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Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2017 (1x 75cl)

Ata Rangi is owned and run by Clive Paton and his wife Phyll, together with Clive's sister Alison and winemaker Helen Masters. Clive planted the bare, stony five hectare home paddock at the edge of Martinborough in 1980 and, in doing so, was one of a handful of people who pioneered grape growing in the area. Renowned for their Pinot Noir, which is consistently ranked as one of New Zealand's best, Ata Rangi also produces a range of white wines including Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

The Ata Rangi vineyards are situated in Wairarapa, just north of Wellington. Craighall is located directly opposite the main Ata Rangi home block. The 30-year-old Mendoza clone of Chardonnay vines, with their characteristic 'hen and chicken' fruit set, are always low yielding. Soils here comprise a thin layer of well-drained alluvial soil deposited on what was the original course of the river as it flowed east to the Pacific Ocean.

Hand-picked fruit was whole bunch pressed in a Willmes membrane press. Unsettled juice was fully barrel-fermented in Burgundy barriques, of which 25% was new oak, using indigenous yeasts. Fermentation took place between 15-20°C. The lees were stirred during this time in all barrels and partial malolactic fermentation occurred. The wine was aged in barrel on the lees for 12 months before bottling.

See blue link below for the excellent, fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers at Ata Rangi.

Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2017 - fiche technique

100% Chardonnay.

A very alluring, restrained nose of citrus, white-flesh nectarine and citrus blossom leads onto a tight, fine palate with a subtly chalky texture. With no one, single flavour dominating, this is an intriguing, very complex and very complete Chardonnay with fabulous flow and persistence. Fully barrel fermented with 'wild' indigenous yeasts, this exceptional release has excellent cellaring potential.

£33.95

Ata Rangi Lismore Pinot Gris 2018 (1x 75cl)

The 2017 vintage was awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their January 2019 edition article: The Most Exciting Wines of 2018 (see blue link below)

Ata Rangi Lismore Pinot Gris 2017 - January 2019 Decanter review

The 2017 vintage was awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their September 2018 edition panel tasting of "Alternative" New Zealand Whites (not Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay) (see blue link below)...

Ata Rangi Lismore Pinot Gris 2017 - Sept 2018 Decanter review

Ata Rangi is owned and run by Clive Paton and his wife Phyll, together with Clive's sister Alison and winemaker Helen Masters. Clive planted the bare, stony five hectare home paddock at the edge of Martinborough in 1980 and, in doing so, was one of a handful of people who pioneered grape growing in the area. Renowned for their Pinot Noir, which is consistently ranked as one of New Zealand's best, Ata Rangi also produces a range of white wines including Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

The Pinot Gris grapes come from the Lismore Vineyard at the edge of the Martinborough Terrace and achieve their optimum flavour profile towards the end of the growing season. As a result, the team harvests this varietal fairly late to obtain a wine closer to the richer style of Pinot Gris produced in Alsace, rather than the leaner, bone-dry style of Pinot Grigio common in much of northern Italy. The vines were planted in 1996.

Fruit was hand picked and whole bunch pressed in a Willmes membrane press. The resulting juice was then cold settled, inoculated with yeast and fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks at temperatures of 14-18°C. 20% of the wine was fermented in three year old 500-litre, oak puncheons to give extra weight and complexity to the final blend. In both cases, the wine was left on the lees for several months. No malolactic fermentation was allowed to take place in order to retain a crisp, balancing acidity.

See blue link below for the excellent, fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers at Ata Rangi.

Ata Rangi Lismore Pinot Gris 2018 - fiche technique

100% Pinot Gris.

Up-front aromas in this Pinot Gris are reminiscent of fresh cut pear, custard, pecans and lychees. The palate is creamy, with flavours of fresh walnut and a hint of smoke. On the long finish, the wine shows complexity and will develop with bottle age.

