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Featured Reviews




Te Mania 2017 and 2016, and Richmond Plains 2017 Releases

26 December,2017

The Te Mania and Richmond Plains wine brands of Nelson have had a strong collaboration for many years, sharing viticultural, marketing and administration facilities. The Harrey family established Te Mania in 1990, and Richmond Plains was established by the Jensen family in 1991, the latter employing organic and biodynamic principles from the start. The two labels have different vineyard sources, and there are discernible differences in style, the Te Mania wines I believe are more up-front and fruit-expressive, whereas the Richmond Plains wines are more restrained and elegant. There are similarities, due to the sharing of some vineyard sources, and as Te Mania is becoming more focussed on organics and biodynamics. Also the winemaking by Steve Gill, who has been making wines for both labels, now for 9 consecutive years. There is continued growth for both labels, indicating their market success. Recently there has been acquisition of a vineyard next to the original Te Mania block. Steve Gill reports the site produces high quality Chardonnay and Pinot Noir fruit. It is under conversion to organics. Here, I review a selection of 2017 and 2016 Te Mania, and 2017 Richmond Plains new releases. www.temaniawines.co.nz  www.richmondplains.co.nz

FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW



Te Mania Nelson Pinot Gris 2017

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Nelson

16.5/20

Bright light straw-yellow colour with the faintest suggestion of blush, pale edged. The nose is fresh with a soft core of uncomplicated white and yellow stonefruits and florals, and some nutty and mineral notes at the heart. This has clarity of expression. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate has fresh and lively, up-front fruit flavours of white stonefruits with floral elements and mouthwatering mineral notes. The fruit forms a firm and tight core with fresh, underlying acidity, and the wine flows along a tight, phenolic-textured line, leading to a taut finish with moderate length. This is a bright, refreshing dry Pinot Gris with white stonefruit and floral flavours and mineral elements on a firm, taut palate. Match with seafood and poultry over the next 2-3 years. Hand-picked fruit from the ‘Greenpoint’ vineyard, Moutere, tank-fermented to 14.6% alc. and 4.6 g/L RS, the wine aged 3 months on lees with batonnage. Vegan wine, in conversion to organics. 16.5/20 Dec 2017 RRP $21.99

Te Mania Nelson Riesling 2016

Riesling from New Zealand – Nelson

16.5+/20

Bright, light straw-yellow colour with slight green hues, pale edged. The nose is taut with finely concentrated aromas of savoury lime fruit with yellow florals and a soft amalgam of honeysuckle and minerals, unfolding a suggestion of toast. Medium-dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is lively with soft flavours of lime fruit with florals, and a savoury honeysuckle and mineral overlay. The fruit grows in richness and flows along a soft, lightly-textured line with good energy, carrying to a moderately long finish of savoury citrus fruit and florals. This is a softly rich but lively medium-dry Riesling with savoury lime, floral and honied flavours. Match with Asian and Middle Eastern fare over the next 3+ years. Fruit from the ‘Weka Road’, Moutere vineyard, WBP and tank-fermented to 12.1% alc. and 9.3 g/L RS, TA 7.4 g/L, the wine aged 6 months on fine lees. Vegan wine. 16.5+/20 Jan 2018 RRP $21.99

Bright, pale straw-yellow colour, lighter on the rim. The nose is firmly concentrated with aromas of savoury lime fruit with toast and nutty, oxidative elements, and a minerally edge. Off-dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has intense and concentrated flavours of lime fruit with toast and nutty elements and notes of savoury apple-like oxidation. The mouthfeel is bright, lively and thirst-quenching with racy acidity. The wine flows along a light, textured palate line, leading to a long finish of lime, toast and nutty notes. This is a firmly concentrated and intensely flavoured off-dry Riesling with flavours of lime fruit, toast, nuts and oxidative elements on a textured, racy palate. Serve as an aperitif and with grilled seafood over the next 3-4 years. Fruit from the ‘Weka Road’, Moutere vineyard, WBP and tank-fermented to 12.1% alc. and 9.3 g/L RS, TA 7.4 g/L, the wine aged 6 months on fine lees. Vegan wine. 16.0-/20 Dec 2017 RRP $21.99

Te Mania Nelson Chardonnay 2016

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Nelson

17.5-/20

Bright pale straw-yellow colour with lemon hues, very light on the edge. The nose is very fresh and elegant with aromas of white stonefruits and citrus fruit entwined with a harmonious amalgam of spicy, nutty, toasty oak integrated with lemon-curd MLF hints. This is fresh with a fine, firm core. Medium-full bodied, the palate has a tight and elegant heart of white stonefruits and citrus fruit with subtle notes of nuts and toast, and subtle MLF nuances. The mouthfeel is fresh and zesty with brisk acidity, and the wine flows along a fine-textured phenolic line with good drive and energy to a long, crisp finish. This is an elegantly concentrated, bright and racy Chardonnay with stonefruit and citrus fruits, along with spicy, nutty and toasty oak on a light-textured palate. Match with grilled seafood and poultry over the next 4 years. Hand-picked fruit, clones 15 and 6, from the ‘Richmond Plains’ vineyard, WBP and indigenous yeast barrel-fermented to 13.7% alc., the wine aged in 10% new oak with batonnage and 70% MLF. Vegan wine and certified AsureQuality organic. 17.5-/20 Dec 2017 RRP $22.99

