Featured Reviews

Forrest Wines 2018 Rosé, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Albarino, and 2015 Gruner Veltliner and Pinot Noir

20 September,2018

John and Brigid Forrest have developed their Forrest Wine brand for three decades, and the business is now into its second generation of participation, with daughter Beth fully involved as the winegrowing manager. As with all businesses that successfully reach this stage, there has been a (constant) re-evaluation of their operations. Forrest has grown to be a significant Marlborough producer, and has investigated emerging varieties and styles, as well as working with fruit from different regions, including new and untried districts. The company has backed important innovations such as screwcap closures, and more recently the establishment of ‘Appellation Marlborough Wine’. By all accounts, Forrest Wines has been successful in these areas and made significant contributions to both the Marlborough and New Zealand wine industries.

In discussion with Forrest marketing manager Hamish McRae, I believe that the Forrest family will be consolidating the brand to represent the family as a whole, and showcase their three decades of winegrowing in Marlborough especially, by recognising the roots of their business, the ground in which their vines are planted. This will mean an emphasis of sub-region, with possibly smaller volumes of the wines to indicate their boutique status. Hamish mentioned this will be a process of fine-tuning. The ‘Forrest’ brand will be focussed on primarily, with 12 varieties made and their sub-regions highlighted. This has been but will be presented again as the core of Forrest Wines, with classical varieties and innovative styles. ‘The Doctors’ range will become centred on the ‘low-alcohol’ style which has become an important category. The ‘TattyBogler’ range will be the vehicle for Forrest’s Central Otago and Waitaki Valley wines, while the ‘John Forrest Collection’ remains the flagships. It is interesting times as the Forrest family begin their next stage of development. Here, I review a selection of Forrest 2018 and 2015 bottlings which will give an indication of where the ‘Forrest’ brand is heading. www.forrest.co.nz


Forrest Marlborough Rosé 2018

Rose from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright, very pale cerise-pink with slight purple hues, lighter on the edge. The nose is softly fresh with fragrant aromas of strawberries and cream along with red florals, some confectionary and fresh fermentation esters. This has freshness and clarity. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is elegant and refreshing with subtle flavours of strawberries ad cherries and cream with red florals and some confectionary and esters lift. The mouthfeel is lively and thirst-quenching, and the fruit sweetness melds with the light phenolic textures, the wine carrying with zestiness to an elegant aromatic finish. This is an elegant dryish rosé with refreshing and fragrant flavours of strawberries and cherries, with florals and confectionary on a mouthwatering palate. Serve as an aperitif, with canapés and antipasto over the next 2 years. An equal blend of Malbec and Pinot Noir from the ‘Conders Bend’ and ‘North Bank’ blocks in the Wairau Valley, tank-fermented to 12.5% alc. and 5 g/L RS. 17.5+/20 Sep 2018 RRP $22.00

Forrest Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough


Brilliant straw-yellow colour with light green tints. The nose is finely and firmly presented with very deep and intense aromas of savoury pungent passionfruit, along with some complexing reductive elements lending a punchy earthiness. Dark herbal and tropical fruit elements unfold n the glass. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has a rounded, but positive core with packed flavours of savoury pungent passionfruit, along with dark herbs and nuances of tropical fruit. The mouthfeel is gently refreshing with lacy acidity, the wine carrying along a light-textured line, leading to a lingering finish of passionfruit and herbs. This is a deep, savoury, pungent passionfruited Sauvignon on a rounded palate with gentle, refreshing acidity. Serve with salads and vegetables, and Mediterranean fare over the next 2 years. All Wairau Valley fruit, 45% ‘Giffords Road’, 40% from ‘Winery’ blocks and the remainder from ‘North Bank’ and ‘Jacksons Road’, fermented in stainless-steel to 12.5% alc., 5% of the wine aged in lees in barrel post ferment. 17.5+/20 Sep 2018 RRP $22.00

