Featured Reviews




Grove Mill, Goldwater and Associated Brands

06 November,2017
Foley Family Wines has become a major player in the New Zealand wine and hospitality scene, with the purchase of Vavasour and Grove Mill in Marlborough, and Te Kairanga and Martinborough Vineyards in Martinborough. The company also owns the luxury Wharekauhau Lodge in the Wairarapa and has significant shareholding in the Eurovintage distribution company and Nourish restaurant group. The investment in each of these businesses has seen consolidation of their operations and indeed a rise in quality of product and service.

With Alastair Maling MW coming on board in 2015 as chief group winemaker and head of viticulture, I have seen continued progress in the quality of the wines as he works in conjunction with the winemaking and viticultural teams at each winery. The latest news on the wine front is very exciting. It has been revealed that Foley Family Wines is intending to purchase Mt Difficulty in Central Otago, and the deal is undergoing due process now. This news has slightly overshadowed another important event, that being the joining of the Foley winemaking team of Greg Lane as winemaker at Grove Mill. Greg comes from the well-respected Shaw + Smith operation in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia after four years as a winemaker there. He was dux at the University of Adelaide in 2010, and has had extensive experience around the world, developing a passion for cool-climate wines. Greg takes over the interim winemaking role handled by Stu Marfell of Vavasour and Steve Simpson, production manager at Grove Mill. Stu remains the chief Marlborough winemaker, overseeing all the brands made in the region.

Here, I review a selection of new release wines under the Grove Mill, Goldwater and associated brand labels. I’ve seen a number of 2017 Marlborough wines from the Foley Family Wine group and can report that the quality is very good for wines from such a challenging growing season, indicating excellent viticulture followed by smart winemaking. www.goldwaterwine.com  www.grovemill.co.nz

FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW



Sanctuary Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough

17.5-/20
Bright, very pale straw colour with slight green hues, near colourless on the rim. The nose is elegant and taut with finely expressed aromas of gooseberries and soft tropical fruit and passionfruit notes, along with fresh herbs, snow peas and suggestions of minerals. Dry to taste, the palate is elegantly proportioned with a fine heart of gooseberry fruit and tropical fruits with fresh herb and mineral detail. The palate has a taut core, and the wine flows along a fine line with lacy, mouthwatering acidity and mineral elements. The wine carries to an elegant, lightly nuanced, dry finish. This is a taut and elegantly concentrated Sauvignon Blanc with gooseberry and tropical fruit, along with thirst-quenching minerals on a fine line with bright acidity. Match with Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese cuisine over the next 2 years. A secondary brand for Grove Mill. 88% Wairau Valley and 12% Awatere Valley fruit, cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 12.5% alc. and 4.2 g/L RS. 17.5-/20 Nov 2017 RRP $18.00

Grove Mill Wairau Valley Marlborough Rosé 2017

Rose from New Zealand – Marlborough

17.5/20
Bright, strawberry pink colour with good depth, a little lighter on the edge with slight purple hues. The nose is bright and aromatic with full and fragrant aromas of vibrant red cherry and strawberries and cream, along with lifted red florals and pretty confectionary notes. Off-dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has sweet, juicy and lively flavours of strawberries and cream, with lifted red florals and red fruits, along with a layer of confectionary elements. The palate has fruit sweetness and richness with fresh acidity enhancing the aromatics. The wine flows along a fine-textured line with good energy, leading to a pretty, lollyish finish. This is a pretty, sweet and juicy fruited off-dry rosé with flavours of strawberries and cream with confectionary, fresh acidity and a lollyish finish. Serve as an aperitif and with Asian fare over the next 2 years. 100% Pinot Noir from the Wairau Valley, cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 13.0% alc., and 6.3 g/L RS. 17.5/20 Nov 2017 RRP $20.00

Grove Mill Wairau Valley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough

18.5/20
Bright, very pale straw colour with slight green hues, very pale on the edge. The nose is elegant, refined and tightly bound with deep and intensely packed aromas of passionfruit and tropical fruit, revealing some passionfruit, along with fresh herbs, white florals and some mineral notes. The aromatics grow in concentration with aeration. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has intensely concentrated and well-packed flavours of passionfruit, tropical fruits, florals and minerals. The fruit forms a deep, taut core, and the flavours flow with good drive along a very fine-textured, dry, thirst-quenching line with soft acidity underlining the fruit. This has linearity and carries to a long, concentrated finish of passionfruit and minerals. This is an intensely concentrated Sauvignon Blanc with passionfruit, tropical fruit and minerals on a dry, thirst-quenching, fine-textured palate with soft acidity. Serve as an aperitif and with seafood over the next 2 years. Wairau Valley fruit, cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 12.5% alc. and 3.2 g/L RS. 18.5/20 Nov 2017 RRP $20.00

Grove Mill Wairau Valley Marlborough Pinot Gris 2017

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Marlborough

17.5/20
Bright, light straw-yellow colour, pale on the rim. The nose is gently full with a rounded heart of white and yellow stonefruits long with pears and honeysuckle, nuances of exotic florals and some lifted fermentation esters. Dryish to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has a rounded core of harmoniously entwined flavours of white and yellow stonefruits, pears and florals with some honeysuckle nuances. The palate is well-balanced with moderate acidity and subtle, fine phenolic textures providing a gentle line leading to a softly fresh, aromatic-fruited finish. This is a harmonious and balanced off-dry Pinot Gris with stonefruit, pear and honied flavours, good freshness and soft textures. Serve with Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine over the next 3 years. Wairau Valley fruit fermented in stainless steel, with 10% in seasoned French oak to 13.0% alc. and 6 g/L RS. 17.5/20 Nov 2017 RRP $20.00

