Featured Reviews




Maude 2015 and 2014 Central Otago Releases

29 September,2015
In a very short time, Maude Wines has become Wanaka’s largest winery and one of the cornerstones of the Central Otago wine industry, with Dan and Sarah-Kate Dineen making a range of wines from fruit that blends parcels from different sub-regions to represent the essence of Central Otago as a whole, as well as limited-release single vineyard ‘Mt Maude’ bottlings from the 4 ha family vineyard in the Maungawera Valley planted in 1994. As well as looking after their own wines, Dan and Sarah-Kate operate a custom crush facility, where a good number of some of Central Otago’s most highly regarded labels are made. It is this all-round ability and experience that has propelled Maude to a position of considerable importance, such that every release is now highly anticipated. Here, I review a selection of 2015 and 2014 releases under the ‘Maude’ and ‘Mt Maude’ labels. www.maudewines.com

FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW



Maude Central Otago Pinot Gris 2015

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Otago

18-/20
Bright, very pale straw colour with slight green hues, near colourless on rim. The nose is fresh and perfumed with aromas of exotic white and yellow florals, pear fruit, honeysuckle and youthful, lifted fermentation esters. The aromatics are fine in concentration and build in depth in the glass. Dry to taste, elegantly concentrated and aromatic fruit flavours of pears and honeysuckle are lifted by exotic florals and fermentation esters. The mouthfeel is bright and lively from soft, lacy acidity, and the palate exudes vitality and freshness. The wine flows smoothly, following a fine-textured line, leading to a long, tightly bound, mouth-wateringly dry, aromatic finish. This is an elegant, concentrated dry Pinot Gris with vibrant and aromatic fruit. Match with fine Asian fare over the next 3-4 years. Hand-picked fruit from the ‘Mt Maude’ vineyard along with that from Maori Point Road, Lowburn and Gibbston Valley, 60% fermented in stainless-steel and 40% in seasoned barriques to 13.0% alc. and 5.2 g/L RS. 3,600 dozen made. 18.0-/20 Sep 2015 RRP $24.00

Maude Central Otago Pinot Noir 2014

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago

18.5/20
Dark, deep ruby-red colour with black hues at the heart, lighter edged. This has a very fresh and aromatic nose with bright and vibrant dark red cherry and berry fruit lifted by violet floral perfumes and entwined with layers of savoury thyme herbs, spices and complexing undergrowth elements. The nose is elegantly presented and grows in intensity with aeration. Medium-full bodied and elegantly proportioned, the palate features bright and lively, sweet dark red berry and cherry fruit at the core. The fruit is lifted by dark red and violet florals, and unfolds complexing savoury dried thyme herb, earth, undergrowth and subtle whole bunch stalk notes. Fine-grained supple tannin extraction lends an elegant framework and fresh, lacy acidity enhances the fruit richness, adding to the tension and line. The wine carries to a very long, sustained finish with juicy, savoury fruit notes. This is an elegant, vibrant, lively and sweet-fruited Pinot Noir with layers of savoury interest and complexity. Match with mushroom dishes and wild duck or pork over the next 5-6+ years. Hand-picked fruit, clones 115, 5, 667 and 10/5 from vineyards including the ‘Mt Maude’ site, indigenous yeast fermented with a portion of whole clusters to 14.0% alc., the wine spending a month on skins and aged 10 months in 30% new French oak barriques. 2,800 dozen made. 18.5/20 Sep 2015 RRP $36.00

Maude ‘Mt Maude Vineyard’ Central Otago ‘Reserve’ Dry Riesling 2015

Riesling from New Zealand – Otago

18.5/20
Hand-picked fruit from the ‘West’ side of the house block of the ‘Mt Maude’ vineyard, foot-stomped and fermented in stainless-steel to 12.0% alc. and 7.86 g/L RS, TA 9 g/L and pH 2.96. Bright, very pale straw colour with slight green hues, near colourless on the rim. The nose is very elegant and tightly bound with delicate and pure aromas of white florals, lime fruit, rainwater and subtle flint and mineral notes, expressed with excellent clarity. Dry to taste and light-medium bodied, the palate has an elegantly concentrated core of lime fruit entwined with while florals and harmoniously melded flint and mineral elements. The fruit flavours are fresh, subtly lifted and finely balanced. Soft, mouthwatering acidity lends tension and drive, and a fine-textured line guides the palate to a very long, lingering finish with floral nuances. This is an elegant, finely concentrated dry Riesling with lime, floral and mineral flavours, and a mouthwatering flow. Serve as an aperitif and with seafood over the next 5-6 years. 1,932 bottles made. 18.5/20 Sep 2015 RRP $32.00

