New Zealand wine is largely produced in ten major wine growing regions spanning latitudes 36° to 45° South and extending 990 mi. The regions are from north to south; Northland, Auckland, Waikato/Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, Wellington, Nelson, Marlborough, Canterbury/Waipara and Central Otago. New Zealand red wines are typically made from a blend of varietals (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and much less often Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec), or Pinot Noir. Recently, in Hawkes Bay, there have been wines made from Syrah, either solely or blends, as well as Tempranillo, Montepulciano and Sangiovese. In white wines Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc predominate in plantings and production. Individual wine makers and the particular qualities of a vintage are more likely to determine factors such as malolactic fermentation or the use of oak for aging.
- Item #: i_383270Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 92We are very excited to get the 2020 bottling of the Allan Scott Sauvignon Blanc-- the 2019 version was enjoyed mightily by valued customers and staff alike and we think the ‘20 may be even better! A Wine Spectator 92 Point wine for just under $12?? That tastes this good? Yes Yes!! This may be your new end-of-summer quencher for the last weeks of warmth ahead.
The nose is luxurious and rife with fresh scents: mixed stone fruits, citrus, gooseberry, wet grass and a mélange of heavy cream, beeswax and well water. Such complexity at this price? Lead on! The palate continues the bang-for-the-buck tour offering a rich viscosity and mouthfeel that leads to flavors reiterating the palate: peach melba, citrus, apricots, créme fraiche and a touch of mineral, made buoyant by a layer of underlying acidity. Pair with seafood, vegetable dishes, cheeses or enjoy solo-- this is balanced, beautiful wine.
The 2020 Sauvignon Blanc is an early release vineyard off their Millstone block, one of the earlier planted blocks in the Marlborough region (it’s in the heart of Rapaura). Wines from this area are grown in very alluvial soils that produce wines with brilliant acidity and purity.
WINE SPECTATOR 92 POINTS - "Supple and succulent, offering a generous and juicy mix of passion fruit, Key lime and ruby grapefruit flavors. Expressive and strong on the finish, with touches of freshly grated ginger and green tea. Drink now."
WINE ORBIT 94 POINTS - "It's intensely aromatic and instantly appealing on the nose showing grapefruit, Granny Smith apple, nectarine and lime peel aromas, leading to a concentrated palate that’s lively and flavoursome. It’s punchy and vibrant with excellent varietal purity, finishing long and refreshing. At its best: now to 2023." Sam Kim
- Item #: i_382597Bottle Size: 750mlBOB CAMPBELL 94 POINTS - "Ripe, deliciously fruity sauvignon blanc with melon, guava and citrus-lime, together with [a] smattering of fresh herbs. A creamy-textured wine with good weight and a lingering finish. Textbook Marlborough sauvignon. Drink 2019-2023."
- Item #: i_382553Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94James Suckling: 96Decanter: 94BIODYNAMICALLY FARMED
JAMES SUCKLING 96 POINTS -"This has very attractive, ripe red-cherry and plum aromas with spicy and sappy complexity, sitting in such a pure mode. The palate has a very composed and compact, layered feel with pristine blueberry, dark-cherry and plum flavors, delivered in an elegant, regal style. "
WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "The 2017 Burn Cottage Vineyard Pinot Noir shows considerable intensity and length, but it starts off with charming floral notes, hints of thyme and cedar and lashings of black cherries. It's that elusive combination of concentration and complexity, wrapped in a silky coat of ripe tannins, that raises this wine to the next level. It should drink well for a decade or more."
DECANTER 94 POINTS - "If you thought Central Otago was all about bright, fruit-driven Pinot, then get this in your glass. This biodynamic vineyard overlooking Cromwell has produced a mellow, savoury and nuanced expression with the most beautifully handled tannins of the vintage - they are mouthcoating yet provide structure in combination with the fresh acidity."
Marquis Sauvage sought out Ted Lemon, owner and winemaker of Littorai in Sebastopol, CA, to plant their new vineyard. Ted proposed that Burn Cottage would be Biodynamically farmed from inception, and that is the path that has been followed with great commitment and enthusiasm. From there, a great partnership was formed, thanks to the potential of the land as well as Ted's deep connections to New Zealand, and particularly, to Central Otago. Ted is head winemaker and vineyard manager, and as Marquis calls him, "the guiding hand on the tiller at Burn Cottage." Similarly to Ted's property at Littorai, Burn Cottage is a fully functional farm, with 10 hectares under vine and the rest of the land devoted to cattle, chickens, beehives, olive groves, and other native species of New Zealand plants, bushes, and trees. They also produce their own compost and grow many of the preparations needed for Biodynamic farming. At Burn Cottage, they believe that biodiversity is the cornerstone of healthy farming.
