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Featured Reviews

Mount Edward 2016 Rose, 2015 Wanaka Road, 2014 Central Otago, and 2011 Morrison and Muirkirk Pinot Noirs

11 April,2017
Mount Edward is one of the bright stars in the Central Otago wine producing region. Founded in 1997 by Alan Brady, the business is now owned by John Buchannan and run by winemaker Duncan Forsyth. The focus at Mount Edward is on Central Otago Pinot Noir and Riesling, and the company has three estate vineyards, the home ‘Drumlin’ site at Gibbston, where the winery is, the ‘Morrison’ site in Lowburn and the ‘Muirkirk’ vineyard on Felton Road, Bannockburn. These vineyards are certified BioGro organic. Mount Edward also draws on fruit from well-established growers at the ‘Pisa Terrace’ vineyard on the Wanaka Road in Lowburn, the ‘L’Attitude’ site also in Lowburn, and the ‘Pagan’ vineyard in Gibbston. These vineyards are also certified or in conversion to organics.

In addition to outstanding Pinot Noir (both estate and single vineyard bottlings) and Riesling, Mount Edward has released very successful rosé, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Gruner Veltliner over the years and now a Gamay. There have been excursions into natural and orange wines, and a Vermouth-style beverage has been made. Clearly the team at Mount Edward are adventurous and innovative. Duncan is assisted ably by Anna Riederer in the winemaking, and Austin Moorehouse tends the vineyards. Here, I review the new 2016 Rosé, the second tier 2015 Wanaka Road Pinot Noir, 2014 Mount Edward Central Otago Pinot Noir, and 2011 single vineyard ‘Morrison’ and ‘Muirkirk’ Pinot Noirs.


Mount Edward Central Otago Rosé 2016

Rose from New Zealand – Otago

Pale candy-floss pink colour with some depth, lighter on the rim. This has a soft and delicate nose with a gentle core of strawberries, quince and pomegranate, along with nuances of red florals and suggestions of thirst-quenching mineral elements. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has light flavours of strawberries, pomegranate and quince fruit entwined with soft, savoury floral and minerally notes. The mouthfeel is fresh and lively with bright acidity and the wine flows along a fine, dry, phenolic-threaded line, leading to a tight finish with nuances of florals and quince. This is a light, subtle strawberry, quince and pomegranate fruited, dry rosé with a fresh mouthfeel and thirst-quenching fine-textured finish. Serve as an aperitif and with antipasto over the next 2 years. Hand-picked Pinot Noir from the ‘Muirkirk’ vineyard, WBP over 5 hours for colour, and indigenous yeast fermented in stainless-steel to 13.0% alc. and dryness. 17.5-/20 Apr 2017 RRP $25.00

Wanaka Road Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago

Even, dark ruby-red colour with slight purple hues, lighter on the rim. The nose is soft and elegantly packed with deep aromas of dark-red berry fruit entwined with savoury notes of thyme herbs and a little earthy detail, unfolding red and violet florals and suggestions of raspberryish whole berry fermentation. Medium-full bodied and well-proportioned on the palate the flavours of red cherry and berry fruits, dark and dried herbs, lifted florals and subtle earthy elements are harmoniously interwoven and balanced. The mouthfeel is supple with moderately extracted, fine tannins and integrated acidity. The wine flows to a gentle, easy finish of red fruits. This is a harmonious and balanced Pinot Noir with soft red berry fruit flavours along with nuances of herbs and florals on a supple palate. Serve with antipasto, tapas and pasta over the next 4-5 years. A barrel selection second tier wine. Fruit from ‘Muirkirk’, ‘Morrison’ and ‘Montero’ sites, indigenous yeast fermented with approx. 10% whole bunches to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 9 months in 20% new oak. 17.5+/20 Apr 2017 RRP $39.00

Mount Edward Central Otago Pinot Noir 2014

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago

Dark, deep ruby-red colour with some black and purple hues, a little lighter edged. The nose is rich with vibrant dark-red cherry and cherry fruit aromas harmoniously melded with a layer of dried herbs and thyme, along with piquant red florals and subtle whole cluster stalk and peppery suggestions. Medium-full bodied, the palate possesses rich and succulent dark-red berryfruit flavours entwined with notes of thyme herb and red florals. The mouthfeel has fresh, lacy acidity enhancing the fruit richness, and fine-grained tannin extract provide a balance, integrated core and line. The wine carries to a fresh, lingering finish of red fruits and florals with herb nuances. This is a gently rich and succulent, red-fruited Pinot Noir with subtle herb and floral notes, a fresh mouthfeel and fine tannin structure. Serve with poultry and pork dishes and Asian cuisine over the next 5-6+ years. Dijon clone fruit from the ‘Morrison’, ‘Muirkirk’ and ‘Pisa Terrace’ vineyards indigenous yeast fermented with 25% whole bunches to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 11 months in 15% new French oak. 2,190 cases made. 18.5/20 Apr 2017 RRP $45.00

Mount Edward ‘Morrison Vineyard’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2011

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago

Even ruby-red colour with garnet hues and some depth, a little lighter on the rim. This has a rich, deep and densely concentrated bouquet with aromas of savoury, dark-red cherry and berry fruits entwined with dark herbs and a layering of whole bunch stalk notes, red florals and the beginnings of secondary undergrowth complexities. Medium-full bodied, the palate has richly concentrated flavours of savoury dark cherry and berry fruits interwoven with herb and whole bunch stalk elements forming a rounded core. The palate unfolds undergrowth, red floral and nutty oak nuances that add complexity. The mouthfeel is fresh and vibrant with balanced lacy acidity, and the fruit supported by fine-grained tannin structure providing body and grip. The wine carries to a long, textured, savoury fruited finish. This is a concentrated Pinot Noir with a deep, rounded core of savoury red berry fruit with complexing secondary detail on a vibrant, fine-structured palate. Match with casseroles and slow-cooked game meat dishes over the next 5-6+ years. Dijon clone fruit from the ‘Morrison’ vineyard, Lowburn-Parkburn, vines first planted 1997, indigenous yeast fermented with 50% whole bunches to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 15 months in seasoned French oak. 371 cases made. 18.5+/20 Apr 2017 RRP $65.00

Mount Edward ‘Muirkirk Vineyard’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2011

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago

Full, even, ruby-red colour with garnet hues, lighter on the rim with a brick tint. This has a firm and intensely concentrated bouquet of savoury dark-red cherry and berry fruit packed with a complex amalgam of dried herbs, whole cluster stalk notes and nutty oak. This has richness, density and secondary complexity on the nose. Medium-full bodied, the palate is fresh and lively with plenty of power and underlying drive. The vibrantly rich dark-red berry and cherry fruit is intermixed with complexing dark herbs and whole bunch stalk detail, and nutty oak elements. The fruit is framed within a structure composed of fine-grained, powdery tannin extraction, and enlivened by mouthwatering acidity. This has plenty of body and presence, and carries to a long, rich, sweet-fruited and well-textured finish. This is a rich, vibrant, well-structured Pinot Noir with succulent dark fruits and complex herb, stalk and nutty notes, the wine showing some secondary flavour development. Match with lamb, beef, venison and semi-hard cheeses over the next 7-9+ years. Clones 5, 6, Abel and MS, from the ‘Muirkirk’ vineyard, Bannockburn, vines planted from 1996, indigenous yeast fermented with 50% whole bunches to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 16 months in seasoned French oak. 307 cases made. 19.0-/20 Apr 2017 RRP $65.00
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