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Featured Reviews




Mills Reef ‘Elspeth’ 2015 Chardonnay and 2016 Merlot

11 April,2018

The ‘Elspeth’ range of wines is Mills Reef’s top tier, and are made from fruit sourced from the company’s vineyards in the Gimblett Gravels. They comprise Chardonnay, Syrah and Bordeaux-varietal bottlings, and are invariable superior wines with excellent fruit depth and matching structure, and possess the ability to develop complexity as well as live well. They are named in honour and memory of the winemaker’s grandmother Elspeth Preston. Here, I review the ‘Elspeth’ 2015 Chardonnay and 2016 Merlot, both from the Gimblett Gravels. www.millsreef.co.nz

FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW



Mills Reef ‘Elspeth’ Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2015

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

18.5/20

Full, even, light golden-yellow colour, a little lighter on the edge. The nose is well-proportioned with good depth of ripe white and yellow stonefruit aromas harmoniously interwoven with nutty oak, along with savoury creamy barrel-ferment elements. This combines clarity of expression with good intensity. Medium-full bodied, the palate is rounded with a softly packed heart of ripe yellow stonefruits along with integrated nutty notes, and subtle creamy barrel-ferment nuances. The palate is rich, with good mouthfeel and presence, but the flavours are stylishly restrained. The flavours carry with good underlying power to a soft, lingering, plush finish of stonefruits and nuts. This is a rich, plush and rounded Chardonnay with yellow stonefruit and nutty flavours and subtle creaminess on a palate with good presence. Serve with roasted pork and veal over the next 4+ years. Fruit from the Mere Road vineyard, hand-picked, WBP and fully barrel-fermented to 13.7% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 46% new French oak with approx. 25% MLF. 18.5/20 Apr 2018 RRP $39.95

Mills Reef ‘Elspeth’ Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2016

Merlot from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

18+/20

Dark, deep, black-hued ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is elegant and fragrant with ethereal aromas of blackcurrants, blackberries and black plums entwined with dark herbs and fine, piquant oak. The aromatics build in intensity to form a deep, herb and minerally core. Medium-bodied, the palate is elegant in proportion with good depth of rich and lively flavours of blackcurrant and blackberry fruit, forming a tight, well-concentrated core. Subtle layers of dark herbs and nutty oak add to the interest. The fruit is enlivened by bright acidity and supported by fine-grained tannin extraction and structure. This has good grip and the wine carries with energy and tension to a long finish of black fruits, herbs, a touch of pepper and toast. This is an elegant, but concentrated Merlot with aromatic black fruits and herb notes with nutty oak, on a bright and lively palate with good grip. Match with herb-marinated red meat dishes over the next 5-6 years. Fruit from the Mere Road vineyard fermented with whole berries to 12.5% alc., the wine aged 17 months in 34% new French oak. 18.0+/20 Apr 2018 RRP $49.95

 

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