Maude ‘Mt Maude Vineyard’ Central Otago ‘Reserve – East Block’ Riesling 2015

Riesling from New Zealand – Otago

18+/20
Bright, very pale straw colour with slight green hues, near colourless on edge. This has a very fine and delicate nose, the fruit a little shy in expression, showing soft white florals intermixed with lime and honeysuckle in a harmonious amalgam with complex mineral nuances. The aromatics are nuanced and thirst-quenching. Medium-sweet and light-bodied, delicate flavours of exotic white florals, citrus fruit and honeysuckle show with hints of musk and minerals. The fruit is gently rich and luscious, and balanced by fine, lacy acidity. The palate features a gentle core that flows with refined textures and good linearity leading to a gently concentrated, lingering finish of citrus fruits and honey. This is a delicate, medium-sweet Riesling with soft exotic floral and honeysuckle flavours and a fresh, lacy palate. Match with Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese cuisine over the next 4-5+ years. Hand-picked fruit from the ‘East Block’ of the ‘Mt Maude’ vineyard, foot-stomped and fermented in stainless-steel to 9.0% alc. and 41 g/L RS, TA 9.4 g/L and pH 2.94. 2,346 bottles made. 18.0+/20 Sep 2015 RRP $32.00

Maude ‘Mt Maude Vineyard’ Central Otago ‘Reserve’ Chardonnay 2014

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Otago

18+/20
Hand-picked fruit from the ‘Mt Maude’ vineyard, foot-stomped and indigenous yeast barrel-fermented on full solids to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 9 months in seasoned French oak puncheons with 100% MLF. Bright lemon-yellow colour with slight green hues, lighter on the rim. The nose is firmly concentrated with aromas of yellow stonefruits melded with complexing gunflinty minerally reduction. Nutty oak detail unfolds, long with suggestions of white florals and white stonefruits. Medium-full bodied and elegantly concentrated, the palate features a harmonious amalgam of white and yellow stonefruits, flint and mineral reduction and nutty notes. The fruit is subtly rich and has a suggestion of lusciousness, but is balanced by fresh, lacy acidity, and the wine flows with good tension along a fine, firm line. This has good depth and intensity, and the wine carries to a long, flinty, minerally finish. This is an elegantly concentrated Chardonnay with complex flinty flavours and a fine, fresh palate. Serve with seafood, poultry and pork over the next 4-5+ years. 2,268 bottles made. 18.0+/20 Sep 2015 RRP $35.00

Maude ‘Mt Maude Vineyard’ Central Otago ‘Reserve’ Pinot Noir 2014

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago

19-/20
Full, very dark, deep, black-hued ruby-red colour with lighter garnet on the edge. The nose is full and densely concentrated with aromas of black berried fruits melded with layers of currants, herbs and stalky, along with mint, leaf, black ink and spices. The aromatics are vibrant, focussed and harmoniously entwined and very distinctive and idiosyncratic, showing cooler whole cluster influence. Medium-full bodied, the fruit is full, sweet and rich with flavours of black berries, cherries and blackcurrants, seamlessly interwoven with dark herbs, stalks and subtle undergrowth, earth and mineral elements. The fruit depth is supported by significant extraction and structure, the tannins very fine-grained and flowery. This has great mouthfeel and is complete in presence. Lacy, fresh acidity and some alcoholic power lend energy and drive, carrying the wine to a long and strong-fruited finish. This is a fulsome, rich, well-structured and complex Pinot Noir with blackberry and curranty fruit melded with distinctive stalky whole cluster complexities. It will develop greater layers of interest over the next 7-9+ years. Serve with herb-marinated game dishes. Hand-picked 10/5 clone fruit from the ‘Mt Maude’ vineyard, indigenous yeast fermented with 100% whole clusters to 14.0% alc., the wine spending 3 weeks on skins and aged 14 months in 40% new French oak barriques. 2,166 bottles made. 19.0-/20 Sep 2015 RRP $62.00
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