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Featured Reviews

Waipara River Estate – Aromatics, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Wines

25 July,2013
At the start of April, I reviewed the 2010 Riesling and Pinot Noir wines from Waipara River Estate and was impressed with their weight and depth, this possibly being a function of the good vineyard site and the age of the vines. (Click here to see my reviews.) In 2007, Michael Peters and Tina Besley acquired the 32 ha property that was Glenmark Wines, which was established by John McCaskey in the 1980s, and in doing so inherited some of the oldest vines in the district. There are approx. 3 ha of vines, the 30 y.o. material in ‘The Original Vineyard’. Michael and Tina have Trevor Carson overseeing the viticulture with advice from Gwyn Williams of Vinecare, and Kym Rayner of Torlesse making the wines. Here I review a broad range of the Waipara River Estate wines, including aromatics, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon.


Waipara River Estate ‘Single Vineyard Release’ Waipara Valley Riesling 2012

Riesling from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara


Bright, very pale straw colour with some lemony hues, lighter on rim. The bouquet is very elegant and tightly bound, beautifully slender in proportion, with intense and refined aromas of limes and white floral, unfolding subtle toasty secondary layers with mineral finesse. Off-dry to taste, the palate is very elegant and refined in presentation with concentrated lime and white floral favours. The fruit is entwined with balanced secondary toasty complexities, seamlessly melded, forming a very fine phenolic line. The acidity s discreet and provides excellent tension, and the wine leads toa very long, lingering nuanced finish. This is a beautifully elegant, tight and refined off-dry Riesling and excellent secondary toasty interest. Serve as an aperitif over the next 5+ years. Cool-fermented in stainless-steel. Winemaker: Kym Rayner. 18.5-/20 Jun 2015 RRP $19.00

Brilliant straw-yellow colour with light, lemon-green hues, pale on rim. The bouquet is delicate and softly fresh with pure aromas of lime fruit enhanced buy jasmine floral nuances. Medium-dry to taste, tightly bound, delicately expressed fruit flavours of limes, exotic florals and honeysuckle follow a very fine, textured, dry line on the palate. The acidity is mouthwatering and lively, enhancing the fruit richness, balancing the sweetness and provides good tension to the mouthfeel. The flavours flow to a sustained finish with lingering nuances of citrus fruits and honeysuckle. This is a very attractive, refined, off-dry Riesling with delicate lime and honeysuckle flavours. Serve as an aperitif over the next 4-5+ years. Stainless-steel fermented to 12.0% alc. 18.0+/20 Jul 2013 RRP $19.00

Waipara River Estate ‘Single Vineyard Release’ Waipara Valley Riesling 2011

Riesling from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara


Full, light golden-yellow colour with some depth, lighter on the rim. This has a full and well-proportioned bouquet with softly concentrated aromas of lime fruit and yellow florals entwined with secondary, complexing honey, cream-custard and toasty notes, building in intensity with very fine kerosene nuances with aeration. Medium in sweetness and light-medium bodied, the palate features a fine core of limes. Yellow florals, honey and toast. The mouthfeel is soft and smooth-flowing, with fine, drying textures providing linearity. The acidity is soft, providing gentle drive, and the wine leads to a slightly drying finish with honey, custard and toast notes. This is an elegant, medium Riesling which has developed attractive honey, cream-custard and toast flavours, becoming a little dry on finish. Serve as an aperitif and with Middle Eastern fare over the next 2-3 years. Stainless-steel fermented to 12.0% alc. and 20 g/L RS. 17.0+/20 Apr 2016 RRP $18.00

Bright, full straw-yellow colour with light green-gold hues. The nose is firm, robust and concentrated with aromas of lime fruit and minerals, infused with some reductive notes, revealing hints of secondary toast detail and minerals. Off-dry to taste, the fruit is restrained, a little dumb, but showing lime and honied flavours. The palate is well-weighted with good presence and the mouthfeel harmonious with soft textures, the acidity in the background. The flavours flow smoothly to a gentle finish of moderate length with some reductive flinty, minerally elements. This is an off-dry Riesling with good presence, the fruit expression a little subdued at present. Serve as an aperitif or match with seafood and poultry over the next 3-4 years. Stainless-steel fermented to 12.0% alc. and 20 g/L rs. 16.5/20 Jul 2013 RRP $19.00

