Hawkshead 2017 Pinot Gris. 2015 Riesling and Bannockburn Pinot Noir, and 2014 ‘First Vines’ Pinot Noir
Smoking Loon, La Crema, McManis and The Crusher Releases
Two Sisters Central Otago Pinot Gris 2016
Clearview Estate 2016 ‘Old Olive Block’, Enigma’ and ‘The Basket Press’
Ceres 2017 ‘Swansong’ Pinot Gris and 2016 ‘Composition’ Pinot Noir
Vicarage Lane Canterbury Pinot Noir 2016
Paddy Borthwick 2017 Riesling and Chardonnay, and 2016 Left Hand and Right Hand Pinot Noirs
Trinity Hill Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2016
Villa Maria ‘Ngakirikiri’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Paxton ‘NOW’ Shiraz 2017 and Hogshead Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Kuru Kuru and Tarras Vineyards Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Red Queen Marlborough Pinot Nor Rosé 2017
Waipara Valley Wines Blanc de Blanc, 2016 Sauvignon, and 2016 Pinot Noir
Elephant Hill 2016 Sauvignon Blanc and Reserve Chardonnay
Aix Rosé, A Torres Selection and Lustau Vermut from EuroVintage
Mills Reef 2017 ‘Reserve’ Pinot Gris and Chardonnay
Nevis Bluff ‘Duke of Cromwell’ Pinot Blanc 2017, and 2017 Rosé, 2014 Pinot Gris and 2013 Pinot Noir
Smith and Sheth ‘CRU’ Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Syrah Releases
Palliser Estate Martinborough Pinot Gris 2017
Karikari Estates 2014 ‘Calypso’ and 2015 Chardonnays, 2016 Viognier and 2015 Syrah and Pinotage
Auntsfield 2016 ‘Single Vineyard’ Chardonnay and Pinot Noir
The Crossings ‘Wild’ Awatere Sauvignon Blanc 2016
Pisa Range Estate‘ Black Poplar’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015
Z Wine ‘Rustica’ ‘Reserve’ Barossa Valley Shiraz 2015
Grava Wines 2016 Martinborough Sauvignon, Rosé, Riesling and Pinot Noir
// View More Featured Reviews

Featured Reviews

Thistle Ridge, Muddy Water and Greystone Waipara Releases

08 April,2014
The Greystone, Muddy Water and Thistle Ridge wines of the Thomas family figure among the most exciting in the Waipara Valley and along with the likes of Pegasus Bay are showing that the region is capable of producing world class wines. The style that emanates from these labels emphasises the beauty of the fruit, but each of the labels has their individuality. Thistle Ridge is the value label, showcasing the Waipara Valley region. Muddy Water is AsureQuality certified organic and there seems to be a degree of funkiness and complexity built into many of the wines. The Greystone wines speak of finesse and class. The differentiation of the brands will allow appeal to a wide consumer base, and this will enable a strong and diverse market to support the operation. Here, I review two wines under each brand, some already proven winners.


Thistle Ridge Waipara Pinot Gris 2013

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara

Bright straw-yellow colour with a slight blush. The nose is full and solidly presented with bold aromas of ripe yellow stonefruits and pears lifted with exotic rose-petal florals and honeysuckle elements. Medium-dry to taste, rounded and gently mouthfilling flavours of ripe yellow stonefruits, florals and honey show with lusciousness. The palate has weight and positive alcohol power, with restrained acidity adding to the fulsome mouthfeel. Some dry phenolics emerge to add to the textures, balancing the fruit sweetness, and carry the flavours to a soft but robust finish of honey and pears. This is a bold, near luscious and rounded medium-dry Pinot Gris with some textures and power. Serve with Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine. Waipara Valley fruit stainless-steel fermented to 13.5% alc. and 12 g/L RS. 17.5/20 Apr 2014 RRP $21.00

Thistle Ridge Waipara Pinot Noir 2012

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara

Pinot Noir from hillside blocks, given a cold soak and fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine spending up to 14 gays on skins, mainly aged in tank and a portion in barrel. Dark, deep ruby-red colour with some purple hues, lighter on rim. The bouquet is full and up-front with aromas of dark raspberry fruit intermixed with lifted floral, confectionary and jammy elements, revealing dried herb and minerally nuances in the glass. Medium-full bodied, ripe and plump dark raspberry fruit flavours are enhanced by aromatic whole berry fermentation lift. The palate shows a concentrated, underlying core that flows with firm, grainy tannin support. The mouthfeel is textured and structured, leading to a firm, dry, lingering finish. This is an up-front aromatic Pinot Noir with jammy lift, encased by grainy extraction. Match with pizza, pasta and barbecued food over the next 3+ years. 17.5/20 Apr 2014 RRP $21.00

