Thursday, 14 April 2016

Allan Scott Family Winemakers

Allan Scott Riesling 2014 Marlborough
Aromas of sweet meyer lemon, wild white flowers and wild honey; a layer of mandarin and citrus blossom along with a stony mineral quality adding depth and complexity. On the palate - off-dry with a shot of sugar, a light creamy texture then contrasting needle point acidity - but not too much; flavours of citrus, blossom and yellow/red apple follow leading to a fairly lengthy and satisfying finish. Great balance and well made. A great aperitif style and food friendly as well.
91 Points

Sunday, 3 April 2016

De la Terre

De la terre wines of Hawkes’ Bay tasting notes April 1st 2016.

Blanc de Blancs 2013 – distinctive yeast autolysis greets the nose first followed by moderate aromas of roasted stone fruits; a fine bead on the palate, lovely acid bite accentuating some brioche and light ginger tones; Just a little short on the finish, but a lovely wine overall. 89 points

Viognier ‘Ridgeline’ 2015 – Varietal, rich and forward bouquet with ripe stone fruits showing off white peach and nectarine, some light mineral action, stony soils suggestions and a whiff of bacon (oak). Palate reflects these attributes, is generous with flavour and impact, lovely texture and length, bold yet controlled and well made with some fine light tannins on the finish. 90 Points.

Viognier 2014 (Estate) – Calm, varietal, some floral and soil scents then peach, apple and apricot. Palate reflects these as flavours with decent acidity, a touch too much phenolic work has added a bitter note to the back palate and spoiled the finish somewhat – easily taken care of with smart food and wine pairing. 84 Points.

Viognier Reserve 2014 – Lovely bouquet with a fine balance between oak and fruit, some floral tones and lovely fruit ripeness, all pushed along by the oak, some fine tannins, medium+ acidity and overall great balance and length. Must like oak – a very nice example overall. 90 Points.

Chardonnay 2014 – Lots of Hawke’s Bay ripe fruit intensity with aromas and flavours of California peach, some mineral, apple then lots of oak, good oak – light brown sugar tones and light toastiness. Youthful and tense on the palate, slightly firm; great food wine with medium+ length. With a little time to settle into an integration phase this will be a wine worth the wait. 88 Points.

Chardonnay Reserve 2014 – Distinctive oak centric bouquet supported by ripe stone fruit aromas, toasty brown sugar and baking spices, bacon (oak), vanilla, burnt nutty butter note. Palate shows off a just oily texture and some lovely fruit flavours; Oak is a little bit pushy but this is a young wine still – vibrant, finding balance over the next 2-3 years, well made with a decisive finish. 91 Points.

Barbera 2014 – Ripe red berry fruit aromas – some wild some dark, mild to moderate oak – overall a harmonious bouquet. On the palate – young, dry, medium weight, youthful tannins with some course layers, medium+ acidity. A solid, well made wine, a bit narrow in complexity with moderate length and relying on the oak. Overall okay, a very pleasant dry red wine. 84 Points.

Montepulciano 2014 – Ripe, floral, plush; plum and black berry and black currant fruits, dried herb, soil notes – stones; black velvet. On the palate – dry, firm, lots of energy, acidity, ripe tannins – some course, some fine, lovely varietal character, great balance, medium+ length and complexity. Very nice example – drink now if decanted or cellar for another 2-3 years. 89 Points.

Syrah Reserve 2013 – Fragrant, meaty, oaky, plenty of spice, pepper and toasty oak; violets, plums and black currant. Dry with flavours that reflect the nose, white pepper and dried herb, meat, spice and plenty of fruit concentration and fine to moderate tannins; plenty of acidity too. A young wine that needs time to integrate more, but all the elements for a fine wine in present. 92 Points.

Syrah 2013 (Estate) – Ripe, fruity, vibrant, varietal, floral. Juicy, fleshy and ripe on the palate with flavours of currants, cherry, blueberry and loads of sot white pepper; medium+ acidity. An earlier drinking style, balanced and well made with a slightly sweeter oak finish. This wine tastes better than the nose suggests. 88 Points.

Tannat 2014 – Bold, meaty, rich, ripe and juicy, fresh, lush, toasty. Some smoky moments with plenty of oak. Great balance on the palate with medium+ tannins and acidity, long easy finish, well made with medium to medium+ complexity. 88 Points.

Tannat Reserve 2014 – Aromas and flavours reflect the non-reserve attributes with lots of ripe, fresh and lush fruit flavours. This wine has more oak at the core with meaty alluring attributes; loads of black fruit flavours emerge with distinctive tannin and acid structure underpinning the overall character and finish. Very nice wine – must like oak. 89 Points.

