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Featured Reviews

Locharburn 2017 Riesling, Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc

03 January,2018

Locharburn is the 14 ha vineyard winegrowing venture of Chris and Jenny Hill sited on the Cromwell-Luggate highway overlooking the Locharburn stream and Lake Dunstan. They have Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay planted, with their original Riesling vines now grafted to Pinot Noir. Chris and Jenny are fully involved in the business, with Chris tending to the viticulture, and Jenny looking after marketing and branding, in addition to her mixed-media and textile art work. Some of the vineyard yield is sold under contract, and the remainder going into their own label, the first vintage of which was 2005. Jenn Parr is the Hill’s winemaker. Here, I review the new release 2017 Locharburn Riesling, made from fruit from a nearby vineyard by Antony Worch of Alexandra Vintners, and the Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc.


Locharburn Central Otago Riesling 2017

Riesling from New Zealand – Otago


Bright straw-yellow colour with slight lemon hues, pale on the rim. The nose is softly concentrated with rich aromas of white and yellow florals, some honeysuckle, along with nuances of confectionary and musk. Nuances of lime fruit and minerals emerge with aeration. Off-dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has an elegant and softly concentrated core of ripe citrus fruits with floral and honeysuckle notes, and suggestions of musk. The mouthfeel shows good fruit richness, balanced by crisp, lively acidity, and the wine flows with good energy along a fine textured line of fruit extract and subtle phenolics. The wine carries to a long, lingering finish of citrus fruit, honey and musky florals. This is a crisp and bright, finely textured off-dry Riesling with citrus, floral, honied and musk flavours. Match with Asian and Middle Eastern fare over the next 4 years. Central Otago fruit cool-fermented to 12.5% alc. and 9.0 g/L RS, TA 9.7 g/L and pH 3.0. 100 cases made. Winemaker: Antony Worch. 17.5/20 Jan 2018 RRP $24.95

Locharburn Central Otago Pinot Gris 2017

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Otago


Bright, even, pale straw-yellow colour, lighter on the edge. The nose is elegant in expression with finely concentrated aromas of white stonefruits and florals with suggestions of exotic tropical fruits along with subtle honied elements and nuts. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate has a finely concentrated heart with restrained flavours of white and yellow stonefruits with nuances of florals, honeysuckle and nuts. The mouthfeel is fresh with fine acidity and the wine flows along a very refined, threaded line leading to a slender, lingering finish. This is an elegantly concentrated dry Pinot Gris with stylish flavours of stonefruits and florals, with nuances of honeysuckle and nuts on a fresh palate. Serve with Thai, Vietnamese or Japanese cuisine over the next 3+ years. Hand-picked fruit from the ‘Locharburn’ vineyard, vines 12-13 y.o., 50% destemmed and 50% given overnight skin contact, and fermented in tank and oak barrels to 14.0% alc. and 3 g/L RS. 17.5/20 Jan 2018 RRP $26.95

Locharburn Central Otago Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Otago


Bright, very pale straw colour with green hues, near colourless on the rim. The nose is youthfully taut with good depth and penetrating intensity of gooseberries and cut-grass with nettles, the fruit in the cool spectrum. Some mineral notes unfold in the glass. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is slender in proportion with intense and tightly bound cool-spectrum fruit flavours of nettles, cut-grass, green capsicums and gooseberries. The mouthfeel is racy and thirst-quenching and the wine has good linearity, leading to a crisp, dry, zesty finish. This is a slender, but penetratingly flavoured cool-spectrum Sauvignon Blanc with nettle, cut-grass and gooseberry fruit on a brisk palate. Serve as an aperitif, and with salads and vegetables, and seafood over the next 2 years. Fruit from the ‘Locharburn’ vineyard, WBP and fermented in seasoned puncheons and stainless-steel tank to 11.4% alc. and 4.78 g/L RS. 16.5/20 Jan 2018 RRP $23.95

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