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Featured Reviews




Quartz Reef Methode Traditionnelle Brut NV, Rosé NV and Blanc de Blancs Vintage 2013

31 July,2018

It is extremely interesting that although Central Otago was deemed the ideal region for methode traditionnelle production that there are only two producers who have made it a success commercially. Quartz Reef, with Rudi Bauer is the leader, supported very strongly by Akarua. There are a number of other producers who have entered the category, but at this stage, the quantities are small, and they have yet to register any real presence on the market. Rudi and Quartz Reef released their first method traditionnelle in 1998, and with two decades of constant refinement, the wines can be considered among the best sparkling wines in the country. The production of method traditionnelle figures significantly in the Quartz Reef output, with around 5,000 cases of the Brut and 1,000 cases of the Rosé and approx. 300 or so cases of the Vintage wine, all from the Bendigo estate vineyards. The sales of all of these wines are very strong, particularly the rosé. They make a wonderful part of the Quartz Reef portfolio of extremely high quality Pinot Noir with Pinot Gris and a little Gruner Veltliner in support (Rudi is Austrian…) with rosé table wine. The first table wine Chardonnay from the 2016 vintage has recently been released. Rudi and his team are pretty busy! Here, I review the latest methode traditionnelle releases of the Brut NV, Rosé NV, and new Blanc de Blancs Vintage 2013 which comes in a bottle similar to the Taittinger ‘Comtes de Champagne’! www.quartzreef.co.nz

FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW



Quartz Reef Central Otago Methode Traditionnelle Brut NV

Sparkling Wine from New Zealand – Otago

18.5+/20

Bright, light golden-hued straw-yellow colour with pale green-gold hues on the rim, the bubbles very fine and moderately persistent The nose is full and up-front with bold and accessible aromas of yellow stonefruits melded with good intensity of fresh, bready-yeasty autolysis, the aromatics forming a deep core with presence and a hint of minerals. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is elegantly presented with a finely concentrated core of white and yellow stonefruits entwined with restrained bready-yeasty autolysis. The fruit is rich and is complexed by a firm thread of bready elements at the core, and the wine flows along a very fine-textured phenolic line. The effervescence adds a gentle creaminess, which carries to a rich and succulent, lingering finish with soft acidity. This is a beautifully balanced method traditionnelle with stonefruit and bready-yeasty complexities on a creamy palate. Serve as an aperitif and with seafood over the next 2-3 years. A blend of 62% Pinot Noir and 38% Chardonnay, hand-picked fruit from the 2016 vintage, fermented to 12.5% alc. and a dosage of 6 g/L RS, the wine spending 24 months on lees, disgorged early 2018. Certified BioGro organic and Demeter biodynamic. Lot L2016. 18.5+/20 Jul 2018 RRP $33.00

Bright straw-yellow colour with a suggestion of light gold, pale edged, the bubbles are very fine with good persistence. The nose is softly full and voluminous with fresh aromas of yellow stonefruits, citrus fruit and white florals, harmoniously entwined with soft bready-yeasty autolysis. The nose has good depth and a tight core. Dry to taste, the palate has soft, rich flavours of white stonefruits and florals interwoven with bready-yeasty autolysis. The mouthfeel is gently full and creamy with fine mousse, and is balanced by refreshing acidity. The flavours form an elegant core with good drive, carrying the wine to a long, lingering, concentrated finish of stonefruits and yeast. This is a softly rich, fresh and creamy methode traditionnelle with stonefruit and yeasty flavours, and a tight core and line. Serve as an aperitif and with white meat dishes over the next 3+ years. Hand-picked fruit, in March 2015, a blend of 63% Pinot Noir and 37% Chardonnay, fermented in bottle to 12.5% alc., with 6 g/L RS, the wine aged on less with disgorging from autumn 2017. Lot 2015. Certified Demeter biodynamic. 18.0+/20 Oct 2017 RRP $33.00

