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Featured Reviews

Spy Valley 2017 ‘E Block’ Sauvignon Blanc and ‘Single Estate’ Pinot Gris

22 May,2018

It has been noticeable that Spy Valley have taken a more informative, detailed and definitive stance on labelling their wines, giving more information as to the provenance. This is an important action to take as the world’s fine wine market is becoming more discerning and demanding in what they want to know. Here, I review a limited release ‘E Block’ Sauvignon Blanc 2017, from that specified plot, the fruit with such distinctive character that deserved to be bottled separately, and the ‘Single Estate’ Pinot Gris 2017, informing that the fruit is only from the company’s vines. Both wines incorporate partial fermentation in wood and lees contact to increase flavour and texture. Winemaker Paul Bourgeois and his team are achieving excellent results by also retaining varietal expression.


Spy Valley ‘Single Block: E’ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright, pale straw-yellow colour with slight green hues, a little lighter on the edge. The nose is fresh and full with voluminous aromas of ripe, pungent passionfruit along with notes of tropical fruits and fresh herbs. This is punchy with very good depth and presence. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has a concentrated heart of pungent passionfruit along with tropical fruits, fresh herbs, soft notes of snow peas and nettles and green stonefruit elements. The mouthfeel is gently refreshing with balanced, lacy acidity which enhances the fruit richness, and the wine flows along a taut, concentrated line with fine textures, leading to a dry finish with a touch of grip. This is a concentrated and punchy Sauvignon Blanc with a rounded and deep heart of pungent passionfruit, herbs and stonefruits with soft acid and a fine-textured line. Match with Pacific Rim fare over the next 2 years. Fruit from the ‘Johnson Vineyard E Block’, Waihopai, vines planted 1995, fermented in stainless-steel, with a small portion in barrel to 12.5% alc. and 1.8 g/L RS, the wine aged on lees for 7 months. 500 cases made. 18.5/20 May 2018 RRP $24.90

Spy Valley ‘Hand Picked Single Estate’ Marlborough Pinot Gris 2017

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright straw-yellow colour pale golden-green hues, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is elegant and well-proportioned with fragrant aromas of white and yellow stonefruits entwined with exotic florals, a hint of honeysuckle and a suggestion of musk. The aromatics form a well-concentrated heart and the nose builds in intensity and penetration with aeration. Medium-dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate has a positive and deeply packed core with flavours of yellow stonefruits and exotic florals, along with nuances of honeysuckle, nutty lees elements and a little musk. The fruit possesses aromatic detail and interest, with good linearity. The mouthfeel is rounded with balanced, integrated acidity, and the wine is smooth-flowing with some underlying phenolics, power and drive, leading to a rounded, long-lingering finish. This is a well-concentrated, medium-dry Pinot Gris with stonefruit, exotic florals and honeysuckle notes on a palate with good drive and power. Serve with Middle Eastern and Asian cuisine over the next 3+ years. Fruit from the ‘Johnson Vineyard’, Waihopai, and the ‘Outpost Vineyard’, Omaka, hand-picked over four passes, WBP, and fermented partially by indigenous yeasts in stainless-steel and wood with high solids to 14.0% alc. and 6.5 g/L RS. 18.5+/20 May 2018 RRP $22.00

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