Villa Maria Early Release 2014 Sauvignon Blanc and 2013 Organic Merlot
New, fresh and clean could be the theme for these two new releases from Villa Maria. The 2014 ‘Early Release’ Sauvignon Blanc in the ‘Private Bin’ tier caters for those with a hankering to be among the first to try a new vintage. There’s a simplicity and uncomplicated nature about newly-fermented wine, and its exuberance can be a delight. More than one winemaker has stated the most preferred time to enjoy Sauvignon Blanc is when it is in tank, before it has been bottled. This is about as near to that as commercially possible. In making the wine, the fruit was specially selected from earlier ripening sites. It approximates what the main blend will be, but as it is not totally representative, it is clearly labelled as a different wine.
It may seem difficult for a large company with vineyard sources the length of the country to embrace organics. Villa Maria, as with practically all of New Zealand’s industry has adopted the sustainable stance, and taken steps into organic viticulture. A number of sites are now tended to organic regimes, with certification the aim. The ‘Joseph Soler’ vineyard in Hawke’s Bay is certified BioGro organic and a certified Merlot wine was made in 2009. Villa Maria has now released another certified BioGro organic Merlot, from the 2013 vintage from this site, also in the ‘Cellar Selection’ tier. I review these new, fresh and clean wines here. www.villamaria.co.nz
FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW
Villa Maria ‘Private Bin’ ‘Early Release’ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand - MarlboroughReview Date : 02-Jul-2014Fruit from selected early ripening sites in the Wairau and Awatere valleys, cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 12.5% alc. and 4.5 g/L RS. Very pale straw colour with light green hues, near colourless on rim. The nose is shy with light, slender aromas of passionfruit and aromatic herbs, revealing gooseberry fruit and minerally elements, the wine expressive of the Awatere Valley. Dry to taste, light and tightly held flavours of gooseberry fruit with subtle passionfruit and tropical fruit flavours feature on the palate. The acidity is soft and lacy and the mouthfeel has chalky, minerally, textures at the core, providing a dry phenolic grip to the linearity. The flavours lead to a sweet fruited, grainy finish. This is a light Sauvignon Blanc with gooseberry and passionfruit flavours, and a dry, chalky, textured mouthfeel. Serve with antipasto, seafood and goats cheese over the next 18 months to 2 years. 16.5/20 Jul 2014 RRP $15.99
Villa Maria ‘Cellar Selection’ ‘Organic’ Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2013Merlot from New Zealand - Hawke's BayReview Date : 02-Jul-2014Full, near saturated ruby-red colour with youthful purple hues. This has an elegant nose with fragrantly ripe aromas of red berry fruit and plums with some red liquorice, jam and confectionary elements, along with lifted red florals. Medium-bodied, softly concentrated and sweet fruit flavours of plums, raspberry and red liquorice are entwined with subtle jam and fruit pastille notes. The mouthfeel is soft and near-plush with soft, ripe acidity and fine, supple tannins supporting the rounded fruit core. The wine flows smoothly and easily to a plush, sweet fruited, aromatic finish. This is a deliciously soft, attractively aromatic Merlot with sweet and plush fruit and supple tannins. Serve with beef and lamb, and Mediterranean fare over the next 4-5 years. 100% Merlot fruit from the ‘Joseph Soler’ vineyard fermented to 13.5% alc., 30% of the wine aged 12 months in barrel. Certified BioGro organic. 18.0/20 Jul 2014 RRP $19.99