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Auntsfield 2016 ‘Single Vineyard’ Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

02 March,2018

The Cowley family have continued on their vineyard on Paynters Road in the Southern Valleys the winemaking heritage of David Herd who founded ‘Auntsfield’, Marlborough’s first vineyard there in 1873. The Cowleys have restored the original cellar and included initiatives to honour the pioneering work of Herd. Nowadays, the Cowleys have 65 ha of vineyard in 50 different plots, planted to Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The vines are tended by general manager and viticulturist Ben Cowley, and the wines are made by Luc Cowley. Three distinct ranges are made: the ‘Single Vineyard’ wines, representative of the whole site, the ‘Single Block’ wines, expressive of specific blocks, and the flagship ‘Heritage’ Pinot Noir which includes a tiny (homeopathic) amount of some surviving 1905 wine made by David Herd. Here, I review the 2016 ‘Single Vineyard’ Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. www.auntsfield.co.nz

FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW



Auntsfield ‘Single Vineyard’ Southern Valleys Marlborough Chardonnay 2016

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Marlborough

18/20

Bright straw-yellow colour with light golden tints, paler edged. The nose is gently full with even and accessible aromas of yellow stonefruit and citrus fruit, along with subtle creamy barrel-ferment and fragrant nutty oak elements with lees detail. Some refresh mineral nuances emerge with aeration. Medium-full bodied, the flavours are a little restrained in expression but grow to form a softly packed heart providing good mouthfeel and presence. The palate has flavours of yellow stonefruits and citrus fruits melded with nutty lees and oak with subtle, creamy textures. The palate is balanced by crisp, mouthwatering acidity, unveiling mealy and toasty suggestions as the wine carries to an elegant, lingering finish. This is a well-concentrated Chardonnay with restrained stonefruit and citrus fruit flavours along with nutty and creamy oak, and brisk acidity, good weight and presence. Hand-picked fruit, WBP and barrel fermented, partially by indigenous yeasts to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 10 months on lees in 27% new French oak barriques, with no MLF. 18.0/20 Mar 2018 RRP $36.00

Auntsfield ‘Single Vineyard’ Southern Valleys Marlborough Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Marlborough

17.5/20

Full, very dark, deep, black-hued ruby-red colour with purple hues, very youthful in appearance. The nose is full and voluminous with well-packed and solid aromas of ripe, dark raspberry and black berried fruits entwined with dark herbs, nutty oak elements and savoury reductive mineral nuances. Medium-full bodied, the palate is bright and vibrant with juicy flavours of black cherries, blackberries and dark raspberries melded with subtle notes of dark herbs, unveiling a little nutty oak and savoury reductive suggestions. The mouthfeel is vigorous and the sweet fruit is balanced by grainy tannin extraction along with fresh, lacy acidity. The flavours carry with good energy to a long, robust finish. This is a bright, vibrant and vigorous blackberry and raspberry fruited Pinot Noir with some reductive mineral notes, and good tannin structure. Match with grilled and roasted lamb, beef and venison dishes over the next 6+ years. Hand-picked fruit, predominantly destemmed with over 2% whole bunches on average, and partially indigenous yeast fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged approx. 10 months in 25% new French oak barriques. 17.5/20 Mar 2018 RRP $45.00

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