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Featured Reviews




Urlar 2016 Whites, and ‘Select Parcels’ 2015 Sauvignon and 2016 Pinot Noir

18 December,2017

I’ve reported on the changes of style at Urlar in Gladstone, in the Wairarapa with the 2016 vintage. This coincided with the departure of Guy McMaster as winemaker and the arrival of Carol Bunn from Central Otago. The wines made by Guy were in the complex, sophisticated and textural style, and Carol has made a more fruit-expressive style which has a broader and more accessible market-friendly style. Both approaches have their positive points, but the latter arguably was more suitable for Urlar. Following the 2016 wines from harvest time, I’ve been fortunate to see the wines at diffident stages of their development. I admit they have come across pretty attractively to me, so it is with anticipation that I review the 2016 wines in their finished state, after they have been given a good chance to settle down, and as they come available to the market. www.urlar.co.nz

FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW



Urlar Gladstone Riesling 2016

Riesling from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington

18+/20

Bright, very pale straw-yellow colour, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is fresh with taut and finely concentrated, bright aromas of lime fruit with subtle notes of white florals, honeysuckle and suggestions of toasty nuances. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is tightly bound with an elegantly concentrated core of lime fruit, white florals and minerals with suggestions of honey and toast, The palate is crisp with a fine-textured line of fruit extract and phenolics, with underlying thirst-quenching acidity. The wine has very good linearity and carries to a long, lingering, soft-textured, dry finish. This is a taut and finely concentrated dry Riesling with lime, floral and mouthwatering mineral flavours on a dry, textural palate with good linearity. Serve as an aperitif and with shellfish over the next 4-5 years. Hand-picked fruit, WBP and cool-fermented to 12.0% alc. and 6.0 g/L RS, TA 8.2 g/L and pH 3.0. Certified BioGro organic. 18.0+/20 Dec 2017 RRP $25.00

Bright, very pale straw colour with slight green hues, lighter on edge. The nose is very soft and delicate, with beautifully pure aromas of lime fruit, white florals and mouthwatering wet-stone minerals. This is well-proportioned, unfolding in depth and volume with aeration. Dry to taste and light-medium bodied, the palate has restrained fruit flavours of limes, white florals and harmoniously entwined wet-stone minerals. The palate is fine and firm with a tight core, showing some fruit extract weight and phenolic textures. The mouthfeel is crisp and vibrant, the acidity adding to the thirst-quenching minerality. The flavours carry to a lingering finish with delicate floral and chalky mineral notes. This is a taut, crisp, mouthwatering dry Riesling with pure lime, floral and mineral flavours. Serve as an aperitif, and with Thai, Vietnamese or Japanese cuisine over the next 4-5 years. Fruit hand-picked, WBP and cool-fermented in tank to 12.0% alc., 6 g/L RS, TA 8.2 g/L and pH 3.0. Certified BioGro organic. 18.0/20 Jul 2017 RRP $25.00

Urlar Gladstone Pinot Gris 2016

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington

18.5/20

Bright, even straw-yellow colour with pale gold hues. The nose is elegant in proportion with moderately deep aromas of white and yellow stonefruits and a subtle amalgam of white florals, nutty elements and minerals. The aromatics are soft in expression and show delicacy and detail. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate has good depth and intensity of white and yellow stonefruits, white florals, nutty notes and a little toasty oak. The fruit forms a well-concentrated core with good intensity and presence.. The mouthfeel is rounded and smooth with some underlying alcohol drive. The wine carries to a long, lingering finish of stonefruits, nuts and hints of oak. This is a well-proportioned dry Pinot Gris with deep flavours of white and yellow stonefruits, nuts and oak, with plenty of mouthfeel and presence, and alcohol drive. Match with most white meat dishes over the next 4+ years. Hand-picked fruit, WBP, and fully barrel-fermented in seasoned French oak to 13.5% alc. and dryness, the wine aged 10 months on lees with batonnage and 30% MLF. BioGro organic. 18.5/20 Dec 2017 RRP $29.00

Urlar Gladstone Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington

18+/20

Moderately deep ruby-red colour with slight purple hues on the rim, lighter edged. The nose is elegantly concentrated with good depth of dark-red cherry and berry fruit entwined with subtle notes of fresh and dark herbs, some savoury whole bunch stalk nuances, and lifted florals. This has interest and detail. Medium-bodied, the palate has bright and vibrant fruit flavours of dark-red cherry and berry fruit entwined with an amalgam of dark herbs, hints of whole bunch stalk and lifted florals, along with nutty and mineral nuances. The palate possesses richness and sweetness, balanced by fine-grained tannin extraction, and fresh lacy acidity lending energy and vitality. The flavours carry to an elegant and refreshing finish. This is a bright and vibrant, dark-red cherry and berry fruited Pinot Noir with herb, stalk and floral notes with some oak, on a fine-textured, poised palate. Serve with poultry and pork dishes over the next 6 years. Hand-picked fruit predominantly indigenous yeast fermented with approx. 10% whole bunches to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 33% new French oak barriques. Certified BioGro organic. 18.0+/20 Dec 2017 RRP $45.00

