Neudorf 2018 Pinot Rosé, 2017 Moutere Chardonnay and 2016 Moutere Pinot Noir
Pask 2016 ‘Declaration’ Chardonnay and ‘Small Batch’ Trilliant’, and 2014 ‘Declaration’ Merlot and Cabernet Merlot Malbec
Black Cottage 2018 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and ‘Reserve’ Central Otago Pinot Noir
Forrest Wines 2018 Rosé, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Albarino, and 2015 Gruner Veltliner and Pinot Noir
The Hunting Lodge 2017 Pinot Gris, Marsanne Viognier and Chardonnay
Lake Chalice 2017 ‘The Falcon’ Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Riesling, and Raptor Chardonnay
Matchbook Dunnigan Hills ‘Old Head’ Chardonnay 2016
Nevis Bluff 2017 Rosé and 2014 Pinot Noir
Summerhouse 2018 Marlborough Pinot Rosé and 2016 Hawke’s Bay Merlot
Valli 2018 Waitaki Riesling, 2017 Pinot Gris and 2017 Regional Pinot Noirs
Palacio de Oriente Rioja Tempranillo 2017
Locharburn 2018 Central Otago Pinot Rosé and Pinot Gris
Tantalus 2017 ‘Cachette’, 2015 Merlot Franc, and ‘Voile’, ‘Evoque’, and ‘Ecluse’
Mount Dottrel Central Otago Pinot Noir 2011
Greystone ‘Thomas Brothers’ Waipara Pinot Noir 2016
Stoneburn Marlborough 2018 Sauvignon Blanc and 2016 Pinot Noir
Mount Brown 2018 North Canterbury Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling
Zaria Hawke’s Bay Rosé 2018
Craggy Range ‘Prestige Collection’ 2016 Vintage
Morepork Northland Pinot Gris 2018
Julicher Estate and ’99 Rows’ Te Muna Pinot Noir 2015
The Winemaker’s Wife and The Lady Ranfurly Releases from Simon McGeorge
Mission ‘Barrique Reserve’ 2017 Chardonnay and Syrah, and 2016 Pinot Noir and Cabernet
Dashwood 2018 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris
Black Cottage 2018 Rosé and Pinot Gris
// View More Featured Reviews

Featured Reviews

Delta Wine Company Consolidates

18 June,2018

Delta Wine is a company and brand that is being repositioned following its full acquisition of shareholding by Neil Ibbotson of the Saint Clair winery from other founders David Gleave MW and Matt Thomson last year. The company was established initially to supply the U.K. market with Pinot Noir from a vineyard on the site of the Delta Farm at the mouth of the Waihopai Valley. In this guise, it increased its portfolio to include Sauvignon Blanc.

The new company now encompasses other varieties and other wine growing areas, the winemaking coming under the supervision of Heather Stewart, a senior and very experienced winemaker of Saint Clair. I must admit when it happened and the first new releases from the brand were released, I was worried that the label was being ‘dumbed-down’ to supply alternative retail channels and FMCG. I mentioned my concerns to the Saint Clair staff several times, but their response was that Delta Wines would not be lost as a premium brand.

Here I review a selection of wines from the Delta Wine Company that encompasses the value ‘River Delta’ range, the ‘regular’ ‘Delta’ tier, and the flagship ‘Hatters Hill’ label. I believe the redevelopment of this brand is just beginning again, and await further developments.


River Delta Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough


Very pale straw-yellow colour with slight green hues, near colourless on the rim. The nose is soft, light and gentle in expression with aromas of savoury gooseberries with green and yellow stonefruits, soft herbs and a hint of green beans. The aromatics are straightforward, gently filling the nose while retaining freshness at the core. Dry to taste and light-medium bodied, the palate has soft, up-front flavours of savoury gooseberries, green beans, hints of green capsicums and herbs. The mouthfeel is softly textured and the palate has slippery acidity. The flavours carry to a blossoming finish with tropical fruit notes. This is a soft, up-front Sauvignon Blanc with savoury gooseberry and green bean flavours on a smooth, slippery palate. Match with Mediterranean fare over the next 18 months to 2 years. Fruit from the Wairau Valley cool-fermented in tank to 12.5% alc. and 3.7 g/L RS. 15.5+/20 Jun 2018 RRP $13.99

