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Featured Reviews




Mills Reef ‘Reserve’ 2016 Chardonnay and 2015 Merlot

04 April,2017
The Mills Reef ‘Reserve’ wine tier sits between that flagship ‘Elspeth’ range and the fruit-focussed, value ‘Estate’ bottlings. For Mills Reef, they are the produce of low yielding vines producing grapes with intense fruit flavours and varietal expression. It is because of their balance of flavour, structure and texture that they are well-received in wine shows. In my tastings of the ‘Reserve’ bottlings, they appear to share more in common with the top wines, rather than the lower range. That bodes well for the consumer. Here, I review the new release ‘Reserve’ 2016 Chardonnay and 2015 Merlot, both from Hawke’s Bay fruit. www.millsreef.co.nz

FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW



Mills Reef ‘Reserve’ Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2016

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

17.5/20
Bright straw-yellow colour with pale gold hues, lighter on the rim. The nose is fresh and tightly bound with aromas of white peach and yellow stonefruits entwined with subtle nutty and toasty oak notes, and suggestions of flinty minerals. Medium-full bodied, the palate is fresh and lively with a core of white and yellow stonefruits interwoven with spicy, nutty oak and subtle flinty and minerally lees elements, The palate has a creamy barrel-ferment and lemon curd amalgam from MLF, which is balanced by zesty acidity. The wine flows with good energy and drive along a fine-textured line, leading to a long, lingering finish of stonefruits, oak spice and nutty notes. This is a youthfully fresh Chardonnay with white and yellow stonefruit flavours complexed by spicy and nutty oak, with creamy textures cut by fresh acidity. Match with seafood, poultry and pork over the next 4+ years. Fruit from sites in Maraekakaho, Meeanee and the Gimblett Gravels, fully barrel-fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 10 months in two-thirds French and one-third American oak, 27% new, undergoing batonnage and 40% MLF. 17.5/20 Apr 2017 RRP $24.95

Mills Reef ‘Reserve’ Gimblett Gavels Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2015

Merlot from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

17+/20
Even ruby-red colour with some depth, a little lighter on edge. The nose is elegantly proportioned with a soft heart of red plum fruit layered with subtle notes of dark herbs melded with iron-earth notes, unfolding redcurrants and savoury, toasty oak suggestions. Medium-bodied, the palate has bright and juicy red plum and berry fruit flavours entwined with a layering of dark herbs and subtle iron-earth notes. The mouthfeel is lively with fresh, lacy acidity, and the fruit supported by light, grainy tannin extraction. Flavours of redcurrants emerge and the wine flows with good energy to a long finish of vibrant plum and berry fruit flavours with herb and earth elements. This is a bright and lively, elegant Merlot with red plum, and berry flavours with subtle herb and earthy notes on a light, grainy palate. Serve with lamb, beef and Mediterranean fare over the next 4+ years. Merlot from the Mere Road vineyard in the Gimblett Gravels, fermented with a portion of whole berries to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 13 months in French and American oak 300 L hogsheads, 31% new. 17.0+/20 Apr 2017 RRP $24.95
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