Sacred Hill 'Halo' Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2014 12.5%
Bold, nose smacking bouquet of grapefruit, lemon, apple and tropical fruits wrapped in a blanket of nettles and sweet herbs.
On the palate - crisp, richly flavored and with equal impact to the nose - a zesty and even spicy mix of citrus and tree fruit flavors, tropical fruits and jalapeno make a guest appearance and then the sweet ripe herbs kick in again; high crisp and refreshing acidity grip the palate adding poise and tension.
A lovely example - dramatic, crisp and is what makes Marlborough famous.
Well made and the lower alcohol works a treat.
An easy 5 Stars
Sacred Hill 'Virgin' Chardonnay 2013 Hawke's Bay 12.5%
This is a great example of how Chardonnay can express itself without the use of oak - a delicate and complex bouquet of tree and citrus fruits laced with white peach; the mineral suggestions are both soil and wine making driven - benefiting both the wine and taster.
On the palate - crisp, dry, youthful and with tension; the aforementioned flavors begin to emerge after the initial drive of acidity subsides to reveal the light sulphide like mineral flavors and white peach/lemon core. A long and lean finish leave me hoping for a glass with dinner. Think I will.
5 Stars (90 Points)
Sacred Hill 'Riflemans' Chardonnay 2013 Hawke's Bay 13.5%
The appointment of oak in any Chardonnay must be a hard decision for some winemakers - less can sometimes mean more in the final blend and the integration equation over time can bring wonderful flavor development. The bouquet of this examples suggests all the above are in play with a range of nutty, roasted and fresh stone fruit suggestions along with some sweet citrus and fresh oak spice.
On the palate - a gentle creaminess gives way to a firm structure; the flavors of citrus and stone fruits reemerge with a well appointed oak adding complexity. The finish is not that long as yet but I think this will change over the coming 2 - 6 years.
A delicious example.
5 Stars (93 Points)