Urlar ‘Select Parcels’ Gladstone Sauvignon Blanc 2015

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington

18/20

Bright straw-yellow colour with some depth, a little lighter on the rim. This has an elegant and slender nose with finely concentrated and softly presented aromas of green stonefruits, gooseberries, fresh herbs and subtle nutty nuances. The aromatics build in intensity with aeration to show depth and presence, unfolding mineral notes. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate has restrained flavours of green stonefruits and gooseberries, fresh herbs, hints of lanolin and nutty notes. The palate is stylish in presentation with fine textures and balanced, lacy acidity. The wine carries to an elegant, lingering, nuanced finish. This is a stylish oak-influenced Sauvignon Blanc with green stonefruit, gooseberry, herb and nutty flavours on a finely nuanced palate. Match with herb-marinated seafood and poultry dishes over the next 3 years. Select vineyard parcels, given some skin contact and full barrel-fermented in seasoned French oak to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 10 months on less with some batonnage and partial MLF. The wine is a barrel selection. Certified BioGro organic. 18.0/20 Dec 2017 RRP $29.00

Urlar ‘Select Parcels’ Gladstone Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington

18.5+/20

Even ruby-red colour with some depth and slight purple hues, a little lighter edged. The nose is elegantly concentrated with aromas of dark red cherry and raspberry fruit with a fine core showing subtle dark herbs and dark-red florals, with spicy oak suggestions. This has fragrance and delicacy. Medium-bodied, the palate has rich and vibrant fruit flavours of dark-red cherry and berry fruit. This is sweet and luscious, unveiling hints of herbs and lifted spicy oak, with red florals. The fruit is underlined by fine-grained tannin structure with balanced acidity. The wine has plenty of energy and a finely concentrated heart and line that carries to an elegant fragrant, sustained finish. This is an elegantly rich and luscious dark cherry and berry-fruited Pinot Noir with subtle herb, spicy and fragrant lifted florals on a fine-textured, balanced palate. Match with pork, lamb and beef dishes over the next 6-8 years. Selected vineyard parcels, hand-picked and indigenous yeast fermented with 25% whole bunches to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 11 months in 70% new French oak barriques. Certified BioGro organic. 18.5+/20 Dec 2017 RRP $66.00

Urlar Gladstone Noble Riesling 2016

Sweet Wine from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington

18.5/20

Bright, light golden-yellow colour with some depth, a little lighter on the rim. This has a fresh nose with aromas of tropical and citrus fruit with exotic floral notes, wild honey and savoury marmalade with musky botrytis nuances. The aromatics show good depth and concentration. Very sweet to taste and light-medium bodied, the palate has a taut core with decadently rich and luscious flavours of ripe tropical fruits, exotic florals, honey, marmalade and musk. Savoury honeycomb hints add interest. The palate has a rounded mouthfeel with fine acid cut lending freshness, and the wine flows along a soft, smooth line, leading to a long finish. This an elegantly decadent Noble Riesling with tropical fruit, florals, honey, marmalade and musk flavours on a fresh, balanced palate. Match with fruit and baked desserts over the next 5+ years. Hand-picked fruit, 90% with botrytis and 10% shrivel, cool-fermented to 11.0% alc. and 119 g/L RS, TA 7.7 g/L and pH 3.25. Certified BioGro organic. (375 ml) 18.5/20 Dec 2017 RRP $33.00

Bright, light golden-hued yellow colour with some depth, pale edged. The nose is very elegant and refined in expression with intense and concentrated aromas of white florals and citrus fruit melded with honeysuckle, talc and musk, the botrytis to the fore, with the underlying in support. Very sweet to taste and light-medium bodied, the palate is finely concentrated with good intensity of white florals, citrus fruit, musk and honied flavours. The palate has good, firm linearity with balanced, crisp acidity lending energy and a dryish cut to the richness. The wine unfolds layers of money, beeswax and musk on the long and sustained finish. This is a finely concentrated botrytised Riesling with floral, citrus, honey and musk flavours with a firm linearity. Serve with fruit and baked desserts over the next 4-5 years. 90% botrytised and 10% shrivelled fruit, hand-picked and cool-fermented to 11.0% alc. and 120 g/L RS. Certified BioGro organic. (375 ml) 18.5-/20 Jul 2017 RRP $32.00
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