Novum Marlborough 2017 Chardonnay and 2016 Pinot Noir
Many winemakers wish to make wine that is of great quality, conforming to their ideals and philosophies, but get side-tracked on the way to work in a compromised situation to some degree. It’s not that the wines they make are bad, but rather, they don’t quite meet to the initial ideals of the winemaker involved, or they aren’t completely made hands-on. Thus we see many high profile winemakers make their own label wines or even start out again at the small-scale level.
After many years of involvement with the Fromm Winery as owner, general manager and winemaker, William Hoare and his family withdrew from that business. He and his wife Rachael have set up ‘Novum’ as a new way at looking at wine. Their intention is "to make great wine, and not build a monument” as in a huge winery that takes away from the focus of winemaking. They will "source small pockets of really good fruit and sell [the wine] direct to wine buyers at reasonable price points”. Here, I review the first two wines, both from Marlborough, a 2017 Chardonnay and a 2016 Pinot Noir. www.novumwines.co.nz
FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW
Novum Marlborough Chardonnay 2017Chardonnay from New Zealand - MarlboroughReview Date : 10-May-2018Bright straw-yellow colour with light golden hues. The nose is firm and finely concentrated with a tight core of white stonefruits and citrus fruits, along with fresh, steely minerals melded with hints of creamy barrel-ferment and nutty oak that emerge to provide complexing interest. Medium-full bodied, the palate is taut and elegantly concentrated with bright stonefruit and citrus fruit flavours at the heart, along with a layer of creamy, nutty oak, balanced by crisp, refreshing, cutting acidity. The wine has elegance and linearity, and flows along a very fine phenolic-threaded line, carrying to a long, sustained finish of citrus fruit and nuts. This is a taut, refreshing, finely concentrated Chardonnay with stonefruit and citrus fruit flavours along with subtle nutty oak detail, with crisp, minerally acidity and linearity. Match with grilled and roasted seafood over the next 4-5 years. Mendoza clone Chardonnay from a single site in the Wairau Valley, vines approx. 35 y.o., fully barrel-fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 10 ½ months in 10% new oak with monthly batonnage (on a full moon), with 100% MLF. 18.5/20 May 2018 RRP $40.00
Novum Marlborough Pinot Noir 2016Pinot Noir from New Zealand - MarlboroughReview Date : 10-May-2018Dark, moderately deep, ruby-red colour with slight purple hues, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is softly full and gently voluminous with aromas of dark-red berry fruit along with a complex amalgam of red florals, dried herbs and subtle complexing earthy nuances. The aromatics form a fine, tight core that grows in intensity with aeration. Medium-bodied, the palate is elegant in presentation with a soft, refined core of ripe dark-red and black berried fruits unfolding nuances of dark-red florals and suggestions of herbs that fill the mouth. The flavours are rich, soft but vibrant, possessing energy and vitality. The fruit is supported by fine-grained flowery tannin extraction that provides considerable structure. The acidity is balanced and the wine carries to a soft, lingering, nuanced finish. This is a gently mouthfilling and layered Pinot Noir with dark-red berry fruit, florals and herbs, on a fine core with plenty of structure. Match with duck and pork, and roasted beef, lamb and venison over the next 6-8 years. Pinot Noir fruit from the ‘Yarrum’ and a lower Brancott vineyard along with Omaka fruit and a small portion of fruit from the ‘Churton’ site, Waihopai, fully destemmed and indigenous yeast fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine spending 35 days on skins and aged 12-14 months in 30% new oak. 19.0-/20 May 2018 RRP $40.00