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Featured Reviews




Music Bay, O:TU ‘Classic’ and O:TU ‘Single Vineyard’ Releases 2018 – 2016

06 August,2018

Since O:TU Wines was acquired in 2011 by an international consortium, they have been steadily strengthening the brand presence with marketing and the establishment of a proficient sales force. The brand is based on the produce, primarily Sauvignon Blanc from 200 ha of vines near Clifford Bay in the Awatere Valley, Marlborough There is potentially 330 ha available. Winemaker Jan Kux has made a number of very high quality wines that have been well-received by the consumer as well as by critics. There are ‘Blend 102’ and ‘202’ wines as well as ‘Reserve’ and ‘Single Vineyard’ wines which explore different facets of the vineyard and winemaking. Pinot Noir has now been introduced to the range, and recently, the accessible ‘Music Bay’ range was created. O:TU also has some Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon wine plus Merlot-based rosé, made at Hawke’s Bay facility under the guidance of Jan Kux, and these wines have added to the breadth of the offerings. Here, I review a selection of new Music Bay, O:TU ‘Classic’ and O:TU ‘Single Vineyard’ wines. www.otuwine.com

FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW



Music Bay Hawke’s Bay Rosé 2018

Rose from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

15.5/20

Bright, light-cerise pink colour with some depth, a little paler edged with slight purple hues. The nose is firm with a core of red berry and redcurrant fruit along with an underlying herbal thread that lends a degree of austerity. Dry to taster and medium-bodied, the palate has a light, rounded heart of redcurrant fruit with notes of strawberry confectionary and some floral elements unfolding herbal detail. The fruit has some richness and hints of unctuousness, and the wine flows along a smooth line with soft acidity lending freshness, leading to a light finish. This is a gently rich and rounded dry rosé with flavours of redcurrants, strawberry confectionary, florals and herbs. Serve as an aperitif, with antipasto and tapas over the next 2 years. Hawke’s Bay Merlot fruit cool-fermented to 12.5% and 4.13 g/L RS. 15.5/20 Aug 2018 RRP $16.99

Music Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough

16+/20

Bright, pale straw colour with light green hues. The nose is full with fresh aromas of pungent passionfruit along with a little sweat and tropical fruit, and fresh herbs, unfolding subtle nettle notes. The aromatics form a positive core. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has softly rich flavours of pungent passionfruit with a little sweatiness melded with tropical fruit and subtle herb and nettle notes. The flavours form a rounded core that reveals some dry, grainy phenolic textures that provide grip and line. The wine has light, lacy acidity, and carries to a dry, textured finish of passionfruit and herbs. This is a gently rich, pungent, passionfruity Sauvignon Blanc with an underlying phenolic-textured line. Serve with Pacific Rim fare over the next 2 years. Fruit from the Awatere Valley cool-fermented to 12.5% alc. and 3.1 g/L RS. 16.0+/20 Aug 2018 RRP $16.99

Music Bay Marlborough Pinot Gris 2017

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Marlborough

15.5/20

Bright straw-yellow colour with slight green hues, paler on the rim. The nose is firm with taut aromas of white stonefruits with subtle notes of white florals and herbal nuances, unveiling some mouthwatering mineral suggestions. Dry to taste and medium bodied, the palate has a tight heart of white stonefruits with restrained notes of white florals and nuances of herbs. The flavours are up-front and carry with drive, becoming more elegant and slender as they carry to a light finish of stonefruits and florals. This is a tight but up-front dry Pinot Gris with stonefruit and floral flavours with a light finish. Match with Asian fare over the next 2 years. Awatere Valley fruit fermented to 13.0% alc. and 3.5 g/L RS. 15.5/20 Aug 2018 RRP $16.99

Music Bay Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2016

Merlot from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

16.5-/20

Dark, deep, ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is softly full with aromas of dark plum fruit with notes of fresh and dark herbs at the core. This has good volume and depth. Medium-bodied, the palate has flavours of dark-red plums with an amalgam of fresh and dark herbs and toasty elements. The mouthfeel has sweetness and softly mouthfilling flavours along with light tannin structure providing good grip and balance. The flavours carry easily to a plummy and herb nuanced finish. This is a moderately full, fleshy and fruity Merlot with plum and herb flavours with light, balanced tannin structure. Match with barbecued and roasted red meats over the next 2-3 years. A blend of predominantly Merlot, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec, from Hawke’s Bay, fermented to 13.0% alc. 16.5-/20 Aug 2018 RRP $16.99

O:TU Hawke’s Bay Merlot Rosé 2018

Rose from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

17+/20

Soft strawberry-pink colour with some depth and slight purple hues on the rim. The nose is very fresh and elegantly presented with tightly bound aromas of strawberries and cream with lifted nuances of red florals and confectionary, unfolding mouthwatering mineral suggestions. Dryish to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has vibrant and sweetly rich flavours of strawberries and cream with hints of raspberries and lifted red florals, and notes of confectionary. The fruit forms a softly packed core with smooth textures and lacy acidity, unveiling gentle mouthwatering mineral nuances which add to the freshness. The flavours carry to a rounded, but concentrated finish. This is a softly concentrated, lively, vibrant fruited dryish rosé with strawberry, raspberry floral and confectionary flavours. Serve with antipasto, tapas and dim sum over the next 2 years. Hawke’s Bay Merlot fruit fermented to 12.5% alc. and 6.07 g/L RS. 17.0+/20 Aug 2018 RRP $22.99