Full, bright light-golden hued straw-yellow colour with a suggestion of blush, and persistent, vigorous bubbles. The bouquet is gently full with soft and delicately interwoven aromas of white and yellow fruits, lifted florals, and very fine, subtle bready autolysis, the aromatics refreshing and steely. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, tight and cutting flavours of white stonefruits are entwined with delicate yeasty autolysis notes, and build in intensity. The mouthfeel is crisp and racy, with refined effervescence. The palate follows a very subtle, dry phenolic line, carrying the wine to a long, mouthwatering, dry finish. This is an elegant, refined, refreshingly racy and dry methode traditionnelle with subtle autolysis. Serve as an aperitif over the next 3+ years. Hand-picked fruit, 65% Pinot Noir and 35% Chardonnay, fermented to 12.5% alc., with 7 g/L dosage, the wine aged a minimum of 24 months on lees. Lot L2011. 18.0+/20 Apr 2014 RRP$32.00

Quartz Reef Central Otago Methode Traditionnelle Rosé NV

Sparkling Wine from New Zealand – Otago

18.5-/20

Bright salmon-pink colour with some depth ant hints of peach hues, paler on the rim, the bubbles very fine and persistent. The nose is softly full with aromatic fruit notes of red cherries and strawberries along with soft red florals, and a very fine thread of bready autolysis. The aromatics are fresh and youthful, and grow in intensity. Dryish to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has a wonderfully frothy and effervescent, creamy front palate with subtle notes of red berry fruits and red florals, along with a soft thread of yeasty autolysis. The fruit is fragrant and the floral lift carries the wine along a delicate, refreshing palate to a light finish. This is a beautifully fruity and creamy youthfully-fruited rosé method traditionnelle with red berry and floral flavours and a subtle yeasty thread. Serve as an aperitif and with canapés over the next 2-3 years. 100% Pinot Noir, clones 10/5 and 5, hand-picked from the 2016 vintage, fermented to 12.5% alc. and a dosage of 4 g/L RS, the wine aged on lees a minimum of 18 months. Certified BioGro organic and Demeter biodynamic. Lot LR2016. 18.5-/20 Jul 2018 RRP $39.00

100% Pinot Noir, fermented to 12.5% alc. with 5 g/L dosage, the wine aged a minimum of 24 months on lees. Lot LR2010. Bright, light salmon pink colour with some depth, the bead very fine and persistent. This has a full, solid and voluminous bouquet with deeply packed aromas of bready autolysis laced with strawberry and red fruit notes. Some nuances of mushroom and aldehyde add complexing detail. This is very expressive of Pinot Noir. Dry to taste and fulsome, with mouthfilling flavours of stonefruits, red berries and brioche, the palate is open and broad, but well-proportioned with weight and depth. The mouthfeel is rounded with integrated acidity, and the effervescence contributes to a creamy flow surrounding the gentle textured drive which carries the palate to a strong finish. This is a bold, mouthfilling and rounded rosé method traditionnelle with up-front bready autolysis. Serve with poultry and pork over the next 3-4 years. 18.5/20 Apr 2014 RRP $37.00

Quartz Reef Central Otago Methode Traditionnelle Blanc de Blancs Vintage 2013

Sparkling Wine from New Zealand – Otago

19.5-/20

Bright, even, light golden-yellow colour, a little paler edged with slight green tints, the bubbles refined and moderately persistent.. The nose is elegant in concentration with deeply packed with an amalgam of white florals, nutty complexities, and deep, detailed bready-yeasty autolysis along with subtle hints of aldehyde and toast. This has depth, intensity and layers of aromatics. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has a soft and densely concentrated heart of white stonefruits with citrus fruit, floral suggestions and fresh herbs, along with an intense layer of bready and yeasty autolytic detail. The flavours are rich, yet refined, and flow with excellent energy enlivened by soft acidity and subtle effervescence, leading to a long and sustained line. This is a beautifully complex and refined Blac de Blancs method with fine stonefruit and intense autolysis on a softly fresh palate. Serve as an aperitif and with a range of white meat dishes over the next 4+ years. A blend of 91% Chardonnay and 9% Pinot Noir, hand-picked from the 2013 vintage, fermented to 12.5% alc. and a dosage of 4 g/L RS, the wine aged 56 months on lees, being disgorged 19 April 2018. Certified BioGro organic and Demeter biodynamic. 4,000 bottles made. Lot LV2013. 19.5-/20 Jul 2018 RRP $75.00 RS,

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