This is the flagship wine from Burn Cottage: the 100% estate vineyard Pinot Noir. The label is a derivative of a 1795 fairy tale called “The Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily” which represents the ideal intersection of people and the land reflected in Biodynamics. This Pinot Noir was harvested from ten different clones on seven different blocks of the vineyard. 1,076 cases produced.
- Item #: i_382543Bottle Size: 750mlJames Suckling: 92BIODYNAMICALLY FARMED
JAMES SUCKLING 92 POINTS - "This has attractive aromas of fresh red cherries, wild herbs, roses and forest wood that lead to a palate that carries ripe, soft red plums, some crunchy pomegranate tang and mellow tannins."
- Item #: i_377372Bottle Size: 750MLPinot Noir is the single red varietal of Cloudy Bay and is ideally suited to the climate and soils of this remote southern wine region. An intensely varietal palate reveals layers of dark red fruits, savoury dried herbs, charry oak and silky tannins.
- Item #: i_377156Bottle Size: 750MLThe Marlborough region is blessed with a unique terroir... a cool, South Pacific climate that produces wines of great fruit intensity. Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc is a benchmark wine that epitomizes the vibrant aromatics and pure fruit flavours naturally afforded by the climate and soils of this remote southern wine region.
- Item #: i_377205Bottle Size: 750MLWine Enthusiast: 91WINE ENTHUSIAST 91 POINTS - "This vintage of Pinot, grown at the bottom of the North Island, is a sassy spicy little number. It bursts forth cinnamon, clove and tree-bark aromas accompanied by ripe cranberry and red-currant fruit along with a whiff of violets. It's medium weighted, lacing crunchy fruit with the sinewy savory tannins typical to Martinborough. A little oak bitterness creeps in on the finish but overall, the fruit wins out."
- Item #: i_302734Bottle Size: 750MLBlackberry, cinnamon, and minerals mesh for an intense and complex aroma and flavor profile. Layers of fine tannin lend tension to the opulent fruit flavors and provide the framework for the long and intense finish.
The fruit for Te Kahu is grown in the Hawkes Bay Gimblett Gravels Vineyard, which has one of the warmest, driest, most sundrenched climates in New Zealand. Stony gravel in the soil forces the vines to fight for water, giving the grapes a particular vibrancy. Fruit was hand harvested and destemmed before undergoing fermentation in stainless steel tanks. The wine was matured for 13 months in French oak barriques, 19% new.
- Item #: i_381223Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 91WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "The 2018 Sauvignon Blanc is on the tropical end of the spectrum, with hints of guava, pineapple and nectarine—a real fruit bowl. It's medium-bodied and silky in texture, with a long, flavorful finish."
JANCIS ROBINSON 17/20 POINTS - "Very racy, alluring, complex nose with some reductive struck-match character. Rather splits the difference between Marlborough and Sancerre. Creamy undertow with exciting top notes. Extraordinary tension on the palate. Dry but not drying finish. Long. Very accomplished and intense. "
There’s a consummately crafted dimension to this wine that propels it above the vast sea of sauvignon, a wine of genuine character and interest. A one-fifth portion of wild ferment and lees ageing instils a mineral mouth feel and complexing nuances of struck flint. Carefully regulated yields have produced an impeccably gauged fruit profile that tactically dodges the extremes of underripe herbaceousness and overripe passionfruit, falling neatly into the middle ground of grapefruit, lemon zest, guava and golden delicious apple. A focused acid line and outstanding, lingering, textural persistence make not only for immediate appeal but promise medium-term potential.
- Item #: i_379448Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 92WINE SPECTATOR 92 POINTS - "This white mixes power with elegance, delivering generous lemon meringue, orange blossom, peach and dried mango notes, with spice, green tea and floral details swirling about on the long, expressive finish. Drink now. 4,386 cases made."
- Item #: i_383699Bottle Size: 750mlDark raspberry, hints of the leaves as well, with a touch of old cedar wood panelling. The palate is viscous and concentrated, displaying cane fruits that deftly integrate with an alluring savouriness. Fine, long tannins with no shortage of chew, but no harshness. This is at a level way above its Bannockburn “village” designation, being a blend of our four primely situated vineyards. A serious wine with considerable definition and poise.
