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Featured Reviews

Nevis Bluff ‘Duke of Cromwell’ Pinot Blanc 2017, and 2017 Rosé, 2014 Pinot Gris and 2013 Pinot Noir

07 March,2018

Nevis Bluff is a Central Otago producer who call themselves ‘Pinot Specialists’ as the portfolio is based on variations of Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. The brand is named after a jagged rocky outcrop at the eastern end of the Gibbston Valley near where the original shareholders established a vineyard in 1993. The company is now owned by Graham Wilkinson, and Merrill and John Holdsworth, part of the original consortium who now source fruit totally from 2016 from their own ‘L’Attitude’ vineyard in the Pisa sub-region, near Cromwell. The vineyard is under the care of Ian Cunliffe, and the wines are made by veteran Central Otago winemaker Dean Shaw at the Central Otago Wine Co. Here, I review the Nevis Bluff 2017 Rosé, 2014 Pinot Gris and 2013 Pinot Noir, and the 2017 Duke of Cromwell Pinot Blanc, an occasionally-made brand.


The Duke of Cromwell Central Otago Pinot Blanc 2017

Pinot Blanc from New Zealand – Otago


Bright, light straw-yellow colour, pale on the rim. The nose is fresh and full with accessible aromas of savoury white and yellow stonefruits, along with nutty notes, unfolding a little mineral edginess. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is fresh and lively with light, savoury white stonefruit flavours along with soft nutty elements and hints of minerals. The flavours are up-front and enlivened by fresh and crisp acidity, and the wine flows smoothly, carried by the acidity to a moderately long finish. This is a fresh, bright and up-front dry Pinot Blanc with savoury white stonefruit flavours on a refreshing palate. Serve as an aperitif and with white meat dishes over the next 2 years. A label for Nevis Bluff Wines. Hand-picked fruit from the ‘L’Attitude’ vineyard cool-fermented to 13.5% alc. and 4.5 g/L RS. Winemaker: Duncan Forsyth. 16.5/20 Mar 2018 RRP $19.99

Nevis Bluff Central Otago Rosé 2017

Rose from New Zealand – Otago


Bright, light strawberry pink colour with slight peach hues, lighter on the rim with hints of purple. The nose has a firm and tight core of wild strawberry fruit entwined with pomegranate, quince and watermelon notes, along with fine, nutty elements and nuances of minerals. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has a firm core of wild strawberries, cherries and quince with hints of red florals and watermelon. The palate is aromatic and vibrant with gently sweet fruit balanced by crisp acidity and a little phenolic texture. The palate has good linearity and carries to a long and sustained finish of red cherries and quince. This is a dry rosé with a firm core of strawberry, quice and watermelon fruit with a fine nutty line and crisp acidity. Serve as an aperitif, with canapés and antipasto over the next 2 years. Hand-picked Pinot Noir fruit from the ‘L’Attitude’ vineyard, given 4 days skin contact and indigenous yeast fermented in tank to 13.0% alc. and 2-3 g/L RS. 17.5/20 Mar 2018 RRP $30.00

Nevis Bluff Central Otago Central Otago Pinot Gris 2014

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Otago


Full, even straw-yellow colour with lemon-green hues, pale edged. The nose is rounded with good depth and concentration of yellow stonefruits lifted by floral nuances and melded with subtle waxy lees and nutty suggestions. This has a minerally edge and intensifies in depth with aeration. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has an elegantly concentrated heart with intense flavours of white and yellow stonefruits along with savoury waxy and nutty notes of lees and secondary development. The fruit forms a fine line with soft textures and crisp, lacy acidity. The wine carries to a moderately long finish. This is an elegantly concentrated dry Pinot Gris with fine and firm savoury white stonefruit, waxy and nutty flavours with secondary notes on a soft-textured, crisp palate. Serve with poultry and pork over the next 2+ years. Hand-picked fruit from the ‘L’Attitude’ vineyard, WBP and indigenous yeast fermented in tank with 10% in barrel to 13.0% alc. and <1.0 g/L RS, the wine aged 6 months on lees with batonnage. 17.0+/20 Mar 2018 RRP $35.00

Nevis Bluff Central Otago Pinot Noir 2013

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago


Moderately deep ruby-red colour with slight garnet hues, a little lighter on the edge. The nose is elegant in proportion with good volume and depth of harmoniously interwoven aromas of red cherry and berry fruit along with savoury dried and dark herbs, and complexing whole bunch stalk perfumes. Nuances of undergrowth add interest. Medium-bodied, the palate has lively and up-front flavours of savoury red cherry and berry fruit intermixed with subtle notes of dark and dried herbs and whole bunch stalk elements and complexing undergrowth. The mouthfeel is enlivened by crisp acidity and the fruit is underlined by dry, fine-grained tannin extraction. This has good linearity, with the flavours receding as the wine carries to a light, nuanced finish. This is a lively, up-front Pinot Noir with savoury red fruits, herbal, secondary undergrowth and whole bunch flavours on a fine-structured palate. Match with wild duck and pork dishes over the next 4+ years. Hand-picked fruit from the Cromwell Basin, fermented with 30% whole bunches to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 25% new French oak barrels. 18.0/20 Mar 2018 RRP $45.00

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