pinot Noir Rosé 2017

Rose from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright, soft strawberry-pink colour with peach hues and some depth, paler edged. The nose is soft with gently interwoven aromas of strawberry and quince fruit unfolding fresh herb nuances and a little edge of minerals. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has a soft core of strawberries and quince with some savoury red florals, unfolding delicate notes of fresh herbs. The flavours are light and accessible with refreshing acidity, and the wine carries to a light, straightforward finish. This is a softly fresh and accessible dry rosé with strawberry and quince flavours with lifted florals and refreshing acidity. Serve as an aperitif and antipasto over the next 18 months to 2 years. Labelled ‘Special Summer Release’. Predominantly 10/5 clone Pinot Noir fruit from the upper Wairau Valley, destemmed and given a few hours skin contact, and cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 12.0% alc. and dryness. 16.5/20 Jul 2018 RRP $18.99

Delta Marlborough Pinot Gris 2017

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright, pale straw-yellow colour with green hues, near colourless on the rim. The nose is very fresh and elegant in presentation with bright, fragrant aromas of white stonefruits with pear elements, and suggestions of stonefruit kernels at the heart, unveiling subtle nuances of exotic florals and steely minerals. Medium-dry to taste, the palate has an elegant core of fresh, elegant stonefruit flavours with suggestions of pear and honeysuckle along with subtle nuances of stonefruit kernels and nuts. The wine has a fresh, firm heart and line, flowing along a fine line with supporting acidity lending freshness, leading to a clean, lingering finish. This is a crisp, elegant, finely concentrated medium-dry Pinot Gris with stonefruit, pear and honeysuckle flavours and soft nutty nuances and a linear palate. Fruit from sites in the Omaka and Waihopai valleys, fermented in stainless-steel with19% in seasoned oak to 13.0% alc. and 24.1 g/L RS, the oaked portion undergoing MLF. 17.0/20 Jul 2018 RRP $18.99

Delta Marlborough Pinot Noir 2017

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Marlborough


Moderately dark ruby-red colour with some depth, lighter on the edge. The nose has a firm core with good depth of dark cherry and raspberry fruit with suggestions of plums and liquorice. The fruit is fresh and vibrant, unfolding a very delicate thread of dark and fresh herbs adding interest. Medium-full bodied, the palate has an elegantly concentrated hearth with deep raspberry fruit along with notes of liquorice, spices and plums. The fruit is sweet and rich and underlined by fine, grainy tannin extraction and structure, with balanced acidity lending energy. The wine carries positively to a long, lingering, fruit-focussed finish. This is a fresh, elegantly concentrated, youthful Pinot Noir with cherry, raspberry, liquorice and plum fruit flavours on a fine, grainy-structured palate with plenty of vitality. Match with pasta, pizza, poultry and pork over the next 3-4 years. Pinot Noir fruit, clones 115 and 777 from the ‘Delta Farm’ vineyard, fully destemmed and fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 10 months, half in French oak and half in tank. 17.5+/20 Jul 2018 RRP $19.99

Delta ‘Hatters Hill’ Marlborough Chardonnay 2016

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright straw-yellow colour with slight green hues, paler on the edge. The nose is powerfully concentrated with deep, intense and tightly bound aromas of citrus fruit and white stonefruits entwined with spicy, nutty and toasty oak. The aromatics are fresh and youthful, verging slender in proportion, but with excellent penetration and depth. Medium-bodied, the palate is tightly bound with a concentrated core of citrus and stonefruit entwined with spicy, nutty and toasty oak flavours. This is firm and intense at the heart.. The palate is fresh and crisp, with bright, lively acidity guiding the wine to a long, lingering finish. This is a firmly concentrated and intense Chardonnay with stonefruit and citrus fruit entwined with strong spicy, nutty and toasty oak notes. Match with grilled and roasted seafood and poultry dishes over the next 3-4 years. Fruit from the ‘Sawcut’ vineyard, Ure Valley, hand-picked, WBP and fully barrel-fermented to 13.0% alc. the wine aged 10 months in 39% new French oak barriques undergoing batonnage and 100% MLF. 18.0/20 Jul 2018 RRP $28.99

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