Featured Reviews

Misha’s Vineyard 2017 ‘Starlet’ Sauvignon Blanc, and 2016 ‘Gallery’ Gewurztraminer and ‘Cantata’ Pinot Noir

04 December,2018

Misha’s Vineyard made its first wines in the 2007 vintage, and over the decade the wines have reflected the growing age of the vines and their increasing harmony with the very ‘bony’ site. The white wines, being of a more elegant style seemed to be in sync with the land early on, but they have become more natural and fine in presentation. It is with the reds that the increasing finesse can be seen. Winemaker Olly Masters has had to interpret the fruit and guide the winemaking for the Pinot Noirs into balance, as the wines, typical of the Bendigo region have an inherent firmness from my tastings and perspective. At the start of this year, Misha’s Vineyard released their ‘Cantata’ Pinot Noir 2015, the inaugural bottling of a more accessible style but with good depth and intensity, compared to the ageworthy, more structured ‘High Note’ and ‘Versimo’ wines. I rated this 5-stars (click here to see my review), but more importantly, it signalled that the vineyard was producing fruit with richness and accessibility, and of course, demonstrated Olly’s skills!

Misha Wilkinson has reported that export sales and a surge in domestic sales have required the release of three wines which were scheduled for release next year. This is a sign of the quality of the Misha’s Vineyard wines becoming more highly recognised and the sales that accompany it. It’s a bit of a shame for me, because I certainly enjoyed seeing the whole range being presented at the same release date! But commercial realities rule! The wines are the more difficult to handle or make, as intimated above with the ‘Cantata’ Pinot Noir, or are a little off the beaten track for Central Otago, but clearly successful for Misha’s Vineyard. I review the wines here. www.mishasvineyard.com


Misha’s Vineyard ‘The Starlet’ Central Otago Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Otago


Bright, very pale straw-yellow colour, pale on the rim. The nose is fresh and firm with taut aromas of gooseberry fruit entwined with subtle notes of fresh herbs and nettles, and a delicate layer of green stonefruit detail unfolding suggestions of nuts and minerals. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate has a well-concentrated core with tightly bound flavours of gooseberries and green stonefruits along with subtle cool-spectrum nettle elements. The palate is refreshing with lacy acidity and the wine flows along a fine-textured line, leading to an elegant, herb-nuanced finish. This is a finely concentrated oak-influenced Sauvignon Blanc with gooseberry, stonefruit and nettle flavours with fresh acidity and an elegant, flowing palate. Serve with salads and vegetables, and herb-marinated white meat dishes over the next 3 years. MS clone fruit, hand-picked and WBP, 70% cool-fermented in stainless-steel, and 30% indigenous yeast fermented in seasoned French oak to 13.5% alc. 17.5-/20 Dec 2018 RRP $27.00

Misha’s Vineyard ‘The Gallery’ Central Otago Gewurztraminer 2016

Gewurztraminer from New Zealand – Otago


Bright, pale golden-hued straw-yellow colour, lighter on the rim. The nose is softly full and voluminous with a harmonious amalgam of ripe, exotic yellow stronefruits and tropical fruits, savoury Turkish Delight and rose-petal notes, intermixed with some root ginger, stonefruit kernels and nutty elements. This has breadth and depth which intensifies with aeration. Off-dry to taste and fullish bodied, the palate has bold and powerful, and deeply concentrated flavours of ripe tropical fruit and yellow stonefruits, exotic florals and savoury Turkish Delight, and subtle notes of root ginger, forming a firm core with good palate weight and presence. The mouthfeel is fine-textured and underlined by some alcohol power and drive, with soft acidity enhancing the palate richness. The wine carries to dry-textured, lingering finish. This is a full-bodied and powerful off-dry Gewurztraminer with savoury tropical fruit and exotic florals along with subtle root-ginger detail on a palate with weight, power and drive. Serve with Middle Eastern cuisine over the next 3-4 years. Clone 456 fruit fully fermented in seasoned French oak, 25% by indigenous yeasts to 14.0% alc. and 9 g/L RS. 18.5/20 Dec 2018 RRP $32.00

Misha’s Vineyard ‘Cantata’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago


Even ruby-red colour with some depth, lighter on the rim with slight garnet hues. This has an elegantly presented nose with soft and rounded, but positively deep aromas of red berry fruit entwined with spice elements melded with softly fresh and dark herbs. The aromatics are harmoniously interwoven and grow in depth with aeration. Medium-full bodied, the palate has sweet, luscious and juicy flavours of red cherry and berry fruit melded with subtle notes of fresh herbs and spicy, nutty oak elements. The fruit richness is gently mouthfilling and enlivened by fresh, lacy acidity and supported by light, grainy, supple tannin extraction. This has a well-packed line, and the wine carries with good drive to a moderately lingering finish of red fruits, herbs and spices. This is a sweet and luscious, red-fruited Pinot Noir with subtle herb and spice notes on a light, supple palate with some length. Match with tuna and salmon, and poultry or pork dishes over the next 4 years. A blend of 56% clone 777, 30% clone 6, 7% of 667, 4% Abel and 3% clone 114, the fruit fermented with 20% whole bunches to 14.0% alc., the wine spending 24 days on skins and aged a year in 11% new 300 L French oak barrels. 18.0/20 Dec 2018 RRP $30.00

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