Featured Reviews

Forrest 2017 and 2016 Gruner Veltliner, 2014 Chardonnay, and John Forrest ‘Collection’ Pinot Noir 2013

13 December,2018

John Forrest is one of Marlborough and New Zealand’s consummate winemakers. His ever-thoughtful and scientific approach to making wine also includes a healthy dose of passion and infectious enthusiasm, whether the wines are from his home in Marlborough, Hawke’s Bay, the Waitaki Valley of Central Otago. John doesn’t hold back from trialling new techniques and varieties, and has backed a number of emerging varieties, exploring sites and winemaking styles best suited to them. As a result, the Forrest wines are always of real interest and of high quality. Here, I review the 2017 and 2016 Gruner Veltliners, the 2014 Chardonnay, plus the John Forrest ‘Collection’ Pinot Noir 2013, all based on Marlborough fruit. www.forrest.co.nz


Forrest Marlborough Gruner Veltliner 2017

Gruner Veltliner from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright, light straw-yellow colour with slight green-gold hues, lighter on the rim. The nose is fine, firm and tightly bound with fresh and youthful aromas of white stonefruits and herbal notes, along with mouthwatering minerals and hints of lanolin. This is light and a little restrained in expression. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is gently sweet and luscious with flavours of white and yellow stonefruits and soft notes of herbs and honeysuckle, revealing some thirst-quenching mineral elements. The fruit forms an elegantly concentrated heart with light phenolic textures providing linearity, with integrated acidity lending palate freshness. The wine carries to a lingering, textured finish. This is a gently luscious-fruited dry Gruner Veltliner with stonefruit and honeysuckle flavours on a light, phenolic-textured palate with good linearity. Match with herb-marinated white meat dishes over the next 3 years. Fruit from a single site in the Southern Valleys, fermented with some solids in stainless steel to 12.5% alc. and 4.6 g/L RS, the wine aged 4 months on lees. 17.5/20 Dec 2018 RRP $25.00

Forrest Marlborough Gruner Veltliner 2016

Gruner Veltliner from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright, even, straw-yellow colour with pale golden hues, lighter edged. The nose is up-front with fresh and deep aromas of green stonefruits and fresh herbs along with waxy, nutty and lanolin elements. The aromatics have a mono-dimensional intensity that reveals detail with aeration. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has a rich core with plenty of weight and presence of white and green stonefruits, along with nutty and lanolin nuances. The fruit forms a concentrated heart with light phenolic textures lending a little dry grip. The acidity is integrated, and the wine is carried by the phenolics to a firm, lingering, nuanced finish of herbs and stonefruits. This is a dry Gruner Veltliner with good weight and presence along with light phenolic textures and structure. Match with herb-marinated poultry, pork and veal over the next 3+ years. Fruit from a single site in the Southern Valleys, fermented in stainless-steel wit 7.5% in seasoned oak to 12.0% alc. and 4.75 g/L RS, the barrrique-oaked portion spending 7 months on lees. 18.0-/20 Dec 2018 RRP $25.00

Forrest Marlborough Chardonnay 2014

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright, full, pale golden-hued yellow colour with some depth, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is softly fresh and accessible aromas of citrus fruit and yellow stonefruits harmoniously entwined with creamy barrel-ferment and nutty, toasty oak, a little buttery MLF, unfolding refreshing steely, mineral elements. Medium-full bodied, the palate is rich and harmoniously melded with flavours of ripe citrus and yellow stonefruits entwined with creamy barrel-ferment and nutty, toasty oak and mealy complexing detail. The mouthfeel is fresh and bright around a soft textured core that is allied to lively acidity. The wine carries along a light-textured line with some dry phenolic grip leading to a finish with buttery MLF nuances. This s a harmoniously developed Chardonnay with stonefruit and citrus flavours along with nutty and creamy oak and buttery MLF on a fine, fresh palate with dry textures. Match with roasted and grilled seafood, poultry and pork over the next 3+ years. A blend of 41% clone 95, 33% Mendoza and 26% clone 15, 75% of the fruit from the central Wairau Valley and 25% Southern Valleys, 70% fermented in barriques and 30% in stainless-steel to 13.5% alc., the oaked portion aged 10 months on lees in barrel, 15% new, and 50% of the wine undergoing MLF. 18.0/20 Dec 2018 RRP $30.00

John Forrest ‘Collection’ Southern Valleys Marlborough Pinot Noir 2013

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Marlborough


Full, even, dark garnet hued red colour, lighter on the edge with a little bricking. The nose is elegantly presented with a firm core of ripe dark-red and black cherry and berry fruit entwined with dark herbs. This has very good depth and intensity, and unfolds a little savoury secondary complexity. Medium-full bodied, the palate has sweetly rich and concentrated, vibrant fruit flavours of dark-red and black berried fruits forming a fine and firm core. The fruit has intensity and is supported by fine-grained tannin extraction lending plenty of drive, grip and mouthfeel. The flavours carry to a lingering finish with nuances of black fruits. This is a sweet and lusciously rich, concentrated black-fruited Pinot Noir with very good depth and intensity underlined by plenty of fine-grained structure and drive. Match with beef, lamb and venison dishes over the next 6+ years. Clones 5 and 777 fruit from wines 12 y.o., from the Brancott Valley with 12% of the fruit from Bannockburn, Central Otago, fermented partially with indigenous yeasts and 10% whole bunches to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 16 months in 30% new oak. 19.0-/20 Dec 2018 RRP $45.00

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