Delta Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright, very pale straw colour with slight green hues, lighter on the edge. The nose is softly full with aromas of savoury gooseberries along with yellow stonefruits, subtle notes of herbs and a little green bean. The aromatics are soft and voluminous with some depth. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has a tight core of savoury gooseberry fruit entwined with stonefruits and herbs, some green bean with green capsicum elements. The mouthfeel is brisk and zesty with bright, refreshing, mouthwatering acidity, and the wine flows along a very light-textured line, leading to a crisp, dry, gooseberry and herb nuanced finish. This is a tightly bound, brisk and racy Sauvignon Blanc with savoury gooseberry stonefruit, herb and bean flavours with a light-textured line. Fruit from Dillons Point, Lower Wairau, cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 12.5% alc. and 3.8 g/L RS. 16.0+/20 Jun 2018 RRP $18.99

Delta Marlborough Chardonnay 2017

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Marlborough


Straw-yellow colour with a little depth, pale edged. The nose is softly full with good depth of white and yellow stonefruits and citrus fruit, melded with melded with some creamy barrel-ferment and nutty oak, and a dense layering of lemon-curd MLF with butterscotch notes. This is up-front and grows in intensity. Medium-full bodied, the palate has good depth and weight of stonefruit and citrus fruit flavours, entwined with some creamy barrel-ferment along with nutty and toasty oak. Lemon-curd and butterscotch MLF flavours unfold to fill the palate and the wine is fulsome and broad, showing depth, all underlined by alcoholic drive. The acidity is fresh, providing energy for the wine to flow along a light-textured line, leading to a long finish. This is a rich and fulsome Chardonnay with stonefruit and citrus fruit, along with toasty oak and a layering of MLF. Match with creamy seafood and poultry dishes over the next 3 years. Clone 15 Chardonnay from the Lower Wairau Valley, fermented in seasoned French and American oak to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 10 months in barrel undergoing batonnage and MLF. 17.0+/20 Jun 2018 RRP $18.99

Delta Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2017

Merlot from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Dark, deep, black-hued purple-ruby colour with good depth, a little lighter on the rim, youthful in appearance. The nose is elegant in presentation with fresh, bright, ripe, aromatic dark-red berry and black plum fruit, still quite primary in expression with floral and esters lift. Medium-bodied, the palate has a bright, lively and vibrant heart of primary dark-red berry fruit with subtle aromatic plum notes. The fruit is sweet with floral lift, unfolding hints of spices and dark herbs. The fruit is underlined by light, grainy tannin texture with a fresh line of acidity providing tension and energy. The wine carries to a clean and fresh finish of berries and plums. This is a bright and lively, primary fruited Merlot with berry and plum flavours with primary aromatic lift on a tight-textured, refreshing palate. Fruit from the Gimblett Gravels, trucked to the Marlborough winery and fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 8 months in French and American oak. 17.0+/20 Jun 2018 RRP $19.00

Delta ‘Hatters Hill’ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright, very pale straw colour with slight green hues, near colourless on the edge. The nose is taut and tightly bound with fresh aromas of pungent passionfruit intermingling with fresh herbs, some cut grass elements and snow peas, unveiling mineral nuances. This is refreshing and mouthwatering. Dry to taste and medium-bodied. the palate has a fine, elegantly concentrated, taut core of passionfruit with notes of fresh herbs, snow peas, cut grass with nettles revealing mouthwatering mineral elements. The palate is bright and vibrant with refreshing acidity which enlivens the fruit sweetness, and the wine flows along a fine line leading to a tight, lingering, minerally finish. This is a taut and zesty, mouthwatering Sauvignon Blanc with passionfruit, snow peas, nettles and glass with minerally freshness. Serve with Pacific Rim fare over the next 2 years. Fruit from the company’s Dillon Point vineyard, Lower Wairau, cool-fermented in tank to 13.0% alc. 17.5/20 Jun 2018 RRP $26.99

Delta ‘Hatters Hill’ Marlborough Pinot Noir 2017

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Marlborough


Dark, deep, ruby-red colour with youthful purple hues, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is softly full and voluminous with gently packed aromas of dark-red cherry and raspberry fruit harmoniously entwined with subtle notes of fresh herbs, unfolding hints of whole bunch stalk perfumes and dark-red florals. A little sweet oak and some raspberry liqueur elements add interest. Medium-full bodied, the palate has sweet fruit showing bright and lively flavours of dark-red cherries and berries alongside subtle notes of dark herbs, lifted red florals and a little whole bunch stalk perfume. The fruit sweetness is the feature and is enlivened by fresh acidity and supported by light, fine-grained tannin structure. This has a good core and heart that carries to a lingering finish. This is a bright and vibrant cherry and raspberry fruited Pinot Noir with herb and floral notes on a refreshing palate with fine textures. Serve with poultry and pork over the next 4+ years. Clone 115 fruit from the ‘Delta Farm’ vineyard, Waihopai, fermented with 12% whole bunches to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 33% new French oak barriques. 18.0-/20 Jun 2018 RRP $34.99

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