£23.15

Ata Rangi Raranga Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (1x 75cl)

Ata Rangi is owned and run by Clive Paton and his wife Phyll, together with Clive's sister Alison and winemaker Helen Masters. Clive planted the bare, stony five hectare home paddock at the edge of Martinborough in 1980 and, in doing so, was one of a handful of people who pioneered grape growing in the area. Renowned for their Pinot Noir, which is consistently ranked as one of New Zealand's best, Ata Rangi also produces a range of white wines including Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

The Ata Rangi vineyards are situated in Wairarapa, just north of Wellington. The grapes for this wine come from Lismore, Waiora, Walnut Ridge, Hau Ariki Marae and Sutherlands Block. Vineyard husbandry is important to Ata Rangi, including leaf plucking to keep the canopies open. Yields are typically low due to the cool, windy spring weather which affects fruit set and the lean, stony soils which are low in vigour and fertility. The vineyards are in conversion to organic certification and are accredited as 100% sustainable.

The Sauvignon Blanc now takes the name Raranga (‘woven’ in Maori) to express Ata Rangi's range of winemaking techniques in the creation of their uniquely Martinborough style for this varietal. The grapes were hand-picked from 30th March – 11th April. 10% of the grapes were fermented on their skins for eight weeks, 4% was whole bunch fermented and the rest was fermented in stainless steel tanks and barrels. The juice was inoculated with cultivated yeasts and fermented in controlled temperature storage at 12-18°C.

100% Sauvignon Blanc.

This wine has aromas of spiced apple pie, lime and melon. On the palate, there are notes of candied lemon and cardamom. On the finish, the wine is creamy and savoury.

See blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers at Ata Rangi.

Ata Rangi Raranga Sauvignon Blanc 2018 - fiche technique

£16.15

Burn Cottage Riesling/Gruner Veltliner 2015 (1x75cl)

Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their September 2018 edition panel tasting of "Alternative" New Zealand Whites (not Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay) (see blue link below)...

Burn Cottage Riesling/Gruner Veltliner 2015 - Sept 2018 Decanter review

... and comments from two of the reviewers...

Burn Cottage Riesling/Gruner Veltliner 2015 - Sept 2018 Decanter review - individual comments

Burn Cottage refers to the name of a road on which the 24 hectare property sits in Central Otago. The estate was once a sheep paddock until its purchase by Marquis Sauvage in 2002. Marquis brought on board Ted Lemon of Littorai as their winemaker and in 2003, they started planting Pinot Noir. Six years later, they released their first wine.

The Riesling and Grüner Veltliner vines account for just over one hectare of total plantings at Burn Cottage, the only part of the vineyard which is not planted with Pinot Noir. At the time of planting back in 2007, the aspect of this particular plot did not suit Pinot Noir, so they decided to plant these two aromatic white varieties instead. The first crop was harvested in 2014. As with the Pinot Noir, the vines have been cultivated biodynamically from day one, Ted Lemon’s one stipulation for his involvement.

Less rain during winter and a very windy October meant vine growth started off slowly. Some frost fighting was required, however, no damage was sustained. The weather warmed considerably to above average temperatures throughout spring enabling healthy vine growth and a favourably short flowering. Central Otago had fantastic summer weather and very warm nights at times, so the season quickly caught up to normal timing and maturity progressed well. Cooler periods in February did not change the overall flow of the season and harvest took place at the usual time during March and April 2015.

The Riesling and Grüner Veltliner were harvested separately at different times and were subsequently crushed, pressed and fermented separately. The Riesling was crushed by foot to soak the berries in juice. The Grüner Veltliner underwent the same methods of production but spent only 48 hours in contact with the skins. Static settling took place overnight and the wines were racked off the gross lees. The wines were fermented in stainless steel vats and rested in old oak barriques for 11 months.

The Grüner Veltliner component in the blend offers attractive aromas of beeswax and white pepper coupled with a zesty lime flower, chamomile and lemon curd from the Riesling. The wine is rich on the palate but is well-balanced with bright acidity. The finish has a lovely energy and lingers on the palate.

£43.55

Carrick Chardonnay 2016 (1x75cl)

Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their February 2018 edition review of New Zealand Chardonnay (see blue link below).

Carrick Bannockburn Central Otago - February 2018 Decanter review

It’s 20 years now since Steve and Barbara Green established the first of Carrick’s vineyard plantings on the Cairnmuir terraces at Bannockburn in Central Otago, extending the estate four years later. What was at the time a tangle of wild thyme and briar roses has become one of the region’s most successful producers. Francis Hutt wisely spent a year in the vineyards with viticulturist Blair Deaker before taking over as Carrick’s winemaker in 2011. A devotee of organic and biodynamic wines, he took particular pride in taking charge of Carrick’s first organic bottlings in 2012. Meanwhile, Steve Green somehow combines the roles of owner, general manager, assistant winemaker, marketer and overseas traveller with a position on the board of Wine New Zealand.

