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Featured Reviews

Misha’s Vineyard New Sauvignon, Riesling Pinot Gris Gewurztraminer Pinot Noir and ‘Cadenza’ Releases

12 February,2018

With the 2018 Central Otago growing season progressing quickly towards fruit maturity, Misha’s Vineyard will have its twelfth vintage. In this very short space of time, the Misha’s Vineyard brand has become extremely well-established. This rapid rise to consumer acceptance is due in a major part to the keen marketing acumen and boundless energy of owners Misha and Andy Wilkinson. Much of the credit also rests on the careful and sensitive winemaking of Oliver Masters. The estate covers 57 ha, with 25 ha of vines, on the bony soils on their ’Lakefront Terraces’ of Bendigo Station, on the eastern side of Lake Dunstan, near Cromwell. The Wilkinsons and Masters acknowledge the vineyard and vines are yet to show their best, but already, top-class wines have been grown and made.

I’m particularly impressed with the aromatic white wines, which are very elegant in expression and show wonderful fruit clarity. Masters has carefully built into these wine subtle textures and complexities that take the wines into the level of sophistication. The Pinot Noirs are particularly structured, and the extraction has had to be managed to lend stylishness. Nevertheless, the reds are also excellent. I’m sure the nature of the soils, site and microclimate contribute to the tension that appears to be inherent in the wines. I’m also certain that as the vines grow in maturity and integrate with the soils and site, they will become richer, more relaxed and thus, even better. However, at this stage, the fruit is being guided into wines that exude style and very high quality.

Here, I review the latest releases from Misha’s Vineyard, the range managed so that some of the wines can be let onto the market with some beneficial bottle age. Included is a new label, the ‘Cantata’ Pinot Noir, an earlier drinking style reserved to the on-premise sector, and a re-vamped label for the ‘Impromptu’ Pinot Noir, destined for off-premise.


Misha’s Vineyard ‘The Starlet’ Central Otago Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Otago


Bright, pale straw colour with slight green hues. The nose is an stylish amalgam of green stonefruits and nectarines with subtle cool-spectrum nettle notes and a little bean-like secondary development. The nose is elegant in proportion with good concentration and depth. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is refreshing with good depth, weight and fine textures and a rounded heart, showing green stonefruits, citrus fruits, fresh herbs and suggestions of nutty elements, unfolding a little spice. This has fruit richness, balanced acid vitality and presence and the wine carries well to the finish. This is a stylishly concentrated green stonefruited oak-influenced Sauvignon Blanc with green stonefruit and herb flavours and a fine-textured palate. Serve with herb-marinated seafood, poultry and white meats over the next 2-3 years. MS clone fruit, hand-picked and WBP, 75% cool-fermented in stainless-steel and 25% indigenous yeast fermented in seasoned French oak to 14.0% alc. 1,242 dozen made. 18.0-/20 Feb 2018 RRP $27.00

Misha’s Vineyard ‘Lyric’ Central Otago Riesling 2015

Riesling from New Zealand – Otago


Bright, pale straw-yellow colour with slight green hues. The bouquet is elegant with taut and tightly bound, penetrating and intense aromas of lime fruit, white and yellow florals, a layering of toast and mineral elements. This is showing some secondary secondary complexity. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is tightly concentrated with a firm, but fine core and line, showing intense lime fruit, florals and wet-stone minerals. The mouthfeel is enlivened by crisp, zesty acidity lending excellent vibrancy and energy, and the wine flows along a very smooth-textured line with delicate phenolics, leading to a long, dry, citrus-nuanced finish. This is a finely concentrated and intensely fruited dry Riesling with complex secondary toasty aromas and a vibrant lime and mineral flavoured palate. Serve as an aperitif and with seafood over the next 4-5 years. Hand-picked fruit, WBP, and 78% cool-fermented in stainless-steel to dryness, with 22%indigenous yeast fermented in seasoned French oak, to 13.0% alc., 5.5 g/L RS, TA 7.7 g/L and pH 3.0. 203 dozen made. 19.0-/20 Feb 2018 RRP $28.00

Misha’s Vineyard ‘Limelight’ Central Otago Riesling 2015

Riesling from New Zealand – Otago


Bright, even, light straw-yellow colour. The nose is very soft, gently harmonious and integrated with aromas of ripe citrus fruits, fragrant white and yellow florals, honeysuckle and suggestions of toasty development. This is very fresh and the aromatics build in depth and intensity with aeration. Medium in sweetness and light-medium bodied, the palate has beautifully presented flavours of mandarins, white and yellow florals and honeysuckle with mineral nuances. The mouthfeel has a refined unctuousness and delicate richness, with balancing fine acidity and gentle phenolic textures. The wine flows smoothly to a fine, floral and honied finish. The is a beautifully refined and harmoniously presented medium Riesling with subtly rich and lush citrus and honied flavours. Serve with Asian cuisine over the next 4+ years. Hand-picked fruit, WBP, 78% cool-fermented in stainless-steel , and 22% indigenous yeast fermented in seasoned French oak to 11.0% alc. and 34 g/L RS, TA 7.8 g/L and pH 3.0. 958 dozen made. 18.5+/20 Feb 2018 RRP $28.00

