Featured Reviews

Maori Point 2017 Pinot Rosé, 2015 Pinot Gris Fumé and 2014 Reserve Pinot Noir

12 September,2017
Last month I was graced with a visit by Matt Evans, one of the partners of Maori Point Vineyard in Tarras, Central Otago (click here to see my report). Matt and his wife Maggie became shareholders with John Harris and Marilyn Duxson in 2015, and between them they tend the 6.5 ha vineyard planted to Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris, making a range of fun as well as very serious wines on site. Matt says that of the four owners, he’s the only one without a PhD, but he participates fully in the scientific approach to winegrowing and winemaking. He says, "in particular, lately we've been exploring the microbial basis for terroir, as supported by the research of people like Dr. Matthew Goddard” and "we are motivated by awe for the complexity and beauty that nature can create through all of its myriad actors and materials and interactions”. To me, this pushes the boundaries of the scientific method, but can appreciate as they do, that wine (and life) is far more than what is immediately tangible and measurable. In any situation, the Maori Point wines appear to be making a step up, and Matt has sent three wines to show what is happening. I review them here. www.maoripoint.co.nz


Maori Point Central Otago Pinot Noir Rosé 2017

Rose from New Zealand – Otago

Bright, cerise pink colour with a little depth and light purple hues on the edge. The nose is fresh and aromatic with vibrant fruit aromas of strawberries and raspberries and cream, along with fragrant red florals and subtle notes of confectionary. The aromatics form a rounded, concentrated heart. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has vibrant and aromatic fruit flavours of raspberries and cream, strawberries and lifted red florals. The fruit is rich and intense with a lusciousness that is carried by a fine-textured phenolic line that provides thirst-quenching dryness and balance. The acidity is refreshing, contributing to the liveliness and energy of the palate. This has a long, lingering finish with good vinosity, unfolding lifted florals and some confectionary elements. This is a vibrant and fragrant dry rosé with rich flavours of raspberries and cream, strawberries and florals on a mouthwatering palate. Serve as an aperitif, with canapes, tapas and dim sum over the next 2 years. Hand-picked fruit, from the northern blocks with 10/5, 5 and 777 clones, given 24 hours skin contact and fermented to 13.5% alc. and 5 g/L RS. 270 cases made. 18.5+/20 Sep 2017 RRP $20.00

Maori Point Central Otago Pinot Gris Fumé 2015

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Otago

Bright, pale, peach-yellow colour with a slight blush, lighter on the rim. The nose is restrained in expression, but shows good vinous presence with aromas of yellow stonefruits and florals, with complex savoury honeysuckle notes along with subtle creamy barrel-ferment and nutty oak elements. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate has sweet and luscious fruit flavours of savoury yellow stonefruits and quince melded with nutty and honeysuckle notes. The palate possesses some phenolics and dry grip that provide a textured mouthfeel, and the acidity is balanced and integrated. The palate has good body and carries to a savoury finish of stonefruits, quince and nuts. This is a rich, savoury, stonefruit, quince and nutty flavoured dry Pinot Gris with some phenolic structure and good body and presence. Made as a textural style of Pinot Gris. Fruit hand-picked and foot-crushed, and given some skin contact, then indigenous yeast fermented in seasoned French oak to 13.7% alc. and dryness, the wine aged 22 months on lees in barrel. 50 cases made. 18.0-/20 Sep 2017 RRP $26.00

Maori Point ‘Reserve’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2014

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago


Even red colour with a little garnet, lighter on the edge. This has an elegantly proportioned nose with fine depth and intensity of dark-red cherry and berry fruit interwoven with a fine amalgam of dark and dried herbs and nutty oak, and subtle, ethereal red florals. The aromatics grow in penetration with aeration. Medium-full bodied, the palate has well-concentrated and intense, refined flavours of dark-red cherries, with restrained notes of dried herbs and red florals. The fruit is supported by fine, flowery, fine-textured tannins and integrated acidity providing good linearity. The flavours flow smoothly. The flavours flow smoothly to a long and sustained finish with taut cherry and lifted florals. This is an elegant and refined Pinot Noir with concentrated and intense, ethereal red cherry and berry fruit, supported by fine-grained structure. Match with duck, pork and lamb dishes over the next 6-8 years. A barrel selection wine. Clones 10/5 and Abel, fully destemmed and indigenous yeast fermented to 14.1% alc., the wine aged 16 months in barrel, the first 11 months with 50% new oak, the remaining time in neutral barrels. 98 cases made. 18.5-/20 Sep 2017 RRP $65.00

Deepish ruby-red colour with some garnet hues, lighter on the edge. The nose is firm and tightly bound with good depth and density. The fruit aromatics of red berry fruits is a little restrained, but there is spicy and nutty oak, and a ‘textured’ aroma showing substance. Fullish bodied, and intense on palate with ripe cherry-berry fruit, fresh and dried herbs, earth, and spicy, toasty oak, the fruit is rich and succulent, but balanced by the fine-grained extraction and structure. The tannins become the feature on the palate providing depth and concentration, but the fruit opulence is not dominated by the grip. This has plenty of mouthfeel and interest. It should age well with increasing savoury layers and complexities. 10/5 and Abel clone fruit from a selected part of the vineyard, aged 16 months in 50% new oak. followed by a barrel selection. 18.5-/20 Aug 2017 RRP $65.00
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