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Featured Reviews




South River Central Otago Rosé, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir

12 November,2018

South River is the wine venture of Kenneth McGrath who is based in Auckland and has a farming and consultancy background. In 2012 Kenneth acquired the 31 ha vineyard on Maori Point Road on the flats of Tarras, Central Otago, which was established in 2005 by Robin and James Dicey. It is planted to 20.5 ha of Pinot Noir, and 10.5 ha of Pinot Gris, of various clones on grafted rootstock. Jason Thompson of Viticultura has the on-site vineyard management responsibilities, and Kenneth and Jason are working towards BioGro organic certification. Much of the fruit is contracted to Matua and Chard Farm, with the inaugural own-label South River wines coming from the 2014 vintage. The winemaker is Antony Worch of Alexandra Vintners. Here, I review multiple vintages of the Pinot Rosé, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. www.southriver.co.nz

FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW



South River Central Otago Pinot Rosé 2017

Rose from New Zealand – Otago

17/20

Brilliant, pale salmon-pink colour with peach hues and some depth, lighter on the rim. The nose is fresh with soft strawberry, redcurrant and pomegranate fruit aromas along with watermelon and thirst-quenching mineral notes unfolding red floral elements. The nose is moderately concentrated. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has sweet and lively fruit flavours of strawberries, pomegranate and redcurrants along with a delicate amalgam of florals and confectionary. The palate is crisp, refreshing and mouthwatering with good acidity, and the wine flows along a light, phenolic-textured line leading to a light, fruity finish. This is a bright and lively dry rosé with strawberry, pomegranate and redcurrant flavours on a brisk palate with dome phenolic textures. Serve as an aperitif and with antipasto over the next 2 years. Pinot Noir fruit cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 12.9% alc. and 3.5 g/L RS. 17.0/20 Nov 2018 RRP $20.00

South River Central Otago Pinot Rosé 2016

Rose from New Zealand – Otago

17+/20

Bright salmon-pink colour with tints of purple and some depth, lighter on the edge. This has a fresh and fragrant nose with aromas of redcurrants, strawberries and watermelon and subtle red floral lift. The aromas are elegant with depth and intensity. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is softly presented with a rounded core of strawberries interwoven with watermelon and red florals and a little confectionary. The wine flows smoothly with light, lacy acidity underlining the fruit, and the wine carries to a harmonious, integrated, smooth finish. This is a softly rounded dry rosé with strawberry, floral and confectionary notes and a smooth-flowing palate with lacy acidity. Serve with dim sum and Asian fare over the next 18 months to 2 years. Pinot Noir fruit cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 12.9% alc. and 2.9 g/L RS. 17.0+/20 Nov 2018 RRP $20.00

South River ‘Reserve’ Central Otago Pinot Gris 2018

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Otago

17.5+/20

Bright, even straw-yellow with a suggestion of light gold, paler on the rim. The nose is fresh and elegant with firmly packed aromas of white and yellow stonefruits along with subtle notes of exotic florals with nuances of pears and honeysuckle, revealing some mineral hints. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has a fresh, bright and elegantly concentrated core of white and yellow stonefruits with fragrant florals and some honied nuances. The mouthfeel is lively and refreshing with fresh acidity providing cut, and the wine carries along a fine-textured line leading to an elegant finish with moderate length. This is an elegantly concentrated, lively and fresh, dry Pinot Gris with aromatic stonefruit, floral and pear flavours. Match with Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese cuisine over the next 3 years. Pinot Gris fruit fermented in stainless-steel to 14.0% alc. and 4.4 g/L RS, the wine aged 5 months on lees. 17.5+/20 Nov 2018 RRP $20.00

South River ‘Reserve’ Central Otago Pinot Gris 2017

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Otago

16.5+/20

Bright, even, light golden-hued straw-yellow colour with some depth, a little lighter edged. The nose is softly full with moderately deep and well-concentrated aromas of yellow stonefruits with an amalgam of stonefruit kernels and florals along with nutty and minerally lees elements. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is rounded with restrained flavours of yellow stonefruits with delicate nutty elements. This is beginning to show some savoury secondary notes to the fruit. The flavours are up-front and the palate has good presence. As the wine flows, the flavours recede, becoming softer and more mellow as it leads to a light finish. This is an up-front rounded, dry Pinot Grid just beginning to show some development, finishing lightly. Serve with antipasto and white meats over the next 2 years. Pinot Gris fruit fermented in stainless-steel to 14.0% alc. and 5.4 g/L RS, the wine aged 5 months on lees. 16.5+/20 Nov 2018 RRP $20.00

South River ‘Reserve’ Central Otago Pinot Gris 2016

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Otago

16.5/20

Bright straw-yellow colour, pale on the rim. The bouquet is firm with a moderately concentrated and dense heart of savoury white and yellow stonefruits interwoven with secondary flavours of nuts and minerals. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has restrained flavours of white and yellow stonefruits along with developing nutty and mineral elements. The palate has vinosity and presence, and the mouthfeel is rounded and soft with modest acidity. A little alcohol power ine noticeable and the wine carries to a light finish. This dry Pinot Gris has restrained flavours and a rounded, vinous mouthfeel, finishing light. Serve as an aperitif and with poultry over the next 18 months to 2 years. Pinot Gris fruit fermented in stainless-steel to 13.0% alc. and 8.0 g/L RS, the wine aged 5 months on lees. 16.5/20 Nov 2018 RRP $20.00

South River ‘Reserve’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2017

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago

16.5+/20

Dark, deep ruby-red colour with purple hues, youthful in appearance. The nose is a little restrained in expression, but shows fresh dark-red cherry and berry fruit aromas wit subtle notes of dark herbs forming an elegantly concentrated heart. The aromatics are bound up at present, but will unfold. This grows in depth with aeration. Medium-full bodied, the palate has tightly bound, sweetly rich flavours of dark-red cherry and berry fruit with a little herbal detail, revealing hints of liquorice and spice. The fruit forms a fine-grained core with light, but positive tannin structure, and the acidity is integrated and balanced. The flavours carry softly to a light, nuanced finish. This is a tightly bound, but sweetly ripe Pinot Noir with restrained flavours of dark cherry and berry fruit with notes of herbs and liquorice on a softly structured palate. Match with poultry and pork dishes over the next 4 years. Pinot Noir fruit fully destemmed and fermented to 14.2% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 15% new oak. 16.5+/20 Nov 2018 RRP $28.00

South River ‘Reserve’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago

17+/20

Even ruby-red colour, lighter on the rim. This has an elegant and slender nose with light aromas of red cherry fruit entwined with fresh herbs, unfolding hints of liquorice. This is fresh and fruit-focussed. Medium-full bodied, the palate has bright and sweetly rich flavours of dark-red cherries and raspberries, along with fresh and dark herbal detail revealing red floral notes. The fruit forms a moderately concentrated heart with supple tannin structure, and fresh acidity lending the palate liveliness and energy. The wine flows positively leading to a slender, lingering finish of red fruits, florals and herbs. This is a bright and lively cherry and raspberry fruited Pinot Noir with herb notes on a supple palate with freshness. Serve with antipasto, and tuna or salmon over the next 3-4 years. Pinot Noir fruit fully destemmed and fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 15% new oak. 17.0+/20 Nov 2018 RRP $30.00

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