After gentle whole-bunch pressing, the chardonnay juice was gravity feed into French oak barrels, (10% new) with a high grape solids content to add interest and texture. All lots were fermented with indigenous yeast and the barrels were stirred daily during fermentation then left to rest and settle over the winter months.

Tropical fruits along with the cool climate attributes of Central Otago combine to make a truly amazing Chardonnay that could rival anything else in the world. It is a flinty elegant wine with good structure and balance. Barrel fermented in French oak.

Perfect with seafood and white meat dishes like chicken pie, prawn linguine and dover sole.

£17.95

Clos Henri Sauvignon Blanc 2017 (1x75cl)

The 2016 was awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their July 2019 panel tasting of Oaked New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs (see blue link below).

Clos Henri Sauvignon Blanc 2016 - July 2019 Decanter review

Nestled under the southern foothills of Marlborough’s Wairau Valley, Clos Henri is the wine estate meticulously established and organically run by the famous Sancerre wine growing family of Henri Bourgeois. Uniting 10 generations of winegrowing know-how from the Bourgeois family, Clos Henri crafts textural and elegant wines, capturing the intense Marlborough character with the aim to reveal the identity of the Clos Henri terroir and a true sense of place in the wines. From the three different soil types of the estate, partially comprised of a clay hill slope, the family uses the best of French and New World winegrowing techniques to capture the essence of Marlborough’s intense character and reveal the identity and depth of the Clos Henri terroir. Their ultimate objective is to "offer a wine that tells the story of its origin, whispers it is not French but Marlborough and voices that it is a craft from the specific Clos Henri terroir” – says Arnaud Bourgeois, General Manager of Clos Henri.

In the French tradition, the vineyard is planted in high density to encourage competition between vines and restrain vigour. This natural vigour control means the vines put more energy into the grapes, rather than the canopy - concentrating the berries. Dry farming (using no irrigation) also helps keep vigour under control. By stressing the vines to just the right level, it forces the roots to go deeper in the soil, thereby getting the purest expression of our terroir and showing more minerality from the river stone soil.

See blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers at Clos Henri.

Clos Henri Sauvignon Blanc 2016 - fiche technique

100% Sauvignon Blanc.

Alcohol: 13.5%. Residual sugar: <1g/l. Ageing potential: 5-6 years from vintage.

The nose is refined and complex showing some citrus notes evolving into white peach aromas, with underlying chalky minerality. Delicate on the palate, the wine is textural and rich from the lees aging with layers of minerals, citrus and profound acidity balancing this dry and elegant wine, followed by a long finish.

£21.35

Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (1x75cl)

See this link for an excellent article from The Buyer on the 2018 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc.

Awarded 91 points by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2018 tasting of new New Zealand vintages (see blue link below).

Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2018 - October 2018 Decanter review

Established in 1985, Cloudy Bay was one of the first five wine makers to venture into Marlborough. At the time, it was almost an unimaginable place to set-up a vineyard but Cloudy Bay’s founder, David Hohnen, was convinced of its potential to produce great wine and invested in the best land of the region. The winery was named after Cloudy Bay, a body of water explorer Captain James Cook found during his voyage to New Zealand in 1770. His discovery coincided with flooding in the region, which washed large amounts of sediment into the sea. Noticing the water’s opaque appearance, Cook christened the area Cloudy Bay. 

For its 34th vintage, Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc reaffirms its outstanding quality. Cloudy Bay has built a reputation for refined, elegant Sauvignon Blanc and the 2018 vintage is no exception thanks to the stable weather during the harvest. Warm and dry conditions through December and cooler weather from January onwards allowed for more steady ripening.

100% Sauvignon Blanc.

To see an excellent information sheet and tasting note for this wine from the team at Cloudy Bay, please click on the blue link below.

Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2018 - fiche technique

£22.95

Cloudy Bay Te Koko Sauvignon Blanc 2015 (1x75cl)

Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter in their July 2019 panel tasting of Oaked New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs (see blue link below).