Grove Mill Wairau Valley Marlborough Chardonnay 2016

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Marlborough

18.5/20
Even straw-yellow colour with some depth, a little lighter on the edge. The nose is full and up-front with well-packed aromas of ripe citrus fruit and yellow stonefruits, along with a complex amalgam of creamy barrel-ferment and nutty oak, with nuances of flinty reduction, lemon-curd MLF and toasty oak. Medium-full bodied, the palate is up-front with flavours of ripe citrus and stonefruits entwined with subtle creamy and nutty oak, with balanced lemon-curd MLF, flint and toasty complexities. The palate has good weight and depth, with some underlying power, with fresh acidity. The wine carries with good presence and drive to a lingering finish of citrus fruit, creamy oak and toasty nuances. This is an up-front, flavoursome Chardonnay with citrus and stonefruit flavours integrated with creamy, nutty and toasty oak , and subtle flinty detail on a well-weighted, fresh palate. Match with grilled and roasted seafood, poultry and pork dishes over the next 4 years. Clones 15, 95 and Mendoza from the Wairau Valley fully barrel-fermented, partially by indigenous yeasts to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 15% new French barriques with 70% MLF. 18.5/20 Nov 2017 RRP $20.00

Boatshed Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough

17.5-/20
Bright, pale straw colour with slight green hues, pale edged. This has a fresh, full, up-front nose with aromas of tropical fruits and white stonefruits, along with fresh herbs and hints of pungent passionfruit and nettles. Dry to taste, the flavours of tropical fruit and passionfruit are melded with white florals and fresh herbs. The fruit is initially a little restrained, but has sweetness and richness forming a firm core. The palate flows along a fine, textural line with brisk acidity, the flavours blossoming and carrying through to a dry, slightly grippy finish. This is a sweetly rich tropical fruit and passionfruit flavoured Sauvignon Blanc which grows in volume, on a slightly grainy-textured palate with a dry finish. Serve with salads and vegetables, and Mediterranean fare over the next 2 years. A secondary brand for Goldwater Wines. 85% Wairau and 15% Awatere fruit, cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 12.5% alc. and 4 g/L RS. 17.5-/20 Nov 2017 RRP $16.00

Goldwater Wairau Valley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough

18+/20

Bright, pale straw-yellow colour with slight green hues, very pale on the rim. The nose is softly concentrated with deep aromas of pungent passionfruit along with tropical fruit, gooseberries and fragrant fresh herbs and snow peas. The nose opens gently with good volume on aeration. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has softly sweet and vibrant, mouthfilling flavours of passionfruit, tropical fruit and gooseberries with nuances of fresh herbs. The palate has soft and fine textures with bright acidity providing a mouthwatering mouthfeel. The passionfruit flavours blossom and carry with good breadth to a long and full finish. This is a sweetly rich and vibrant, mouthfilling, passionfruity Sauvignon Blanc with good breadth, soft textures and brisk, mouthwatering acidity. Serve with Pacific Rim fare over the next 2 years. 100% Wairau Valley fruit, cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 12.5% alc. and 3.5 g/L RS. 18.0+/20 Nov 2017 RRP $21.00

Very pale straw colour with slight green hues, lighter on the edge. The nose is tightly bound, but shows a fine and slender, but very concentrated core with pungent passionfruit at the heart. This has firmness, but also finesse, and reveals mineral notes with aeration. Dry to taste, the palate is taut and slender in proportion, but shows richness at the core, with pungent passionfruit flavours the feature. This is vibrant, driven and shows excellent tight linearity and very fine phenolic textures. The palate is zesty through its length and finish. This has the potential to develop with classical elegance, in the passionfruity spectrum over the next 2+ years. All Wairau Valley fruit, with a high proportion of Rapaura material. 12.5% alc. 18.0-/20 Aug 2017 RRP $18.00

Goldwater Marlborough Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Marlborough

18+/20
Bright, even, light ruby-red colour with slight purple hues, paler on the rim. The nose is elegant in proportion with a fine, tight core of ripe, dark-red and black cherry fruit with hints of blackberries and dark herbs, and an amalgam of violet florals and minerals. Medium-full bodied, the palate is elegant and refined in presentation, with a softly concentrated core of ripe, dark-red and black cherry fruit with notes of dark raspberries and blackberries, unfolding nuances of herbs and florals. The fruit is underlined by light, fine-grained tannin extraction, and balanced by soft acidity. The flavours blossom on the mid-palate and carry to an elegant, moderately long finish. This is an elegant and refined Pinot Noir with dark-red and black cherry fruit with hints of raspberries, herbs and fragrant florals on a fine-textured, softly blossoming palate. Match with poultry and pork dishes over the next 4-5 years. Clones 115, 667, 5 and 113, all Wairau Valley fruit, fermented with 15% whole clusters to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 20% new French oak. 18.0+/20 Nov 2017 RRP $23.00
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