Te Mania ‘Reserve’ Nelson Chardonnay 2016

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Nelson

18.5/20

Bright, light straw-yellow colour with light lemon-gold tints and a little depth, pale edged. The nose is well-proportioned with concentrated and deeply packed aromas of white and yellow stonefruits and citrus fruits harmoniously melded with creamy and nutty lees and barrel-ferment layers, hints of spice and delicate nuances of butterscotch MLF. Medium-full bodied, the palate has a tight and concentrated core with intense and penetrating flavours of citrus and stonefruits entwined with creamy barrel-ferment and toasty oak, and harmoniously melded lemon-curd and buttery MLF. The rich fruit is balanced by brisk, racy acidity. The wine flows with plenty of energy and drive along a fine-textured line with good acid tension to a long and sustained finish. This is a rich, but taut and concentrated Chardonnay with intense citrus and stonefruit flavours melded with creamy and nutty oak and butterscotch MLF, cut by brisk acidity. Match with grilled and roasted poultry and pork dishes over the next 4-5 years. Hand-picked clone 95 and 15 fruit from the ‘Helm’ vineyard, Moutere, WBP and indigenous yeast fermented with solids in barriques and hogsheads to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 11 months with batonnage in 33% new French oak. Vegan wine. 18.5/20 Dec 2017 RRP $29.99

Richmond Plains ‘Monarch’ Nelson Rosé 2017

Rose from New Zealand – Nelson

18.5-/20

Bright strawberry pink colour with eye-of-the-partridge hues and some depth, lighter on the edge. The nose is soft and gently voluminous with rich aromas of strawberries and cream, with quince and red florals, and a subtle amalgam of herbs and confectionary. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has bright and vibrant, thirst-quenching flavours of stonefruits, strawberries and cream and quince. The fruit is lifted by red florals and hints of confectionary. The palate flows with good drive and energy along a very fine line with delicate, lacy acidity. The wine carries to lingering finish of strawberries, quince and florals. This is a delicate, but vibrant, mouthwatering dry rosé, with strawberry, quince and floral flavours. Serve as an aperitif and with canapés over the next 2 years. 100% Pinot Noir fruit, 75% clone 5 from the ‘Ranzau’ vineyard, 21% ‘Marsland’ vineyard and 4% ‘Richmond Plains’ vineyard, 50% crushed and given overnight skin contact and 50% WBP and fermented to 12.7% alc. and 5 g/L RS. Vegan wine, and certified AsureQuality organic. 18.5-/20 Dec 2017 RRP $22.99

Richmond Plains Nelson Pinot Gris 2017

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Nelson

17-/20

Brilliant straw-yellow colour with light lemon-gold hues, paler on the rim. The nose is soft and light with delicately nuanced aromas of white and yellow stonefruits entwined with gentle floral notes and suggestions of savoury honeysuckle. The aromatics grow in intensity with aeration. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has an elegantly presented core with softly intense flavours of white and yellow stonefruits, with subtle nutty barrel-ferment elements, along with spices, unfolding floral and honeysuckle nuances. The mouthfeel is fresh and the wine flows along a slippery, soft-textured line with integrated acidity lending roundness. The flavours carry to a long, lingering, delicate finish. This is an elegant and delicately flavoured dry Pinot Gris with stonefruit and subtle, nutty oak on a smooth-flowing palate. Match with Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese cuisine over the next 3 years. Hand-picked fruit, 58% ‘Marsland’ vineyard and 42% ‘Bartlett Block’, fermented in tank with 25% wild yeast fermented in 300 L hogsheads, to 13.6% alc. and 5 g/L RS, the barrel portion in barrel for 4 months, the wine undergoing batonnage. 300 cases made. Vegan wine, and certified AsureQuality organic. 17.0-/20 Dec 2017 RRP $22.99

Richmond Plains Nelson Blanc de Noir 2017

Rose from New Zealand – Nelson

17.5+/20

Bright, light blushed straw colour, pale edged. The nose is fresh and bight with good depth of yellow stonefruit and red floral aromas. This has attractively fragrant and detailed aromatics with red berry fruit and mineral elements unfolding in the glass. Dryish to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate has a deep heart of yellow stonefruits and red berry fruits and soft red florals. The mouthfeel is gently unctuous, and the wine is smooth-flowing along a refined textured phenolic-threaded line with integrated acidity. The wine carries easily to a rounded finish of stonefruits and florals. This is an up-front, dryish Blanc de Noir wine with stonefruit flavours and red fruit and floral elements on a smooth-flowing palate. Match with poultry and pork over the next 3 years. 100% hand-picked Pinot Noir, clones Mariafeld, 115, 5, 667 and 777 , from 36% ‘Richmond Plains’, and 32% each from the ‘Marsland’ and ‘Ranzau’ vineyards, WBP and fermented to 13.4% alc. and 8.7 g/L RS, the wine undergoing batonnage. Vegan wine, and certified AsureQuality organic. 17.5+/20 Dec 2017 RRP $22.99

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