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Featured Reviews

The Hunting Lodge 2017 Pinot Gris, Marsanne Viognier and Chardonnay

20 September,2018

The famous ‘Hunting Lodge’ in Waimauku, north-west Auckland was purchased by Brent and Denise Sutton from Treasury Wine Estates in 2016. They have undertaken a programme of refurbishment of the cellar door, café, restaurant, gardens and facilities, and began making their own wines again from the ‘Home’ block, neighbouring vineyards and fruit from other regions. The Sutton’s winemaker is the very experienced Pete Turner who as well as making wine overseas, has made wine in the West Auckland district and Waiheke Island. I reviewed a selection of The Hunting Lodge wines in May, earlier this year (click here to see my reviews), and I was impressed with the complexity and sophistication of them. Here, I review the 2017 Pinot Gris, Marsanne/Viognier and Chardonnay. To me, they show a lighter style that the vintage has instilled in many wines from this challenging vintage.


The Hunting Lodge Marlborough Pinot Gris 2017

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright straw-yellow colour with light golden hues, pale on the rim. The nose is softly fresh with an elegant core of white and yellow stonefruits along with subtle notes of florals and honeysuckle unfolding suggestions of nuts and minerals. Dryish to taste and medium-light bodied, the palate has delicate fruit flavours of white stonefruits along with subtle notes of florals, nuts and minerals. The palate is elegant in proportion and carries along a light phenolic-textured line with soft acidity, leading to a light finish. This is a delicate, dryish Pinot Gris with subtle stonefruit, floral, nutty and mineral notes on a light-textured palate. Serve as an aperitif and with poultry over the next 2-3 years. Pinot Gris fruit fermented in stainless-steel to 13.0% alc., and 7 g/L RS, the wine aged 4 months on light lees. 16.5/20 Sep 2018 RRP $24.00

The Hunting Lodge Marsanne/Viognier 2017

Blended White from New Zealand - North Island


Full, even, light golden-yellow colour, paler on the edge. The nose is taut and elegantly bound with delicate notes of white stonefruits entwined with apricots and exotic floral aromas. The nose has clarity and grows in intensity with aeration. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has a finely concentrated core of white stonefruits melded with apricots and exotic florals. The fruit is slender in expression, but has depth and linearity. The mouthfeel possesses light phenolic textures with fresh acidity that carries the wine to a lingering, moderately concentrated finish. This is an elegant Marsanne/Viognier blend with a slender but positive heart of stonefruits, apricots and florals, with some good palate presence and freshness. Serve with Asian and Middle Eastern fare over the next 3 years. A blend of 60% Marsanne from Gisborne and 40% Viognier from Hawke’s Bay, fermented in stainless-steel with 10% in seasoned oak barriques to 13.0% alc., and 2 g/L RS, the barrel portion aged 5 months on lees. 17.0+/20 Sep 2018 RRP $25.00

The Hunting Lodge Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2017

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Full, deep, golden-yellow colour, lighter on the rim. The nose is softly full and gently packed with aromas of ripe yellow stonefruits and citrus fruit harmoniously layered with subtle notes of flinty reduction, creamy and nutty oak, some toastiness and oxidative detail. Medium-full bodied, the palate is softly concentrated and packed with flavours of ripe yellow stonefruits and citrus fruit, entwined with nutty and toasty oak, a little oxidative complexity and hints of flinty reduction. The palate has richness and a soft mouthfeel, with light phenolic grip and fine acidity that carries the wine to a light, nuanced finish. This is a harmonious Chardonnay with yellow stonefruits, nutty and toasty oak, subtle oxidative and flinty complexities. Match with roast pork over the next 3-4 years. Fruit from Gimblett Road, fully barrel-fermented, with 20% by indigenous yeasts to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 9 months in approx. 30% new oak on lees with batonnage and approx. 15% MLF. 17.5+/20 Sep 2018 RRP $30.00

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