Featured Reviews

Old House Vineyards 2017 Sauvignon and ‘Kaho’, and 2016 Pinot Noir

20 February,2018

Old House Vineyards is the Nelson wine venture realisation of Ian Bathgate and his wife Jeanne and two sons from the U.K. Ian has been a long-time wine enthusiast, having collected wine from the age of 18 y.o. Three years ago Ian sold up his family business in plastics and Jeanne retired as a pilot to come to New Zealand to buy a vineyard. They purchased from Spencer Hill a vineyard established in 2000 on Old House Road in Upper Moutere. There are around 17 ha of vines, half planted to Sauvignon Blanc and the remainder in approximately equal parts to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The Pinot Noir clones are now 113, 114, 115, 667 and 777, having removed 2 ha of Mariafeld clone, to replace it with Pinot Gris.

The Bathgates have put in considerable work to revitalise the vineyard and have Ewen Martin, formerly with Neudorf and Spencer Hill as their viticulturist. They have had Neil Todd of Kahurangi Estate making the Sauvignon Blanc wines and Patrick Stowe of Rimu Grove making the Pinot Noir wines to date. A 2017 Chardonnay wine is in the works to be released later this year, Here, I review the new release 2017 Sauvignon Blanc and ‘Kaho’ oak-fermented Sauvignon Blanc, and 2016 Pinot Noir. For availability, contact the Bathgates on email: thebathgates@aol.com


Old House Vineyards Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Nelson


Bright, light straw-yellow colour, lighter on the edge. The nose is very fresh and taut with a tight core of finely-expressed passionfruit aromas along with some gooseberry and fresh herb notes, unfolding white florals, nettles and mineral elements. Dry to taste and light-medium bodied, the palate has soft, cooler-spectrum flavours of nettles and cut grass along with light passionfruit and fresh herb elements. The flavours form a soft, dry-textured core with underlying acid energy. The wine carries along a fine-textured line leading to a slender, but lingering finish of nettles and herbs. This is a taut, refreshing Sauvignon Blanc with cool-spectrum nettle and grassy flavours and a dry-textured line. Serve as an aperitif and with seafood over the next 2 years. Fruit fermented in stainless-steel to 12.4% alc. and 8 g/L RS. 17.0/20 Feb 2018 RRP $21.00

Old House Vineyards ‘Kaho’ Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Nelson


Bright straw-yellow colour with slight green hues on the rim. The nose is elegant in proportion with softly packed aromas of green stonefruits and nectarines, along with gooseberry fruit notes, melded with subtly creamy and nutty oak. Medium-bodied, the palate has bright and lively flavours of green stonefruits, herbs, gooseberries and spicy oak. The fruit is refreshing and forms a tightly bound heart, and enlivened by brisk acidity. The wine flows along a fine-textured phenolic line, leading to a long, lingering finish with stonefruits and spicy oak. This is a bright and lively, oak-influenced Sauvignon Blanc with green stonefruit and nutty, spicy oak, a tight core and brisk acidity. Match with herb-marinated white meat dishes over the next 2+ years. Sauvignon Blanc fruit fully barrel-fermented to 12.7% alc. and <2g/L RS, the wine aged 7 months in seasoned French oak, undergoing batonnage. 17.5-/20 Feb 2018 RRP $30.00

Old House Vineyards Nelson Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Nelson


Light ruby-red colour with slight garnet hues and some depth, paler edged. The nose has a well-packed, deep core of savoury dark-red berry fruit harmoniously entwined with aromas of dried herbs and a soft layering of earth and undergrowth, unveiling nutty oak a little floral lift. Medium-bodied, the palate is elegantly presented with lively and vibrant flavours of savoury red cherry and berry fruit along with notes of dried herbs, earth and lifted florals. The fruit is up-front and enlivened by crisp, lacy acidity, and underlined by light, fine, grainy tannin extraction. The wine has tautness and linearity, and carries to a lingering finish with liquorice and herb notes. This is an up-front, savoury cherry and berry-fruited Pinot Noir with dried herb, earth and floral notes on a fresh, lively palate with linearity. Match with wild duck and pork dishes over the next 3-4 years. Hand-picked fruit, fully destemmed and fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 11 months in 25% new French oak. 17.5-/20 Feb 2018 RRP $35.00

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