On Giant’s Shoulders Martinborough 2016 Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir
Tony Bish ‘Fat & Sassy’ Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2017
Georges Road 2017 Rosé and Pinot Gris, and 2016 Pinot Noir
Maison Noire Hawke’s Bay 2017 Rosé, and 2016 Cabernet Merlot and Syrah
The Pilot by Alpha Domus 2015 Chardonnay and 2014 Merlot Cabernet
Neudorf Moutere 2017 Albarino and 2016 Dry Riesling
Cielito 2015 Sauvignon Blanc and 2014 Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir
Sopra Sasso Valpolicella Ripasso DOC 2014
Stone Paddock 2017 Rosé and Sauvignon Blanc, and 2016 Chardonnay
Old House Vineyards 2017 Sauvignon and ‘Kaho’, and 2016 Pinot Noir
Elephant Hill 2017 Rosé, 2016 Le Phant Blanc and 2015 ‘Reserve’ Merlot Malbec and Syrah
Wrights 2017 Gisborne and 2016 ‘Reserve’ Chardonnays and 2017 Natural Wine Co. Pinot Noir
Haha Hawke’s Bay Pinot Gris 2017
Terrace Edge 2016 ‘Classic’ and 2017 ‘Liquid Geography’ Rieslings
SOHO 2016 ‘Havana’ and McQueen’ Pinot Noirs
Rockburn 2016 ‘Estate’, ‘Seven Barrels’ and ‘The Art’ Pinot Noirs
Tiki ‘Estate’ Waipara Pinot Noir 2016
Fern Ridge Hawke’s Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Cross Hares ‘Ahuriri Run’ Canterbury Pinot Gris 2016
te Pa 2017 Rosé and White, and 2016 ‘Oke’ and Pinot Noir Releases
Ruru Central Otago Gewurztraminer 2017
Tankersley Estate Central Otago Pinot Noir 2014
Misha’s Vineyard New Sauvignon, Riesling Pinot Gris Gewurztraminer Pinot Noir and ‘Cadenza’ Releases
Greystone Omihi North Canterbury Pinot Noir 2016
Framingham ‘Nobody’s Hero’ Pinot Noir 2017
// View More Featured Reviews

Featured Reviews

SOHO 2016 Carter Chardonnay and 2014 Zabeel

01 May,2017
For those who know Rachael Carter, the company’s ‘Jomara’ vineyard at Onetangi on Waiheke Island is very special to her. While all of the prestige ‘Black Collection’ wines are of an extremely high standard, the bottlings from Waiheke Island stand out for me. The ‘Westwood’ Rosé, ‘Carter’ Chardonnay, ‘Valentina’ Syrah and ‘Revolver’ Bordeaux-varietal blend are 5-star or very close to 5-star wines for me on a regular basis. James Rowan is SOHO’s contracted winemaker for the Waiheke Island wines, and though he has many vintages there under his belt, he always works hard at making the best possible wines. He is ably assisted by viticulturist Matt Sloane who, like James, is coming to understand and appreciate the nuances of the ‘Jomara’ vineyard.

In 2015, Rachael introduced a new super-premium red wine named ‘Zabeel’ as part of the ‘Blue Blood Collection’, named after the champion sire of Sir Patrick and Lady Hogan and their syndicate. The wine, made as a blend of Merlot, Syrah and Malbec (to date) from the ‘Jomara’ vineyard lived up to its billing (click here to see my review of the inaugural 2013 vintage) The ‘Zabeel’ is regarded by James and Matt as a "moving” or "evolving” style, as the vines grow in, and express more with, maturity. Here, I review the new 2016 ‘Carter’ Chardonnay, the vintage deemed to be exceptional for the variety on the Island, and the second 2014 ‘Zabeel’, a wine only made in exceptional years. There will be a 2015 ‘Zabeel’, but no 2016 or 2017.


SOHO ‘Carter’ Waiheke Island Chardonnay 2016

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Northland & Auckland

Bright straw-yellow colour with lemon-gold hues, lighter on the edge. The nose is softly full with intricately layered and detailed aromas of white and yellow stonefruits interwoven with complexing nutty and yeasty lees notes forming a deep and concentrated core. Subtle oak and funky mineral nuances emerge with aeration. Medium-full bodied, the palate is tightly bound with an intense and concentrated core of white and yellow stonefruits layered with nutty and yeasty lees detail, along with subtle oak elements. Bright, lacy acidity lends freshness and energy, and the wine flows along a fine-textured line with excellent vitality, leading to a sustained, nutty, minerally finish. This is a concentrated and intense Chardonnay with lively stonefruit flavours complexed by yeast lees detail on a fresh, fine-featured palate. Match with seafood, poultry and pork over the next 4+ years. Hand-picked fruit from the ‘Jomara’ vineyard, two-thirds clone 15 and one-third clone 95, fully barrel-fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 6 months in 23% new French oak barriques, undergoing batonnage and partial MLF, followed by a further month on full lees in tank. 18.5+/20 May 2017 RRP $38.00

SOHO ‘Blue Blood Reserve’ ‘Zabeel’ Waiheke Island 2014

Blended Red from New Zealand – Northland & Auckland

Very dark, deep, near-impenetrable black-hued purple-red colour, a little lighter on the rim. This has a full, deep and densely-packed nose with ripe blackberry and dark-red berry fruits along with black ink and iron-earth complexities, unfolding black plum notes with subtle spice elements, black pepper and exotic, nutty oak. Medium-full bodied, the palate is rich with vibrant and concentrated, deeply packed flavours of black berried fruits, black plums, earth and inky notes, along with spice and oak flavours. The flavours unfold in multi-dimensional layers to fill the mouth, and follow a fine-grained line with considerable flowery, tannin extraction. The wine has acid freshness, energy and vigour, and carries to a powerful, deep, lingering finish of black fruits, earth, ink and spice. This is a rich, fulsome and densely concentrated Merlot-based blend with black fruits, earth and inky notes and complexing spice elements on a well-extracted, fine-grained, fresh palate. Match with slow cooked game meat dishes, casseroles and hard cheeses over the next 10+ years. A blend of 50% Merlot, 33% Syrah and 17% Malbec from the ‘Jomara’ vineyard, hand-picked and fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine spending 5-6 weeks on skins, and aged 9 months in 83% new ‘Alain Fouquet’ French oak. 6 barrels made. 19.0+/20 May 2017 RRP $138.00
Copyright © 2011 Raymond Chan Wine Reviews
Website by DataFlex | Design by Skinny