Featured Reviews

Misha’s Vineyard 2013 and 2014 Pinot Noirs, 2015 Starlet and 2016 Dress Circle and Cadenza

12 April,2017
2017 sees the eleventh vintage for Andy and Misha Wilkinson, and winemaker Olly Masters in making the Misha’s Vineyard Central Otago wines. In that short period, the brand has gained acceptance both domestically and in overseas markets as one for sophisticated, high quality wines. The Wilkinsons and Masters would believe that the 57 ha vineyard with 25 ha of vines, on Bendigo Station overlooking the eastern side of Lake Dunstan has yet to show its best, with the vines still relatively young. However, beautifully elegant whites and surprisingly well-structured Pinot Noirs already emanate from the site. The popularity of different wines in different markets has prompted the Wilkinsons to release various wines from their range at times to ensure continuity, rather than having a set release date for all the wines as the first vintages were handled. Here, I review the 2013 ‘High Note’ and 2014 ‘Impromptu’ Pinot Noirs, the 2015 ‘Starlet’ Sauvignon Blanc, 2016 ‘Dress Circle’ Pinot Gris and 2016 ‘Cadenza’ Late Harvest Gewurztraminer. To me. they all share the attributes of firmness and tight structure and I believe they will benefit from more time in bottle. Misha and Olly note that earlier vintages of all these wines are holding and drinking well, confirming there is no harm in holding onto the new wines until they come.to greater harmony.

Misha’s Vineyard Tasting Room
And one further development at Misha’s Vineyard signals the continued growth of this brand. Late last month, the Wilkinsons opened a dedicated tasting room in Cromwell. Although their vineyard is just 10 minutes’ drive away, the tasting room in the Freeway Orchard complex at 180 S.H. 8B is readily accessible to visitors. The tasting room is open from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm daily, and platters and small plates are available to accompany the wines. www.mishasvineyard.com


Misha’s Vineyard ‘The Starlet Central Otago Sauvignon Blanc 2015

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Otago

Bright, pale straw-yellow colour with slight green hues, lighter on the edge. The nose is firm and tightly packed with a deep amalgam of green stonefruits and subtle notes of tropical fruits, lantana and herbs entwined with nutty and mouthwatering mineral elements. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate fresh, rich flavours of tropical fruits, green stonefruits, gooseberry and herbs forming a tightly bound core. The mouthfeel is lively with crisp acidity and the wine flows with good energy along a fine-textured, smooth line leading to a lingering finish of gooseberries and herbs. This is a tightly concentrated, lively and refreshing oak-influenced Sauvignon Blanc with green stonefuit, tropical fruit, gooseberry and herb flavours, and a fine-textured palate. Match with seafood, poultry and pork dishes over the next 3 years. MS clone fruit hand-picked fruit, WBP, 77% cool-fermented in stainless-steel and 23% indigenous yeast fermented in older oak to 14.0% alc. 1,136 dozen made. 17.5+/20 Apr 2017 RRP $26.95

Misha’s Vineyard Dress Circle’ Central Otago Pinot Gris 2016

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Otago

Bright, light straw-yellow colour with pale gold hues, lighter on the rim. This is elegantly proportioned on the nose with intense and penetrating aromas of fresh yellow stonefruits entwined with fragrant rose-petal and exotic floral elements, unfolding nuances of honeysuckle, nutty oak and minerals. Off-dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate has well-concentrated flavours of ripe yellow stonefruits and tropical fruits intermixed with exotic florals and honey, forming positive and firm core. The wine has fresh acidity and underlying alcoholic power and drive, and the wine flows along a smooth, fine-textured line carrying to a long, sustained finish of florals and honey. This is a concentrated and firm, off-dry Pinot Gris with exotic fruit and floral flavours and nuances of nuts and honey on a well-driven palate. Serve with mildly spicy Chinese cuisine over the next 3-4 years. 76% clone 2/15 and 24% Barrie clone fruit, hand-picked, WBP, 60% cool-fermented in tank and 40% indigenous yeast fermented in seasoned French oak to 14.0% alc. and 7 g/L RS. 1,627 dozen made. 18.0+/20 Apr 2017 RRP $27.95

