NO1 Family Estate

NO1 Family Estate Cuvée Remy 2013 Marlborough

Crafted from 55% Chardonnay with the balance in Pinot Noir, aged for 55 months on lees - the bouquet is something rather special. Fully developed autolysis with a delicate smoky nutty quality, toasted white fleshed stone fruits, citrus and red apple. A natural spice and white rose give way to a core of minerality and complexity. Just dry on the palate with the suggestion of just a little sweetness. Creamy rounded and silky textures with abundant acidity and a very fine mousse. A totally charming wine, complex, weighty and rich yet also elegant and just a little bit sexy. Drinking perfectly now, but will continue to develop as the wine integrates further. Best from today and through 2026.

97 Points

Cameron Douglas
Neudorf

Neudorf Rosie’s Block Chardonnay 2018 Nelson

A calm, even, fragrant bouquet of Chardonnay. A mix of ripe yellow fruits layered between scents of oak with cashew and brown spice then ripe grapefruit and apple. Equally calm on the palate, balanced, even and persistent. Flavours of yellow stone fruit and citrus then roasted nut and cream. The weighty creamy texture is not forced yet is also a wine with a youthful medium+ acidity, a new oak moment and a natural complexity bringing all the attributes together. Lengthy finish and well made. Drink now and through 2024.

95 Points

Cameron Douglas
Archangel

Archangel Pinot Noir 2016 Central Otago

Floral, fruity, spicy and varietal with a core of ripe red and dark cherry, some plum and black currant. A distinctive rose and red tea layer adds complexity as well as charm. Equally floral and fruity on the palate with flavours that reflect the nose. The oak adds a layer of spice and toastiness as well as tannins and structure. Dry, fine chalky tannins and a balanced even, lengthy finish. Decant for service if enjoying before 2021 with best drinking from 2021 through 2027.

94 Points

Cameron Douglas
Rippon

Rippon Tinker’s Field Mature Vine Pinot Noir 2016 Laka Wanaka, Central Otago

The bouquet of this wine is complex and takes some time to let go and release its story - so decant for service please. Aromas and flavours of dark berries and plums, wild flowers and bespoke tea. No mistaking the youthful tension of tannin and acidity supported by a core of fruit and minerality then oak. Complex and lengthy finish. Very young still needing some cellar time. Best enjoyed from 2024 through 2034+

96 Points

Rippon Tinker’s Bequest Mature Vine Pinot Noir 2016 Lake Wanaka, Central Otago

Immediately complex and inviting with a distinctive perfume of roses and minerals, wild thyme and preserved plums. Baking spices of oak and a generous toasty nuttiness. Dry on the palate with a varietal package of fruit, youthful expressive tannins, abundant acidity and steely textured core. Decant for service if drinking before 2021, best from 2024 through 2032+.

95 Points

Cameron Douglas
The Elder

The Elder Pinot Noir 2016 Martinborough, Wairarapa

Distinctive, focused , varietal and attention seeking bouquet of Pinot Noir. Aromas of dark red berries and plums, plenty of brown spices and toastiness of oak with clove and vanilla all underpinned with stony rocky mineral foundation. Equally distinctive on the palate with flavours that mirror the nose and core of power and youthfulness that needs quite some time to settle. Abundant tannins and acidity, plenty of oak and fruit flavours combine to show the potential for ageing this wine has. Lengthy finish. Best to try again in 2021 and likely ready to enjoy then and through 2030.

92 Points

Cameron Douglas
Pegasus Bay

Pegasus Bay Chardonnay 2017 Waipara Valley, North Canterbury

A great bouquet - intense and forward - no mistaking the baking spices and roasted cashew attack then aromas of sweet grapefruit, lemon, white peach and minerality. On the palate - full-bodied and full-on with a powerful core of flavours from baked custard and brulée to citrus and apple to stone fruits and baking spices. Plenty of oak, toastiness and acidity to play with. A long finish with some fine oak tannins and great complexity. Drink now and through 2028.

Points 95

Cameron Douglas
The Elder

The Elder Pinot Gris 2017 Martinborough, Wairarapa

A precise, clean, fruity and varietal bouquet with aromas of green pear and apple, quince and crushed rock minerality. Nicely dry on the palate with a pure fruit expression - lemon , pear, apple, citrus pith and a fresh mineral quality. Plenty of acidity with a gentle phenolic texture adds a layer of complexity and charm. Decent length and finish. One of the few Pinots Gris I taste that needs some cellar time. Best from late 2020 through 2024.

Points 92

Cameron Douglas
Pegasus Bay

Pegasus Bay Bel Canto Riesling 2017 Waipara Valley, North Canterbury

Aromas of lemon curd, white peach, apple, white rose and honeysuckle are mirrored on the palate with a tense and vibrant acidity, flavours of citrus and white fleshed orchard fruits, a core of minerality with a saline note. As the wine opens up the complexity builds keeping pace with flavour concentration and texture. Delicious! Drink now and through 2030+.

95 Points

Cameron Douglas
Akitu

Akitu A1 Pinot Noir 2017 Central Otago

A richly scented bouquet of Pinot Noir with aromas of dark berries, wood spices, wild thyme and a core of savoury complexity. Plum and dark cherry, black currant and wild flowers, stony, rocky outcrop minerality. Youthful, tense , firm and focused textures on the palate with flavours that reflect the nose - dark berries then wood spices, some wild thyme and undergrowth moments. Youthful tannins and acid line. Lengthy finish, dry, well made, youthful. Best from 2021 through 2029. 94 Points

Footnote: I judged this wine at the Decanter World Wine Awards just a few weeks ago. Wines at this competition - the largest in the world - are poured from 750 ml bottles, tasted blind and discussed by a panel of fours judges. I gave the wine 95 points - at that judging. The score above (94 points) was from a sample bottle 375 ml tasted in my tasting room at home. Have to say I’m pretty happy with the 94 Points. It demonstrates pretty clearly (to me at least) that bottle size can matter - though not by much - when wine is simply this good. Well done Andrew Donaldson and the winemaking team.

