Featured Reviews

Mahi 2016 ‘Boundary Farm’ Sauvignon Blanc and ‘Twin Valleys’ Chardonnay

11 December,2018

As one of Marlborough’s most experienced winemakers, Brian Bicknell has taken a different approach to making his and his wife Nicola’s ‘Mahi’ wines. Rather than having the typical fruit-forward and up-front style that Marlborough is well-known for, Brian has gone down the path of restrained fruitiness, but greater detail, complexity and sophistication. To do so, he actually intervenes as little as possible in the winemaking process, with hand-picking and sorting, whole bunch pressing, indigenous yeast fermentation, natural MLF and low new-oak regimes. The Mahi wines are truly regionally expressive, and in the case of the single vineyard wines, they express the nature and terroir of their sites. Brian and Nicola are happy to release their wines with a little more bottle-time, which allows the vinification processes settle down, and the true vinous character show more clearly. They are wines that keep well. Here, I review the new release 2016 ‘Boundary Farm’ Sauvignon Blanc and ‘Twin Valleys’ Chardonnay, from vineyards that Brian is very familiar with, and both wines with excellent track records. www.mahiwine.co.nz


Mahi ‘Boundary Farm’ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright straw-yellow colour with green-gold hues, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is finely concentrated with a firm and well-packed core with an amalgam of white and green stonefruits and subtle notes of dark and fresh herbs, along with integrated flinty and minerally reductive complexities. Piquant greengage and nectarine nuances emerge with aeration. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate possesses a degree of elegance in its proportions, with very good depth and tightly bound and intense flavours of sweet, green stonefruits and herbs. The fruit is complexed by a subtle layer of flint and minerals which adds detail. The mouthfeel is fresh and lively with bright acidity, and the wine carries with excellent linearity to a long, taut finish. This is a finely concentrated, intense and complex oak-influenced Sauvignon Blanc with stonefruit, herb and flinty, mineral notes on a fresh and fine-textured, linear palate. Serve with herb-marinated seafood, poultry, pork and veal over the next 3-4 years. Hand-picked fruit from the Gilbert’s ‘Boundary Farm’ vineyard, on the south-east edge of Blenheim, WBP direct to barrel and indigenous yeast fermented to 14.7% alc. and 2.2 g/L RS, the wine aged 11 months in seasoned oak, mainly 1 and 2 y.o., undergoing batonnage and 20% MLF. 18.5+/20 Dec 2018 RRP $29.90

Mahi ‘Twin Valleys’ Marlborough Chardonnay 2016

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Marlborough


Light, golden-hued straw-yellow colour with slight green hues and some depth, lighter on the edge. The nose is well-proportioned with up-front and full aromas of white and yellow stonefruits along with subtle notes of citrus fruits, and an amalgam of nutty lees and oak, some flinty and mineral complexities and hints of creamy barrel-ferment elements, unfolding a little smoke. The aromatics show concentration and depth. Medium-full bodied, the palate has sweetly rich flavours of white and yellow stonefruits along with subtle citrus fruit notes melded with complexing flint and mineral elements, unfolding nutty and delicate toasty oak suggestions. The flavours are mouthfilling with a rounded, but concentrated core, and lacy acidity lends energy as the wine flows a near-seamless, very fine-textured palate line, leading to a rich finish. This is a rich and complex Chardonnay with stonefruit, citrus and nutty oak flavours and complexing flint and mineral notes on a mouthfilling, fine-flowing palate. Match with roasted and grilled seafood and pork dishes over the next 4+ years. Hand-picked clone 95 fruit from the Reed’s ‘Twin Valleys’ vineyard in the Fareham Lane area at the western end of the Wairau Valley, at the junction with the Waihopai, WBP direct to barrel and indigenous yeast fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 15 months in 7% new oak, undergoing batonnage and 60% MLF. 19.0-/20 Dec 2018 RRP $39.90

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