- Item #: i_383428Bottle Size: 750mlBIODYNAMICALLY FARMED
WINERY NOTES - "The characteristic aromatic florality is finely supported by mineral and spice notes on the nose. It’s seamlessly followed by a detailed palate that emphasises precision and elegance. The tannins are evident, but intricately refined and polished. The ethereal mouthfeel echos the aromatic florality with a finesse that we have come to know as unreservedly Calvert."
"Beginning with meticulous site selection and vineyard design started in 1991, Felton Road's story is one of refusal to compromise. A strict 100% estate policy with fully organic and biodynamic viticulture (Demeter certified) ensures that our fruit arrives at the winery as pure as it can be, while our entire estate comes as close to true sustainability as is possible. A commitment to hands off winemaking: gravity flow, wild yeasts, wild malo, an avoidance of fining and filtration all help preserve the wine's expression of its terroir. The result is Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir which accurately express the authenticity and complexity of our unique vineyards.
Vineyard & Viticulture
Felton Road farms four properties totalling 32 ha in the Bannockburn sub-region of Central Otago. Calvert Vineyard is located on Felton Road and is just 1km east of The Elms Vineyard and the winery. The soils at Calvert are deep heavy silts with a thin layer of loess topsoil. Meticulous summer management of a single vertical shoot positioned (VSP) canopy ensures even and early fruit maturity. Shoot thinning, shoot positioning, leaf plucking, bunch thinning and harvest are all carried out by hand to ensure optimum quality fruit. Cover crops are planted between rows to assist in controlling vine vigour and to improve soil health and general biodiversity.
A season at first remarkable for its persistent rhythm of rain events throughout spring and early summer. Approaching double our long-term average, we never saw more than two weeks without significant precipitation. These wetter seasons however, are usually very welcome, as with our normally excessively dry climate, increased natural moisture is almost always positive for vine health and fruit quality. Heat summation for the season was slightly above normal with healthy green canopies and interrows right through to harvest. Maturity arrived rapidly and harvest at Calvert began on March 30 and completed on April 5. Yields were naturally moderated and bunches were of perfect health with small, loosely packed berries, dense skins and ripe seeds.
The unique gravity flow winery enabled the grapes to be gently destemmed directly into open-top fermenters without pumping with approximately 25% as whole clusters. Long pre-fermentation soaks of 10 days prior to fermentation with indigenous yeasts and punched down by hand up to two times per day with a total time on skins of 23 days. Pressed off and barrels filled immediately by gravity to the underground barrel cellars. The wine spent 16 months in barrel (30% new French) with two rackings and no fining or filtration, before bottling in early-September 2020." - FELTON ROAD WINERY
- Item #: i_379825Bottle Size: 750mlBIODYNAMICALLY FARMED
WINERY NOTES - "As we have come to expect, Cornish Point has a slightly reserved nose as a young wine, with hints of dark fruit, raspberry, roses and crushed herbs. The palate is dense, a core of dark raspberry, then dark petals (rose and violets), and a pleasant waft of char. Serious texture and harmony, opulent yet refined. This is a brooding and powerful rendition from an outstanding vintage."
"Beginning with meticulous site selection and vineyard design started in 1991, Felton Road's story is one of refusal to compromise. A strict 100% estate policy with fully organic and biodynamic viticulture (BioGro and Demeter certified) ensures that our fruit arrives at the winery as pure as it can be, while our entire estate comes as close to true sustainability as is possible. A commitment to hands off winemaking: gravity flow, wild yeasts, wild malo, an avoidance of fining and filtration all help preserve the wine's expression of its terroir. The result is Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir which accurately express the authenticity and complexity of our unique vineyards.
Vineyard & Viticulture
Felton Road farms four properties totalling 32 ha in the Bannockburn sub-region of Central Otago. This wine is from Cornish Point vineyard where the close proximity to water creates a unique mesoclimate. Meticulous summer management of a single vertical shoot positioned (VSP) canopy ensures even and early fruit maturity. Shoot thinning, shoot positioning, leaf plucking, bunch thinning and harvest are all carried out by hand to ensure optimum quality fruit. Cover crops are planted between rows to assist in vine balance and to improve soil health and general biodiversity.
