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
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Featured Reviews

Elephant Hill Pinot Gris 2017 and ‘Stone’ Syrah 2015

08 June,2018

On my recent visit to Elephant Hill at the end of April, I was given insight to some of the exciting new happenings and wines about to make their mark on the wine scene and market. It was evident that the company’s three vineyards, the home site at Te Awanga, the Gimblett Gravels vineyard and the Bridge Pa block all provide different characteristics that suit different varieties, as well as giving the wines that emanate individual personalities (click here to see my report on visiting the vineyards). This offers winemaker Steve Skinner the opportunity of many blending options, but also the ability to make single vineyard wines. 

While at Elephant Hill, I tasted the excellent ‘Earth’ Tempranillo and the stunning ‘Earth’ Syrah wine, these from the Bridge Pa vineyard. These are very high aspirational wines which sit above the ‘Reserve’ tier, and just below the ‘Icon’ wines. In this series, individual bottlings from the Te Awanga vineyard will be labelled ‘Sea’, and the equivalent wines from the Gimblett Gravels will carry the name ’Stone’. Clearly these names refer to the defining factors of each vineyard. Here, I review the 2017 Pinot Gris, from the Te Awanga vineyard, this being an ‘estate’ wine rather than under the ‘Sea’ designation. I also review the 2015 ‘Stone’ Syrah, from the Gimblett Gravels vineyard.


Elephant Hill Hawke’s Bay Pinot Gris 2017

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Bright, light straw-yellow colour. The nose is softly presented with fresh aromas of white and yellow stonefruits, along with notes of pears, and nutty, flinty lees detail adding interest. The aromatics are harmoniously melded, and unveils a little honeysuckle with aeration. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is fresh and vibrant with lively flavours of white and yellow stonefruits, hints of pear and honeysuckle, lifted florals and a subtle layering of nutty and flinty lees. The fruit forms a tightly bound core and the mouthfeel is enlivened by fresh, zesty acidity. The wine flows along a very fine-featured line, unfolding aromatics as it carries to a lingering, refreshing finish. This is a taut, crisply refreshing dry Pinot Gris with stonefruit, pear, honeysuckle and florals, along with subtle lees detail. Serve with Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese fare over the next 3+ years. Fruit from the Te Awanga vineyard, fermented in stainless-steel to 13.0% alc. and approx. 3 g/L RS, the wine undergoing batonnage. 18.0+/20 Jun 2018 RRP $28.00

Elephant Hill ‘Stone’ Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2015

Syrah from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Full, near impenetrable, black-hued ruby-red colour with some garnet tints on the rim. The bouquet is well-proportioned with tightly packed and densely concentrated aromas of ripe blackberry fruit integrated with a layering of iron-earth minerals, unveiling hints of liquorice, black pepper and suggestions of spices and violet florals. Medium-full bodied, the palate is succulently sweet and rich with ripe flavours of blackberries, along with subtle notes of plums and boysenberries, liquorice, Asian spices, black pepper and underlying iron-earth minerals at the core. The palate is rich, plush and concentrated, and underlined by considerable fine-grained, powdery tannin extraction and structure. The acidity is integrated, adding to the rounded heart. The flavours carry with plenty of drive, power and energy to a long, softly full, lingering finish. This is a rich, fulsome Syrah with ripe blackberry fruit with plum, liquorice, pepper and spice notes with an iron-earth underlay, with considerable fine tannin extraction and structure. Match with casseroles and slow-cooked game meat over the next 10 years. MS clone Syrah fruit with 1% Viognier whole bunches, from the Gimblett Gravels vineyard, fermented with approx. 10% whole bunches overall to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 26 months in 36% new French oak. 139 cases made. 19.0+/20 Jun 2018 RRP $75.00

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