Framingham 2018 Sauvignon Blanc, 2017 Classic Riesling, 2018 Select and Noble Rieslings, and 2017 Pinot Noir
Rojo ‘Gran Rojo’ Tempranillo Rosado 2017
The Hunting Lodge 2018 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and Albarino, and 2018 White Mischief
Forrest 2017 and 2016 Gruner Veltliner, 2014 Chardonnay, and John Forrest ‘Collection’ Pinot Noir 2013
Te Whare Ra 2018 Aromatic Whites, 2014 Pinot Noir and 2017 Noble Riesling
Tiki ‘Estate’ Waipara Pinot Noir 2018
Mahi 2016 ‘Boundary Farm’ Sauvignon Blanc and ‘Twin Valleys’ Chardonnay
Queensberry Gardens 2018 Chenin Blanc, and The Lazy Dog ‘Sweet on Chenin’ and Gewurztraminer
Palliser Estate Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018
Red Deer Marlborough Rosé 2018
Dry River Martinborough 2017 Chardonnay, ‘The Twelve Spies’, 2015 Syrah and 2018 Botrytis Gewurztraminer
X Wines ‘little x’ Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2014
Akaroa Winery Banks Peninsula 2016 and 2015 Pinot Noirs
Lamont Central Otago 2018 Pinot Rosé and Pinot Gris, and 2017 Chardonnay
Pegasus Bay 2016 Sauvignon Semillon and ‘Aria’ Late Picked Riesling
The Luminary 2018 Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir
Big Bunch Hawke’s Bay 2018 Pinot Gris and 2014 Merlot
Coto de Hayas ‘Roble’ Campo de Borja 2017
Misha’s Vineyard 2017 ‘Starlet’ Sauvignon Blanc, and 2016 ‘Gallery’ Gewurztraminer and ‘Cantata’ Pinot Noir
Brookfields ‘Ohiti Estate’ 2018 Pinot Gris and 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon
Maui Waipara and Tiki 'Estate' Marlborough 2018 Sauvignon Blanc
Taimana Waitaki Pinot Noir 2013
Daniel Le Brun Methodes and Morton Estate ‘Black Label’ Wines from LionCo
Rockburn Central Otago Pinot Noir 2017
A Selection of Italian, French and Australian Wines from Procure
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Featured Reviews

Mudbrick ‘Francesca’ Waiheke Island Chardonnay 2017

19 July,2018

Mudbrick Vineyard on Waiheke Island has ‘The Velvet’ as the flagship wine. Originally, its blend was undisclosed, but clearly it was a selection of barrels from the Bordeaux red varieties. The wine was ‘out there’, maybe ‘over the top’ with ripe and bold flavours and oaking to match. Recent vintages have seen a greater elegance in the wine, and this is to its benefit in terms of balance and accessibility, with a greater focus on the fruit quality. And the varietal proportions are disclosed, which from my viewpoint does wonders for transparency. I wonder how much of the change is due to Pat Newton coming on board as winemaker in 2011?

Mudbrick owners Nick and Robyn Jones have wanted a Chardonnay and a Syrah to join the ranks of ‘The Velvet’, and in 2017, considered to be a challenging year, the Chardonnay fruit was so good that the first ‘Francesca’ Chardonnay was made. I’ve already reviewed the 2017 ‘Reserve’ Viognier and Chardonnay from Waiheke Island in this vintage for Mudbrick, and I rated them both 5-stars (click here to see). The ‘Francesca’ is a selection of the best Chardonnay barrels, based on the criteria of richness complexity and length. It is named after the Jones’ daughter who was born the year that Mudbrick was established. Only 85 cases were made. Winemaker Pat Newton tells me there is a flagship Syrah in the works, to be named ‘Oscar’ after Nick and Robyn Jones’ son. I review the 2017 ‘Francesca’ Chardonnay here.


Mudbrick ‘Francesca’ Waiheke Island Chardonnay 2017

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Northland & Auckland


Bright, light golden-yellow colour with some depth, a little paler on the rim. The nose is elegantly presented with firmly packed, but rich layers of white and yellow stonefruits harmoniously melded with creamy barrel-ferment and nutty oak, with a little smoke, unfolding an amalgam with toasty oak and buttery MLF complexities. This is concentrated with finesse, intensity and a degree of elegance. Medium-bodied, the palate has concentrated and intense, vibrant fruit flavours of yellow stonefruits, citrus fruit and tropical fruit along with a mealy layer. The fruit is interwoven with a fine line of creamy barrel-ferment, nutty oak and lemon-curd and buttery MLF, which is balanced by crisp acidity. This has excellent drive and linearity, flowing along a tight line, leading to a finish that blossoms in fruit, oak and MLF richness. This is an elegantly concentrated and firmly-packed Chardonnay with a complex array of fruit, oak and MLF flavours on a fresh, balanced palate with linearity and a blossoming, detailed finish. Serve with roasted pork and veal over the next 5+ years. 100% Chardonnay from the ‘Shepherds Point’, ‘Hawkes Crest’, ‘Seaview Road’ and ‘Mudbrick vineyards, WBP direct to barrel and fully indigenous yeast barrel-fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 9 months in 45% new French oak barrels with 100% MLF. 85 cases made. 19.0+/20 Jul 2018 RRP $120.00

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