Mills Reef 2013 ‘Reserve’ Gewurztraminer and ‘Elspeth’ Merlot

While the Mills Reef wine ranges are well separated in style, I do find the distinction between the ‘Reserve’ range and the ‘Elspeth’ releases closer. The ‘Reserve’ wines are made from low yielding vines but have the trait of ‘balance’ in their making, rendering them quite accessible on release, whereas the ‘Elspeth’ wines are made without any compromise, and designed for longevity. Quality in both ranges is at the highest level, as it is a matter of style interpretation. That’s why many second tier wines are extremely successful in wine judging competitions, performing better than the super-premiums, which can be backward or showing their structure prominently. Here, I review the 2013 ‘Reserve’ Gewurztraminer from Gisborne fruit, and the ‘Elspeth’ Merlot from the company’s ‘Mere Road’ vineyard in the Gimblett Gravels.


  • Mills Reef ‘Reserve’ Gisborne Gewurztraminer 2013
  • Mills Reef ‘Elspeth’ Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2013

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