Featured Reviews

Lime Hill 2017 Wairarapa Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

24 January,2019

Lime Hill Vineyard is the joint wine venture of Karl Johner of Johner Estate at Gladstone with his winemaker Raphael Burki. The small vineyard is close-planted to a density of 6,000 vines per ha, on limestone soil with a thin layer of clay topsoil, and has 0.4 ha of predominantly Mendoza clone Chardonnay and 0.9 ha of Pinot Noir, clones, 667, 777, 115, 10/5, Abel and 5, established in 2013. The hillside vineyard, east of Masterton sits at 280 m.a.s.l. and clearly designed to follow the burgundy model. I was impressed by the inaugural 2016 vintage releases (click here to see my reviews). Here, I review the new 2017 vintage releases. www.limehill.co.nz


Lime Hill Wairarapa Chardonnay 2017

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington


Bright, pale golden-yellow colour with some depth, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is elegantly proportioned with well-concentrated aromas of fresh white and yellow stonefruits along with notes of ripe tropical fruits, nutty lees and oak, hints of creamy barrel-ferment and piquant mineral elements, unfolding a little lemon-curd MLF detail. This grows in intensity with aeration. Medium-bodied, the palate is well-presented with a firm core of concentrated white and yellow stonefruits melded with creamy barrel-ferment elements and nutty lees and oak, detailed by fine mineral nuances. The flavours show intensity, linearity and drive, and the wine flows along a very fine-textured line, with fresh, lacy, balanced acidity, leading to an elegant, lingering finish. This is an elegant, but concentrated Chardonnay with stonefruits, creamy oak and MLF elements, nutty lees and mineral nuances, on a linear, refreshing palate. Match with seafood, poultry and pork over the next 3-4 years. Fruit predominantly Mendoza clone with some clone 95, WBP and fully barrel-fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 40% new French oak, followed by a further 2 months in tank on full lees, undergoing batonnage and 100% MLF. 18.5/20 Jan 2019 RRP $49.00

Lime Hill Wairarapa Pinot Noir 2017

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington


Even, light ruby-red colour with some garnet on the rim. The nose is finely packed with well-concentrated and elegantly deep, fragrant red berry fruit aromas entwined with red florals in an amalgam of aromatic fresh herbs, whole bunch stalk perfumes, nutty and spicy oak, which add to the interest. Medium-bodied, the palate has an elegant heart with a rounded core of fragrant red berry fruit entwined with lifted red florals and aromatic fresh herbs, along with nuances of whole bunch stalk and nutty oak. The palate is supported by delicate, supple tannin extraction, and background lacy acidity. The wine carries to a long finish of red fruits and herbs. This is an elegant, cooler-spectrum Pinot Noir with attractive red berry and floral fruit, herb, nutty and stalk detail on a finely extracted supple palate. Serve with tuna, salmon and poultry and pork over the next 3-4 years. Clone 5, 115, 667, 777 Abel and 10/5, fermented to 13.0% alc., with 10.5% whole bunches, the wine on skins for 2 weeks and aged 12 months in 25% new French oak. 18.0/20 Jan 2019 RRP $49.00

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