Muddy Water Waipara Chardonnay 2012

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara

Full, deep, light-golden straw colour. This has a very powerful and concentrated nose with a dense amalgam of steely citrus fruit and stonefruit, with bold nutty oak. Full-bodied, intense and mouthfilling flavours of sweet citrus fruits infused with toasty oak feature on the palate. There is real weight and depth, the richness blossoming to become soft and creamy, the barrel fermentation adding to the presence. Nuances of butter, nuts, and flint are integral and provide complexity. Soft acidity balances the alcoholic power, and the flavours lead to a long, rounded finish. This is a full-bodied, rich and rounded Chardonnay with mouthfilling citrus and oaky flavours. Serve with roasted and grilled pork and veal over the next 4+ years. Hand-picked fruit from 20 y.o. vines, WBP and barrel-fermented with indigenous yeasts to 14.5% alc., the wine aged 15 months on lees in French oak barrels with 50% MLF. Certified AsureQuality organic. 18.0+/20 Apr 2014 RRP $36.00

Muddy Water Waipara Pinot Noir 2012

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara

Fruit from mainly ungrafted wines, given a cold soak and indigenous yeast fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine given 14 days maceration after, the wine aged 11 months in 30% new French oak. Dark ruby-red colour with depth, and lighter purple hues on rim. This has an elegantly presented bouquet of fresh, dark raspberry fruit entwined with dark florals, spice notes, black pepper and some toasty oak elements, the floral perfumes becoming more prevalent with aeration. Fullish-bodied, the flavours on palate are a little restrained, with dark raspberry and cheery fruits unfolding layers of florals and dark herbs. There is good weight and mouthfeel, the tannins supple and rounded, the acidity balanced, with alcohol drive providing the power. Sweet raspberry liqueur and liquorice fruit flavours are carried on the sustained and lingering finish. Match with poultry, pork and Mediterranean fare over the next 5-6+ years. Certified AsureQuality organic. 18.5-/20 Apr 2014 RRP $40.00

Greystone ‘Sea Star’ Waipara Valley Riesling 2012

Riesling from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara

Bright, very pale straw-yellow colour with slight green hues on edge. The nose is very refined, tightly bound and elegant in proportion with delicate, pure aromas of limes, white florals and nuances of mouthwatering flinty minerals. Dry to taste and tightly restrained, fine and delicate mineral-infused white floral and citrus nuanced fruit flavours are underlined by racy acidity and a refined phenolic thread. The dry textures and thirst quenching acidity provide excellent tension. Complexing nuances of minerals and flinty are present and are carried by the palate to a long lingering, dry and refreshing finish. This is a delicately nuanced, racy and minerally dry Riesling. Serve as an aperitif and with shellfish over the next 5+ years. Hand-picked fruit from ‘Block 11’ and ‘Block 4’, WBP and cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 12.0% alc. and 4.6 g/L RS and pH 3.14. 18.0+/20 Apr 2014 RRP $26.00

Greystone Waipara Valley Pinot Noir 2012

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara

Four clones of Pinot Noir from 5 blocks, hand-picked, destemmed, given a cold soak and indigenous yeast fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine spending 30 days on skins and aged 11 months in 30% new French oak barrels. Very dark, black-hued ruby-red colour with youthful purple edge. This has an elegantly concentrated nose with intense aromas of black cherry and red berry fruits, with a complex array of perfumes with black and violet florals, revealing savoury dried herb, earth and mineral elements. Medium-full bodied, well-concentrated flavours of red and black fruits unfold layers of complex savoury dark herb and earthy nuances entwined with sweet aromatic floral notes. The mouthfeel shows a dense core that unfolds smoothly with a seamless flow, and the palate is supported by fine-grained, supple tannin extraction. The richness and fruit sweetness is enlivened by fine acidity, and the flavours lead to a very long, sustained finish of savoury dark berry fruits. This is a richly concentrated, complex-nuanced, seamless Pinot Noir. Match with most roasted red meat dishes over the next 6 + years. 19.0-/20 Apr 2014 RRP $36.00
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