Featured Reviews

The Winemaker’s Wife and The Lady Ranfurly Releases from Simon McGeorge

11 September,2018

Simon McGeorge, formerly of Waipara Hills has been working on his own winemaking venture ‘The McGeorge Wine Company’ since he left around two years ago. There are actually a number of components to this business, which involves a range of contemporary wines named ‘The Winemaker’s Wife’, the style created in conjunction with his wife Olive, ‘The Lady Ranfurly’ Pinot Noir from Central Otago created a few years ago with his brothers, and a more ‘traditional’ brand ‘McGeorge’ which feature complexity and textures. At present, Simon does not own vineyards, but sources from grower contacts he has made in Waipara and the South Island over the last decade, and he retains the day-to-day management of the N.Z. Wineries facility in Waipara, where he makes his McGeorge wines. Here, I review the new ‘The Winemaker’s Wife’ range which reflect the preferences of his wife and her circle of friends, plus the 2016 ‘Lady Ranfurly’ Pinot Noir. www.mcgeorgewine.co.nz


The Winemaker’s Wife Waipara Rosé 2018

Rose from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara


Very pale strawberry pink with slight peach hues and some depth, with slight purple tints. The nose is fresh and fragrant, quite elegant and tightly bound with aromas of lifted red florals, strawberry and cherry fruit abd subtle mouthwatering elements. A little confectionary and fresh fermentation esters emerge in the glass. Dry to taste, the palate is rich and full with vibrantly fresh flavours of strawberries and cherries with lifted florals, and subtle notes of confectionary and esters. The fruit forms a fine, deep core and the mouthfeel is enlivened by refreshing, lacy acidity. The wine has vitality and fragrance and carries with good energy to a lingering, aromatic, thirst-quenching finish. This is a refreshing, bright, vibrant and aromatic dry rosé with strawberry, cherry floral and confectionary notes on a mouthwatering palate. Serve as an aperitif and with antipasto over the next 2 years. Pinot Noir fruit direct to press with approx. 3 hours skin contact and fermented in stainless-steel to 12.5% alc. and 4.4 g/L RS. 18.0-/20 Sep 2018 RRP $22.00

The Winemaker’s Wife Waipara Riesling 2017

Riesling from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara


Bright, pale straw-yellow colour with slight green hues. The nose is finely concentrated with deep and well-packed aromas of lime fruit along with an amalgam of white florals and subtle citrus notes, with toasty elements. This has intensity and reveals some exotic tangerine elements. Medium-dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is elegant in proportion with a so soft, light, phenolic-textured core of lime and citrus fruits, along with fresh florals, soft toasty notes and tangerine nuances. The mouthfeel is soft with light, underlying acidity, and the wine carries with good linearity to a dry-textured finish. This is an elegantly concentrated, softly textures, medium-dry Riesling with citrus, lime and toasty flavours. Match with Middle Eastern fare over the next 3 years. Two tank ferments, one very clean and one with high solids, fermented to 12.0% alc. and approx. 15 g/L RS, TA 8.13 g/L and pH 3.22. 17.0/20 Sep 2018 RRP $22.00

The Winemaker’s Wife Waipara Pinot Gris 2016

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara


Bright, light straw-yellow colour with pale green hues. The nose is well-proportioned with good depth and intensity of white and yellow stonefruits along with pear notes, florals and subtle savoury, nutty suggestions. This has clarity and purity. Dryish to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has clear and softly vibrant flavours of white stonefruits along with delicate notes of pears and florals, forming an elegant, slender core. This has some linearity with integrated acidity adding to the drive. The wine flows to a light, nuanced finish. This is a drryish Pinot Gris with clear and softly vibrant flavours of stonefruits, florals and pears on a light-textured palate with some linearity. Match with Asian cuisine over the next 3 years. Waipara fruit fermented in stainless-steel to13.0% alc. and 5 g/L RS. 16.5+/20 Sep 2018 RRP $22.00

The Winemaker’s Wife Waipara Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara


Even ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the edge. The nose is fresh and up-front with fragrant aromas of cherry fruit with light raspberry elements, entwined with fresh and dark herbs, unfolding fresh red florals. This is pretty and refreshing, the aromatics in the cooler spectrum. Medium-bodied, the palate is bright and refreshing with slender, but intense flavours of dark cherries and raspberries, along with subtle herbal nuances. The fruit forms a core with good depth and concentration, and is supported by light, supple tannin extraction. The mouthfeel is enlivened by fresh, lacy acidity, and the flavours show good linearity, carrying to a concentrated, lingering finish of cherry fruit. This is a fresh, fragrant, cherry and raspberry fruited Pinot Noir with a good core, supple tannins and fresh mouthfeel. Serve with tuna, salmon, poultry and pork over the next 4 years. Predominantly clone 777 with some 10/5 from the ‘McMaster’ vineyard, Georges Road, vines around 15 y.o., fully destemmed and fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 11 months in approx. 20% new oak. 17.0+/20 Sep 2018 RRP $25.00

The Winemaker’s Wife Waipara ‘Sticky’ Riesling 2016

Sweet Wine from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara


Bright, golden-yellow colour with some depth, a little lighter on the edge. The nose is softly full and densely packed with ripe aromas of tropical and citrus fruit harmoniously entwined with honey and marmalade unfolding a subtle musky layer. This has a concentrated core, but the aromatics are rounded and accessible. Very sweet to taste and light-bodied, the palate is richly succulent and unctuous with well-concentrated, luscious flavours of tropical fruit, citrus fruits and apricots, along with marmalade and honey and musk. The palate is underlined by some power and drive, with soft and fine acidity lending delicate cut and freshness. The flavours carry to a long and sustained finish. This is a beautifully succulent and unctuous, lusciously decadent botrytis-affected Riesling with tropical fruits, citrus fruits, marmalade, honey and musk on a palate with drive and fine freshness. Match with fruit desserts, flans and tarts over the next 4-5 years. Hand-picked fruit, 100% botrytised, pressed and repressed over four days and fermented in a small tank to 9.0% alc. and 156 g/L RS. (375 ml) 19.0/20 Sep 2018 RRP $25.00

The Lady Ranfurly Cromwell Central Otago Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago


Even, dark ruby-red colour with some depth, a little lighter on the rim with slight purple tints. The nose is elegantly proportioned with a deep and well-concentrated heart of ripe dark-red berry fruit with plum notes, harmoniously melded with nuances of herbs, earth and nutty, smoky oak. Medium-bodied, the palate has gently rich and mouthfilling flavours of ripe, dark-red berry and plum fruit along with spices, herbs, and smoky, nutty oak. The fruit has good weight and presence on the palate, unfolding richness and sweetness, and is underlined by fine-grained tannin extraction and integrated acidity. The rich fruit and oak flavours carry with good drive to a softly full, sustained finish. This is a rich, sweet and mouthfilling Pinot Noir with dark-red berry and plum flavours enhanced by nutty, toasty oak on a fine-structured palate. Serve with casseroles and slow-cooked game meat dishes over the next 6 years. Equal parts of clones 5, 6 and 667 from the ‘Wooing Tree’ vineyard, fully destemmed and fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 11 months in 25% new French oak. 18.0+/20 Sep 2018 RRP $39.00

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