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Featured Reviews

Russian Jack 2018 Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris, and 2017 Pinot Noir

31 August,2018

The ‘Russian Jack’ label originally began life as a tertiary brand for Martinborough Vineyards. However, it has proven to be very successful and Foley Family Wines now considers it a fully-fledged brand in its own right. The vineyard sources are spread out, and the full winemaking team are involved in the blending. At present, the back label acknowledges Martinborough Vineyard as the producer. The label was named after a ‘gentleman of the road’ in the Wairarapa district, who was thought to be of Russian descent. A mysterious figure, Russian Jack was welcomed on farms to pick fruit. There is a bronze erected in Masterton his memory.


Russian Jack Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough


Brilliant, light straw-yellow colour with slight green hues, lighter on the rim. The nose is soft and gently building with aromas of passionfruit, tropical fruit, along with fresh herbs, snow peas and hints of nettles. This has fragrance and lifted floral nuances. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is elegantly concentrated with sleek and slender flavours of passionfruit, nettles, cut grass, fresh herbs and gooseberry notes. The mouthfeel is zesty with bright acidity and slippery in flow, carrying along a very fine line, leading to a crisp finish of gooseberries and cut grass. This is a crisp and zesty, slippery Sauvignon Blanc with gooseberry, cut grass, nettle and passionfruit flavours. Serve as an aperitif and with seafood over the next 2 years. Fruit from the Wairau and Awatere Valleys fermented to 13.0% alc. 16.5+/20 Aug 2018 RRP $19.99

Russian Jack Marlborough Pinot Gris 2018

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright, even, light straw-yellow colour with a little depth and lighter on the edge. The nose has soft, but intense and penetrating aromas of fragrant white and yellow stonefruits along with lifted exotic florals, some pear fruit and suggestions of fresh fermentation esters. Dryish to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has a finely-textured heart and core of aromatic white and yellow stonefruits, with pear and exotic floral notes. The fruit is youthfully brisk in expression with crisp, underlying acidity, and the wine flows along a light-textured line, leading to a lingering, aromatic finish. This is a bright and aromatic dry Pinot Gris with fragrant stonefruit, floral and pear flavours on a crisp palate with fine textures. Match with Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese fare over the next 2+ years. Fruit from the Wairau and Awatere Valleys fermented to 13.0% alc. and 7.1 g/L RS. 17.0/20 Aug 2018 RRP $19.99

Russian Jack Martinborough Pinot Noir 2017

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington


Light red colour with a little garnet on the rim. The nose is softly full with good depth and weight of dark-red berry fruit along with nuances of raspberries, dark and fresh herbs, unfolding a little liquorice, plums and spices. Medium-bodied, the palate has light strawberry fruit flavours with soft notes of cherries and raspberries, plums and herbs, forming upfront flavours and a soft core. The flavours show some richness and juiciness, and is underlined by light, grainy tannin extraction and soft acidity. The flavours fade a little as they carry to the finish. This is a light, fragrant Pinot Noir with strawberry, cherry and raspberry fruit on a light, grainy palate. Match with antipasto, poultry and pork dishes over the next 2+ years. Fruit from the ‘Rua’ and ‘Fraters’ vineyards, Martinborough, clones mainly 777, 115, 667, with some Abel and 10/5, fermented to 13.0% alc., 82% of the wine aged 10 months in 8% new oak. 16.5+/20 Aug 2018 RRP $24.99

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