Misha’s Vineyard ‘Impromptu’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2014

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago

Dark ruby-red colour with slight purple hues and good depth, a little lighter on edge. This has a firm and densely packed nose of ripe dark-red and black-berried fruits entwined with an amalgam of savoury dark herbs, liquorice and earth, revealing some mineral elements. Medium-full bodied the palate is up-front with fulsome flavours of savoury dark-red berry fruit intermingling with dark herbs, earth and minerals. The palate shows plenty of body and presence with mouthfilling flavours. The fruit is supported by balanced, fin-grained tannin extraction with lacy background acidity providing energy and freshness. The wine carries with vitality to a sweet-fruited, lingering finish with a firm core. This is a fulsome Pinot Noir with savoury red berried fruits, along with herb, earth and mineral interest on a balanced, fine, grainy structured palate with good vitality. Match with roasted and grilled red meats and casseroles over the next 5-6+ years. A barrel selection wine. Clones 777, 667, 114, 4, 5, Abel and 6, indigenous yeast fermented with approx. 2.5% whole clusters to 14.0% alc., the wine spending on average 24 days on skins and 8 months in 18% new French 300 L oak barrels. 1,022 dozen made. 17.5+/20 Apr 2017 RRP $29.95

Misha’s Vineyard ‘The ‘High Note’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2013

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago

Dark ruby-red colour with some depth, a little paler on the rim with slight purple hues. The bouquet is initially restrained and brooding, unfolding to reveal intensely fragrant and lifted aromas of dark-red and black cherry and berry fruit, along with hints of liquorice, oak and minerals. Violet and black florals emerge with aeration to add detail and interest. Medium-full bodied, the palate possesses lively, vibrant and aromatically lifted flavours of dark-red and black cherry and berried fruits. The fruit is rich and succulent, unfolding dark herbs, liquorice, floral and oak notes and minerally nuances. The palate is finely structured with fine-grained, but considerable tannin extraction, and balanced acidity. The wine flows with good linearity and elegance, leading to a long, detailed finish. This is a rich, sweet fruited aromatic Pinot Noir with dark-red and black fruits, liquorice, herb and floral detail on a serious, finely extracted palate. Match with duck and pork dishes, as well as lamb and beef over the next 7-9+ years. Clones 777, Abel, 4, 5 and 115, indigenous yeast fermented with less than 10% whole bunches to 14.0% alc., the wine spending on average 24 days on skins and aged 16 months in 31% new 300 L French oak hogsheads. 18.5+/20 Apr 2017 RRP $44.95

Misha’s Vineyard ‘The Cadenza’ Central Otago Late Harvest Gewurztraminer 2016

Sweet Wine from New Zealand – Otago

Bright straw-yellow colour with light lemon-gold hues, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is finely presented with concentrated aromas of ripe tropical fruits along with rose-petal florals, Turkish Delight and savoury musk, unfolding suggestions of honey and raisins. Very sweet to taste and light-bodied, the palate is rich and luscious with a rounded, concentrated core of ripe tropical fruits melded with Turkish Delight, musk and honied flavours, unveiling raisin elements. The mouthfeel is smooth and bordering unctuous, the richness balanced by fresh background acidity. The wine flows easily along a seamless line leading to a long, lingering finish of musk, honey and raisins. This is a rich and near unctuous Late Harvest Gewurztraminer with flavours of tropical fruits, musk and honey on a smooth-flowing palate. Serve as an aperitif or match with fruit and light baked desserts over the next 4-5 years. This is the third vintage of this wine. Late-picked clone 456 fruit with approx. 20% botrytis infection, hand-picked and foot-stomped, given overnight soaking and cool-fermented in tank to 9.5% alc. and 159 g/L RS. 312 cases of 6 made. (375 ml) 18.5/20 Apr 2017 RRP $31.95
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