Featured Reviews

Matahiwi Blanc de Blanc, 2017 Pinot Gris and Chardonnay, and 2016 Pinot Noir

24 January,2018

Owned by Alastair Scott, Matahiwi Estate is one of the greater Wairarapa’s significant wine producers, with 80 ha of vineyards and a modern winery. The Matahiwi wines are excellent representations of the Wairarapa region, and the flagship ‘Holly’ tier is particularly exciting, and well supported by the ‘Estate’ and secondary ’Mt Hector’ tiers. The company sources fruit from Hawke’s Bay for some of the wines. It was announced last year that Miles Dinneen, formerly of Crossroads in Hawke’s Bay had taken over the winemaking role, following the long-serving and thoughtful Jane Cooper who left after 14 years to further pursue her own brand. Miles finished off the 2017 vintage wines, and is anticipating introducing some new ideas for the 2018 vintage. It could be a very auspicious start for Miles, as the 2018 harvest is early and the crops look to be in good health with good crop size. Here, I review the NV Blanc de Blanc, and ‘Estate’ wines, the 2017 Pinot Gris and Chardonnay, the latter from Hawke’s Bay fruit, and the 2016 Pinot Noir. www.matahiwi.co.nz


Matahiwi Hawke’s Bay Blanc de Blanc NV

Sparkling Wine from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Bright, even, light straw-yellow colour, a littler lighter on the edge, the bubbles moderately fine and persistent. The nose is soft and light in expression with gentle aromas of white stonefruits and white florals melded with very gentle but mouthwatering wet-stone and mineral notes, and suggestions of nuts at the core, unfolding hints of bread and yeast. Dryish to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has soft, light flavours of white stonefruits, citrus fruits and white florals with hints of yeast and minerals. The mouthfeel is creamy with good effervescence, and balanced by fine, crisp acidity. The wine flows with good energy to a light finish. This is a soft, creamy sparkling wine with light stonefruit, floral and citrus flavours and hints of nuts and yeast. Serve as an aperitif over the next 2 years. A Charmat wine. 100% Chardonnay from the Dartmoor district, all from the 2017 vintage, fermented to 13.0% alc. and 9 g/L dosage, the wine aged 7 months on lees. Lot L7525. 16.5/20 Jan 2018 RRP $21.99

Matahiwi Wairarapa Pinot Gris 2017

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington


Bright, even straw-yellow colour with pale golden hues, a little lighter on the rim. The nose has good depth and presence of yellow stonefruits with an amalgam of nutty notes and honeysuckle elements, unveiling some stonefruit pith and lifted florals. Dryish to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has moderately concentrated, up-front flavours of white and yellow stonefruits along with light floral, honeysuckle and nutty elements. The palate is gently rich and flows along a soft line with integrated acidity, leading to a light, uncomplicated finish of stonefruit and honey. This is an up-front, dryish Pinot Gris with light stonefruit, floral and honeysuckle flavours, an an uncomplicated palate. Match with Asian cuisine over the next 2-3 years. Fruit from the ‘Home’ vineyard, fermented in stainless-steel to 13.5% alc. and 4.6 g/L RS. 16.5/20 Jan 2018 RRP $19.99

Matahiwi Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2017

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Bright, light straw-yellow colour with slight lemon hues, paler edged. The nose is taut and finely concentrated with aromas of white stonefruits and nutty oak, entwined with minerally reductive elements. This has aromatic freshness and intensity. Medium-bodied, the palate has bright and lively flavours of citrus fruit along with spicy and nutty oak. The fruit has good presence with moderate concentration and a rounded mouthfeel. The flavours unfold to provide good, mouthfilling breadth, and are enlivened by fresh, lacy acidity, lending good energy and tension. The wine carries to a lingering finish. This is a bright and lively, moderately concentrated Chardonnay with citrussy fruit and spicy oak that gently fill the palate. Match with seafood, pork and poultry over the next 3-4 years. Mendoza and clone 15 fruit from the Dartmoor district, 48% tank-fermented and 52% indigenous yeast fermented in seasoned oak to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 7 months on lees, with approx. 20% MLF. 16.5+/20 Jan 2018 RRP $22.99

Matahiwi Wairarapa Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington


Dark ruby-red colour with good depth and youthful purple hues, a little lighter on the edge. The nose s soft and gently concentrated with ripe fruit aromas of dark red berry fruit and black cherries, unfolding dark herbs and raspberry liqueur notes. Medium-bodied, the palate has sweetly rich and lusciously ripe fruit flavours of black cherries and dark-red berry fruit, blackberries and plums, with dark herb detail. The mouthfeel is bright and lively with fresh, lacy acidity, and the fruit is supported by light, grainy tannin extraction and structure. A little spice, liquorice and nutty oak emerges as the wine carries to a nuanced finish. This is a fresh, bright and lively Pinot Noir with flavours of black cherries, dark raspberries and black fruits, balanced by light, grainy tannin grip. Match with duck, pork, beef and lamb dishes over the next 4 years. Clones 115, 114, 10/5, 777 and Abel, the fruit fully destemmed and fermented to 13.0% alc., 70% of the wine aged 8 months in barrel. 17.5/20 Jan 2018 RRP $28.99

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