Forrest Marlborough Pinot Gris 2018

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Marlborough


Full, even, pale golden-yellow colour, a little lighter on the edge. The nose is softly full with restrained aromas of yellow stonefruits along with an amalgam of yellow florals, stonefruit kernels and nutty elements. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has soft, but lively, gently concentrated flavours of white and yellow stonefruits, with floral nuances and hints of honeysuckle. The aromatics blossom on mid-palate, and the wine flows smoothly with light acid energy. This has a little unctuousness and the wine carries to a rounded finish of stonefruits and honeysuckle. This is a soft and rounded dry Pinot Gris with gentle stonefruit, floral and honeysuckle flavours on a smooth palate with some richness. Match with Asian fare over the next 2-3 years. Fruit from the ‘North Bank’ vineyard, Wairau Valley, fermented in stainless-steel with 5% in barrel to 13.0% alc. and 5 g/L RS, the oak portion aged 3 months on full lees. 17.0+/20 Sep 2018 RRP $22.00

Forrest Marlborough Albarino 2018

Other White from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright yellow colour with light golden tints, paler edged. The nose is finely concentrated with firm and intense aromas of fresh white florals, subtle citrus notes, along with mineral and saline notes that provide mouthwatering interest. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is bright, zesty and lively with refreshing flavours of white florals and stonefruits, along with citrus fruit and mineral and saline nuances. The wine is sleek and slippery with crisp, racy acidity, and the wine flows with good drive, tension and linearity, leading to a crisp, thirst-quenching finish. This is a bright and lively dry Albarino with white floral and stonefruit flavours along with mineral and saline notes on a sleek and slippery palate. Serve with seafood over the next 2-3 years. Fruit from the ‘Brancott’ vineyard in the Southern Valleys, fermented in tank with 10% in barriques to 13.0% alc. and 5 g/L RS, the barrel portion aged on lees. 18.0+/20 Sep 2018 RRP $25.00

Forrest Marlborough Gruner Veltliner 2015

Gruner Veltliner from New Zealand – Marlborough


Full, light golden-yellow colour with some depth, paler edged. The bouquet is full with waxy stonefruit and lanolin aromas intermixed with herbs and green stonefruits, complexed by some toasty, earthy and honied elements. This shows secondary development. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has a weighty heart of waxy, citrus and herbal fruit with lanolin notes and secondary savouriness. Bottle-age has intensified the flavours to show toast, earth and honey complexities. The mouthfeel features fresh acidity and the wine is racy in flow. A concentrated core of flavours carries to a sustained finish. This Gruner Veltliner has intensified with bottle age to show waxy and lanolin flavours with honey toast and earthy nuances on a weighty palate with acid zestiness. Serve with Mediterranean fare over the next 2 years. Fruit 60% from ‘Brancott’ in the Southern Valleys and 40% ‘Home’ block, Wairau Valley, fermented in tank with 5% in barrel to 12.5% alc. and 2 g/L RS, the oak portion aged on lees. 17.5-/20 Sep 2018 RRP $25.00

Forrest Marlborough Pinot Noir 2015

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Marlborough


Deepish red colour with slight garnet hues, light on the rim. The bouquet is elegant in presentation with a concentrated and deep core of harmoniously integrated aromas of red berry fruits, dried herbs, subtle red floral notes and savoury secondary game and undergrowth elements with mushroom detail. Medium-bodied, the palate is finely presented with an elegant core of concentrated flavours of savoury red berry fruit with dried herbs, notes of game and undergrowth. The mouthfeel is rounded and the wine is smooth flowing with fine-grained tannins in support. This is becoming integrated and the flavours carry harmoniously to a gentle, lingering finish. This is an elegant Pinot Noir showing some harmonious integration and development of savoury secondary dried herb and undergrowth complexities. Serve with coq au vin and casseroles over the next 3+ years. Primarily clone 5 fruit with 777 and 667, 70% from the ‘Brancott’ vineyard, Southern Valleys and 30% from the ‘North Bank’, fermented with 10% whole bunches to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 25% new French oak barriques. 17.5/20 Sep 2018 RRP $30.00

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