Charles Wiffen Wines – Wine2Trade Portfolio
The Charles Wiffen wines consistently win gold medal and trophy awards. Charles and Sandi Wiffen are long-established Marlburnians farming cattle and sheep on their 14,000 ha ‘Inverness' property just a few kilometres north of Cheviot. The Wiffens wine industry involvement began as partners in a share-planted vineyard in 1980, which saw them as one of the original grape growers for Penfolds and Delegats, supplying some of the earliest Marlborough wine labels. In 1997 they set up their own label, Charles Wiffen Wines.
The Wiffens have 50 ha of vines, planted in the Lower Wairau and Southern Valleys regions, on New Renwick Road, adjacent to Wither Hills. The varieties planted are Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and Merlot. Melissa Sutherland and Jason Tripe are the viticulturists. Their vineyard provides practically all the fruit for their wines (a little is sourced from Peter Rose's vineyard), and the remainder is taken by other producers as premium quality resource. At present, the annual production is around 6,000 cases of wine.
Charles and Sandi have entrusted their winemaking to Anthony Ivicevich and James Rowan of West Brook, in Waimauku, West Auckland. Daughter Rebecca is a winemaker, at Lawson's Dry Hills, where some of the fruit is initially processed before being tankered up to Auckland. www.charleswiffenwines.co.nz
Archived tasting notes on wines no longer commercially available can be seen by clicking here
FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW
Charles Wiffen Sauvignon Blanc 2018, MarlboroughSauvignon Blanc from New Zealand - MarlboroughReview Date : 07-Sep-2020Bright, light straw yellow, slightly lighter on the rim. The nose is upfront and fresh, well-packed with vibrant nuances of gooseberries, limes and capsicums, underlying fine aromatic-minerals. Light-bodied, fresh and juicy with tropical fruit, gooseberries and limes, subtle florals unfolds, crunchy minerals flow to a sustained finish. The mouthfeel is vibrant with thirst-quenching acidity, smooth-flows with good energy on a mineral nuanced light-phenolic line. The fruit is generous and bright, with a concentrated core; acidity is refined and integrated, lending a focused acid tension. This is a bright, thirst-quenching Sauvignon Blanc with flavours of gooseberries, limes and capsicum on a fine-textured mineral line. Match with salt and pepper calamari and mussels over the next 2-3 years. 13% alc. 18.5/20 pts Sept 2020 RRP $19.95
Charles Wiffen Chardonnay 2018, MarlboroughChardonnay from New Zealand - MarlboroughReview Date : 07-Sep-2020Bright, straw-yellow with some depth, faintly lighter on edge. This is elegantly presented, gently penetrating aromas of stonefruit, melded with almond, nougat and subtle vanillin. Medium-bodied, aromas of lemons, apricots have a good core, entwined with bitter almonds, cashews and a touch of vanilla cream. The wine flows smoothly and seamlessly with lacy, integrated acidity, carries interwoven nutty oak elements and toasty complexity, leading an elegant linear finish. Lightly creamy palate and a light phenolic fine texture have broadened the palate dimension, rounding to complete expression. This is a harmonious Chardonnay with flavours of stonefruit, vanilla, nutty, creamy details. Match with grilled game fish, salt-baked chicken over the next 3 years. 13% alc. 18.5/20 pts Sept 2020 RRP $25
Charles Wiffen Pinot Gris 2017, MarlboroughPinot Gris from New Zealand - MarlboroughReview Date : 07-Sep-2020Bright, straw-yellow with a light green hue, even colour throughout. The nose is densely packed, interwoven an array of tree fruit, lemon and spice. Off-dry to taste, medium-bodied, gently rich flavours of quince, pear and apple melded with honey and five-spice. The mouthfeel is oily, gentle-flowing with crisp fresh pear and apple; unveiled honey, quince paste rich notes as the wine aerated, subtle florals linger in the background. The flavours are gently rich and harmonious presented, flow along a fine-textured phenolic line with soft, underlying acidity provides freshness. This is a softly-concentrated off-dry Pinot Gris, with balanced richness and freshness. Match with Asian fare over the next 2-3 years. 12.5% alc. 17.5/20 pts Sept 2020 RRP $19.95
Charles Wiffen Gewurztraminer 2013, MarlboroughGewurztraminer from New Zealand - MarlboroughReview Date : 07-Sep-2020Bright, medium yellow with some depth and a green hue, even colour throughout. The nose is gently full, well-packed with aromas of lime, lychee, mandarin peels, entwined with ginger, rose petals and cereal notes. Off-dry, medium-light bodied, there is a good concentration of fruit on the palate, lime, lychee and mandarin lingers with subtle honey, enriched by ginger, rose petals and cereal notes on the finish. The wine is smooth-flowing with good energy, balanced sweetness and acidity shine through with purity of fruit. Acidity is balanced, enlivened the palate with freshness and lingers to a clean and dry finish, along with subtle development of cereal nuances. This is an off-dry Gewurztraminer with clean, exotic fruit notes, ginger, rose petals and cereals complexing details, flows on a smooth line to a dry, refreshing finish. Match with chicken curry and Sichuan cuisine over the next 3 years. 13% alc. 18-/20 pts Sept 2020 RRP $24
Charles Wiffen Riesling 2013, MarlboroughRiesling from New Zealand - MarlboroughReview Date : 07-Sep-2020Bright, medium yellow with some depth and a lime hue, even colour throughout. The nose is expressive, complexing aromas of lime, mandarin, marmalade, melded with beeswax and subtle spice development underlay. Medium-bodied, off-dry to taste, rich flavours of citrus fruit and marmalade, enriched by beeswax, lanolin, cereals and subtle white pepper development. The palate is almost unctuous, soften acidity balanced with the sugar sweetness, lingers with mandarin-nuanced acidity on the finish. This is an off-dry Riesling with rich flavours of an amalgam of citrus, beeswax, cereals details development. Match with roasted pork and spring rolls with spiced sweet and sour sauce over the next 2 years. 11.5% alc. 17/20 pts Sept 2020 RRP $19.95
Charles Wiffen Merlot 2016, MarlboroughMerlot from New Zealand - MarlboroughReview Date : 07-Sep-2020Deep, ruby-red with a black hue, slightly lighter on the rim. The nose is gently full with good intensity, aromas of plums, dried blackcurrants, melded with dried herbs, leather, liquorice and warm spices. Medium-full bodied, an amalgam of dark berries, plums, dried currants, interwoven dried herbs, leather, dark chocolate toned tannin. The palate is refined with juicy red fruit and lively acid balance, lacy and lifting. Developed flavours of leather, liquorice, dried herbs, complexing flavours, added interest. Tannin extraction has a good grip and a hint of smokiness lingers to a moderately long finish. Match with slow-cooked beef stew and beef steaks over the next 2-3 years. 13% alc. 18/20 pts Sept 2020 RRP $25