Lake Chalice Marlborough, ‘The Nest’ and ‘The Raptor’ Wines

Lake Chalice Wines was established in 1989 by restaurateur Chris Gambitsis and police detective Phil Binnie who decided to grow grapes to make their own wine. They planted the ‘Falcon’ vineyard in the Wairau Valley in 1990, and labelled the produce under ‘Lake Chalice’ named after the wilderness lake in the Richmond ranges. The theme and logo of the brand is the native Karearea falcon, and their further vineyard developments are the Eyrie vineyard in the Waihopai Valley and Talon vineyard in Dillons Point. Lake Chalice is a sponsor of ‘Wingspan Birds of Prey Trust. The Lake Chalice wines are made by Matt Thomson, who is well-known as Saint Clair’s winemaker.

In June last year, the Ibbotson family of Saint Clair acquired the Lake Chalice business with brand and vineyards. The Ibbotsons are keen to continue the identity of the Lake Chalice brand and its established distribution channels and markets. Undoubtedly they will also revitalise the branding in due course. Here, I review a selection of current Lake Chalice wines, including the accessible, fruit-focussed ‘The Nest’ tier, the regular ‘Marlborough’ bottlings and the premium ‘The Raptor’ selected parcel wines.


  • Lake Chalice ‘The Nest’ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016
  • Lake Chalice ‘The Nest’ Marlborough Chardonnay 2016
  • Lake Chalice Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016
  • Lake Chalice ‘The Haast’ Marlborough Chardonnay 2015
  • Lake Chalice Marlborough Pinot Noir 2016
  • Lake Chalice ‘Vineyard Selection’ Merlot 2014
  • Lake Chalice ‘The Raptor’ Marlborough Rosé 2016
  • Lake Chalice ‘The Raptor’ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016
  • Lake Chalice ‘The Raptor’ Marlborough Pinot Noir 2015

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