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Featured Reviews

Millton 2017 Rosé, and 2016 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

09 November,2017

James and Annie Millton established their winery on Papatu Road in the Manutuke district of Gisborne in 1984. James and Annie researched and experienced winegrowing beforehand with experience overseas, returning in the early 1980s to develop Annie’s family vineyards at ‘Opou’, planted by Annie’s father John Clark in the 1960s, and the ‘Riverpoint’ vineyard, then setting up the ‘Te Arai’ vineyard, and ‘Naboth’s in the Papatu Station hills. From the outset, they approached winegrowing with organic and biodynamic farming as a philosophy and way of life.

The Milltons are pioneers in this country, and world-wide, in the modern scene of organic and biodynamic wines, and are an inspiration and a model to the industry today. The vineyards have grown to 30 ha of estate plantings, and the Milltons produce around 10,000 cases annually. The wines are of the highest quality, the ‘Clos de Ste Anne’ bottlings being the flagships. The ‘Millton Vineyard’ range is the premium, supported by the more affordable ‘Crazy by Nature’ and skin-contact ‘Libiamo’ wines. Here I review the new release 2017 ‘Te Arai’ Rosé, the 2016 ‘Opou’ Chardonnay and ‘La Cote’ Pinot Noir.


Millton ‘Te Arai Vineyard’ Gisborne Rosé 2017

Rose from New Zealand – Gisborne


Bright, light strawberry colour with some depth, lighter on the rim. The nose is fresh with soft aromas of strawberries, quince and pomegranate, and notes of cranberries and fragrant red florals. This has good fruit volume and depth. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has a good core with soft, but vibrant fruit flavours of strawberries, quince and pomegranate, along with red floral notes. The palate has a gentle freshness with light phenolic textures providing structure and linearity. Balanced, lacy acidity lends a thirst-quenching mouthfeel. Cranberry noyes emerge as the wine flows to a zesty, detailed finish. This is a gently refreshing dry rosé with a good core and flavours of strawberries, quince and pomegranate, and a soft-textured palate with floral elements. Match with canapés, antipasto and tapas over the next 2 years. A blend of predominantly Syrah with some Malbec and Viognier, cool co-fermented with indigenous yeasts to 12.0% alc. and 5.2 g/L RS. Certified BioGro organic and Demeter biodynamic. 17.5+/20 Nov 2017 RRP $24.00

Millton ‘Opou Vineyard’ Gisborne Chardonnay 2016

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Gisborne


Brilliant, light golden-yellow colour with some depth, pale edged. The nose is full with a complex amalgam of yellow stonefruits melded with creamy barrel-ferment and nutty oak, mealy complexities and flinty detail, unveiling suggestions of toast. The aromatics are well-concentrated with good depth. Medium-bodied, the palate has gently building flavours of yellow stonefruits, creamy and nutty oak, and mealy and flinty complexities. Hints of lemon curd MLF add to the interest. The palate has a good heart with depth and soft concentration, and a subtly-textured line with balanced acidity. The flavours unfold the fill the palate, and the wine carries positively to a soft, full, lingering finish. This is a softly building, concentrated and mouthfilling Chardonnay with a complex palate of stonefruits, creamy and nutty oak with mealy and flinty interest. Match with poultry and pork dishes over the next 4-5 years. Mendoza clone fruit, hand-picked and indigenous yeast barrel-fermented to 12.5% alc., the wine aged 12 months in 17% French oak., undergoing partial MLF. Certified BioGro organic and Demeter biodynamic. 18.5/20 Nov 2017 RRP $32.00

Millton ‘La Cote’ Gisborne Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Gisborne


Even ruby-red colour with slight purple hues, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is soft and light with aromas of dark cherry and berry fruit entwined with dark herb notes, The fruit is softly concentrated with good depth and presence, unfolding a little liquorice and red floral detail. The aromatics build to show a taut intensity and depth with aeration. Medium-bodied, the palate is soft and plush with a gentle core of dark-red cherry and berry fruit harmoniously melded with herb, liquorice and earthy suggestions. The palate is softly concentrated with a rounded core, and the flavours are smooth and subtly mouthfilling. The wine is supported by very fine-grained tannins and the integrated acidity enhances the softness. The flavours flow along a velvety line to a long, lingering, fine-textured finish. This is a very soft and velvety textured, smooth flowing Pinot Noir with red cherry and berry fruit with herb nuances. Fruit from the ‘La Cote’ section of ‘Clos de Ste Anne’, hand-picked, destemmed and indigenous yeast fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 12 months in seasoned French oak. Certified BioGro organic and Demeter biodynamic. 18.0/20 Nov 2017 RRP $32.00

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