Featured Reviews

Mills Reef ‘Reserve’ 2017 Sauvignon and 2016 Merlot

07 November,2017

Mills Reef is first and foremost a Gimblett Gravels producer sourcing fruit from vineyards in this district, the ‘Mere Road’ and ‘Tasman’ sites. However the company sources from other areas in Hawke’s Bay and other regions beyond for its ‘Reserve’ tier and ‘Estate’ wines. The ‘Reserve’ wines are the company’s premium wines, made from "low-yielding vines producing superior grapes showing intense fruit flavours and pure varietal expression”. Mills Reef aims to achieve balance of flavour, structure and texture. I’ve found that the wines indeed do that, and they perform with distinction in wine judgings. Here, I review the new release 2017 Sauvignon Blanc and 2016 Merlot from the ‘Reserve’ tier. www.millsreef.co.nz


Mills Reef Hawke’s Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Bright, pale straw-yellow colour, lighter on the rim. The nose is elegantly presented with fresh, vibrant fruit aromas of gooseberries and white stonefruits, along with lifted white florals and subtle notes of sweet herbs. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has bright and fragrant fruit flavours of gooseberries, white and green stonefruits, and aromatic florals and herbs. The fruit is elegant in presentation and shows delicate flavour detail. The fruit possesses lovely poise with fresh, lacy acidity, and the wine flows along a fine-textured phenolic line leading to a dry, mouthwatering finish. This is an elegant and delicately detailed, mouthwatering Sauvignon Blanc with white and green stonefruits, gooseberry and floral lift. Serve with salads and vegetables, and Asian cuisine over the next 2 years. Fruit from the Crownthorpe district, cool-fermented to 12.5% alc. 18.0/20 Nov 2017 RRP $24.95

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

Merlot from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Dark, deep, purple-hued ruby-red colour, a little lighter edged, and very youthful in appearance. The nose is softly full with ripe, dark-red and plum fruit along with redcurrant nuances and a harmonious layering of iron-earth minerals, with sweet and spicy aromatic oak. Medium-bodied, the palate has rich and lusciously sweet fruit flavours of dark-red plum fruit melded with iron-earth and spicy oak flavours. The palate is harmonious and balanced with soft, fine-grained tannin extraction and integrated acidity. The wine has fine depth and concentration, and flows smoothly to a long, lingering finish of plums and spicy oak. This is a softly rich and lush, dark plummy-fruited Merlot with sweet and spicy oak flavours on a supple, harmonious palate. Match with lamb, beef and venison dishes, and Middle Eastern fare over the next 4-5+ years. Fruit from the Gimblett Gravels, fermented with a portion of whole berries to 12.5% alc., the wine aged 12 months in 29% new French and American oak 300 L hogsheads. 18.5-/20 Nov 2017 RRP $24.95

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