Featured Reviews

Greystone Barrel Fermented Sauvignon 2017 and Muddy Water Pinotage 2016

26 February,2018

Dom Maxwell, Gourmet Traveller Wine magazine’s New Zealand Winemaker of the Year for 2018, takes a very thoughtful approach to all of the varieties he works with. I rate his aromatic wines as being particularly beautiful, and his Pinot Noirs exceedingly rich and complex. His oak-influenced wines take varietal and site expression up a further level in complexity, texture and sophistication. His judgement on balance is very fine. One of the more difficult wines to get into harmony barrel fermentation is Sauvignon Blanc, and much depends on the fruit quality and expression, which stems from the vineyard and what viticuilturist Nick Gill provides. Here, I review the new 2017 Greystone Barrel Fermented Sauvignon Blanc. www.greystonewines.co.nz

Since neighbouring Muddy Water was purchased by the Thomas family of Greystone, there has been a strong desire to maintain the uniqueness of the Muddy Water persona, and I think that has been done very well. Muddy Water has as its calling card organic certification. The site aspect and soils are distinctively different to that of Greystone resulting in different styles. And the varietal mix is different again, providing a different portfolio. Much of the vineyard is older than that of Greystone, with plantings going back to 1993. In addition, the premium nature and integrity of the brand has been retained, as the equivalent pricing of the wines is clear to see. The combined ranges of Greystone and Muddy Water give the Thomas family a wonderful portfolio of high quality, interesting wines. Here, I review the 2016 Muddy Water Pinotage, a variety seldom seen in this country now. www.muddywater.co.nz


Greystone Waipara Valley North Canterbury Barrel Fermented Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara


Full, light golden yellow colour with some depth, lighter on the rim. This has a fresh and firmly-packed nose with aromas of green stonefruits and gooseberries, along with nectarines and fresh herbs, and subtle suggestions of nut and spicy oak. The aromatics are balanced and show good intensity. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate is fulsome and deep hearted with flavours of green stonefruits, nectarines and gooseberries along with fresh herbs and a little oak spice. The palate has good weight and mouthfilling presence, and the fruit is underlined by fine phenolic textures. The mouthfeel is enlivened by bright acidity lifting the herb ands florals, and the wine carries to a long and sustained finish. This is a fulsome and deep flavoured oak-influenced Sauvignon Blanc with green stonefruit and herb notes on a fresh, gently textured palate. Match with herb-marinated seafood and white meat dishes over the next 3+ years. Fruit fully indigenous yeast barrel-fermented, one of four barrels without settling, to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 7 months on lees in seasoned French oak. 18.5/20 Feb 2018 RRP $25.00

Muddy Water Waipara Pinotage 2016

Pinotage from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara


Dark, deep, purple-hued ruby-red colour, youthful in appearance. The nose is concentrated and deeply packed wit ripe aromas of blackberry fruit along with mulberries and lifted nuances of black-red and violet florals, unfolding some plum jam and tar notes. Full-bodied, the palate has a rich and deeply concentrated heart of ripe fruit flavours of blackberries, mulberries and black plums unveiling lifted floral notes. The palate features a rounded and weighty core with plenty of presence. The fruit is supported by fine-grained tannin extraction providing plenty of structure, and the acidity is balanced and integrated. A little alcohol drive and power underlines the fruit, and the wine carries to a long, deep finish of black fruits. This is a rich, ripe and concentrated Pinotage with a rounded heart of blackberry, mulberry and plum fruit with fine-grained extraction and some alcoholic drive. Pinotage fruit from ungrafted vines, hand-picked, destemmed and indigenous yeast fermented to 15.0% alc., the wine aged 16 months in20% new French oak barrels. Certified Asurequality organic. 18.5-/20 Feb 2018 RRP $65.00

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