Featured Reviews




SOHO 2017 White and Black Marlborough, and 2017 and 2016 Black Waiheke Collection Wines

31 October,2017
The SOHO wines of Rachael Carter are continuing to grow in market presence. This is partly due to the tireless and upbeat marketing and sales work of the SOHO team, as well as a clear definition of style and quality. The ‘White Collection’ wines are more accessible, whereas the ‘Black Collection’ wines are more sophisticated and capable of showing greater interest and complexity. SOHO’s three winemakers are specialists in each region: James Rowan in Waiheke Island, Dave Clouston in Marlborough and Grant Taylor in Central Otago. They are responsible for the wines and their representation of variety, style and regionality. The latest releases show a continued confidence of the winemakers in the vineyards and the fruit. Here, I review a selection of the new 2017 ‘White’ and ‘Black Collection’ Marlborough releases made by Dave Clouston, and three ‘Black Collection’ releases from 2017 and 2016 from Waiheke Island made by James Rowan. The two winemakers have done very well considering that the wines come from challenging vintages. www.sohowineco.com

FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW



SOHO ‘White Collection’ Marlborough Rosé 2017

Rose from New Zealand – Marlborough

17.5/20
Bright, very pale salmon-pink colour, lighter on the edge. The nose is soft with gently fragrant fruit aroma of strawberries and cream with red florals and a little confectionary lift, revealing subtle mineral nuances, forming an elegantly concentrated core. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has light aromatic fruit flavours of strawberries and cream, red florals and hints of confectionary with mineral suggestions. The palate is delicate with soft phenolics and balanced, lacy acidity lending a thirst-quenching mouthfeel. The wine carries to a light, dry finish. This is a soft and delicate dry rosé with subtle flavours of strawberries and cream, florals and confectionary on a mouthwatering palate with a light finish. Serve as an aperitif and with canapes over the next 18 months to 2 years. Pinot Noir fruit cool-fermented to 13.0% alc. and 3.5 g/L RS. 17.5/20 Oct 2017 RRP $22.00

SOHO ‘White Collection’ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough

16+/20
Very pale straw colour, near colourless in the glass. The nose is softly fresh with bright aromas of green stonefruits and passionfruit with fresh herbs, unfolding nettle and cut grass notes. The aromatics form an elegant and finely concentrated core. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has tightly bound flavours of passionfruit, stonefruits, herbs and cut grass. The mouthfeel is brisk and racy with a light-textured line. The wine carries with some energy to a light, lingering, thirst-quenchingly dry finish of nettles, herbs and cut grass. This is a brisk and racy, taut Sauvignon Blanc with light, dry textures and cool-spectrum cut grass and herb flavours. Serve as an aperitif, or with shellfish over the next 18 months to 2 years. Fruit from the Lower Wairau and Southern Valleys, cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 13.0% alc. and 2.7 g/L RS. 16.0+/20 Oct 2017 RRP $19.00

SOHO ‘White Collection’ Marlborough Pinot Gris 2017

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Marlborough

16.5+/20
Bright, pale straw-yellow colour, lighter on the rim. The nose is fresh with softly voluminous and gentle aromas of white stonefruits and subtle exotic floral elements, along with a little honeysuckle and mineral nuances. Dryish to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has a softly rounded core with good depth of white and yellow stonefruits along with gentle exotic floral notes and honeysuckle nuances. The flavours are up-front, but the palate possesses a positive line with delicate textures and fresh acidity. The wine flows to a light, nuanced finish. This is a softly concentrated, up-front, dryish Pinot Gris with stonefruit, floral and honeysuckle flavours with fine mouthfeel and a light, nuanced finish. Match with Asian fare over the next 2-3 years. Fruit from the Southern Valleys cool-fermented in tank to 13.0% alc. and 3.8 g/L RS. 16.5+/20 Oct 2017 RRP $19.00

SOHO ‘Stella’ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough

17+/20
Bright, very pale straw colour, near colourless. The nose is elegant and steely with fresh and lively, intense aromas of cut grass and nettles. The fruit is in the cooler spectrum, revealing mouthwatering mineral notes. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has intense flavours of cut grass and nettles, with fresh herbs and snow pea flavours, the fruit in the cool-spectrum. The palate has a moderately concentrated core and the mouthfeel features fine textures and brisk, bracing acidity that lends energy and tension. The wine carries with linearity and drive to a taut, nuanced finish. This is a fresh, bracing Sauvignon Blanc with intense cool-spectrum flavours of cut grass, herbs and snow peas on a fine-textured palate. Fruit from the Awatere Valley, Lower Wairau, Southern Valleys and Upper Wairau, cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 13.0% alc. and 2.7 g/L RS. 17.0+/20 Oct 2017 RRP $25.00