Late Harvest Viognier 2015 – Very classic sweet and ripe bouquet of Viognier, some lush fruit flavours with sweetness and acid bite. The phenolics are a little pushy and hard with affects the length somewhat. A wine that could manage some oak layers. Overall – solid. 82 Points.

Noble Viognier 2015 – Now we’re talking……juicy, fresh, lush and vibrant with honey toned stone fruit flavours, a touch of baked pineapple and fresh white sugar; loads more honey and apricot on the palate. 88 Points.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Moss Wood

Moss Wood Wilyabrup Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Margaret River
Dense rich bouquet of black and dark red fruits with a powerful oak statement: toasty, rich, dark brown spices and dark brown sugar suggestions; harmonious though very youthful, vibrant and specific. On the palate - full-bodied, dry, firmly fruity and intensely varietal with dark berry fruit flavors, old cigar box and baked bell-pepper flavors; bold juicy tannins, medium+ acidity; lengthy and powerful finish.
Perhaps a food wine for the next few years while the attributes begin to integrate - so decant for service till 2020 then on its own - or not.
93 Points

Saint Clair Family Estate

Saint Clair Family Estate Pioneer Block 2015 Sauvignon Blanc
43 Degrees Dillons Point
Very expressive bouquet with a distinctive combination of sweet grass, lemon barley then rich tropical fruit and a touch of jalapeno spice. On the palate - very juicy and fruity with loads of salivating acidity; lemon, grapefruit, sweet hay and wet stone mineral flavors; some slightly underripe citrus suggestions as well add texture and finish.
87 Points

The Darling

The Darling Pinot Gris 2015 Marlborough
Fleshy, fruity, spicy and alive with vibrant juicy white fleshed fruit aromas; some floral moments and sandy soil notes. On the palate - lush, juicy and fresh with white pepper laced fresh pear and red apple fruit flavors; plenty of vibrant acidity and youthful texture; lengthy fresh finish. A great example with a dry (ish) finish.
89 Points

The Darling Pinot Noir 2013 Marlborough
Soft, fragrant, fruity and enticing with aromas of red apple skin, cherry fruit, some cranberry and light red strawberry suggestions, moderate oak tones with spice and toasty notes to match. On the palate - dry, tense, textured then fruity; there's bite from the acidity and tension from the tannins; quietly earthy with soft soil and stony ground suggestions; medium+ length. A wine that captures its sense of place - showing off some floral tones and lengthy detailed finish. Enjoy on its own or with very mild soft natural cheese.
92 Points

The Darling Sauvignon Blanc 2015 Marlborough
Fresh, herbaceous, grassy, ripe and fruity - a bouquet full of energy and drive with a distinctive floral and mineral undercurrent. On the palate - juicy, firm, fresh, intense and very fruity with pristine flavors of lemon and grapefruit, apple and white peach; plenty of firming acidity and spicy herbaceous qualities; pungent energised finish. A wine that will last 3-5 years in cellar drinking well through that time.
90 Points

The Darling Chardonnay 2013 Marlborough
Modern Chardonnay bouquet of fresh sweet citrus and white fleshed stone fruits laced with a flinty mineral sulphide layer - this adds complexity and aromatic appeal; quite complex overall with sweet spice and mild oak toast qualities. On the palate - dry, fresh, loaded with texture and flavor - sweet citrus and grapefruit peel; mineral, white flower and gun flint attributes; fabulous acid drive and long finish.
95 Points

The Darling 'Blue' Gewurztraminer 2015 Marlborough
Don't let the colour of this wine fool you - close your eyes and take a long slow sniff - powerful floral and ripe white fruit aromas - spiced tropical fruit suggestions and ginger tea. On the palate - dry, fruity, spicy and flavorful with ginger and white fleshed fruits. Lengthy in a drink now style.

Lake Hayes

Lake Hayes Pinot Noir 2014 Central Otago
Lots of ripe fresh red berry fruit aromas with raspberry and black cherry showing some distinctive power and freshness, sweet vanilla oak tones and very mild toasty oak moments. On the palate - fresh with very lively red berry fruit flavours - raspberry again speaking loud, very juicy red cherry and pommegranate suggestions; moderate tannin power with fine tannin structure, medium++ acidity and easy finish. Some softer soil and dried herb tones add a layer of complexity. Overall a fruity, fresh and approachable wine drinking well now and through 2019.
86 Points

