Featured Reviews

Mount Brown 2017 Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir

17 April,2018

The North Canterbury ‘Mount Brown’ label of Catherine Keith and father Tony Rutherford are making significant inroads into the consumer market of late. This is a result of the very good quality wines being made from their three established vineyards in the Waipara Valley, the fine vinification by winemaker Frank Manifold, the good value pricing and active marketing work undertaken by Catherine and her staff. Catherine advises people not to think that all the wines from the challenging 2017 vintage are weak, and I agree with her, noting that several of her 2017 releases have been very smart indeed. Here, I review the 2017 Mount Brown ‘Estates’ Sauvignon Blanc, picked ahead of the rain and already a silver medal winner, plus the 2017 Pinot Noir, released a little earlier than ideal, due to the success of the 2016. I have already reviewed the Sauvignon Blanc, but it is good to see it showing well, again. www.mountbrown.co.nz


Mount Brown North Canterbury Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara


Bright, pale straw colour with slight green hues, lighter on the rim. The nose is elegantly presented with fragrant, penetrating aromas of gooseberries, white florals and white stonefruits, along with subtle nuances of fresh herbs, nettles and minerals. This has aromatic beauty. Dry to taster and light-medium bodied, the palate is crisp and taut, with a fine, elegantly packed core of gooseberry fruit along with notes of nettles and cut-grass, along with fresh herbs, white florals and delicate mineral nuances. The mouthfeel is crisp and zesty with bright and lively acidity enlivening the palate. The wine carries along a finem phenolic-textured line, leading to a light, but lingering, thirst-quenching finish. This is a taut, elegant Sauvignon Blanc with gooseberry, perfumed florals, herbs and mineral notes on a zesty palate. Serve with seafood and Pacific Rim fare over the next 2 years. Clean fruit, cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 12.0% alc. and 5 g/L RS. 17.5-/20 Apr 2018 RRP $15.99

Bright pale straw-yellow colour, lighter on the rim. The nose is soft and fresh with gentle aromas of passionfruit and gooseberries, along with fragrant white florals and herb notes, lifted by youthful fermentation esters. Dry to taste and light-medium bodied, the palate has a soft core of passionfruit and gooseberries with lifted floral notes and fresh herbs. The mouthfeel is gently refreshing with a light phenolic threaded line and lacy acidity. The wine flows positively to an elegant, lingering finish of passionfruit and herbs. This is a softly presented and gently concentrated, elegant Sauvignon Blanc with fresh passionfruit and gooseberry flavours. Serve with seafood, salads and vegetables over the next 2 years. A single estate wine, cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 12.0% alc. and 5 g/L RS, the wine aged 3 months on lees. 17.0+/20 Oct 2017 RRP $15.99

Mount Brown North Canterbury Pinot Noir 2017

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara


Dark ruby-red colour with some depth, a little garnet on the edge. The nose is gently full with aromas of dark-red berry and black cherry fruit entwined with subtle notes of dark herbs, unfolding dark-red and violet floral detail. The aromatics build in depth and intensity, but retain freshness. Medium-bodied, the palate is elegant with bright and vibrant, seamlessly interwoven flavours of dark-red cherry and berry fruit along with an amalgam of dark herbs, and red and violet florals. The flavours form an elegantly concentrated heart with fine-grained, integrated tannins and softly fresh, lacy acidity lending tension and energy. The mouthfeel is smooth and the wine flows seamlessly, carrying and elegantly concentrated core and line to a lingering finish. This is an elegant Pinot Noir with good intensity of dark-red cherry and berry fruit, along with herb notes on a seamless palate. Match with tuna and salmon, and poultry and pork over the next 5+ years. Pinot Noir fruit fermented partially by indigenous yeasts to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 11 months in 20% new French oak barriques. 17.5+/20 May 2018 RRP $19.99

Moderately dark ruby-red colour with some depth. Lighter on the rim with slight purple hues. The nose is elegant and fresh, somewhat smaller in scale, with aromas of dark-red cherry and berry fruit along with lifted red florals, and subtle notes of fresh herbs. This possesses delicate perfumes. Medium-bodied, the palate is elegant in expression with fresh bright, light and straightforward flavours of red cherry fruit intermixed with aromatic red florals and fresh herbal notes. A little spice and liquorice emerges. The mouthfeel is enlivened by fresh acidity and supple, light tannins underline the fruit. The flavours carry to a light, zesty, mouthwatering finish. This is a light and fragrant Pinot Noir with lively red cherry fruit along with red florals and cool herbs on a brisk palate with a supple mouthfeel. Serve with antipasto and tapas, salmon and tuna over the next 2-3 years. Pinot Noir fruit, fermented partially by indigenous yeasts to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 11 months in 20% new French oak barriques. 16.5/20 Apr 2018 RRP $19.99

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