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Featured Reviews

Main Divide 2016 Sauvignon Blanc and Gewurztraminer, and 2014 Riesling

10 May,2017
The ‘Main Divide’ brand is a sister label to Pegasus Bay, originally starting as a secondary tier, but taking a life of its own. The Donaldson family have been astonished by its success. Essentially made to the same care and attention as the Pegasus Bay wines, they can utilise fruit from outside their estate vineyards in the Waipara Valley, and the wines are generally stylistically a little more accessible. However, some bottlings show some of the winemaker’s flair to enhance and emphasise particular aspects. The wines are placed a little lower in pricing to the Pegasus Bay wines, which makes them extremely good value. The wines are named after the Southern Alps which form the backbone of the South Island. Here, I review the new release 2016 Main Divide Sauvignon Blanc and Gewurztraminer, and 2014 Riesling.


Main Divide Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough

Bright, very pale straw colour with slight green hues, lighter on the rim. The nose is fresh and full with aromas of pungent passionfruit, gooseberries and fresh herbs entwined with notes of nettles and cut grass, showing classical Awatere expression. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate is crisp, zesty and bright with aromatic flavours of passionfruit and gooseberries along with notes of cut grass and nettles. The mouthfeel is vibrant and thirst-quenching, with racy acidity, and the wine flows with good energy along a fine-textured line, leading to a lingering finish of tropical fruits, nettles and herbs. This is a refreshing, mouthwatering Sauvignon Blanc with passionfruit, gooseberry, cut grass and herb flavours on a racy palate. Serve with seafood, salads and vegetables over the next 2 years. Awatere Valley fruit cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 13.5% alc., and dryness, the wine aged a short period on lees. 17.5/20 May 2017 RRP $20.99

Main Divide North Canterbury Gewurztraminer 2016

Gewurztraminer from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara

Bright, light golden-hued yellow colour with some depth, lighter on the edge. This has a full, firmly concentrated nose with deeply packed aromas of ripe tropical fruits and root ginger, entwined with savoury exotic floral elements, and nutty notes, unfolding musky nuances. The nose has depth and density. Medium-dry to taste and fullish-bodied, the palate is powerfully presented with deep and generously packed flavours of root ginger, savoury tropical fruits, exotic florals and musk, unveiling honied and nutty suggestions. The palate is moutjhfilling and shows some alcoholic heat and power, providing depth and drive. The wine has soft acidity lending a degree of unctuousness, and the wine flows along a rounded phenolic core that carries to a strong, lingering finish. This is a powerfully packed off-dry Gewurztraminer with flavours of root-ginger, savoury fruits and exotic florals, with a honied, musky layer on a palate with some alcohol power. Match with spicy Middle Eastern cuisine over the next 3+ years. North Canterbury fruit with 10% botrytis, given overnight skin contact and fermented in seasoned puncheons to 14.0% alc. and 12 g/L RS. 18.0/20 May 2017 RRP $20.99

Main Divide Waipara Valley Riesling 2014

Riesling from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara

Bright, even, light golden-hued yellow colour, a little lighter on the rim. The bouquet is firmly concentrated and solid in presentation with aromas of honey, talc, musk and marmalade from botrytis, underlined by subtle notes of ripe, but fresh citrus fruits. Medium in sweetness and medium-bodied, the palate features flavours of honey, talc, musk and lime marmalade that unfold to fill the mouth, lending presence and weight. The flavours are balanced by underlying acidity that provides poise and tension, and the wine flow with good acid energy, carrying to a long finish of talc and musk botrytis with underlying citrus fruit nuances. This is a rich medium-sweet Riesling with mouthfilling talc and musky botrytis flavours underlined by citrus notes on a poised palate with good acid vibrancy. Serve as an aperitif and with Asian fare over the next 3-4 years. Waipara Valley fruit late-picked with 60% botrytis and cool-fermented to 12.5% alc. and 20.3 g/L RS, ta 6.6 g/L. 17.5+/20 May 2017 RRP $20.99
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