Cloudy Bay Te Koko Sauvignon Blanc 2015 - July 2019 Decanter review

Established in 1985, Cloudy Bay was one of the first five wine makers to venture into Marlborough. At the time, it was almost an unimaginable place to set-up a vineyard but Cloudy Bay’s founder, David Hohnen, was convinced of its potential to produce great wine and invested in the best land of the region. The winery was named after Cloudy Bay, a body of water explorer Captain James Cook found during his voyage to New Zealand in 1770. His discovery coincided with flooding in the region, which washed large amounts of sediment into the sea. Noticing the water’s opaque appearance, Cook christened the area Cloudy Bay. 

For its 34th vintage, Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc reaffirms its outstanding quality. Cloudy Bay has built a reputation for refined, elegant Sauvignon Blanc and the 2018 vintage is no exception thanks to the stable weather during the harvest. Warm and dry conditions through December and cooler weather from January onwards allowed for more steady ripening.

100% Sauvignon Blanc.

To see an excellent information sheet and tasting note for this wine from the team at Cloudy Bay, please click on the blue link below.

Cloudy Bay Te Koko Sauvignon Blanc 2015 - fiche technique

£38.10

Craggy Range Te Muna Road Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (1x75cl)

Awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their July 2019 panel tasting of Oaked New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs (see blue link below).

Craggy Range Te Muna Road Sauvignon Blanc 2018 - July 2019 Decanter review

The 2017 vintage was awarded a Gold Medal and 95 points at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2018 DWWA winners, click here.

See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers at Craggy Range.

Craggy Range Te Muna Road Sauvignon Blanc 2018 - fiche technique

Craggy Range produces a collection of iconic wines from multiple regions in New Zealand. Owner Terry Peabody and his family pursued the single vineyard approach to winemaking, planting on green fields and bare land ensuring a focus on quality from the very beginning. New Zealand, with its diversity of soils types offered the perfect location to plant the vines. From the stony, warm soils of the Gimblett Gravels in Hawke's Bay to the volcanic, clay soils of Te Muna Road in Martinborough these exceptional vineyards produce wines with amazing aromatics, purity and complexity.

Grown on the lower terrace at Te Muna Road, this wine shows a unique level of texture and complexity. The cooler climate of Martinborough ensures the wine is aromatic with steely minerality while the rocky soils gives intensity of the fruit.

Around 90% of the grapes used to make this wine are destemmed. It is then fermented using a combination of stainless steel tanks, French oak cuves & French oak barriques. The yeasts used are a mix of innoculated and indigenous.

This wine has a pale lemon straw colour. There are vibrant aromas of nectarine, green apple, honeysuckle and a hint of nettle. Lovely precision on the palate with a core of zesty fruit and a long satisfyingly dry textural finish. Matt Stafford, Chief Winemaker says: "We chase complexity in our Sauvignon... you can literally smell the meadow and taste the flintiness of the rock in these wines."

£15.95

Esk Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (1x75cl)

Situated in the north of New Zealand's picturesque Hawkes Bay, at Bay View is the Esk Valley Estate winery. The winery sources fruit from Hawkes Bay, including the world-renowned Gimblett Gravels, and Marlborough, as both regions consistently produce grapes of an extremely high quality.

Esk Valley is a boutique winery, but it is unique in that many of the techniques used to craft its award-winning wines are dictated by the winery itself. The old concrete vats, the layout of the buildings, and the absence of modern technology mean the winemakers at Esk Valley have had to make wine in a simple, honest, hands-on way.

See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers at Esk Valley.

Esk Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2018 - fiche technique

This is an intensely aromatic wine in a classic Marlborough style. True to its origins its flavours are a medley of ripe tropical fruits and notes of citrus and fresh herbs. It is dry and medium bodied with a crisp refreshing finish.

£9.50

Felton Road Bannockburn Riesling 2018 (1x75cl)

Felton Road's story is one of refusal to compromise. The estate is fully organic and uses biodynamic viticulture (Demeter certified) ensuring that fruit arrives at the winery as pure as it can be. The entire estate comes as close to true sustainability as is possible. There is a commitment to hands off winemaking: gravity flow, wild yeasts, wild malolactic, an avoidance of fining and filtration all help preserve the wine's expression of its terroir. The result is wine that express the authenticity and complexity of their unique vineyards. 

Please click on the blue link below to see an excellent tasting and information sheet on this wine by the winemakers themselves.