Sacred Hill

Sacred Hill Pinot Noir 2015 Marlborough
Fragrant and enticing boquet of Pinot with soft floral tones layered with ripe red cherry and strawberry fruit suggestions, stony soil tones and mild oak impact. On the palate - all Pinot with light red fruit flavours, soft tannins and plenty of acidity; some red floral and soft vanilla moments, youthful tension and poise, dry, balanced and well made.
88 Points

Sacred Hill Merlot Cabernet 2015 Hawke's Bay
Classic Merlot and Cabernet aromas of sweet plum and darker red berry fruits, a masculine/muscle idea with firm oak layer and gravelly soil note. On the palate - dry, fruity, fresh; medium+ acidity, mild oak tones with vanilla and a little spice, dusty tannins and moderate+ finish. Balanced and well made in a drink now expression. Will also keep well in cellar till 2019.
87 Points

Craggy Range

Craggy Range SV Merlot 2014 Gimblett Gravels Hawke's Bay
Ripe almost powerful bouquet of juicy red plums, blackberry fruits, spice and oak spice with some toasty moments; overall charming and inviting. On the palate - juicy, fleshy, fresh, fruity and deliciously easy to drink; medium tannins and medium+ acidity; great balance with immediate drinkability and cellar worthy attributes - drinking best from 2017 - 2020
89 Points

Craggy Range SV Te Kahu 2014 Gimblett Gravels Hawke's Bay
Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec Cabernet Franc
Expressive and vibrantly fruity bouquet with a charming array of ripe red and black fruit aromas - classic blend and showing off how well these varieties work together; some floral, earthy and other red fruit aromas add depth and complexity; plenty of oak, but too much. On the palate - dry, youthfully firm and tense with plenty of tannin and acidity; fruit flavors remain dark berry centered and fresh; medium+ length and finish, decent complexity overall. Drinking well now- decanting suggested - best drinking window likely from 2018 - 2024.
92 Points

Craggy Range SV Syrah 2014 Gimblett Gravels Hawke's Bay
Powerful boquuet with loads of ripe black and bluberry fruit aromas, juicy and fleshy with plenty of oak, toast, soil and spice. On the palate - delicious - all Syrah and Syrah flavours with spice, black fruit, sandy gravelly soil, toasty oak, vanilla tones and spice with a soft mild pepper note; great balance and length - a keeper. Drink now if decanted; best drinking window 2018 - 2025.
94 Points

Brennan Wines

Brennan Wines Gibbston Pinot Noir 2010 Central Otago
An integrating bouquet of charm and elegance with  vibrant and youthful red fruit aromas suggesting plums and cherries with wild raspberry; noticeable oak with some toasty qualities and quite a lot of mineral stony soil suggestions. On the palate - dry, quite juicy and fleshy with flavors of light red berry fruits laced with moderate oak/woody/toasty layers; plenty of acidity still and fine tannins layer. A wine still coming together as the structure and flavors attributes become better friends. Decant for service or continue to age till 2018.
91 Points

Brennan Wines Gibbston Pinot Noir 2011 Central Otago
Fleshy, fruity, youthful and packed with aromas of wild raspberry and cherry fruit - all laced with some toasty vanilla scented oak; some signature mineral aromas have a firm stamp in the bouquet overall; medium+ complexity. On the palate - juicy, dry, lush fruit flavors with some some youthful tannins and acidity keeping the palate engaged adding tension and poise; some just ripe fruit in the mix adding a layer of texture. A mineral and oak mix with some specific wood spice moments suggests a particular barrel choice in this vintage - also adding depth and flavor. Quite a long finish - another wine in the stable that needs more time to integrate and level out. Great potential and fairly lengthy finish.
90 Points

Brennan Wines Gibbston Pinot Noir 2012 Central Otago
Complex bouquet with some mystery and charm - smoky oak tones cushioned against plush ripe red berry fruit aromas; red apple skin, sweet plum and mineral stony suggestions; inviting and complex overall. On the palate - juicy, fresh, ripe and lush - showing some great pinosity and charm. It is also a very young expression with plenty of tension and poise from the vibrant acidity and abundant fine tannins; a wine that will age well finding it best drinking - probably around 2020. The smoky tones return on the finish showing how oak and ripe fruit need time to meld and become great friends.
92 Points

Brennan B2 Pinot Noir 2014 Central Otago
Very clever bouquet with a distinctive mineral, soil and hillside wild herb drive -  tempered by ripe, raspberry, dark cherry and a mix of dark berry fruit aromas and a decent measure of new oak. On the palate – juicy, fleshy, ripe and very tasty; all of the aromas above melt together, contrasted by a firm youthful tannin and acid structure - both adding tension, youth and pinosity; very lengthy finish, delicious example.
94 Points