Featured Reviews

Wrights 2017 Gisborne and 2016 ‘Reserve’ Chardonnays and 2017 Natural Wine Co. Pinot Noir

19 February,2018

Wrights is the Gisborne family winegrowing business of Geoff and Nicola Wright who have three vineyards in the region, which are certified Asurequality organic. Geoff has a wine heritage which stretches back to 1931 with his great grandfather Stanko Jurakovich, a Croatian in Auckland. The Wrights established their Gisborne venture in 2000, and featured organics as a foundation to their business. With the release of the current new wines, the Wrights have introduced new branding to the ‘Wrights’ label to represent their focus on the Chardonnay variety for which they aim to be among the country’s leading producers. In addition to the ‘Wrights’ label, they have the more accessible ‘Natural Wine Co.’ range. Here, I review the new Wrights 2017 Chardonnay and 2016 ‘Reserve’ Chardonnay, plus the 2017 Natural Wine Co. Pinot Noir. www.wrightswines.co.nz


Wrights Gisborne Organic Chardonnay 2017

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Gisborne


Bright, light golden-yellow colour with some depth, lighter on the rim. The nose is full with aromas of ripe, savoury citrus fruit harmoniously melded with an amalgam of yellow stonefruits and citrus fruits, creamy barrel-ferment, lemon-curd MLF and layers of nutty oak, forming a deep, rounded core. Medium-full bodied, the palate has a firm core with a rounded mouthfeel with concentrated flavours of savoury citrus fruit and yellow stonefruits entwined with subtle nutty oak and creamy barrel-ferment notes. The palate has richness and presence all enlivened by acid tension. The wine flows smoothly along a rounded line, leading to a long savoury, nutty finish. This is a rich, harmonious, smooth-flowing Chardonnay with flavours of ripe, savoury citrus and stonefruit with creamy and nutty oak and MLF elements. Match with roast poultry and pork over the next 3-4 years. Mendoza clone fruit from the ‘Ormond Valley’ block, vines 13 y.o., fully indigenous yeast barrel-fermented to 13.8% alc., the wine 9 months in seasoned oak, undergoing some batonnage and over 50% MLF. Certified Asurequality organic. 17.5+/20 Feb 2018 RRP $24.00

Wrights ‘Reserve’ Gisborne Organic Chardonnay 2016

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Gisborne


Bright, light golden yellow colour, lighter on the edge. This has a full and gently concentrated, deeply packed nose with fresh, ripe yellow stonefruits and tropical fruits along with citrus fruit elements entwined with creamy barrel-ferment, and nutty, toasty oak. The aromatics are refined and vibrant, and show good intensity. Full-bodied, the palate has rich and deeply packed flavours of yellow stonefruits, tropical and citrus fruit melded with a layering of creamy and nutty oak. The flavours are mouthfilling and detailed in complexity. The mouthfeel is vibrant with fruit richness and energy, and enlivened by fine acid poise, the wine carrying with good drive to a long and sustained, complex-nuanced finish. This is a rich and vibrant, well-concentrated Chardonnay with a complex array of fruit and oak flavours. Match with roasted pork and veal dishes over the next 4-5 years. Mendoza clone fruit, vines 13 y.o., fully indigenous yeast barrel-fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine aged 15 months in 85% new French oak, undergoing batonnage and 100% MLF. Certified Asurequality organic. 18.5/20 Feb 2018 RRP $38.00

Natural Wine Co. Gisborne Organic Pinot Noir 2017

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Gisborne


Dark, deep, black-hued ruby-red colour with youthful purple hues, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is full and deep with very ripe fruit aromas of blackberries along with boysenberries and black plums, unfolding some herbal and tamarillo notes. This is soft and densely packed with solidness and presence. Medium-bodied, the palate has sweet and vibrant flavours of ripe blackberries and plums with boysenberry elements, entwined with dark herb and tamarillo fruit notes. The mouthfeel is plush and juicy with subtle jam notes adding to the richness. The fruit is underlined by supple tannin extraction and integrated acidity, and the wine carries with good drive and energy to a sweet finish of black fruits and herbs. This is a plush, up-front, juicy and rich, ripe black-fruited Pinot Noir with herbal elements. Match with barbecued fare, and Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine over the next 3 years. Pinot Noir fruit from Manutuke, destemmed and indigenous yeast fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine given 9 months seasoned oak contact. Certified Asurequality organic. 17.5/20 Feb 2018 RRP $22.00

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