A season at first remarkable for its persistent rhythm of rain events throughout spring and early summer. Approaching double our long-term average, we never saw more than two weeks without significant precipitation. These wetter seasons however, are usually very welcome, as with our normally excessively dry climate, increased natural moisture is almost always positive for vine health and fruit quality. Heat summation for the season was slightly above normal with healthy green canopies and interrows right through to harvest. Maturity arrived rapidly and harvesting of Pinot Noir began on March 29, with all the fruit picked within a 12 day window; except for Block 1 Riesling harvested on April 17. Yields were naturally moderated and bunches were of perfect health with small, loosely packed berries, dense skins and ripe seeds.
The unique gravity flow winery enabled the grapes to be gently destemmed directly into open-top fermenters without pumping, with 23% retained as whole clusters. Traditional fermentation with a moderately long maceration on skins has extracted good colour and tannin with considerable depth of flavour. This wine was aged for 13 months in 30% new French oak barrels from artisan Burgundian coopers. In accordance with our non-interventionalist approach to winemaking, this wine was fermented with indigenous yeast and was not fined or filtered." - FELTON ROAD WINERY
- Item #: i_381863Bottle Size: 750mlWINERY NOTES - "Imagine yellow-fleshed peaches, rock melon and blackcurrant – a sponge cake with lemon icing, chamomile and hints of rose petal – this is a delicately perfumed and deliciously ripe-fruited interpretation of Marlborough sauvignon blanc. The palate is both subtle and textural, showing considerable ripeness and concentration, with a crisp and long, juicy finish."
We are huge fans of New Zealand wines so it's natural that we would follow Kevin Judd and what he's doing... Kevin's career is intrinsically linked with the global path of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. He was born in England, grew up in Australia and moved to New Zealand in 1983; soon after he became the founding winemaker at Cloudy Bay and remained there for their first 25 vintages. In 2009, Kevin unveiled his personal venture, Greywacke (pronounced "grey-wacky"), named after New Zealand's prolific bedrock, and fulfilling a long-held dream of his and his wife Kimberley. Once we tasted his wines we were instantly smitten-- these are wines of character, showcasing the terroir they come from, the high quality of New Zealand grapes and the knowledge and talent of the winemaker behind it all. And the critics agree:
"Some of New Zealand's most exciting emerging stars include Greywacke... Kevin Judd takes Marlborough Sauvignon to new heights." - Lisa Perotti-Brown, eRobert Parker.com
- Item #: i_377122Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 90#66 WINE SPECTATOR TOP 100 WINES OF 2020
WINE SPECTATOR 90 POINTS - "Succulent and refreshing, with Key lime, preserved ginger and green apple candy flavors that are intense and focused. Reveals a hint of toasted green tea on the juicy finish. "
- Item #: i_383512Bottle Size: 750mlWine Enthusiast: 92WINE ENTHUSIAST 92 POINTS - "There's a little reduction at first, but the flinty, salty nuances actually add character to the already appealing lemon, stone fruit, red apple skin, grass and green bean notes. The palate balances a creamy texture with crunchy acidity and a salty, citrusy finish."
Winemaker Notes - "Attractive aromas of pineapple and guava, combined with citrus and lemongrass overlay delicate nut and spice notes. Revealing the softer side of its Sauvignon Blanc heritage on the palate, this wine offers a delicious combination of mandarin and guava, beautifully laced with notes of brazil nut and honey from the wild ferment. The wine finishes with lingering lemon notes."
- Item #: i_381226Bottle Size: 750mlWINEMAKER'S NOTES - "This Pinot Gris shows a lovely combination of poached pear, stonefruit and zesty grapefruit aromas along with fragrant spicy notes on the nose. The pear and stonefruit characters are carried through to the palate where they combine with subtle creamy, nutty notes derived from the partial wild fermentation and yeast lees ageing."
- Item #: i_383014Bottle Size: 750ml"Big, buttery, oaky? Nope! A soothing chardonnay with fresh, cool fruit flavors that reflect the beauty of the vineyard, without the winemaker's boots stomping all over it."
JULES TAYLOR'S NOTES -"Delicious fruit aromas of ripe peach and mango interlace with ripe pear and red apple notes. These primary aromas are backed up with complex hints of lemon curd, toasted almond and caramel.
On the palate, this wine has a lovely weighty creaminess whilst retaining a pristine, fresh fruitiness. The flavours are mouthfilling and complex and give way to a long, juicy finish."
