Featured Reviews

Mahi Marlborough 2016 Chardonnay and 2017 Pinot Noir

05 October,2018

Brian Bicknell is one of Marlborough’s most experienced winemakers, with a decade of winemaking in New Zealand and overseas, before establishing his and his wife Nicola’s ‘Mahi’ label in 2001. I’d say Brian has a sophisticated palate with a preference for drinking and making wines that are stylish in expression with subtle textures and complexities rather than over ‘fruit-bombs’. These are wine he considers accompany food better, and it is easier to enjoy several glasses without tiring of the flavours or up-front richness. While enjoying making wine from the classical Marlborough varieties, Brian cites that Chardonnay would be a favourite if he had to make a choice. I’d believe Pinot Noir wouldn’t be too far behind. Here I review the new release 2016 Chardonnay and 2017 Pinot Noir. www.mahiwine.co.nz


Mahi Marlborough Chardonnay 2016

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright, light golden-yellow colour with some depth, a little pale-edged. The nose is softly packed with deep, rounded aromas of savoury white and yellow stonefruits along with subtle citrus fruit notes melded harmoniously with a layer of creamy barrel-ferment and nutty oak, unfolding smoke and mouthwatering mineral detail. Medium-bodied, the palate is elegantly proportioned with a softly concentrated core of integrated flavours of stonefruits, citrus fruits, and creamy, nutty oak. The mouthfeel is rounded and smooth-flowing, with balanced, refreshing, background acidity. This has good linearity and the wine carries to a taut, lingering finish. This is an elegant and softly concentrated Chardonnay with flavours of stonefruits integrated with nutty oak on a balanced, refreshing palate. Match with seafood, poultry and pork over the next 4 years. Fruit from four vineyards: the ‘Cook’ vineyard, the ‘Taylor’ in Rapaura, the ‘Twin Valleys’ and a small portion of clone 166 from the ‘Mahi’ home block, hand-picked and WBP, fully indigenous yeast fermented with high solids to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 11 months on lees in 8% new French oak with 40% MLF. 18.0/20 Oct 2018 RRP $29.00

Mahi Marlborough Pinot Noir 2017

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Marlborough


Even ruby-red colour with some depth, lighter on the rim with slight purple hues. The nose is a little restrained in expression with soft and integrated aromas of dark-red berry fruit interwoven with subtle dark herb notes and spicy, nutty oak and a hint of oak resin. This is all gentleness and finesse and the aromatics grow in intensity with aeration. Medium-full bodied the palate has restrained flavours of red berry fruits entwined with a hint of dark herbs entwined with spicy, nutty oak and a touch of oak resin. The flavours grow in intensity and depth in the mouth. The fruit is supported by fine-grained tannin structure providing good grip and texture, with soft, balancing acidity. The wine carries to an ethereal finish. This is a gentle and restrained Pinot Noir with flavours of red berry fruits with herb nuances and some nutty, spicy, resiny oak, the flavours building and showing good tannin support, whilst retaining a prettiness. Match with wild duck and pork over the next 4+ years. Hand-picked fruit from three vineyards: the ‘Twin Valleys’ in Fareham Road, the ‘Byrne’ vineyard and from Ward, destemmed and indigenous yeast fermented with 10% whole bunches and 15% with stems after crushing to 13.2% alc. the wine aged 13 months in 10% new French oak barriques. 17.5+/20 Oct 2018 RRP $34.90

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