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Featured Reviews

Lindauer Sparkling Wines

06 February,2018

Lindauer is New Zealand’s most popular sparkling wine, and as such is easy to take for granted. However one should not dismiss it, as Lindauer is one of New Zealand’s most successful wines and brands. First made from Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay fruit from the 1980 harvest, the wine was released in time for the Christmas of 1981, and was this country’s first commercially available method traditionnelle. Created by Montana Wines, considerable thought and expertise contributed to the very high quality. It was named after Gottfried Lindauer (1839 – 1926) the famous painter of Maori people. Lindauer quickly grew to become the foremost sparkling wine in the country, and a strong export drive has seen it become New Zealand’s most recognised sparkling wine on the international scene. It offered and continues to provide consumers unmatched quality and value.

In 2010, Pernod-Ricard, the parent company owning Lindauer sold it and other brands and assets to Lion Nathan New Zealand, with winemaker partner Indevin taking the Gisborne winery and vineyards. Under Lion, Lindauer has flourished, with a number of the key technical staff responsible for the production from the Montana era continuing to be involved. The Lindauer and Lindauer ‘Special Reserve’ ranges have expanded to meet niches in the marketplace. There are carbonated as well as bottle fermented wines, and sparkling wines made in the rosé style, from different varieties, as well as low-alcohol expressions. A limited amount of sparkling non-alcoholic grape juice is also made. The wines are still very high in quality, and regularly win top awards at wine judging competitions both in New Zealand and overseas. The winemaker overseeing Lindauer and its development is Jane De Witt. Here, I review a selection of Lindauer sparkling wines.


Lindauer ‘Classic’ ‘Summer Blush’ Sparkling NV

Sparkling Wine from New Zealand - North Island


Pale peach-salmon pink colour, lighter on the rim, the bubbles moderately fine and with good persistence. The nose is soft and gently full with moderate depth of yellow stonefruits and subtle notes of red berry fruit and some musky, earthy suggestions and mineral elements. Medium-dry to taste and light-medium bodied, the palate has soft flavours of strawberries and stonefruits with hints of red fruits and florals along with a musky, earthy suggestion. The mouthfeel is refreshing and lively, and underlined by light phenolic textures and a touch of extraction, and integrated effervescence. The wine carries to a light, nuanced finish. This is a light, subtle red-fruited medium-dry sparkling blush with slight phenolic textures. Serve as an aperitif and with antipasto over the next 2 years. A seasonal release. A blend of Pinot Noir and Pinotage from Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne fermented to 11.5% alc. and 11.5 g/L RS, the wine carbonated. Lot L7314 PW075. 15.5-/20 Feb 2018 RRP $11.99

Lindauer ‘Classic’ Sauvignon Blanc Sparkling NV

Sparkling Wine from New Zealand - North Island


Bright, pale straw-yellow colour, very light on the rim, the bubbles very fine and moderately persistent. This has a fresh nose with good depth and finely concentrated aromas of passionfruit with fresh herb and gooseberry elements. This is refreshing and shows clarity of fruit. Dryish to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has moderately concentrated flavours of passionfruit with notes of tropical fruits, herbs and gooseberries. This has good palate presence with soft textures and creamy effervescence, balanced by zesty acidity. The flavours recede a little as the wine carries to a light finish. This is a moderately concentrated, passionfruity, dry sparkling Sauvignon Blanc with a balanced, creamy mouthfeel and fresh acidity. Serve as an aperitif and with herb-marinated seafood and poultry dishes over the next 2 years. East Coast Sauvignon Blanc fermented to 12.0% alc. and 11.0 g/L RS, the wine carbonated. Lot L7264 PW013. 16.0/20 Feb 2018 RRP $11.99

Lindauer ‘Classic’ Pinot Gris Sparkling NV

Sparkling Wine from New Zealand - North Island


Full straw-yellow colour, a little lighter on the rim, the bubbles very fine and persistent. The nose is softly full with moderately deep aromas of yellow stonefruits with nuances of white and yellow florals and a suggestion of honeysuckle. Medium-dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is soft and creamy with fine textures and a gentle effervescence overlaid by subtle flavours of white and yellow stonefruits along with nuances of florals and hints of honeysuckle. The palate is smooth-flowing with very delicate textures, and balanced acid freshness, and the wine carries with some fruit richness to a lingering finish. This is a soft, creamy, medium-dry sparkling Pinot Gris with stonefruit and subtle floral and honeysuckle notes. Serve with Asian fare over the next 2 years. Pinot Gris from Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay, fermented to 12.0% alc. and 13.6 g/L RS, the wine carbonated. Lot L7325 PW070. 16.0+/20 Feb 2018 RRP $11.99

Lindauer ‘Classic’ ‘Brut Cuvee’ Bottle Fermented NV

Sparkling Wine from New Zealand - North Island


Bright, light golden-yellow colour with slight orange hues at the heart, lighter on edge, the bubbles moderately fine and the bead very vigorous. The bouquet has good depth and volume with a solidly packed core of savoury yellow stonefruits harmoniously melded with subtle, nutty aldehyde complexities and a gentle layering of yeasty autolysis. The nose has good intensity. Dryish to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has up-front flavours apples and yellow stonefruits along with subtle aldehyde notes and yeasty autolytic complexities. The flavours show with good depth and presence, and the mouthfeel is fine and frothy from the effervescence, with balanced, refreshing acidity. This has good linearity, and a taut concentrated core that carries to a long stonefruited and yeasty finish. This is an up-front bottle-fermented wine with good presence of stonefruit, nutty and yeasty flavours on a balanced, creamy palate. Serve as an aperitif, with antipasto and tapas over the next 2 years. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir fruit from Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay, fermented to 12.0% alc. and 11.0 g/L dosage, the wine 16 months on lees. Lot L6350 TZ452. 17.5+/20 Feb 2018 RRP $11.99

Lindauer ‘Special Reserve’ ‘Cuvee Riche’ Bottle Fermented NV

Sparkling Wine from New Zealand - North Island


Light, orange-peach colour with some depth, pale edged, the bubbles moderately fine and the bead vigorous. The bouquet is elegantly proportioned with refined, intense aromas of yellow stonefruits indicating Pinot Noir, along with apple notes, and delicate aldehyde and nutty nuances with a fine line of bready, yeasty autolysis. Medium-sweet to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has stylish flavours of yellow stonefruits and apples, along with honied notes and harmoniously melded nutty and yeasty elements. The mouthfeel is creamy and finely textured, with good mousse and liveliness. The wine flows along a light-textured line, leading to a fresh, gently sweet finish. This is a harmonious, gently sweet bottle-fermented wine with stonefruit and honied flavours along with nutty and yeasty notes. Serve as an aperitif and with fruit over the next 2 years. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay fruit from Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne, fermented to 12.0% alc. and 48 g/L dosage, the wine at least 30 months on lees. Lot L7061 TZ531. 18.0/020 Feb 2018 RRP $14.99

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