Misha’s Vineyard ‘Dress Circle’ Central Otago Pinot Gris 2017

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Otago


Brilliant straw-yellow colour with slight lemon-green hues, a little lighter edged. This has a very fresh, full and voluminous nose with bright and vibrant aromas of ripe yellow stonefruits and exotic yellow florals along with lifted tropical fruit elements, honeysuckle, and fresh fermentation esters. This is bold and intense in expression. Dryish to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate possesses a taut core of fragrant yellow stonefruits and florals, along with exotic fruit nuances, spices and honey, unveiling lifted fresh fermentation esters. The wine has presence but retains a degree of elegance, promising to unfold more. The palate has some alcohol drive, and is balanced by fresh and bright acidity, the wine leading to a sustained finish. This is a dryish Pinot Gris with vibrant and full exotic fruit aromas on a fine, elegant palate that will become richer over the next 4+ years. Match with Asian cuisine. The fruit gently crushed with stalks, 80% free-run juice cool-fermented in tank and 20% press portion indigenous yeast fermented in seasoned French oak to 13.5% alc. and 5 g/L RS. 623 dozen made. 18.5/20 Feb 2018 RRP $28.00

Misha’s Vineyard ‘The Gallery’ Central Otago Gewurztraminer 2015

Gewurztraminer from New Zealand – Otago


Bright, light straw-yellow colour, still youthful in appearance. The nose is tightly bound and somewhat unforthcoming and firm in expression, showing ripe exotic stonefruit aromas with savoury ginger and herb notes entwined with secondary, wild honey, earthy and nutty elements. This is concentrated but quite elegant in proportion. Off-dry to taste and medium bodied, the palate has a rounded heart of savoury tropical and stonefruit flavours interwoven with fennel herb, ginger and honey. The flavours show with good intensity on the front palate and flow along a soft-textured, smooth line with good acid energy and balance, leading to a lighter, more slender finish with savoury secondary detail. This is an elegant dryish Gewurztraminer with a fine core and up-font savoury stonefruit, herb and ginger flavours. Match with Middle Eastern fare over the next 3-4 years. The fruit WBP and fully fermented in seasoned French oak, 25% with indigenous yeasts to 14.0% alc. and 7 g/L RS. 200 dozen made. 17.5+/20 Feb 2018 RRP $32.00

Misha’s Vineyard ‘Impromptu’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago


Moderately deep garnet-hued ruby-red colour with a paler edge. The nose is softly full and up-front with good volume of harmoniously layered aromas of red berry fruits forming a gentle core, intermingling with dark herbal nuances, along with lifted, ethereal red florals. Medium-bodied, the palate is soft and gently rich with red berry fruit flavours integrated with dark herb notes and nuances of liquorice and spice. The fruit is supported by light, supple, tannin extraction with balancing, fresh, lacy acidity, lending attractive accessibility. The flavours build in intensity and carry to a soft-textured finish. This is a pretty, soft and elegant, harmonious red berry fruited Pinot Noir with herb and floral detail and a supple, accessible palate. Serve with salmon, tuna and poultry dishes over the next 3 years. 57% clone 777, 5% clone 5 and 4% each clone 667 and Abel, indigenous yeast fermented with 15% whole bunches to 14.0% alc., the wine spending 24 days on skins and aged 16 months in 17% new 300L French oak barrels. 560 dozen made. 17.5/20 Feb 2018 RRP $30.00

Misha’s Vineyard ‘Cantata’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago


Even garnet-hued ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the rim. This has an elegantly proportioned nose with a firm, but refined core of dark-red berry fruits with nuances of black fruits and subtle notes of dark herbs, unfolding subtle red floral fragrances and a little oak. Medium-bodied, the palate features sweetly rich and lush dark-red berry fruit flavours entwined with subtle dark herb elements, showing with good depth and balanced presence. The fruit is supported by elegant, fine-grained tannins lending well-proportioned structure and textured, along with fresh acidity. The mouthfeel is bright and vibrant, and the wine flows with good energy and tension to a lingering finish. The is a well-balanced and proportioned, harmoniously presented Pinot Noir with sweet dark-red berry fruit and fine structure and vitality. Match with poultry and pork dishes over the next 4-5 years. 54% clone 114 and 23% each clones 667 and 4, indigenous yeast fermented with 15% whole bunches to 14.0% alc., the wine spending 24 days on skins the wine aged 16 months in 24% new 300 L French oak barrels. 18.5/20 Feb 2018 RRP $30.00

Misha’s Vineyard ‘The Cadenza’ Central Otago Late Harvest Gewurztraminer 2017

Sweet Wine from New Zealand – Otago


Golden-yellow colour with some depth, lighter on the edge. This has a full, solid nose with well-packed aromas of ripe tropical fruit, apricots and honey with Turkish Delight, ginger and musk notes and a raisiny layering with savoury mineral elements. A little caramel detail adds to the detail. Medium to medium-sweet to taste and light-medium bodied, the palate has very ripe, rich flavours of funky tropical fruit and apricot flavours with honey and musk, and a thread of ginger and bitter caramel. The mouthfeel has a degree of unctuousness and the palate has some underlying drive and linearity. The richness is balanced by a delicate acid line and fine phenolic textures resulting some elegance as it leads to a sustained, musky finish. This is more a very ripe, complex, Alsace-styled Gewurztraminer than a dessert wine. Match with spicy Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine over the next 4 years. Hand-picked late-harvest fruit with approx. 12% botrytis infection, foot-stomped, soaked overnight and cool-fermented in tank to 10% alc. and 114 g/L RS. 44 dozen made. (375 ml) 18.0+/20 Feb 2018 RRP $32.00

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