SOHO ‘Jagger’ Marlborough Pinot Gris 2017

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Marlborough

17.5/20
Bright, light straw-yellow colour with a suggestion of blush, pale on the rim. The nose is softly fresh with moderate depth and a rounded core of yellow stonefruits, exotic florals, along with savoury honey, and steely minerals. Off-dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate ha a good heart of yellow stonefruits and minerals with floral notes and a little honeysuckle. This has good palate presence and linearity, the wine flowing along a positive line with the fruit richness balanced by fine acidity. The flavours carry to a oft, ethereal finish of exotic fruits and florals. This is a dryish Pinot Gris with a good core of yellow stonefruits, minerals, florals and honeysuckle with positive liner flow. Match with Middle Eastern cuisine over the next 3 years. Fruit from the Awatere and Southern Valleys, cool-fermented to 13.0% alc. and 5.3 g/L RS. 17.5/20 Oct 2017 RRP $25.00

SOHO ‘Westwood’ Waiheke Island Rosé 2017

Rose from New Zealand – Northland & Auckland

18-/20
Bright, pale strawberry pink colour with some depth, lighter on the rim. The nose is moderately firm with deep aromas of red cherry fruit entwined with cranberry and pomegranate notes, unveiling red florals and a little chalky minerality. Dryish to taste and light-medium bodied, the palate has a sweet fruit core of cherries, strawberries and raspberries with pomegranate nuance. The fruit richness adds to the mouthfeel and presence, with light phenolic textures and balanced, refreshing acidity. The palate is gently mouthwatering and carries floral elements to a lingering, elegant finish. This is a sweet berry and pomegranate fruited, dry rosé with good palate presence and a gently mouthwatering, lingering finish. Serve as an aperitif and with antipasto and tapas over the next 2 years. Hand-picked fruit, a blend of 76.42% Merlot, 8.13% Syrah, 6.36% Malbec and 5.3% Cabernet Franc from the ‘Jomara’ vineyard, cool-fermented in tank to 12.0% alc. and 6.9 g/L RS. 18.0-/20 Oct 2017 RRP $25.00

SOHO ‘Revolver’ Waiheke Island Merlot/Malbec/Cabernet Franc 2016

Blended Red from New Zealand – Northland & Auckland

17/20
Even, dark ruby-red colour with youthful purple hues, lighter edged. The nose is elegant and finely concentrated with aromas of dark-red berry fruits with savoury plum notes, along with some earthy elements, unveiling red florals and toasty oak. Medium-bodied, the palate is elegant and slender in proportion with a light and moderately concentrated core, showing sweet, dark-red berry fruit with blackberries intermixed with earthy plums, and subtle notes of dark herbs. The palate has light extraction and structure with fresh acidity. The wine flows with good energy, leading to a light, berry-fruited, earthy nuanced finish. This is an elegant and slender Merlot-based blend with dark berry, earthy plum and herb flavours in a light-structured palate. Serve with roasted red meats and Mediterranean fare over the next 3-4 years. Hand-picked fruit, a blend of 73% Merlot, 10% Malbec, 8% each of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, and 1% Syrah, from SOHO’s ‘Jomara’ vineyard, fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 9 months in 23% new French oak barriques. 17.0/20 Oct 2017 RRP $40.00

SOHO ‘Valentina’ Waiheke Island Syrah 2016

Syrah from New Zealand – Northland & Auckland

17.5-/20
Full, even, purple-hued ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the rim and very youthful in appearance. The nose is gently full with up-front aromas of dark raspberry fruit along with white and black pepper, some spice elements and earth, unfolding a lifted floral and herb amalgam. Medium-bodied, the palate has gently mouthfilling flavours of dark raspberries, blackberries with peppery notes, some spice and earth nuances lending good presence. The mouthfeel is harmonious and balanced by light, grainy tannin extraction and integrated acidity. The flavours carry to a gently concentrated, lingering finish of raspberries and herbs. This is a gently mouthfilling, medium-bodied Syrah with dark raspberry, pepper, spices and earthy note on a harmonious and balanced palate with light tannin extraction. Match with Middle Eastern fare over the next 3-4 years. Hand-picked fruit, 100% Syrah from SOHO’s ‘Jomara’ vineyard, fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 9 months in 24% new French, and American oak barriques. 17.5-/20 Oct 2017 RRP $40.00
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