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Featured Reviews

Luna Estate 2018 Rosé, Pinot Gris and Riesling, and 2017 Eclipse Chardonnay

26 October,2018

Luna Estate is the former Murdoch James Estate, undergoing revitalisation under the ownership of Wellington businessman and wine lover Charlie Zheng. Purchasing Murdoch James in 2011 then Alana Estate in 2014, the vineyards are undergoing a programme of replanting which will see Pinot Noir become the predominant variety in a 44 ha estate of vines. Joel Watson, with the company since February 2015 is the winemaker and fully involved in the changes. I met him and tasted his new wines about a year ago (click here to see my reviews), and was impressed with the serious approach and quality of the wines. Here, I review a new selection, from 2018 the Pinot Meunier Rosé, Pinot Gris and Riesling, and 2017 ‘Eclipse’ Chardonnay from the Martinborough Terrace vineyard.


Luna Martinborough Pinot Meunier Rosé 2018

Rose from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington


Bright, very pale salmon-pink colour with some depth, lighter on the rim. The nose is very delicate with a finely concentrated core of red florals entwined with white stonefruits, subtle strawberry and red berry fruit elements, and a steely, mineral note. The fragrance unfolds in the glass. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is crisp, zesty and refreshing, with a gently rich and sweet-fruited core of strawberries, red florals and berry fruits. The fruit has vitality and is enlivened by the acidity, the wine flowing along a very fine-textured line leading to an elegant, lingering finish. This is a crisp and refreshing dry rosé with a sweet-fruited core, enlivened by brisk acidity, and a flowing, fine line. Serve with antipasto and tapas over the next 2 years. Hand-picked fruit from the ‘Blue Rock’ vineyard, WBP and cool-fermented in tank with a portion in barrel to 12.5% alc. and c.1.0 g/L RS, the wine aged 3 months on lees. 17.5/20 Oct 2018 RRP $24.00

Luna Martinborough Pinot Gris 2018

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington


Bright, pale straw-yellow colour, near colourless on the edge. The nose is a little shy and restrained in expression showing delicate notes of white stonefruits with florals and hints of pears, along with subtle nutty elements. Dry to taste, the palate has a gently rich and lush core of white and yellow stonefruits with florals, pears and a little honey, unfolding nutty suggestions. The flavours unfold to gently fill the palate. The wine is guided by light phenolic textures, which along with fresh acidity, leading to an elegant, lingering finish.. This is a gently rich, dry Pinot Gris with stonefruit, floral, pear and honeysuckle flavours on a fresh, zesty palate and a light-textured line. Serve with Asian cuisine over the next 3 years. Fruit from the ‘Blue Rock’ vineyard, harvested in two lots, the first WBP and barrel-fermented, the remainder given a day’s skin contact and tank-fermented to 13.0% alc. and 3.5 g/L RS, the wine aged 5 months on lees. 17.0+/20 Oct 2018 RRP $24.00

Luna Martinborough Riesling 2018

Riesling from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington


Bright straw-yellow colour with pale golden hues, lighter on the edge. This has a well-concentrated, intense nose with rich aromas showing an array of exotic citrus fruits, with limes and tangerines, unfolding hints of honeysuckle and florals. Medium-dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has bright and up-front aromatic flavours of exotic florals and citrus fruits with hints of honeysuckle. The fruit flavours are mouthfilling and are enlivened by crisp, refreshing acidity, and the wine flows along a soft-textured line of fruit extract and light phenolics, leading to an aromatic finish. This is a rich, up-front medium-dry Riesling with exotic citrus and floral flavours, with honeysuckle notes and a fine-textured palate with crisp acidity. Match with Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese cuisine over the next 4+ years. Hand-picked fruit from the ‘Eclipse’ vineyard on the Martinborough Terrace, WBP and cool-fermented in tank to 12.0% alc. and 13 g/L RS, TA 6.5 g/L and pH 3.1. 18.0/20 Oct 2018 RRP $24.00

Luna ‘Eclipse’ Martinborough Chardonnay 2017

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington


Bright, light golden-hued straw-yellow colour with some depth, lighter on the rim. The bouquet is elegant and a little shy in expression with aromas of fresh citrus fruits and yellow stonefruits entwined with a subtle layering of nutty oak notes with creamy hints. The aromatics show freshness. Medium-full bodied, the palate is initially restrained, but unfolds to show fresh citrus and yellow stonefruits melded harmoniously with creamy, spicy and nutty oak. The flavours form a core with good depth and the fruit is enlivened by light, lacy acidity. The mouthfeel has freshness and cut and the concentrated heart carries to a lingering finish. This Chardonnay is initially restrained, but opens up to show fresh citrus and stonefruit flavours intermixed with spicy, nutty oak on a lively palate. Serve with grilled and roasted seafood over the next 4 years. Fruit from the ‘Eclipse’ vineyard on the Martinborough Terrace, WBP and fully barrel-fermented with high solids to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 11 months in barriques and puncheons, with no batonnage, but 100% MLF, then given a further 5 months in tank on lees. 17.5+/20 Oct 2018 RRP $35.00

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