Spy Valley ‘Envoy’ Range

The consistency of high quality of the Spy Valley wines from the Waihopi Valley never fails to impress. From the very beginning Bryan and Jan Johnson insisted on having wines that over-delivered, and in a market where prices rises are far too easy, they have remained at the same level. 10 varieties are grown over 125 ha in vineyards established in 1993 next to an international satellite communications monitoring station (a spy-base). In 2007, a 10 ha hillside vineyard in the Omaka Valley, was added, this being called ‘The Outpost'. The viticulture is under the care of Adam McCone. Winemaking is carried out in a very modern and well-designed winery by Paul Bourgeois and his team.

While the ‘Spy Valley' wines are the core of the business, the limited release ‘Envoy' range of vineyard and winemaker selections is of great interest, these wines coming exclusively from Johnson Estate parcels, expressing site individuality and winemaker input. I find they can be challenging wines to appreciate, but are worth the effort. Personally, I think the packaging needs to be lifted to reflect their serious nature, and the previous lack of direct connection to the ‘Spy Valley' brand an omission. This has been corrected with the addition of ‘Spy Valley' above ‘Envoy' on new bottlings. In this current selection reviewed, the Envoy Riesling 2009 does not have ‘Spy Valley' on the front label. www.spyvalleywine.co.nz


  • Envoy Marlborough Riesling 2009

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