Greystone Vineyard Ferment Pinot Noir 2016 Waipara Valley, New Zealand

Greystone’s Vineyard Ferment Pinot Noir 2016

This is the first release of this new wine from Greystone: the vineyard ferment Pinot Noir. They have been talking about their vineyard fermentations for a while: keen to make use of the wild yeast indigenous to their Waipara Valley vineyard, they’ve taken poly bins into the vineyard and […]

Golden Bay: Pupu springs, the source of the Riwaka and the Wainui Falls

I just spent a weekend in Golden Bay, which is part of the Abel Tasman region at the top of New Zealand’s South Island. Here’s a short film of the highlights:

 

It’s a beautiful part of the country, and at this time of year it’s relatively uncrowded. There were three elements that really stood out.

The first […]

New releases from Black Estate, North Canterbury, New Zealand

I’ve been following the wines of Black Estate for a while now, with interest. They farm organically and make wines in a lo-fi sort of way. This is interesting New Zealand, and these latest releases are really impressive.

Black Estate Home Chardonnay Young Vines 2017 North Canterbury, New Zealand
12.5% alcohol. 1 hectare block, 6172 vines/ha, sedimentary […]

Y2KX The Mystical Being 2017, a skin-contact Sauvignon from Marlborough

Skin fermenting Sauvignon (top), with the striking Y2KX labels (bottom). This particular wine is the unicorn on the left.

It was good to try this: a really characterful, interesting Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough. It’s from Y2KX Collective, a virtual winery, who are specialising on making interesting wines. Alana Mcgettigan is the winemaker here, and the director […]

In Marlborough, where big can be good: Rapaura Springs

Rapaura Springs is a somewhat surprising rising star in the Marlborough wine scene. They are owned by the Naylon family, and I tasted with Brendan Naylon and Sam Harrop who is a consultant here, helping out with winemaking and marketing. Matt Thomson is also involved on the winemaking side.

Rapaura Springs stems from the Spring Creek […]

Interesting Marlborough: meeting the Vandals

The three Vandals

Vandal is a micronegociant project based in Marlborough, New Zealand. It began in the 2016 vintage, and it’s a collaboration between three local winemakers who all had kids, and who wanted to get out of the house more. They’d all been making Sauvignon Blanc since they were young, and now wanted to […]

Interesting Marlborough: Clos Henri

Clos Henri is the Marlborough outpost of the Bourgeois family of Sancerre. They first came to New Zealand in 1999 and decided they wanted to make wine here, but rather than take on an existing project they wanted a blank canvas. Their focus was to be Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, just as in their […]

Prophet's Rock Vin de Paille

This wine deserves a mention, even if few will get to try it. It’s the first vintage of Prophet’s Rock new Vin de Paille, a ‘straw wine’ made from Pinot Gris grapes dried on racks in the vineyard barn for 45 days, and then whole bunch pressed. The resulting concentrated must is fermented using wild […]

Interesting Marlborough: Framingham

Framingham is one of the most interesting of Marlborough’s wineries, but they tend to fly under the radar a bit. They are best known for their Rieslings – winemaker Dr Andrew Hedley is a complete Riesling freak – but their other wines are serious, too. Indeed, Riesling is only about 8% of the volume here. […]

A case of 2015 reds from the Gimblett Gravels, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

Each year, the Gimblett Gravels association – a group in charge of a special terroir in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand – makes a selection of 12 top reds. This is the 2015 edition, the latest, and it was selected by Andrew Caillard MW. These are my notes on the wines. Some I was really impressed with; […]