Hawkshead 2017 Pinot Gris. 2015 Riesling and Bannockburn Pinot Noir, and 2014 ‘First Vines’ Pinot Noir
Smoking Loon, La Crema, McManis and The Crusher Releases
Two Sisters Central Otago Pinot Gris 2016
Clearview Estate 2016 ‘Old Olive Block’, Enigma’ and ‘The Basket Press’
Ceres 2017 ‘Swansong’ Pinot Gris and 2016 ‘Composition’ Pinot Noir
Vicarage Lane Canterbury Pinot Noir 2016
Paddy Borthwick 2017 Riesling and Chardonnay, and 2016 Left Hand and Right Hand Pinot Noirs
Trinity Hill Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2016
Villa Maria ‘Ngakirikiri’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Paxton ‘NOW’ Shiraz 2017 and Hogshead Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Kuru Kuru and Tarras Vineyards Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Red Queen Marlborough Pinot Nor Rosé 2017
Waipara Valley Wines Blanc de Blanc, 2016 Sauvignon, and 2016 Pinot Noir
Elephant Hill 2016 Sauvignon Blanc and Reserve Chardonnay
Aix Rosé, A Torres Selection and Lustau Vermut from EuroVintage
Mills Reef 2017 ‘Reserve’ Pinot Gris and Chardonnay
Nevis Bluff ‘Duke of Cromwell’ Pinot Blanc 2017, and 2017 Rosé, 2014 Pinot Gris and 2013 Pinot Noir
Smith and Sheth ‘CRU’ Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Syrah Releases
Palliser Estate Martinborough Pinot Gris 2017
Karikari Estates 2014 ‘Calypso’ and 2015 Chardonnays, 2016 Viognier and 2015 Syrah and Pinotage
Auntsfield 2016 ‘Single Vineyard’ Chardonnay and Pinot Noir
The Crossings ‘Wild’ Awatere Sauvignon Blanc 2016
Pisa Range Estate‘ Black Poplar’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015
Z Wine ‘Rustica’ ‘Reserve’ Barossa Valley Shiraz 2015
Grava Wines 2016 Martinborough Sauvignon, Rosé, Riesling and Pinot Noir
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Featured Reviews

On Giant’s Shoulders Martinborough 2016 Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

23 February,2018

‘Standing on the shoulders of giants’ is a phrase meaning building on the previous major and significant works of others who have been recognised for their efforts. ‘On Giant’s Shoulders’ is the label for Braden and Gabrielle Crosby’s wine venture, Braden with viticultural and winemaking experience, formerly working with Paddy Borthwick in Gladstone for 11 harvests and extensive work overseas. During his time in Alsace, he learned much about the making of Pinot Gris. The Crosby’s purchased the former McCreanor family vineyard on Princess Street in Martinborough in August 2015, in time to prune the vines and make wine from the 2016 vintage. The vineyard is well-known for supplying the fruit for the Escarpment ‘Pahi’ single vineyard Pinot Noirs and for its contribution to the Martinborough Vineyard wines. The 4 ha vineyard is a mature one, established in 1988, with 3 ha of Pinot Noir, with around 9,000 close-planted vines, which has undergone some replanting. There is also 0.5 ha of Pinot Gris, of which around half was planted in 1988, and 0.5 ha of Chardonnay. The Crosbys have spent their ownership time working on the property and vines. They have produced on average around 1,000 cases from the 2016 and 2017 harvests with the three varieties. I review the wines here. For availabuility, email:


On Giants’ Shoulders Martinborough Pinot Gris 2016

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington

Bright golden-hued straw-yellow colour, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is fresh and gently full with aromas of white and yellow stonefruits, along with hints of creamy barrel-ferment, and a nutty lees and oak amalgam adding richness and interest. This has delicacy and vibrancy. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate has finely concentrated but restrained flavours of white and yellow stonefruits with light notes of lees and oak. The fruit forms a firm heart with light phenolic textures and balanced, lacy acidity. The wine flows to a concentrated, stonefruited, nutty and minerally nuanced, lingering finish. This is a fresh, finely concentrated dry Pinot Gris with stonefruit flavours and nutty lees and oak detail on a firm-lined, fine-textured palate. Match with most white meat dishes over the next 4 years. Fruit from vines planted in 1988 and 1999, hand-picked and sorted, indigenous yeast fermented in tank with full solids, and 30% in neutral barrels to 14.0% alc. and 2.6 g/L RS, the wine aged on lees. 173 dozen made. 17.5+/20 Oct 2017 RRP $30.00

On Giants’ Shoulders Martinborough Chardonnay 2016

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington

Brilliant light golden-yellow colour, paler on the edge. The nose has rich, ripe aromas of yellow stonefruits and citrus fruit with tropical fruit notes, harmoniously melded with creamy barrel-ferment and nutty oak elements, along with a little lemon-curd MLF. The nose possesses depth and a soft density. Medium-bodied, the palate has good intensity and concentration of ripe yellow stonefruit and citrus fruit flavours entwined with creamy barrel-ferment and nutty oak notes. The palate is fine-textured and smooth-flowing with fresh acidity and some underlying power providing good linearity. Some lemon-curd MLF emerges as the wine carries to a dry, light-textured finish. This is an elegantly concentrated, rich citrus-fruited Chardonnay with complexing barrel-ferment and nutty oak on a fine-textured palate with good energy and linearity. Match with roast pork over the next 4-5 years. Clone 95 Chardonnay fruit from vines planted in 1999, hand-picked and sorted, WBP and indigenous yeast barrel-fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 10 months on lees in a mixture of oak, including a new puncheon, seasoned hogsheads and new and seasoned barriques, the new oak approx. 25%, and with partial MLF. 208 dozen made. 18.5-/20 Oct 2017 RRP $40.00

On Giants’ Shoulders Martinborough Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington

Moderately dark ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the rim with slight purple tints. The nose is fine in proportion the fruit expression initially tight and restrained. The aromas of dark-red cherry and berry fruit show with red florals intermingling with subtle notes of dark herbs unfolding a hint of whole bunch stalk perfumes. The aromatics build in intensity and volume in the glass. Medium-full bodied, the palate has good concentration with flavours of dark-red cherry and berry fruit with savoury elements, along with subtle notes of red florals, dark herbs and stalk. The fruit is encased by fine, grainy tannin structure with integrated, ripe acidity, The flavours lead with good drive to a long, finely packed, lingering finish of red fruits and savoury herbs. This is an elegant Pinot Noir with flavours of dark red cherry and berry fruit complexed by dark herb and whole cluster detail on a well-structured palate. Match with duck and pork dishes over the next 6+ years. A blend of clones, 10/5, Abel and 5, and 828, planted in 1988, 2000 and 2011 respectively, the fruit hand-picked and indigenous yeast fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine spending 21-27 days cuvaison aged 12 months in 30% new French oak. 272 dozen made. 18.0/20 Oct 2017 RRP $50.00
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