- Item #: i_380390Bottle Size: 750mlVibrant tropical and citrus aromas of passionfruit, lime and pink grapefruit leap from the glass, supported by exotic notes of lemongrass and Vietnamese mint. This upfront, in-your-face drop captures the essence of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. The fruit flavors combine with mouthwatering intensity and juicy acidity, giving way to a long, zesty, perfectly balanced finish. Jules Taylor Sauvignon Blanc is great to match with fresh summer flavors - try it with guacamole, chips and dip with a little hint of spice, or fresh fish tacos with coriander and a yummy salsa. Or with tomatoes fresh off the vine, drizzled in balsamic and paired with mozzarella.
- Item #: i_377144Bottle Size: 750mlWinemaker's Notes - "Light straw with yellow and green hues. Aromas of citrus and tropical fruits backed by characteristic herbaceous notes for which Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is renowned. An exuberant wine brimming with juicy acidity and fruit sweetness, providing a balanced flavour profile. The finish is fresh, zesty, and lingering."
- Item #: i_379947Bottle Size: 750mlAmazingly powerful aromas, distinctively Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Passionfruit and zesty grapefruit aromatics, with layers of floral and tropical notes. The wine reveals intense, lifted aromatics of tropical fruit that lead into a range of complex flavors, including distinct mineral notes accenting its rich, hefty palate, that last through a clean, crisp finish.
- Item #: i_378862Bottle Size: 750MLJames Suckling: 96JAMES SUCKLING 96 POINTS - "The top-tier chardonnay here is very much in command and has a super rich and very concentrated feel with deep, ripe-peach and mango aromas with grilled-grapefruit notes, too. The palate is very rich and ripe, offering a super fleshy feel with long, rich and layered, stone-fruit flavors. Drink or hold. Screw cap."
The Chardonnays produced by Kumeu River are not just among the best wines from New Zealand, they are some of the best Chardonnays in the world. In fact, the Kumeu River wines out-performed their old world counterparts in a recent blind tasting by fourteen wine professionals. Neal Martin of Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate and Decanter Magazine’s Jancis Robinson were among the judges who participated. Afterwards, Martin called the Kumeu River wines, “White Burgundy in Kiwi clothing.” Jancis Robinson was inspired to pen an article for Decanter in which she wrote, “A blind tasting comparing Kumeu River Chardonnays with fine white Burgundies suggests they can more than hold their own.”
Kumeu River’s success is not surprising as winemaker Michael Brajkovich learned his craft in Burgundy and is inspired by the wines made from this renowned terroir. He makes his family’s wines including the Mate’s Chardonnay with painstaking attention to detail. The grapes are hand harvested, whole-bunch pressed and barrel fermented in French barriques with indigenous yeast. The Mate’s Chardonnay is approachable now, but capable of aging as well. The Burgundian–inspired wines from Kumeu River are well worth your time and money at a fraction of the price for wines of comparable quality.
- Item #: i_383090Bottle Size: 750mlWINE SPECTATOR 90 POINTS - "Peach, pear and citrus flavors are plump and juicy, with a thread of floral details and whiffs of lemongrass and dried mango on the finish. Drink now."
Loveblock is the project of Kim Crawford who helped transform the New Zealand wine industry and make Sauvignon Blanc a household name around the world. Kim Crawford's Sauvignon Blanc continues to be a huge hit with our customers. For his new Loveblock wine,Kim Crawford purschased land and planted vineyards on the hilltops overlooking Marlborough's Awatere Valley. His aim is to create the best wine to express this extraordinary place. New Zealand's signature varietal tends to be bold and big with pugent aromatics. The Loveblock wine focuses more on texture and finesse, while retaining nice acidy. It has beautiful aromatics of white peach, melon and subtle herbaceous notes. On the palate, the mouth feel is generous with nice lift, refinement and minerality. Hints of stone fruit and citrus linger on the long finish. This wine is complex and subtle. Think of it as Kim Crawford dressed up for a night out on the town."
- Item #: i_381001Bottle Size: 750mlDelightfully ripe aromas of gooseberry and white peach are laced with refreshing notes of kaffir lime. The fleshy mid palate is tamed by an underlying minerally acid backbone that culminates in a bright, zesty finish.
A delicious match with most seafood, salads and sheep / goat’s cheese; try the The Ned Sauvignon Blanc with a little snack of crunchy, green pear slices topped with goats cheese, dried cranberries (craisins) and pistachio nuts.