O:TU Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough

16.5/20

Bright, very pale straw colour with slight green hues, near colourless on the rim. The nose is finely concentrated with soft aromas of gooseberries and a little passionfruit harmoniously melded with notes of green beans and fresh herbs. This is elegant and soft in expression, and showing the beginnings of secondary development. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is restrained in expression with softly concentrated flavours of gooseberries and green beans with nuances of passionfruit and savoury herbs. The palate has moderate richness with light acidity, and the wine flows along a soft-textured line, leading to a finish of savoury fruit and green beans. This is a softly concentrated Sauvignon Blanc with secondary flavours of green beans to the gooseberries, herbs and passionfruit. Serve with salads and vegetables, and Mediterranean fare over the next 18 months to 2 years. Estate fruit fermented to 12.5% alc. and 4.4 g/L RS, the wine aged on light lees. 16.5/20 Aug 2018 RRP $22.99

O:TU Marlborough Pinot Gris 2017

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Marlborough

16.5+/20

Bright, pale straw-yellow colour with slight green hues, lighter on the edge. The nose is elegant in proportion with good intensity of fresh white and yellow stonefruits along with floral notes and savoury herbs and minerals indicating some secondary development. The aromatics show moderate penetration and intensity. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has finely concentrated flavours of white stonefruits along with floral notes and mineral detail. The fruit forms a positive core and flows along a fine-textured line energised by fine, lacy acidity. The wine carries to a fresh, crisp, clean finish. This is an elegantly concentrated dry Pinot Gris with stonefruit and floral flavours and mineral elements on a fine-textured palate with fresh acidity, now beginning to show some development. Serve with Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese cuisine over the next 2 years. Awatere Valley fruit fermented to 12.5% alc. and 5.9 g/L RS. 16.5+/20 Aug 2018 RRP $22.99

O:TU Marlborough Pinot Noir 2017

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Marlborough

16-/20

Light garnet-red colour with some depth and a little bricking on the edge. The nose is soft and light with fragrant aromas of strawberry fruit entwined with fresh herb notes, a little pepper and herbaceous elements. The fruit is in the cool-spectrum and uncomplicated. Medium-bodied, the palate has a restrained expression with a tight heart of savoury strawberries and herbs, along with pepper, florals and hints of spice. The flavours are up-front and underlined by light tannin extraction, enabling accessibility. The acidity is prominent and carries the wine to a light, red-fruited finish. This is a light, straightforward Pinot Noir in the cool-spectrum with savoury strawberry and herb flavours on an easy palate. Match with antipasto and poultry over the next 2 years. Marlborough fruit fermented to 12.0% alc. 16.0-/20 Aug 2018 RRP $26.99

O:TU Hawke’s Bay Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Blended Red from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

16+/20

Full, dark ruby-red colour with slight purple hues, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is firm with aromas of dark-red berry fruit, blackcurrants and redcurrants along with fresh and dark herbs, and an edge of minerally reduction. Medium-full bodied, the palate has a moderately concentrated core of dark-red berry and curranty fruit with hints of plums and dark herbs, along with a reductive sulphide thread. The palate has a firm core with fine, grainy tannin extraction and balanced acidity carrying the wine to a light finish. This is a moderately concentrated, firm Merlot-blend with dark-red berry, currant and plum flavours, along with herb and reductive notes on a palate with grainy tannins. Match with barbecued and grilled red meats over the next 3 years. Fruit from Hawke’s Bay, a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon fermented to 12.5% alc. 16.0+/20 Aug 2018 RRP $22.99

O:TU ‘Single Vineyard’ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough

17.5+/20

Bright, light straw-yellow colour with slight green hues, very pale on the edge. The nose is elegant in presentation with a harmoniously concentrated heart of passionfruit with notes of tropical fruits and subtle fresh herb elements. The aromatics are finely proportioned, unveiling nuances of nettles and cut-grass. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is balanced and integrated with softly rich flavours of passionfruit melded with tropical fruits, herbs, nettles and cut-grass. The flavours form a packed, elegant core with balanced acidity lending roundness and smoothness. Some aromatic herbal nuances blossom as the wine carries to a gentle, lingering finish. This is a softly integrated Sauvignon Blanc with harmoniously melded flavours of passionfruit, tropical fruits, nettles and cut-grass and aromatic herbs. Serve with Pacific Rim and Asian fare over the next 2 years. Fruit from the ‘McKee’ vineyard, Awatere Valley, fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine aged on light lees. 17.5+/20 Aug 2018 RRP $28.99

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