The Boneline 2017 Amphitheatre’ Cabernet Franc and 2015 ‘Iridium’


The Boneline label from the Waipara Valley, North Canterbury, grew from the Waipara West operation, but instead of making wines that suited the European markets, The Boneline was to be focussed on the Australian and New Zealand palate. The Boneline is the family partnership of London-based Paul Tutton, his artist wife Olga Sienko, and his sister Vic Tutton who is based on the vineyard with her husband Lindsay Hill who is the viticulturist. The wines come from 25 ha of vines planted from 1989, with Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Riesling in white, and Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc with some Syrah in red. Behind the change of style were the inputs of the highly respected winegrower Jeff Sinnott, who has been assisted by Paul Goodege. Paul is now the winemaker but Jeff Sinnott remains as consultant.

With the change there has been a rise in popularity of this label. Could The Boneline be the next cult producer in Waipara? The 2016 Cabernet Franc was particularly successful with gold and trophy at the Bragato Wine Awards last year, and this no doubt has added to the interest The Boneline is receiving. ‘The Boneline’ refers to the nearby K-T Boundary line that is evidence of the global catastrophe of an asteroid impact on the earth defining the end of the Mesozoic Era and the extinction of the dinosaurs. The labels feature fossils discovered in the Waipara River dating back as far as 65 million years. The name and labels are also contributing features to the interest! Here, I review the 2017 Cabernet Franc, from a cool, wet year, and flagship 2015 ‘Iridium’ Bordeaux red varietal blend, from a benevolent growing season. Vic Tutton tells me there is growing interest in these wines, especially the ‘Iridium’ in the North Island. www.theboneline.co.nz


  • The Boneline ‘Amphitheatre’ Waipara North Canterbury Cabernet Franc 2017
  • The Boneline ‘Iridium’ Waipara North Canterbury 2015

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