Mudbrick 2013 Reserve Whites, Reds and ‘Velvet’
The Mudbrick Vineyard and Restaurant at Oneroa, Waiheke Island, was established by Nick and Robyn Jones in 1992 when they bought the property on Church Bay Road and planted vines. Growing the vineyard and building their barn-house-winery from mud bricks (hence the name), they had their first vintage in 1996 and set up a café. Nowadays, Mudbrick is one of the most popular wine destinations on Waiheke Island with its restaurant, cellar door and gardens.
Mudbrick owns two vineyards on Waiheke Island, the home ‘Mudbrick Vineyard’ is 3 ha with Chardonnay, Malbec, Merlot and Syrah. Viognier was just pulled out and Pinot Gris recently planted with its first crop next year. The vine age is 15-20 y.o. The sloping north-facing vineyard has topsoil over clay over bedrock. The ‘Shepherds Point’ site at Onetangi, is 3.5 ha with Chardonnay, Viognier, Merlot, Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah planted, the vines 14-16 y.o., planted in four blocks with different aspects. Here, it is topsoil over clay.
Mudbrick also sources Waiheke Island fruit from the 0.6 ha ‘Hawkes Crest’ vineyard, managed by them, and the ‘Browns’ vineyard which is tended by Cable Bay. The Waiheke Island production is small, this year processing 36 tonnes, and the output varies between 1,400 – 2,200 cases annually. Other varieties are sourced from different regions, the wine made in those districts to supplement the Waiheke Island fruit and wine styles made there, approximately doubling the amount of wine available.
The winemaker since 2011 is Patrick Newton, from the family who owns the eponymous vineyard in the Gimblett Gravels, and the vineyard manager is Nick Otto, who came from a viticultural role in Hawke’s Bay, both men having extensive experience in New Zealand and overseas. Here, I review a selection of 2013 wines, the ‘Reserve’ Viognier and Chardonnay whites, the ‘Reserve’ Tempranillo, Merlot/Cabernet and Syrah, and the secret blend ‘Velvet’ red. www.mudbrick.co.nz
FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW
Mudbrick ‘Reserve’ Waiheke Island Viognier 2013Viognier from New Zealand - Northland & AucklandReview Date : 21-Aug-2014Bright pale straw-yellow colour with green hues, very light-edged. The nose is softly expressed and restrained, with pure and refined, fresh aromas of apricots, orange zest and exotic florals, growing in volume with aeration to reveal subtle creamy, nutty barrel-ferment detail. Dry to taste and full-bodied, gently rich and luscious fruit flavours of apricots, tropical fruits and orange zest form a refined, well-concentrated and tightly bound core. The wine flows smoothly with some underlying alcoholic drive and power guided by a fine-textured line. Creamy and near unctuous in mouthfeel from the barrel work, the phenolics carry the fruit and provide a very long and sustained, dry, textural finish. This is a refined, tight and linear Viognier with a creamy richness and good power that will unfold over the next 4+ years. Serve with Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine. Fruit from ‘Mudbrick’, ‘Shepherds Point’ and ‘Browns’ vineyards, WBP, and indigenous yeast barrel-fermented to 14.5% alc. and 2.4 g/L RS, the wine aged 7 months in 20% new French oak barriques with 25% MLF. 120 cases made. 18.5+/20 Aug 2014 RRP $45.00
Mudbrick ‘Reserve’ Waiheke Island Chardonnay 2013Chardonnay from New Zealand - Northland & AucklandReview Date : 21-Aug-2014Fruit from the ‘Mudbrick’, ‘Shepherds Point’ and ‘Hawkes Crest’ vineyards, WBP and indigenous yeast barrel-fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 7 months in 25% new French oak barriques with 20% MLF. Full, even straw-yellow colour with slight green hues. This has a soft, even and full nose of white stonefruits, yellow peaches and citrus fruit lifted by fragrant and nutty oak notes, and build in penetration and depth. Some complexing oxidative elements unfold and add detail. Medium-full bodied and elegant in proportion, finely concentrated and intense flavours of stonefruits and citrus fruits are melded with nutty oak. The mouthfeel is fine-featured with a tight, soft-textured line and fresh, lacy acidity lending tension and brightness. There is density and power to the palate, leading to a long, sustained finish with stonefruit and nutty notes. This is an elegant stonefruity and nutty Chardonnay with good depth and power. Match with seafood and poultry over the next 4-5 years. 200 cases made. 18.0+/20 Aug 2014 RRP $45.00
