Spy Valley and Envoy 2016 Gewurztraminer
West Brook Marlborough Chardonnay and Pinot Noirs, Waimauku Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Malbec
Craggy Range 2015 Aroha, Sophia and Le Sol
Dandelion GSM 2016 and Les Courtilles Cotes du Rhone 2015
Two Rivers ‘Altitude’ Marlborough Pinot Noir 2014
Georges Road 2016 Rosé and Pinot Gris, 2014 Rose and Pinot Noir, and Syrah 2015 and 2016
Kidnapper Cliffs 2014 Chardonnay and 2013 Cabernet Merlot and Syrah
Archangel 2015 Pinot Gris, 2013 Stefania and Halina Rieslings and Pinot Noir
Sugar Loaf 2016 Marlborough Riesling, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir
Mt Beautiful 2016 Rosé, Sauvignon and Riesling, and 2015 Pinot Gris
SOHO ‘Zabeel’ Waiheke Island 2015
Alexander 2016 Martinborough Pinot Noir and Merlot
Te Whare Ra 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling ‘D’, Pinot Gris, and 2015 Pinot Noir
Ostler Waitaki Valley Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Noir
Yealands Single Vineyard Awatere Pinot Noir 2016
Matahiwi Estate 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay
Mills Reef 2016 Reserve Syrah and 2015 Elspeth Cabernet Sauvignon
Montsable Pays d’Oc Chardonnay 2016
Jules Taylor 2016 Pinot Noir and ‘OTQ’ Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir
Main Divide 2015 Pinot Gris and Chardonnay, and 2014 Pinot Noir
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Elephant Hill Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2015
Moana Park 2014 Gewurztraminer and 2015 SVR Pinot Noir
Dashwood Marlborough Pinot Noir 2016
Spade Oak ‘Heart of Gold’ Gisborne St Laurent 2014
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Featured Reviews

Mills Reef 2016 Reserve Syrah and 2015 Elspeth Cabernet Sauvignon

14 June,2017
Mills Reef is the consummate Hawke’s Bay wine producer making wines across many varieties and at different levels of aspiration. In all cases, the wines deliver exactly what they are meant to, and usually more, thus making Mills Reef a particularly good purchase. Winemakers Tim Preston and Paul Dawick are aware of the strengths of the Hawke’s Bay region and in particular the suitability of certain styles from the different sub-regions. This means that Mills Reef does often source fruit from other growing regions, such as Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, due to the uniqueness of these wines and the demands of their markets.

However, Hawke’s Bay, and especially the Gimblett Gravels is the heart, soul and core of Mills Reef, and Syrah and the Bordeaux varieties are the showcase wines for the company. Here, I review the 2016 ‘Reserve’ Syrah, made from low cropped fruit with intense flavours to achieve balance, and the 2015 ‘Elspeth’ Cabernet Sauvignon, which is made with the best possible quality in mind. As usual, they reflect the growing benevolent seasons in 2015 and 2016 in Hawke’s Bay.


Mills Reef ‘Reserve’ Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2016

Syrah from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

Even, dark ruby-red colour with some depth and light purple hues, paler on edge. This has a softly voluminous nose of dark raspberry fruit with notes of blackberries, entwined with black and white pepper fragrances, dark-red florals. Spice and liquorice suggestions emerge with aeration. Medium-bodied, the palate has bright and intensely fruit flavours of dark raspberries, blackberries, white and black pepper melded with lifted florals. The mouthfeel is lively and fresh with lacy acidity providing energy, and the wine flows along a gently extracted palate with supple tannins. This has good linearity, and carries to a lingering finish of raspberries, blackberries and pepper. This is a fresh, lively, bright and up-front Syrah with raspberry, blackberry and peppery flavours on a supple palate. Match with Asian and Middle Eastern fare over the next 3-4 years. Fruit from two sites in Hawke’s Bay, fermented to 12.9% alc., the wine 9 months in 52% French and 48% American barrels, of which 32% was new oak. 17.5-/20 Jun 2017 RRP $24.95

Mills Reef ‘Elspeth’ Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Cabernet Sauvignon from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

Dark, deep ruby-red colour with black hues at the heart, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is very elegant in proportion and expression, with a refined core of ripe blackcurrant fruit along with dark herbs, and sweet and spicy, cedary oak adding interest. Medium-full bodied, the palate is elegantly concentrated with a firm core of sweetly ripened blackcurrant and blackberry fruit entwined with dark herbs, and sweet, cedary and spicy oak nuances. This has good density and the fruit richness is enlivened by fresh acidity. The wine follows a fine-textured elegant line, unfolding spices, nutty oak and dark herbs, leading to a sustained, elegant finish. This is an elegantly presented Cabernet Sauvignon with blackcurrant and blackberry fruit along with sweet, cedary, spicy oak on a finely extracted palate. Match with roasted and grilled lamb, beef and venison over the next 6-8 years. Hand-picked fruit from the Mere Road vineyard in the Gimblett Gravels, vines 20 y.o., fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine on skins 23 days post ferment, and aged 13 months in 63% American and 37% French oak, of which 40% was new. 18.0+/20 Jun 2017 RRP $39.95
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