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Featured Reviews

Red Deer Marlborough 2014 Chardonnay and 2016 Pinot Noir

06 June,2017
Waitaria Bay Estate is quite possibly the only commercial grapegrowing operation in the Marlborough Sounds. Chicago businessman Stan Simpson established 5 ha of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Viognier vines in 2004, and has Willoughby and Laurie Roodt as his on-site managers, and Bart Arnst overseeing the viticulture and instituting organic regimes. Recently, Pinot Noir was top-grafted onto the Viognier for a more successful varietal style. The wine brand is ‘Red Deer’, as the property supports a herd of these animals. The initial wines were made by Dave Clouston, and Hugh Girling made the wines after at the Sugar Loaf facility. Here, I review the 2014 Chardonnay and 2016 Pinot Noir.


Red Deer Marlborough Chardonnay 2014

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Marlborough

Full, even straw-yellow colour with light golden hues, paler on the rim. This has an elegantly concentrated nose with firm and deep aromas of savoury yellow stonefruits and citrus fruit revealing some secondary development elements with complexing nutty and smoky elements. The nose unveils a layering of creamy barrel ferment and MLF nuances with aeration. Medium-full bodied, the palate has good weight with a rounded core with deep flavours of savoury yellow stonefruits melded with nutty, toasty and smoky oak. The fruit is enriched by creamy barrel ferment and buttery MLF suggestions. The mouthfeel is enlivened by fresh, racy acidity and the wine flows along a soft-textured line, revealing savoury toasty elements in a long and sustained, zesty finish. This is a crisp and racy Chardonnay with some complex secondary savoury stonefruit flavours with nutty, toasty and creamy notes forming a rounded core. Match with roast seafood, poultry and pork dishes over the next 3 years. Chardonnay fruit fully barrel-fermented to 13.04% alc., the wine aged 11 months in seasoned French oak, undergoing batonnage and 100% MLF. 17.5-/20 Jun 2017 RRP $20.00

Red Deer ‘Family Reserve’ Marlborough Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Marlborough

Light, even ruby-red colour with some depth, paler on the rim. The nose is elegantly presented and tightly bound with a core of red cherry fruit along with subtle notes of dark herbs and some nutty and resinous oak elements. Medium-light bodied, the palate is slender in proportion but builds to form a tightly bound and intense core. The fruit flavours of red cherries are entwined with subtle notes of dark herbs, along with nutty and slightly resinous oak. The mouthfeel is bright and refreshing with lacy acidity lending tension and energy, and the fruit is supported by a fine-grained, tight tannin structure that carries the wine to an elegant, lingering finish of cherries and nutty oak. This is an elegant and slender Pinot Noir with good intensity of red cherry fruit intermixed with herb and nutty, resinous oak notes on a fresh, fine-structured palate. Serve with poultry and pork dishes over the next 3 years. Pinot Noir fruit full destemmed and fermented to 12.0% alc., the wine aged 11 months in one-third new French oak. 6 barrels made. 16.0+/20 Jun 2017 RRP $25.00
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