Featured Reviews

Johanneshof ‘EMMI’ 2009, Gewurztraminer 2017 and ‘Maybern’ Pinot Noir 2016

30 April,2018

All wine producers must have at least one point of difference or distinction that sets them apart from their peers. Johannesfof Cellars in Marlborough has a number of individual traits that make it stand out from most other producers in the region. Founders Edel Everling and Warwick Foley are both German-trained, and thus have a somewhat different core approach to winemaking, compared to the majority of Australian or New Zealand educated winemakers. As a result, Johanneshof Cellars has a particular strength in the aromatic white varieties, with the Gewurztraminer considered among the country’s best. Their home vineyard, cellar door, and underground cellar are located at Koromiko, between Blenheim and Picton. The vineyard, named ‘Maybern’ as a tribute to Warwick’s parents May and Bernard, is close-planted to Pinot Noir, and is Marlborough’s first hillside site, originally planted in 1977. The soils are high in iron content on sandstone, similar to parts of Germany. And the company has a very strong sparkling wine programme, with a strong interest in extended maturation on lees. Showing its commitment to the category, Johanneshof is a member of the ‘Methode Marlborough’ group. Here, I review three new releases which exemplify Johanneshof’s strengths. www.johanneshof.co.nz


Johanneshof ‘EMMI’ Marlborough Methode Traditionnelle Brut 2009

Sparkling Wine from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright straw-yellow colour with pale golden hues and some depth, lighter on the rim, the bubbles very fine and moderately persistent. The nose is elegant in proportion with refined, tightly bound, delicate aromas of white and yellow stonefruits forming a finely packed, rounded core. The fruit is harmoniously interwoven with subtle notes of fresh bread and yeasty autolysis along with a minerally edge. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is softly fresh with vibrant and bright effervescence underlining stylish flavours of white and yellow stonefruits melded with subtle yeast and bready notes, suggestions of nuts, unfolding yellow floral detail. The palate is balanced and the mouthfeel creamy, with fresh acidity enhancing the flow along a very smooth line, leading to a delicate and refined finish. This is a refined and delicate Pinot Noir predominant method traditionnelle with stonefruit and autolysis detail on a creamy palate. Serve as an aperitif, with canapés and antipasto over the next 3-4 years. A blend of 75% Pinot Noir from the ‘Maybern’ vineyard and 25% Lower Wairau Chardonnay, fermented to 12.5% alc. with no MLF, the wine carrying 4 g/L dosage. The wine spent 7 years on lees, being tiraged in March 2011 and disgorged 10 March 2018. Lot L0809. 18.0+/20 Apr 2018 RRP $41.00

Johanneshof Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2017

Gewurztraminer from New Zealand – Marlborough


Full, even yellow colour with light lemon-gold hues. The nose is taut and elegant in presentation with intense and penetrating fruit aromas of exotic florals and Turkish Delight melded with piquant floral and root-ginger notes, along with nuances of herbs, spices and musk. The nose is firmly concentrated. Medium in sweetness and medium-full bodied, the palate has a concentrated heart of exotic florals, tropical fruit and Turkish Delight, root-ginger, cool florals and herbs, with nuances of spice and musk. The palate is subtly rich and has an unctuous suggestion, with soft acidity adding to the roundness. The palate is smooth-flowing with an underlying core and line, leading to a lingering finish of spices, ginger and herbs. This is an intense and tightly-bound medium Gewurztraminer with flavours of exotic florals, root-ginger, herbs, spices and musk on a smooth palate. Match with Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine over the next 4 years. Fruit from the Lower Wairau Valley, fermented in stainless-steel to 13.5% alc. and 15 g/L RS. 18.5/20 Apr 2018 RRP $30.00

Johanneshof ‘Maybern Single Vineyard Reserve’ Marlborough Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Marlborough


Moderately dark ruby-red colour with some depth, lighter on the edge showing some garnet tints. The nose is softly full, open and accessible with aromas of strawberries and raspberries, along with an amalgam of red florals and subtle confectionary elements, unfolding earthy nuances. The aromatics grow gently in volume. Medium-full bodied, the palate is soft and full, with broad and open flavours of savoury strawberry and raspberry fruit along with red florals, some confectionary and jam, with nuances of earth. The fruit is supported by light, grainy tannin extraction that lends plenty of grippy mouthfeel, with soft acidity moderating the firmness. The flavours are mouthfilling and carry to a dry-textured finish of red fruits, herbs and notes of confectionary and earth. This is an open and accessible Pinot Noir with savoury red fruits with confectionary notes on a grainy-textured palate. Match with game bird dishes and casseroles over the next 5+ years. Fruit from the ‘Maybern’ vineyard, equal portions of clones 115 and Abel, fully indigenous yeast fermented to 14.5% alc., 15% by maceration carbonique, the wine aged 11 months in 30% new oak. 17.5-/20 Apr 2018 RRP $34.00

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