Mudbrick ‘Reserve’ Waiheke Island Tempranillo 2013Tempranillo from New Zealand - Northland & AucklandReview Date : 21-Aug-2014Very dark, near impenetrable black-red colour with purple hues, lighter on rim. The nose is fresh with fragrant aromas of black and dark red berry fruits, lifted with raspberry and red plum elements, unveiling subtle earth and floral nuances. Medium-full bodied and in good proportion, soft, plush and sweet fruit flavours of dark berry fruit and raspberries are carried by grainy, sinewy tannins. The juicy fruit is well-balanced by the extraction and the wine has a robust, structured mouthfeel, and shows with brightness and vitality. The wine carries through to a dry, textural finish. This is a full, black berry and raspberry fruited Tempranillo with a lively, robust mouthfeel. Serve with barbecued and roasted red meat dishes and Mediterranean fare over the next 5-6+ years. 100% Tempranillo from the ‘Hawkes Crest’ site, indigenous yeast fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 7 months in 10% new oak. 80 cases made. 17.5+/20 Aug 2014 RRP $55.00
Mudbrick ‘Reserve’ Waiheke Island Merlot/Cabernet 2013Merlot from New Zealand - Northland & AucklandReview Date : 21-Aug-2014Very deep, dark, near saturated black-red colour with youthful purple hues on rim. The nose is elegant and refined in concentration with ripe blackcurrant, redcurrant and dark plum aromas, entwined with nuances of dark herbs and black ink. The aromatics build in intensity, revealing subtle spicy oak and savoury olive detail. Fullish bodied, tight and restrained fruit flavours of black berries and currants, with plummy nuances are the feature. The elegance of structure and mouthfeel is classical, with the sweet fruit balanced by refined powdery tannin extraction and excellent acidity. Oaking is harmonious and the palate has linearity, energy and poise, carrying to a very long and sustained finish with blackcurrant and plum elements. This is a classical Bordeaux-styled Merlot/Cabernet blend with refined fruit, structure and balance. Serve with roasted lamb, beef, venison and hard cheeses over the next 8-10+ years. 60% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Malbec from ‘Shepherds Point’ and ‘Mudbrick’ vineyards, indigenous yeast fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine aged 9 months in 30% new oak. 75 cases made. 18.5+/20 Aug 2014 RRP $55.00
Mudbrick ‘Reserve’ Waiheke Island Syrah 2013Syrah from New Zealand - Northland & AucklandReview Date : 21-Aug-2014100% Syrah from ‘Mudbrick’ and ‘Shepherd Point’ vineyards, indigenous yeast fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine aged 9 months in 35% new oak. Very full, saturated black-red colour with youthful purple hues. This has a full, voluminous and rich nose with harmoniously integrated aromas of ripe black and blue berry fruits, along with boysenberry and plum jam elements melded with black pepper and oak spices. Violet perfumes emerge in the glass. Full-bodied, densely packed, plush and juicy flavours of sweetly ripe black and blue berry fruit are entwined with layers of black plums, jam, pepper and spicy florals. Fine-grained, powdery tannins envelop the fruit providing a fulsome mouthfeel. Soft acidity contributes to the roundness on palate, and the wine flows smoothly to a long, rich finish of black berry fruits and plums. This is a soft, well-textured Syrah with plush, ripe black and blue fruit flavours. Match with slow cooked game meat dishes over the next 7-9+ years. 175 cases made. 18.0/20 Aug 2014 RRP $55.00
Mudbrick ‘Velvet’ Waiheke Island 2013Blended Red from New Zealand - Northland & AucklandReview Date : 21-Aug-2014An undisclosed blend, the fruit from the ‘Mudbrick’ and ‘Shepherds Point’ vineyards, indigenous yeast fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine aged 11 months in 40% new oak. Very full, saturated black-red colour with youthful purple hues. This has a fulsome nose of rich, ripe black berry and black plum fruit infused with spicy oak and subtle currant and olive elements. Solid and dense, the componentry is still youthfully brash and yet to come together. Full-bodied and powerful, yet with good proportion, the fruit extraction provides depth and density of sweet, ripe blackcurrants and rich spicy plums. Suggestions of black pepper emerge with aeration, the flavours forming an ever-changing array of nuance. The mouthfeel has a degree of opulence but is well-framed with fine, grainy tannin structure, and enlivened by excellent acidity. This is vigorous and vibrant, and the plush, juicy flavours are carried to a very long, lingering finish. This is an opulent and robust spicy Bordeaux-styled red which will integrate with some style over the next 10-12+ years. Match with slow-cooked red game meat dishes. 250 cases made. 19.0/20 Aug 2014 RRP $140.00