New Zealand Selections from "An Aussie's Gems:"
Craggy The Quarry 2006
“Built to last, this Cabernet Sauvignon-predominant (95%) Gimblett Gravels red is densely coloured and hugely concentrated, with beautifully ripe blackcurrant, spice and coffee flavours seasoned with smoky oak and a firm, lasting finish. Brambly, finely structured and youthful, it’s an obvious candidate for long-term cellaring.”
***** Michael Cooper, WineState
Esk Valley Syrah Reserve 2006
". . . an exceptional wine: adorned with a deep, brooding nose with dark cherries, sous-bois and smoke, its reductive elements soon dissipating in the glass. The palate is full-bodied, huge grip, a tour de force wine that maintains its introverted character from start to finish, ergo I would cellar this . . . . winemaking embraces an artisanal approach using small batches vinified in concrete fermenters, the reserve wines matured in 60-65% new French oak (10% American) for 18 months. Alastair Mailing MW told me that the vats do not have temperature control as the concrete naturally retains the heat and that they allow the fermentation to peak between 30 and 35 degrees [Celsius]."
93 Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate
Craggy Range Syrah Le Sol 2005
". . . simply an incredible wine, a massive nose of black plum, game and a touch of tar, the palate full-bodied with robust tannins and just like the great Northern Rhône producers, delivers a svelte, elegant finish that belies the powerful fruit that charges this wine along. If you doubt New Zealand can make world-class wines, then try this."
95 Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate
Vidal Syrah Reserve 2005
". . . beautifully refined on the nose, leading to a full-bodied, lush palate, very focused with black cherries, bilberry and damson fruit vying for attention. Great weight and persistency on the finish, this is undoubtedly one of New Zealand’s top-class Syrahs . . ."
92 Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate
Unison Vineyard Unison Selection 2001
"Good medium ruby. Aromatic nose of redcurrant and tobacco . . . Supple and subtly sweet, with complex flavors of currant, tree bark and black and green pepper. Deeper than the 2002 and broader on the back. Finishes . . . dry but with smoother tannins. Very French in texture."
Stephen Tanzer, Vinous
Craggy Range Pinot Noir Aroha Te Muna 2006
". . . a field selection from the Te Muna vineyard in Martinborough, hand-picked, de-stemmed and fermented with indigenous yeasts and five daily punchdowns before being matured in French oak of which 35% is new. The nose is unassuming at first: it takes a while before its complexity becomes apparent with black cherries, rose petals and even a touch of tar. The palate is medium-bodied and very well-balanced with a grainy second half with touches of black pepper and once again, tar. Introspective and cerebral, this could merit a higher score in a couple of years time."
92+ Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate
Amisfield Pinot Noir Rocky Knoll 2006
"Medium ruby colour. Intense warm cherry and spice aromas, violets, little anise. Crisp acidity, medium-full body, medium+ level of very fine tannins. Great concentration. Long finish."
92 Lisa Perrott-Brown MW, The Wine Adovcate
Escarpment Pinot Noir Moana 2006
". . . much earthier on the nose with a touch of forest floor, whilst the palate is almost tart with fresh ripe black cherries, boysenberry and a touch of cassis on the herbaceous finish. This is a vivacious Pinot Noir . . ."
91+ Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate
Escarpment Pinot Noir Kupe 2006
"Dark red. Musky strawberry and sandalwood on the nose. Sweet, lush and deep, with an impression of strong extract to the raspberry and spice flavors. This broad and creamy wine boasts impressive underlying structure, finishing with sweet tannins and excellent length."
90 Stephen Tanzer, Vinous
Richardson Pinot Noir 2005
"Michelle Richardson Wines are small batch, high-quality wines which express the terroir of the exceptional vineyard sites of New Zealand. They are made with the meticulous attention and hands-on care of multi award winning winemaker Michelle Richardson."
Neudorf Pinot Noir Moutere 2004
"Neudorf is undoubtedly one of the leading lights of Nelson, one of the top wineries in New Zealand. Located on north-facing slopes in the Moutere Hills on sandy-loam topsoil with clay subsoil that engender natural acidity; under winemaker John Kavanagh, Neudorf is producing high quality wines that aspire towards the Old World, suffused with minerality and nervosité. Everything except the Sauvignon Blanc is hand-picked and generally the Brightwater wines are fermented using cultured yeasts whilst the Mouteres use wild ferments."
Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate
Martinborough Vineyard Pinot Noir Marie Zelie Reserve 2003
". . . in 2003 we made our first Marie Zelie Pinot Noir, which sold out on release, and this was followed with releases of the 2006 and 2008. Marie Zelie Pinot Noir is the finest reflection of what we believe we can achieve. This wine is extremely scarce with only 1868 bottles produced. A kaleidoscope of aromas on the nose – bright red fruits, subtle Asian spices and lingering herbal notes come together to form a complex and beguiling Pinot Noir. From our oldest vines we get texture and richness in the mid palate whilst the cooler conditions experienced in the summer have lent a lovely long and vibrant acidity that brings the wine together. This wine is what we believe Martinborough Vineyard Pinot Noir is all about – lovely depth and richness, layers of flavour and great balance rather than raw dominating power or extraction. With careful cellaring this wine will improve in bottle and cellar gracefully . . ."