Featured Reviews

Mt Beautiful 2016 Rosé, Sauvignon and Riesling, and 2015 Pinot Gris

20 June,2017
The Mt Beautiful wine venture of American-based New Zealander David Teece and his wife Leigh began in 2003 when the couple started buying vineyard land near Cheviot in North Canterbury, planting vines from 2004 to establish a new vignoble. Mt Beautiful now has over 70 ha of vines, over half of which are to Sauvignon Blanc, 30% to Pinot Noir, and with smaller plantings of Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Riesling. The vineyard proportions are particularly suited for exports to the United States, where most of the production is sold. However, considerable investment continues in New Zealand with the commissioning of an on-site winery for the 2015 vintage, and increased marketing for domestic sales. Sam Weaver has been the winemaker from the start of the venture, and Fin Grieve is the vineyard manager. Here, I review the new 2016 Rosé, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and 2015 Pinot Gris. The wines are elegant and restrained in flavour, showing their cool provenance. www.mtbeautiful.co.nz


Mt Beautiful North Canterbury Rosé 2016

Rose from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara

Bright strawberry-peach pink colour with some depth, lighter on the rim. The nose is softly fresh and gently full with aromas of strawberries, pomegranate and watermelon along with some integrated, lifted confectionary and red floral notes. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has up-front flavours of strawberries, raspberries, pomegranate and watermelon with notes of red florals and confectionary. The flavours are mouthfilling and form a rounded core with fresh, lacy acidity providing a slippery, thirst quenching line. The fruit is underlined by a little alcohol drive and power, and carries to a finely concentrated and textured, lingering finish of berry fruit and confectionary. This is an up-front, rounded, but slippery dry rosé with flavours of berry fruit, pomegranate and watermelon, with confectionary notes. Serve as an aperitif, with canapes and with dim sum over the next 2 years. The inaugural rosé for Mt Beautiful. Made from Pinot Noir, 70% crushed and given 24 hours skin contact, 30% saignee, fermented in stainless-steel with 20% in barrel to 14.0% alc. and dryness. 494 cases made. 17.0+/20 Jun 2017 RRP $24.00

Mt Beautiful North Canterbury Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara

Bright, even straw-yellow colour with lemon-green hues. This has an elegant, tightly bound nose, quite slender in presentation, with aromas of cut grass and nettles, and subtle notes of gooseberries, green stonefruits and suggestions of green bean. The aromatics display cooler spectrum elements. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate possesses cooler spectrum flavours of cut grass, nettles and green stonefruits, along with fresh herbs and nuances of green beans. The mouthfeel is fresh, elegant and zesty with fine, lacy acidity, and the wine flows along an elegantly proportioned and fine-textured line, leading to a thirst-quenching finish. This is a cooler spectrum Sauvignon Blanc with cut grass, nettly and gooseberry fruit, and suggestions of green beans on an elegant, zesty, mouthwatering palate. Serve with salads and vegetables and Pacific Rim fare over the next 5 years. Fruit fermented in stainless-steel with a small portion in new and seasoned 300 L barrels to 14.1% alc. and <2 g/L RS. 12,000 cases made. 17.5-/20 Jun 2017 RRP $24.00

Mt Beautiful North Canterbury Riesling 2016

Riesling from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara

Bright pale straw-yellow colour with slight green hues, lighter on the rim. The nose is very soft and refined in presentation with delicate aromas of lime fruit, white florals, and suggestions of honeysuckle and minerals. This has delicacy and detail. Medium-dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is elegant and restrained in expression with light and delicate notes of white florals, citrus fruit, herbs and mineral nuances. The palate has good energy and drive and flows along a fine, soft-textured line with integrated, soft acidity. The wine carries with tautness and good linearity, and a subtly concentrated core leading to a long, lingering finish of florals, citrus fruit and minerals. This is an elegant and delicate, driven dry Riesling with subtle floral, citrus and mineral flavours on a soft-textured palate. Serve as an aperitif and with Asian fare over the next 4+ years. Riesling fruit WBP and cool-fermented in tank to 11.2% alc., 13.0 g/L RS, TA 8.2 g/L and pH 2.85, the wine aged 5 months on lees. 670 cases made. 17.5/20 Jun 2017 RRP $31.00

Mt Beautiful North Canterbury Pinot Gris 2015

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara

Bright, even, straw-yellow colour with pale golden hues, a little lighter on the rim. This has a soft and gentle nose of ripe yellow stonefruits with pears in an amalgam of yellow florals and honeysuckle, and nuances of subtle nutty elements indicating the emergence of secondary interest. Dry to taste and fullish bodied, the palate has flavours of white and yellow stonefruits, lifted pear elements, florals and notes of honeysuckle, entwined with nutty nuances. The fruit has good depth and is rounded and gently mouthfilling, underlined by some alcoholic power. The mouthfeel is soft-textured, the acidity integrated adding to the roundness, and the wine carries to a light-fruited finish of stonefruits and florals. This is a dry Pinot Gris with white stonefruit, pear, floral and honeysuckle flavours on a rounded, full-bodied palate. Match with most white meat courses over the next 3-4 years. Hand-picked fruit, early and late-pick portions, WBP, and fermented in seasoned oak and stainless-steel to 14.5% alc. and dryness, the wine aged on lees. 1,450 cases made. 17.5+/20 Jun 2017 RRP $27.00
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