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_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_383459Bottle Size: 750mlWINEMAKER NOTES - "78% ‘Inlet’ fruit, all destemmed, 18% ‘Black Rabbit’ fruit with 25% whole cluster, indigenous yeast fermented to 13.8% alc., the wine spending 26-29 days on skins and aged 11 months in 28% new French oak. Dark, deep, black-hued red with lighter garnet hues on the rim. The nose is soft and full with harmoniously concentrated aromas of ripe, dark red berry fruits melded with dark plum notes, liquorice and earth, and nuances of spice and thyme herbs. Medium-full bodied, the palate features soft, sweet and plush, ripe dark red berry and plum fruit flavour intermixed with thyme herbs, liquorice earth and undergrowth detail. The fruit lusciousness is supported and balanced by fine-grained tannin extraction providing good structure and mouthfeel. Integrated acidity enlivens the drive and the wine flows to a long and sustained finish with juicy fruit and a fine-texture. This is a soft, plush and juicy Pinot Noir with dark berry, plum and thyme herb flavours, and a fine-textured mouthfeel. Match with roasted game meats and semi-hard cheeses over the next 5-6 years." Aged in 25% new Burgundian oak barrels.
- 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: 750MLJames Suckling: 93JAMES SUCKLING 93 POINTS - ale lemon straw. Ripe Sauvignon Blanc aromatics with notes of white peach, citrus blossom, honeysuckle and kaffir lime. Harmonious and rich on the palate with ripe citrus and fresh apple and a layered, dry, textural feel."
- 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_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."
- Item #: i_380100Bottle Size: 750mlPinot Noir Profile - The Pinot Noir grape is one of Marlborough’s stars; the cool climate queen of red wine is a natural match for Marlborough’s reliable cool dry vintage climate. The grapes typically show ripe berry fruit flavours – raspberry and strawberry; that distinctive ‘Forest floor” earthen aroma and fresh acidity. Our Pinot Noir grape is a complex amalgam of four different “terroirs”:- classic Wairau river valley stoney soils, southern valleys, Brancott aged clays, Northbank young stone/ clay mix and Awatere Valley complex seabed soils. Each plot was hand harvested, fermented in 2-3 ton lots with hand plunging, skin contacted post fermentation, gently pressed and then aged in 20/80 blend of new/old French oak barriques for 10 months.
- Item #: i_382630Bottle Size: 750mlWinemaker Notes - Dark cherry red in color, this wine offers aromas of dark cherry, black plum and raspberry combined with clove spice notes. This Pinot Noir shows an impressive concentration of flavor and a nice acid backbone. The wild fermentation along with extended lees maturation in barrel have added complexity and texture to the dark cherry and raspberry characters found on the palate. The finish is dry with a nice touch of dark cherry and raspberry characters found on the palate. The finish is dry with a nice touch of dark chocolate and subtle French oak coming through. The wine will continue to develop well over the next 5 years.
- Item #: i_380390Bottle Size: 750mlWINE ENTHUSIAST 90 POINTS - "This is a fruity, opulent Sauvignon Blanc, bursting with peaches, pineapples, lychees, apple blossoms and just a hint of green leafiness. Oily-textured, with mouthwatering acidity and a long tomato leaf spice on the finish, this is one to satisfy both crisp, fruity white wine lovers and those who crave more body in their whites."
Made in quintessentially Marlborough style, this Sauvignon shows bright, lifted aromas of passion fruit, white fleshed nectarines, fruit salad and currant leaf. The palate is loaded with fresh, vibrant tropical fruit and herbaceous flavours. With its well defined backbone of acid this mouthful of goodness rolls out to a long dry finish.
- 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_378862Bottle Size: 750MLJAMES SUCKLING 95 POINTS - This great chardonnay is just beginning to give its best. Cool and very fresh with lemon-blossom and lemon-curd character, married to considerable richness and animating acidity, this proves that New Zealand can play in the global chardonnay first league. Super fresh finish. 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.