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Featured Reviews

Twin Islands 2017 Sauvignon and Opawa 2017 Sauvignon and Rosé, and 2016 Pinot

13 October,2017
The ‘Twin Islands’ and ‘Opawa’ brands are secondary to the premium Nautilus Estate Marlborough wines. The winemaking team of Clive Jones and Brett Bermingham in conjunction with viticulturist Mike Collins select the fruit and make the wines in their appropriate styles. The Twin Islands wines offer very good value, and the Opawa wines are more accessible than the Nautilus Estate bottlings. They have a proven track record for many years in the marketplace. Here, I review the new 2017 Twin Islands Sauvignon Blanc, with the Opawa 2017 Sauvignon Blanc and Rosé, and 2016 Pinot Noir.


Twin Islands Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough

Bright, very pale straw colour with slight green hues, lighter on the edge. The nose is firm and taut with good intensity of aromatic passionfruit melded with fresh herbs, cut grass and nettle notes, unfolding saline and mineral nuances. The nose has good depth and penetration. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has a tight, concentrated palate with a firm core of passionfruit flavours with fresh herbs and nettle elements. The palate has a firm line with light, drying phenolic textures and balanced, acidity lending vigour and drive. The wine carries with plenty of energy to a long, lingering, firm-textured. Mouth-wateringly dry finish with bold passionfruit flavours. This is a firm-textured, vigorous and bold passionfruity Sauvignon Blanc with herb and nettle flavours, and a mouthwatering palate. Match with salads and vegetables, and Mediterranean fare over the next 2 years. Marlborough fruit cool-fermented to 12.5% alc. and 3.0 g/L RS. 17.0/20 Oct 2017 RRP $18.90

Opawa Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough

Bright, very pale straw colour, near colourless on the rim. The nose is soft and gently voluminous with subtle and harmoniously interwoven aromas of pungent passionfruit, fresh herbs and nettle elements. The nose is elegantly poised in expression. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has moderately concentrated, harmoniously entwined flavours of passionfruit and fresh herbs with nuances of cooler spectrum nettles. The mouthfeel is softly refreshing with gentle phenolic textures and integrated acidity. The wine is stylishly balanced and flows smoothly to a soft lingering passionfruity finish. This is a stylishly soft and harmonious Sauvignon Blanc with gentle textures and acidity, with refinement and balance. Match with Pacific Rim and Asian cuisine over the next 2 years. Fruit primarily from the ‘Opawa’ vineyard in Rapaura, cool-fermented in tank with a small portion in large oak cuves to 12.5% alc. and 2.5 g/L RS, the wine aged on lees. 17.0+/20 Oct 2017 RRP $19.95

Opawa Marlborough Rosé 2017

Rose from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright, very pale candy-floss pink colour, lighter on the rim. The nose is elegant with beautifully fragrant aromas of strawberries and cream, with bright lifted florals and confectionary notes. The aromas grow in volume and depth with aeration. Dry to taste and light-medium bodied, the palate has bright and aromatic flavours of strawberries and cream, and lifted red florals, with notes of confectionary. The mouthfeel is crisp and mouthwatering, with a very fine, smooth, linear flow and lacy acid liveliness. The wine carries to a brisk, fragrant, mouthwatering finish. This is a beautifully fragrant and bright rosé with strawberries and cream, red florals and oft confectionary notes, and a crisp, mouthwatering, refined palate. Serve as an aperitif and with canapes over the next 2 years. 100% Pinot Noir fruit given a short time on skins and fermented in stainless-steel tanks and seasoned oak barrels to 12.0% alc. and 4.12 g/L RS. 18.0+/20 Oct 2017 RRP $19.95

Brett Bermingham has given a lot of thought to the rosé style. His is 100% Pinot Noir, given 24 hours skin contact, 20% barrel-fermented to 12.5% alc. and 4.5 g/L RS, and a little MLF. Pale peach pink, light edged. The nose is very fresh with lifted red florals and notes of cranberries and a suggestion only of confectionary. A little savoury detail adds thirst-quenching interest. Dry to taste, this is very fresh and still tight, with an intense core of cranberries and redcurrants, pomegranate and florals. The fruit expression is one of delicacy, but without any deficiency. Crisp acidity and light phenolics carry this mouthwatering wine to a bright and detailed finish. A touch of Provence with Marlborough terroir. 18.0/20 Jul 2017 RRP $22.50

Opawa Marlborough Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Marlborough

Light ruby-red colour with slight purple hues, lighter on the edge. The nose is very elegant and tightly bound with pretty red cherry and red floral aromas along with fresh herbal notes and minerally reduction. Medium-full bodied, the palate is elegant and slender in presentation withjuicy and sweet red cherry fruit along with red floral and herb notes. Some minerally reduction is present. The mouthfeel is fresh, bright and lively with fine-grained, but firm tannins and crisp acidity. The wine flows with energy to a light finish of red fruits and minerals. This is a fresh, juicy and lively red cherry-fruited Pinot Noir with floral and herb notes and minerally reduction in a fine, but firm palate. Match with game bird dishes over the next 3 years. Marlborough fruit indigenous yeast fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 15% new French oak barriques. 16.0+/20 Oct 2017 RRP $28.95
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