Nautilus 2015 ‘The Paper Nautilus’ and 2014 Single Vineyard Pinot Noirs

Although Nautilus Estate was founded by Robert Hill Smith of Yalumba in the Barossa Valley, the culture and the wines are Kiwi through-and-through. From the first vintage in 1985, Nautilus Estate has made archetype Marlborough wines, led by the classically styled Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir bottlings, and top flight method traditionnelles. Under the Hill Smith ownership, Nautilus Estate has thrived and expanded, building a dedicated Pinot Noir cellar in 2000, and a White Winery in 2006 purely for the making of cool-climate white wines. The Nautilus team with Clive Jones as winemaker and general manager has quietly introduced innovation with new varietals such as Gruner Veltliner and Albarino.

With over three decades of growth, Nautilus Estate is truly a mature Marlborough producer, and this maturity has enabled the ability to trial new styles and expressions. ‘Alternative’ Sauvignon Blanc is now an important category showcasing the variety’s ability to possess complexity. The team have created ‘The Paper Nautilus’ from a single site with high solids, warm fermentation in a large, seasoned oak cuve to lend more subtle fruitiness and greater textural qualities to that of more ‘conventional’ Sauvignon Blanc. The growing maturity of the Pinot Noir vineyards, with a minimum of 15 years of vine age has enabled the identification and bottling of single vineyard wines of individual and characterful style that represent terroir, site and sub-region. In March this year during a visit to Nautilus Estate, I was given a preview taste of two single vineyard Pinot Noirs (click here to see my report.)

I review the new alternative Sauvignon Blanc and two single vineyard Pinot Noirs, one from the Southern Valleys, the other from the Awatere, all three wines being very exciting developments for Nautilus Estate.


  • Nautilus Estate ‘The Paper Nautilus’ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2015
  • Nautilus Estate ‘Clay Hills Vineyard’ Marlborough Pinot Noir 2014
  • Nautilus Estate ‘Awatere River Vineyard’ Marlborough Pinot Noir 2014

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