Featured Reviews

Main Divide 2017 Sauvignon, 2016 Chardonnay and 2014 ‘Pokiri’ LH Pinot Gris

10 April,2018

The Main Divide wines from the Donaldson family of Pegasus Bay have a brand life of their own, and can be considered a great success. Much of this stems from the consistent style and quality of the wines, essentially made to the same standards and to the same style-based philosophy as the premium Pegasus Bay wines. The relative accessibility and affordability of the wines is another feature. To achieve this, the Donaldsons have the policy of being able to source fruit from outside their estate vineyards in North Canterbury. For the majority of the wines, the fruit still comes from North Canterbury, but some bottlings have included fruit from other regions, where the Donaldsons have close ties with growers. The end-result is an extremely popular range of wines. Here, I review the new 2017 Sauvignon Blanc, 2016 Chardonnay and 2014 ‘Pokiri Reserve’ Late Harvest Pinot Gris. www.maindivide.com


Main Divide North Canterbury Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara


Brilliant pale straw colour with light lemon-green hues, lighter on the edge. The nose is softly fresh with aromas of cut-grass and nettles, along with gooseberry fruit and subtle notes of tropical fruits and lantana, all lifted by fragrant florals and chalky mineral elements. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is elegant in presentation with intense and penetrating flavours of nettles, cut-grass, gooseberries and tropical fruits, entwines with florals, herbs and minerals. The palate flows with good energy and drive along a fine-textured line with crisp acidity lending zestiness. The flavours carry through to a lingering finish of nettles, herbs and minerals. This is an elegant, intensely flavoured Sauvignon Blanc with nettle, herb, gooseberry and tropical fruit flavours with mineral elements on a fine-textured palate. Serve as an aperitif and with seafood over the next 2 years. North Canterbury fruit cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 13.5% alc. and dryness, the wine aged on lees. 17.5-/20 Apr 2018 RRP $20.99

Main Divide Chardonnay 2016

Chardonnay from New Zealand - South Island


Full, light golden-yellow colour with some depth. The nose is fresh and gently full with a softly packed, but dense core of white stonefruits melded with an amalgam of nuts and marzipan, chalky minerals and flint, and an oxidative hint. Medium-full bodied, the palate is rich and flavoursome with up-front and lively flavours of stonefruits and citrus fruits entwined with a creamy barrel-ferment underlay, and an amalgam of nuts with lemon-curd and butterscotch MLF. The flavours unfold toasty and mineral elements. The fruit is underlined by a light phenolic thread with fresh, lacy acidity providing brightness and tension. The flavours recede as the wine carries to a light finish. This ia a well-packed Chardonnay with up-front and rich flavours of stonefruits and citrus fruits, along with nutty, barrel-ferment and MLF interest on a bright palate. Match with seafood, poultry and pork over the next 3 years. South Island fruit fully indigenous yeast barrel-fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged on lees one year in seasoned French oak barriques and puncheons, undergoing partial MLF. 16.5+/20 Apr 2018 RRP $20.99

Main Divide ‘Pokiri Reserve’ North Canterbury Late Harvest Pinot Gris 2014

Sweet Wine from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara


Deep orange-gold colour with some depth, a touch opaque, lighter on the rim. The bouquet is full and broad with up-front and voluminous aromas of ripe tropical fruit melded with orange marmalade, caramel and butterscotch, along with honey and bees-wax, and a layering of volatility. Sweet to taste and fullish bodied, the palate is soft and rounded with a deep and solid heart of ripe tropical fruits entwined with orange marmalade, honey, bees-wax and caramel, along with some volatile lift. The mouthfeel is lush with an underlying dense core, and the palate shows some alcoholic power. The acidity is soft and enhances the rounded mouthfeel. The decadent flavours carry to a fulsome finish. This is a soft and rounded Late Harvest Pinot Gris with strong botrytis flavours showing tropical fruits, marmalade and caramel along with some volatility. Match with steamed puddings, and caramel desserts over the next 3 years. Late-harvested Pinot Gris fruit with 50% botrytis infection fermented in seasoned oak to 14.0% alc. and 86 g/L RS, the wine aged 2 years on lees in barrel. 17.0/20 Apr 2018 RRP $24.99

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