Featured Reviews

Rockburn Central Otago 2016 ‘Tigermoth’ Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc and 2015 Fumé Blanc

27 July,2018

Rockburn is best known as one of Central Otago’s top Pinot Noir producers. Winemaker Malcolm Rees-Francis has a wonderful reputation for a most consistent ‘Estate’ Pinot Noir, but is also highly regarded for his ability to make and select special limited release bottlings (click here to see my reviews of his top three 2016 Pinot Noirs). However, Malcolm puts just as much effort into making the Rockburn white wine range. Of particular note are the Germanic Spatlese-style ‘Tigermoth’ Riesling, and oak-influenced Fumé Blanc which steer a very different course to the majority of New Zealand examples. Here, I review the 2016 ‘Tigermoth’ Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc, and 2015 Fumé Blanc. www.rockburn.co.nz


Rockburn ‘Tigermoth’ Central Otago Riesling 2016

Riesling from New Zealand – Otago


Bright, even, light straw-yellow colour with slight green hues, paler edged. The nose is very taut and finely concentrated with aromas of citrus fruit harmoniously entwined with subtle notes of toast and minerals, showing the beginnings of secondary development. The aromatics are refreshing and mouthwatering. Medium-sweet to taste and light-bodied, the palate has bright and aromatic flavours of lime fruit along with white florals, entwined with honey, toast and mineral detail. The palate has a sleek core with a fine line running on subtle phenolic textures and slippery acidity that balances the sweetness. The flavours flow positively with underlying drive and energy to a long and sustained finish. This is a medium-sweet Riesling wine finely detailed lime, floral honied and toasty-mineral complexities on a slippery, sleek palate. Serve as an aperitif and with Asian cuisine over the next 4+ years. Fruit from the ‘Parkburn’ vineyard, cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 8.5% alc. and 67 g/L RS, TA 10.1 g/L and pH 2.9. 273 dozen made. 18.5+/20 Jul 2018 RRP $38.99

Rockburn Central Otago Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Otago


Bright straw-yellow colour with pale green-gold tints, lighter on the rim. The bouquet is elegantly proportioned with a tightly bound core of greengages, green stonefruits and restrained gooseberry fruit and herbs, along with hints of minerals and a little steely freshness. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has a moderately concentrated heart with flavours of green stonefruits showing greengages, gooseberries and herbal elements. The mouthfeel is lively and refreshing, and the palate flows along an elegant line with fine textures, carrying to a finish of stonefruits and herbs. This is an elegantly proportioned, oak influenced Sauvignon Blanc with green stonefruit and herb flavours on a fresh and fine-textured palate. Serve with salads and vegetables, and Mediterranean fare over the next 3 years. Fruit, 67% from the ‘Gibbston Back Road’ vineyard, tank-fermented, and 33% ‘Parkburn’ vineyard, indigenous yeast barrel-fermented, to 12.0% alc. and <1 g/L RS, the ‘Parkburn’ component undergoing batonnage, and the wine 100% MLF. 1,450 cases made. 17.0/20 Jul 2016 RRP $24.99

Rockburn Central Otago Fumé Blanc 2015

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Otago


Full, light golden-yellow colour with some depth, lighter edged. The bouquet is full and gently voluminous with aromas of green stonefruits, subtle gooseberry notes along with nuances of beans, unfolding a layering of nutty oak. The aromatics are expressed with elegance and harmony, and build in concentration with aeration. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate has subtly rich, mouthfilling and harmoniously melded flavours of green stonefruits along with greengages and nectarines, subtle notes of herbs entwined with nutty oak elements. This is delicately detailed. The palate is very finely textured with a fine, phenolic line and balance, soft, lacy acidity. The flavours carry to a long finish. This is a harmoniously detailed oak-fermented Sauvignon Blanc with mouthfilling stonefruit, herb and nutty flavours on a fine-textured palate. Match with harb-marinated poultry, pork and veal dishes over the next 4+ years. A barrel-selection wine. Fruit from the ‘Parkburn’ vineyard, indigenous yeast barrel-fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 18 months in barrel, undergoing MLF. 200 dozen made. 18.0+/20 Jul 2018 RRP $39.99

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