5 STAR REVIEWS FROM NEW ZEALAND'S MOST ACCLAIMED WINE WRITER.

5 STAR REVIEWS FROM NEW ZEALAND'S MOST ACCLAIMED WINE WRITER.

July 21, 2017

2016 China Girl – 5 stars

The powerful 2015 vintage (4.5*) was grown and hand-picked at Bendigo, in the Cromwell Basin. Deeply coloured and full-bodied, it is generous and sweet-fruited, with concentrated plum/spice flavours, a hint of liquorice, savoury notes adding complexity, and a rich, smooth finish. Forward in its appeal, it's already drinking well, but likely to be at its best 2018+. The similarly powerful 2016 vintage (5*) was hand-picked on Chinaman's Terrace, at Bendigo, and matured for a year in French oak casks (30 per cent new). Deep ruby, it is fragrant, mouthfilling and vibrantly fruity, with ripe plum and spice flavours, showing excellent concentration, fresh acidity, good complexity and a lasting finish. Still very youthful, it's a savoury, well-structured red with obvious potential; open 2020+.  

2015 Signature Pinot Noir – 5 stars

The 2015 vintage (4.5*) is rare - only 100 cases were produced. Grown in the Gibbston sub-region (although not labelled as such) , it was crafted by pioneer Central Otago winemaker Grant Taylor (owner of the Valli brand). Full, bright ruby, with a floral, invitingly scented bouquet, it is mouthfilling, with vibrant, well-ripened cherry, plum, spice and dried herb flavours, showing excellent concentration, supple tannins, and a strong sense of youthful drive and potential. Best drinking 2018+. The 2016 has received 5 stars – no review yet online.

2016 Drowsy Fish – 4.5 stars

The 2015 vintage (4*) was grown inland and handled without oak. Ripely scented, it is weighty, with strong melon/lime flavours, a hint of green capsicum, and a fully dry, appetisingly crisp finish. The punchy 2016 vintage (4.5*) was grown in the Moutere Hills and tank-fermented. Bright, light lemon/green, it is a fresh, fragrant, medium-bodied wine, with very good intensity of crisp melon and green capsicum flavours, lively, minerally, racy and long.  

2014 Stolen Heart Cabernet – 4.5 stars

Certified organic, the 2014 vintage (4.5*) was grown in the Gimblett Gravels and matured for a year in French oak casks (30 per cent new). Deep and youthful in colour, it is medium-bodied and savoury, in a distinctly Bordeaux-like style with fresh, ripe blackcurrant, plum, spice and herb flavours, seasoned with nutty oak, good complexity, firm tannins and obvious cellaring potential. Best drinking 2019+. (From Crown Range Cellar).  

2014 Stolen Heart Merlot – 4.5 stars

Densely packed and youthful, the 2014 vintage (4.5*) is a Gimblett Gravels, Hawke's Bay blend of Merlot (78 per cent) and Malbec (16 per cent), with splashes of Cabernet Franc (3 per cent) and Syrah (3 per cent). Deeply coloured, it is fresh and full-bodied, with vibrant, plummy, spicy flavours, finely integrated oak, good tannin backbone, and excellent ripeness and depth. Best drinking 2018+. (From Crown Range Cellar).  

2013 Stolen Heart Syrah – 4 stars

The 2013 vintage (4*) is a medium-bodied red, grown in the Gimblett Gravels and matured for a year in French oak casks (30 per cent new). Full-coloured, with fresh, peppery aromas, it is still youthful, with excellent depth of plummy, spicy, slightly nutty flavours, oak complexity and firm tannins. Best drinking 2018+. (From Crown Range Cellar).   



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