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_378233Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 92WINE SPECTATOR 92 POINTS - "Vibrant and mouthwatering, with generous flavors of Key lime pie, fleshy green papaya and savory roasted herb. Focused and intense on the long, refreshing finish. Drink now. 3,000 cases made."
- Item #: i_381101Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "Gentle earthy, loamy aromas accent dark cherry and plum fruit on the nose of the 2015 Pinot Noir. It's a complex mélange of savory and fruity that characterizes the complex wines emanating from one of Martinborough's founding addresses. Most importantly, this medium-bodied wine has the seductive, silky-yet-firm texture that characterizes its bottlings and which allows them to age so successfully, turning almost gossamer-like on the long finish."
In only three decades, Martinborough has transformed from a sleepy colonial town to a world-class wine village. And Pinot Noir is the wine that really put this region on the map with its boutique Burgundian style. In 1980, owner Clive Paton sold his herd of cows and planted his first vines on a small, stony sheep paddock. He became one of a handful of people who pioneered winegrowing in the area and named his small plot of land Ata Rangi meaning "dawn sky" or "new beginning." Obviously, he made the right decision and his wines are undoubtedly amongst the best Pinot Noir's crafted in the new world.
- Item #: i_377109Bottle Size: 750MLAta Rangi, meaning "dawn sky" or "new beginning" is a small New Zealand winery with a big reputation. Located at the southern end of the North Island, Clive Paton planted his first vines on a small, stony sheep paddock at the edge of the Martinborough village in 1980 as one of the early pioneers of wine-growing in the area.
A vibrant, textural, food-friendly style of sauvignon blanc thanks to Martinborough's naturally low yields, hand-picked, hand-sorted fruit, partial barrel ferment and extended contact with yeast lees in both tank and barrel. Refined aromas and flavors of passionfruit and lemongrass align with hints of honeysuckle, gooseberry and ruby grapefruit to provide a mouth-filling medley of drinking pleasure. This wine is all class; rich and finely balanced, with great length on the palate. As wine-writer Tyson Stelzer notes "Helen Masters' ideal sauvignon is neither herbaceous nor tropical, but strikes a balance in between."
- Item #: i_382553Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "The medium to full-bodied 2015 Burn Cottage Vineyard Pinot Noir offers up aromas of roses, ripe cherries, crushed stone and subtle hints of pencil shavings. Despite 31% whole clusters and 19% new oak, neither is readily apparent on the nose at this stage. On the palate, there's a sense of restrained fruit coupled with wiry, herbal, tea-like nuances that add complexity and texture, extending through a long, silky finish. This remarkable property remains at the forefront of Central Otago Pinot Noir producers."
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_382515Bottle Size: 750mlCashburn is Burn Cottage's second label made from barrels that didn't go into the Burn Cottage bottling. This wine is Exhibit A in our case for Central Otago Pinot Noir's status as a worthy contender on the world stage. A prime vineyard site, perfect Pinot climate, and a masterful hand at the helm all add up to gorgeous terroir and varietal expression. If Cashburn came from Sonoma or Chambolle-Musigny, you'd surely be shelling out twice this price to acquire this wine.
Winemaker's Notes - Ripe dark cherry, redcurrant and chocolate notes precede savoury notes of wild thyme, briar and earth. Supple mouthfilling tannins give depth to the palate, while the freshness and red-berry acidity retain lovely length, focus and balance.
- Item #: i_377780Bottle Size: 750mlA Pinot Noir hailing from New Zealand that exhibits juicy plum and black cherry which are contrasted by notes of spice and rose petal. On the palate, this wine is eminently smooth and balanced, with cherry notes standing out and silky tannins adding structure.
- Item #: i_377149Bottle Size: 750mlThe Bourgeois family was on a worldwide search for a new slice of terroir, similar to their own in Sancerre, where ultra-premium Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir could be grown. After a 12-year exploration, New Zealand revealed itself as the place to create a style of wines that would reflect the Bourgeois philosophy. In 2000, the family fell in love with the land and wines of Marlborough and in the same year, made the instinctive and emotive decision to purchase 98 Hectares of native pasture. Their first grave vine planting was in 2001 and with much hard work and meticulous management and planning, they started producing wines of stellar quality-- like this one.
In the French tradition, the vineyard is planted in high density to encourage competition between vines and restrain vigor. This natural vigor 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 vigor 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 terroir and showing more minerality from the river stone soil.
The nose is resplendent with stone fruits and spring blossoms dancing amid well water, flint and mineral scents. The palate is viscous and rich, yet tempered by good acidity, as a mélange of mixed stone and tropical fruits (pear, white peach, lichee, lime) lead to a mid-palate of rich, brown spices and mineral water. Mixed fruits flourish in the crisp, fresh finish. Think fruits of the sea (richer fish, shellfish) or your favorite 'bigger' cheeses
- Item #: i_377300Bottle Size: 750mlJames Suckling: 94JAMES SUCKLING 94 POINTS - "This has developed wonderfully in the bottle with sliced-peach, lemon and mineral aromas that follow through to a medium-bodied palate, subtle fruit, attractive palate tension and a fresh finish. Screw cap."
Cloudy Bay Te Koko is a complex and savoury wine that is both deliciously aromatic and richly textured. Aromas of lychee and honeysuckle intermingle with the scent of thyme and a hint of smoky oak. Released as a matured wine, Te Koko is a full-bodied, alternative style of sauvignon blanc!
- Item #: i_382966Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 91A textural and full-bodied wine, Cloudy Bay Chardonnay combines New Zealand fruit vibrancy with Burgundian style. Packed full of citrus and stone fruit flavours with a savoury complexity, enhanced by judicious use of new oak, this is an intriguing and complex wine.
WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "The 2015 Chardonnay offers delicate grapefruit, white peach and orange blossom notes with hints of brioche, marzipan and honeysuckle. The medium-bodied palate is finely constructed with plenty of freshness to support the savory and stone fruit flavors, finishing with satisfying length."
- Item #: i_377372Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 90Pinot 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.
WINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS - "Pale to medium ruby-purple colored, the 2015 Pinot Noir has pretty violet, red cherry and warm raspberry scents with a hint of cinnamon and dusty earth. Soft, elegant and medium-bodied, it gives lovely purity and a more understated expression."
- 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_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_377090Bottle Size: 750MLPale straw color with green hues. Fresh aromatics of jasmine, sage, nectarine and lime. A textural wine on the palate with strong fruit flavours of apple and grilled pineapple ably supported by fresh acidity. The finish is long and chalky, a hallmark of this vineyard.
- Item #: i_381223Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 90Wine Spectator: 92James Suckling: 93There’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_379954Bottle Size: 750MLFermented in wooden French cuvees, hand plunged and aged in 50% new French oak barriques for 18 months. It was bottled without fining or filtration, promoting soft mouth feel and texture. The wine was given every priority during its elevation and now shows all the hallmarks of a grand young wine on release in 2016. It is at the vanguard of Pinot noir style in the New World and should age gracefully for up to 10 years. The wine is a true reflection of both Martinborough’s unique terroir and the skills and experience of winemakers Larry McKenna and Huw Kinch.
- Item #: i_380558Bottle Size: 750mlWinemaker Notes - Crushed sea shells and delicate citrus blossom lead the focussed and detailed nose. The palate follows with a salinity and minerality that is subtle, complex and intriguing. Devoid of any overt wine-making characters, the wine offers a transparency that allows its unique vineyard origin of schist gravel soils to really shine and take centre stage. Refined and poised with serious precision.
- Item #: i_383428Bottle Size: 750mlBIODYNAMIC
Wafts of elegant perfumed florals dominate the nose in the usual Calvert manner, but with a stronger emphasis in this very precise and attractively scented vintage. Hints of crushed spice and red fruits give way again to a cascade of florals on the palate. Ethereal, sophisticated and majestic. The finish is tightly focussed with its characteristic fine grained and seamless tannins. Silky and long.
- Item #: i_379498Bottle Size: 750mlJames Suckling: 93JAMES SUCKLING 93 POINTS - "This has impressive depth of fruit as well as fragrant top line perfume. The oak spice suits the dark cherry and sweet earthiness. On the palate there is a punchy frame of tannins that draws tight and fresh through the finish thanks to bracing acidity."
- Item #: i_383499Bottle Size: 750mlWe love great producers from Central Otago such as Two Paddocks, Felton Road and Mt. Difficulty who craft outstanding wines from the temperamental Pinot grape. In fact, Matt Dicey is the winemaker for both Mt. Difficulty and Fifth Bridge so it’s easy to understand why this wine is so good.
The Ceres wine brand is the result of a collaboration of brothers Matt and James Dicey who are part of one of the industries pioneering wine families. This Pinot Noir over-delivers with an incredible quality to price ratio and is a great wine to purchase by the case. This accessible, fresh and supple wine can be enjoyed over the next several years.
Bright ruby in color. On the nose, expressive aromas of fresh cut flowers, perfectly ripened cherries, red berries and brown spices leap from the glass. On the palate, this wine is dry, medium-bodied and polished with wonderful texture and silky tannins. With air, the wine gains complexity as red and black cherries, ripened cranberry and plum notes emerge along with notions of sandalwood, subtle herbs and cinnamon spice. The finish is long lasting and satisfying.
- Item #: i_381865Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 93#65 TOP 100 WINE SPECTATOR 2017
WINE SPECTATOR 93 POINTS - "Detailed, with notes of dried lavender, white pepper, fresh loamy earth and black tea set against a core of strawberry and raspberry flavors. Smooth and plush, this becomes even more expressive on the finish, where spice details fan out. Drink now through 2025. 750 cases imported."
We’ve long been fans of NZ Pinot Noirs and we think this one will convince many more people as to how good they can "do" Pinot! The nose is beautifully Burgundian, with notes of cherry, cherry tobacco and smoked meats lightly touched with cinnamon and autumn spice and a wash of nice minerality. Pretty Pinot, indeed! The firm but finely structured palate blends red and black fruits (cherries and blackberries with cherry liqueur) with charry, smoky oak and rich licorice. This is a deliciously aromatic wine with concentrated varietal character. Further notes of black tea and a touch of lilac florals and red plum in the background endeared us to this one.
- Item #: i_381863Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 91ANTONIO GALLONI 91 POINTS - "(100% done in stainless steel): Pale, bright yellow. Very ripe stone fruit and pineapple aromas are lifted by flowers, dusty brown spices and anise. Plush, round and slightly sweet, but with nicely integrated acidity giving shape to the peach, grapefruit, white pepper and nutmeg flavors. Wonderfully generous, fine-grained wine with a light touch and superb rising length. The wine's tactile finishing notes of dusty stone and ginger leave the salivary glands humming. In a distinctly ripe style but a beauty."
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_382516Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "Pale to medium ruby with a hint of purple, the 2011 John Forrest Collection Waitaki Pinot Noir offers gorgeous evolved Pinot notes of earth, meat and game with some truffle and mushroom hints over a core of cherry coulis and raspberry preserves. Light bodied, it fills the palate with lovely delicate red fruits and remarkable freshness with silky tannins carrying the fruit to a long finish."