TerraVin 2011 Te Ahu, Chardonnays and 2010 Hillside Pinot Noir
TerraVin winemaker Gordon Ritchie was in Wellington recently, and explained the greater focus on single vineyard expression of their Pinot Noirs. The future should see clearly defined bottlings from the ‘Eaton Family’, Cowley’ and ‘Calrossie’ sites. This will be at the expense of the barrel selection ‘Hillside Reserve’ wine which showcased the bigger and more structured style. The 2011 ‘Hillside Reserve’ Pinot Noir will be last under that label.
Gordon took me through the new and up-coming releases, the 2011 oak-influenced ‘Te Ahu’ Sauvignon Blanc, the 2011 Chardonnay and ‘Hillside Reserve’ Chardonnay (which will be released later, in September 2013), and the (still) flagship 2010 ‘Hillside Reserve’ Pinot Noir. My reviews follow. www.terravin.co.nz
FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW
TerraVin ‘Te Ahu’ Marlborough 2011Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand - MarlboroughReview Date : 31-May-2013100% Sauvignon Blanc from the ‘Cowley’ and ‘Calrossie’ vineyards, hand-picked, WBP and indigenous yeast fermented in seasoned 500 L French oak puncheons to 13.4% alc. and 4.8 g/L rs, the wine aged 16 months in barrel. Bright, full, straw-yellow colour with slight green hues, pale on rim. This has a full and bold nose with densely packed and complex, interwoven aromas of gooseberries, nectarines and subtle smoky-flinty elements. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, solidly packed and densely concentrated flavours of ripe yellow stonefruits, nectarines, nuts and spices unfold in waves. The mouthfeel is very textural with great presence and solidness, the palate possessing power and drive. The acidity is balanced and harmonious, carrying the flavours to a moderately long, robust, sweetly nuanced finish. This is a fulsome and well-textured oak-influenced Sauvignon Blanc with waves of complex flavours. Serve with herbed seafood and poultry dishes and Mediterranean-inspired fare over the next 3-4 years. 18.5+/20 May 2013 RRP $40.00
TerraVin Marlborough Chardonnay 2011Chardonnay from New Zealand - MarlboroughReview Date : 31-May-2013Full straw-yellow colour with light lemon-green hues on edge. The bouquet is up-front with clear and lifted aromas of citrus fruits, white stonefruits, savoury nuts and butterscotch MLF notes. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, stonefruit, citrus and creamy, buttery flavours form a solid and densely packed core with underlying power. Oaking is sensitive and unobtrusive. The textures are soft and fine, the acidity quite restrained, and the palate leads to a soft, dry-textured, gentle finish. This is a soft, moderately full and solidly constructed Chardonnay with citrus and butterscotch flavours. Serve with seafood, poultry and pork over the next 4+ years. Two-thirds clone 95 from ‘Calrossie’ and one-third Mendoza clone fruit from the ‘Cowley’ vineyards, hand-picked, WBP and indigenous yeast barrel-fermented to 13.2% alc., the wine aged 16 months in 18% new French oak with lees contact but no batonnage, and 20%-30% undergoing MLF. 17.5/20 May 2013 RRP $26.00
TerraVin ‘Hillside Reserve’ Marlborough Chardonnay 2011Chardonnay from New Zealand - MarlboroughReview Date : 31-May-2013A barrel selection. Two-thirds clone 95 from ‘Calrossie’ and one-third Mendoza clone fruit from the ‘Cowley’ vineyard, hand-picked, WBP and indigenous yeast barrel-fermented to 13.35% alc., the wine aged 16 months in 24% new French oak with lees contact but no batonnage, and 20%-30% undergoing MLF. Bright straw-yellow colour with some depth and hints of green-gold. This has a full, solid and dense nose with concentrated aromas of stonefruits and nuts that reveal layers of gunflint, lifted oak, spices and butterscotch MLF. Dry and full-bodied, the flavours are a little subdued initially, though the palate has considerable weight and presence. Fruit flavours of citrus and yellow stonefruits emerge with integrated nutty oak, creamy barrel-ferment and buttery MLF elements. There is richness and full, rounded mouthfeel backed by density. The flavours blossom on the long, lingering, finely textured finish. This is a full-bodied, subtly complex Chardonnay with good harmony. Match with poultry, pork and veal dishes over the next 4-5+ years. 18.5-/20 May 2013 RRP $40.00 (Release date: September 2013)
TerraVin ‘Hillside Reserve’ Marlborough Pinot Noir 2010Pinot Noir from New Zealand - MarlboroughReview Date : 31-May-2013Full, even, purple-hued ruby-red colour, youthful in appearance. The bouquet is full, deep and voluminous with intense aromas of ripe, dark berry fruits and plums with earthy-meaty detail, along with hints of tar and oak spices. Some raspberry liqueur and herbal hints emerge in the glass. Medium-full bodied, rich, lively dark berry fruit flavours, plums and earthy notes are complexed by flavours of savoury game, liquorice and cedary oak. The mouthfeel is fulsome with firm, fine tannin structure and bright and crisp acidity providing good energy and tension. The palate has drive and power, and the flavours are carried by the tannins and acid raciness to a long, rich, fruit-focused finish of earthy plums. This is a full, solid and robust Pinot Noir with liveliness and earthy interest. Match with casseroles and slow-cooked game meat over the next 6-8+ years. Clones 5, 6, 667, 777, 115 and 114 from the ‘Eaton Family’ and ‘Cowley’ vineyards, hand-picked, destemmed, given a cold soak and indigenous yeast fermented to 13.36% alc., the wine aged 18 months in 28% new French oak. 18.5/20 May 2013 RRP $52.00