Felton Road Bannockburn Riesling 2016 - fiche technique

£26.45

Felton Road Block 1 Riesling 2016 (1x75cl)

Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their January 2018 edition article: The Most Exciting Wines of 2017 (see blue link below).

Felton Rd Block 1 Riesling 2016 - January 2018 Decanter review

Felton Road's story is one of refusal to compromise. The estate is fully organic and uses biodynamic viticulture (Demeter certified) ensuring that fruit arrives at the winery as pure as it can be. The entire estate comes as close to true sustainability as is possible. There is a commitment to hands off winemaking: gravity flow, wild yeasts, wild malolactic, an avoidance of fining and filtration all help preserve the wine's expression of its terroir. The result is wine that express the authenticity and complexity of their unique vineyards. 

This wine is 100% Riesling.

Please click the blue link below to see Felton Road's excellent information and tasting note for this wine.

Felton Road Block 1 Riesling 2016 - fiche technique

£27.10

Framingham Pinot Gris 2018 (1x75cl)

Please click the blue link below to see Framingham's excellent information and tasting note for this wine.

Framingham Pinot Gris 2018 - fiche technique

100% Pinot Gris.

Rich gold in colour, this wine delights with mellow aromatics, which are reminiscent of pear, apple, quince, dough and cream, with a touch of wood smoke. On the palate, generous flavours of baked apple, quince, cream, nuts and pastry. The intense, complex and rich palate balances acidity with good weight and a silky texture, culminating in a spicy, leesy finish.

NB: this wine is on the edge of dry and of-dry at 10g/litre of residual sugar.

£14.80

Greywacke Chardonnay 2015 (1x75cl)

Greywacke was created in 2009 by Kevin Judd, chief winemaker at Cloudy Bay from its inception for 25 years and instrumental in the international recognition which Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc enjoys now. The name Greywacke was adopted by Kevin for his first Marlborough vineyard located in Rapaura in recognition of the high prevalence of rounded greywacke river stones in the soils of the vineyard, a sedimentary rock which is widely found in Marlborough. Kevin Judd is also New Zealand's finest wine photographer and has recently published his book The Landscape of New Zealand Wine.

The grapes for this wine are primarily sourced from the low-yielding Mendoza clone, known for its concentration of flavour and crisp acidity; the balance were from Clone 95. The majority of the fruit was sourced from the lower reaches of the Brancott Valley and Fairhall, grown in gravelly, clay-loam soils, the remainder coming from Renwick and Rapaura, grown in young alluvial soils containing high proportions of New Zealand’s ubiquitous greywacke river stones. The majority of the vineyards were trained using a two-cane VSP (Vertical Shoot Positioning) trellis with the balance on the divided Scott Henry canopy management system.

Warm spring weather created early flowering and early ripening. The vines were very low yielding, with smaller berries than usual, which led to increased concentration and quality in the 2015 wines.

The vineyards were hand-picked separately at high ripeness levels and whole bunch pressed using very low maceration press cycles. The resulting juice was lightly settled and racked to French oak barriques (20% new). The juice was allowed to undergo spontaneous indigenous yeast fermentation, the final phase continuing for many months. The wine received occasional lees stirring and underwent a complete malolactic fermentation. It was transferred out of oak after 18 months and bottled in December 2016. 

A seductive combination of lightly toasted brioche, roasted hazelnuts and lemon curd interwoven with aromas of white peach and sweet melon. An intricate fusion of opulent fruit and a nutty, smoky savouriness derived from indigenous fermentations in French oak barriques. The savouriness carries through onto a wonderfully dry, but rich and powerful palate that has great texture and concentration, with a crisp grapefruit finish.

£25.00

Greywacke Marlborough Riesling 2017 (1x75cl)

Greywacke was created in 2009 by Kevin Judd who was the chief winemaker at Cloudy Bay for 25 years. The name 'Greywacke' was adopted by Kevin for his first Marlborough vineyard located in Rapaura in recognition of the high prevalence of rounded greywacke river stones in the soils of the vineyard, a sedimentary rock which is widely found in Marlborough. Kevin Judd is also New Zealand's finest wine photographer and has recently published a book 'The Landscape of New Zealand Wine'.

This wine is 100% Riesling.

To see an excellent information sheet and tasting note for this wine produced by the team at Greywacke, please click on the blue link below.

Greywacke Riesling 2017 - fiche technique

£17.85
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