Featured Reviews

The Ramsay 2015 Central Otago Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

29 June,2018

Ramsay Wines is the venture of Duncan and Fiona Ramsay who established in 2001 their vineyard in the Parkburn district in the Cromwell Basin with the assistance of Greg Hay. They planted 12.5 ha to Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris, and first cropped commercially in 2006, subsequently selling contracted fruit to the likes of Peregrine, Rockburn and Craggy Range, and more recently to Matua, Peregrine, Wooing Tree, Matt Connell Wines and Wet Jacket. The Ramsays made their own first wine in 2014, from the 2016 vintage (click here to see my reviews), contracting Dean Shaw at COWCO until the 2016 vintage, after which Matt Connell took over. Sean Guildford is the general manager and viticulturist, working with the vineyard since 2005; he resides on the property. The label acknowledges the Ramsay’s Scottish heritage and the long association between Scotland and Central Otago. Here I review the 2015 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, to be released next. To contact Sean Guildford, Cell: 0274 315-316 or Email: sean.guildford@ramsaywines.co.nz


The Ramsay Central Otago Chardonnay 2015

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Otago


Bright, light straw-yellow colour with slight green hues, pale on the rim. The nose is elegantly proportioned and presented with softly concentrated aromas of white and yellow stonefruits interwoven with mealy elements, subtle butty oak detail, hints of creamy barrel-ferment and a suggestion of lemon-curd MLF. This has good detail and an array of aromatics. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has gently rich and soft flavours of white and yellow stonefruits entwined with subtle creamy barrel-ferment and nutty oak notes forming an elegantly concentrated heart. The mouthfeel is soft and fine-textured, with integrated acidity, and the wine flows easily with good linearity to a sustained finish of stonefruits and nuts. This is a gently rich Chardonnay with elegance and concentrated flavours of stonefruit, mealy notes and nutty oak with a fine-textured line. Match with poultry and pork over the next 3-4 years. Hand picked Chardonnay fruit from the ‘Ramsay’ vineyard, WBP and indigenous yeast barrel-fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 15% new French oak barrels with 100% MLF. 18.0/20 Jun 2018 RRP $29.90

The Ramsay Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago


Moderately deep, dark ruby-red colour, lighter on the edge. The nose is softly full and well-packed with dense and harmoniously integrated aromas of ripe, dark-red berry fruit intermixed with complexing dried and dark herbs, a little earthiness and whole bunch stalk nuances, forming a concentrated core. Medium-full bodied, the palate is harmoniously interwoven with soft and gently rich flavours of savoury dark-red berry fruit along with a layer of dried herbs and subtle whole bunch stalk elements. The fruit forms an elegant, but well-packed heart which is supported by fine, grainy tannin extraction along with a fine edge of acidity lending energy, enhancing the fruit sweetness. The flavours carry with good linearity to a lingering finish of savoury red fruits and herbs. This is a gently rich and softly concentrated Pinot Noir with harmonious and integrated complex flavours of savoury red fruits, herbs and a little earth on a fine-textured palate. Serve with coq au vin and casseroles over the next 4-5 years. Hand-picked Pinot Noir fruit from the ‘Ramsay’ vineyard, indigenous yeast fermented with 20% whole bunches to 13.5% alc., the wine spending 25 days on skins on average and aged 10 months in 20% new French oak barriques. 17.5+/20 Jun 2018 RRP $39.95

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