Waipara River Estate ‘Single Vineyard Release’ Waipara Valley Gewurztraminer 2012

Gewurztraminer from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara


Bright straw-yellow colour with green hues, pale on rim. This has a very fine and intense bouquet with pure rose-petal florals enhanced by fresh herb, musk and root ginger detailing. Medium to taste, refined and delicately luscious flavours of exotic florals, rose-petals, honey and musk grow to form a fine palate core with concentration and drive. There is power from the alcohol, and the linearity is supported by fresh, slippery acidity which leads to a long and sustained finish. Attractive nuances of exotic florals and musk feature and linger. This is an elegant and delicately luscious Gewurztraminer with finesse, and a concentrated core. Match with fine Asian cuisine over the next 3-4 years. Fruit from 30 y.o. vines fermented to 14.0% alc. 18.5/20 Jul 2013 RRP $24.00

Waipara River Estate ‘Single Vineyard Release’ Waipara Valley Pinot Noir 2011

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara


Dark, deep, ruby-red colour with a black-hued heart and garnet on the rim. The nose is elegant with softly ripe dark red and black berried fruit aromas along with some violetty perfumes and an underlying minerally core to the bouquet. Medium-bodied, tightly bound flavours of red and black berry fruit form a good core to the palate. This is moderately extracted with fine-grained tannins providing slender proportions. The mouthfeel is racy and near slippery with fresh acidity which carries the flavours to a tight, concentrated finish. This is an elegant and slender Pinot Noir with black fruits and a brisk, acid lined palate. Serve with poultry and pork over the next 4 years. Hand-picked fruit from old vines, fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 12-14 months in seasoned French oak barriques. 17.0+/20 Jul 2013 RRP $24.00

Waipara River Estate ‘Single Vineyard Release’ Waipara Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Cabernet Sauvignon from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara


Cabernet Sauvignon fruit from 29 y.o. vines, fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 12-14 months in seasoned French oak barriques. Full, dark, deep, black-hued red colour with a ruby edge. The nose is fresh and pure with intense, primary blackcurrant aromas along with fresh herb and cool-spectrum, leafy aromatics. Medium-bodied, intense and penetrating flavours of blackcurrant and leaf are prevalent, forming an elegant core and line. Fine-grained tannins are in the background and the mouthfeel is soft in texture. Crisp, edgy acidity provides a raciness and leads the flavours to a tight, slender finish with lingering herb nuances. This is a tightly bound, slender, and fresh Cabernet Sauvignon with pure, cool-spectrum leafy flavours. Match with herb-marinated lamb over the next 3+ years. 16.0+/20 Jul 2013 RRP $28.00

Waipara River Estate ‘Single Vineyard Release’ Waipara Valley Late Harvest Riesling 2011

Sweet Wine from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara


Bright, deep golden-yellow colour with some orange hues, lighter on edge. The bouquet is well-concentrated and intense, with tight aromas of ripe, savoury citrus fruits, notes of raisins and crystalised fruits and oxidative nutty elements. Sweet to taste, and with good body, there are concentrated flavours of ripe, savoury, mandarins and caramelised fruit with notes of raisins, wild honey and nuts. The acidity is balanced and along with the alcohol provides good drying cut. Very fine, drying textures carry the flavours to a moderately sustained, firm finish. This is a finely concentrated and moderately sweet late harvest Riesling with citrus and raisiny flavours with nutty elements. Serve with baked desserts and cheeses over the next 3+ years. Hand-picked fruit at 33° Brix, fermented to 13.0% alc. and 100 g/L rs. (375 ml) 16.5/20 Jul 2013 RRP $24.00

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