Cameron Douglas
Novum

Novum Chardonnay 2018 Marlborough

An intriguing almost sensual bouquet of Chardonnay. Aromas of red apple and sweet peach tea, lees spices and white flowers, flint and chalk-like minerality, and a light dusting of fragrant baking spices. Very sophisticated and quite pure on the palate - dry, complex, even and lengthy. A precise palate weight with a youthful acid line, extremely fine wood tannins and fine lees texture. Flavours of white and yellow orchard fruits, wood spices and fine stone-like minerality. A delicious example, modern, youthful, complex and intriguing. Lots to like. Drink now and through 2026. 95 Points

Cameron Douglas
Anthony Joseph Vidal of Hawkes Bay

Vidal Soler Chardonnay 2018 Hawkes Bay

There’s no mistaking the power and youthful impact that the bouquet of this wine offers - peach and nectarine, vanilla, burnt butter and brazil nut, lees spices and blond tobacco. A natural complexity and raw energy. Equally intense on the palate with flavours of yellow stone fruit, grapefruit, apple and layers of wood spice and lees textures. An abundance of oak and acidity with some fine oak tannins. Very lengthy & finishing just dry and complex. Decant for service now and through 2021. Ideal drinking from 2021 through 2028. 96 Points

Vidal Soler Syrah 2017 Hawkes Bay

A bouquet filled with aromas of violets, black currants, raspberry, peppery sweet meats, smoky oak and layers of garrigue, dry stone and baking spices. Complex and beguiling. Very expressive on the palate with flavours of oak and wood smoke, dark raspberry and black currant, loads of pepper and sweet black olive. Weighty yet fine, a strong back bone of acidity and firm youthful tannins, a core of fruit and ripeness with a long dry finish. This wine is delicious and should be in your cellar. Decant for service now and through 2022. Excellent drinking from 2022 through 2030 if stored well. 98 Points

Vidal Soler Cabernet Sauvignon Blanc 2017 Hawkes Bay

A bouquet that is slow to reveal it’s story. Aromas do emerge of blackened blackberry, dark plum and fresh cigar tobacco. Marmite and meat, a sweet toasted wood scent accentuated with aromas of clove and vanilla, then dried herb and baked bell-pepper. A complexity unfurls after many minutes in glass. Youthful, tense, firm and dry with flavours reflective of the nose. Abundant fruit and wood tannins with plenty of acidity. Complex, lengthy finish. A wine that should be in your cellar - will age and harmonise over the coming 3-5 years. Ideal drinking 2024 through 2034. 96 Points

Cameron Douglas
Anthony Joseph Vidal of Hawkes Bay

Vidal Legacy Chardonnay 2018 Hawkes Bay

Seductive, enticing, complex and glamorous bouquet of Chardonnay. Aromas of roasted cashew and yellow peach, baked golden apple then grapefruit, a cheesy, whipped cream moment and easy to spot wood spices. On the palate - tense, vibrant, weighty, youthful and dry. As complex and glamorous as the bouquet suggests with flavours of white and yellow orchard fruits, wood spice and a flinty, leesy, toasty harmonious core. Quite youthful with a refreshing acid line, very fine wood tannin layer, lees spice and mineral finish. Delicious now though I do recommend decanting, even better in 2021. A wine of investment that will be the talk of many fabulous dinner parties through to 2030 and probably beyond. 96 Points

Cameron Douglas
Windrush Vineyard Limited

Windrush Pinot Noir 2018 Marlborough

From organically grown fruit - aromas of cherries and red plum, wild rose scents, soft brown baking spices and whispers of wood smoke. Dry on the palate with dusty chalky tannins, plenty of acidity then flavours that reflect the nose. More wood spice and red apple notes emerge. Lengthy youthful finish with persistent textures and flavours. Needs more integration time, but overall balanced and well made. Drink from late 2020 through 2026. 92 Points

Cameron Douglas
Two Rivers

Two Rivers Tributary Pinot Noir 2017 Marlborough

Immediately varietal, complex, fruity and enticing with aromas of wood spices and dark berries. Flavours of dark cherry, deep red apple skin, plum and red currant. Some fresh wood tension with firm tannins and fresh acid line. Brown baking spice, dark rose, medium weight, youthful and fine. A wine that needs some time to knit together more. Showing some fine complexities and length. Well made. Best from 2021 through 2028+.

94 Points

Cameron Douglas
Main Divide

Main Divide Gewurztraminer 2018 North Canterbury

Vibrant, varietal, fruity, spicy and distinctive bouquet. Flavours of white fleshed stone fruits, apple, fresh lychee fruit, aromatic herbs and some fine phenolic tension. Weighty, fleshy, nice acid line and a whisper of youthful spritz add length, depth and complexity. A delicious wine with flavour, length and appeal. Great with all sorts of food, balanced and well made. Drink now and through 2022. 92 Points

Main Divide Merlot Cabernet 2017 North Canterbury

Lots dark red fruit aromas with plums and blackberry, black cherry and violets. Some darker toasty wood spices suggesting vanilla and five spice. Juicy, fleshy, fruity and dry on the palate. Fine tannins with some tension and firmness, medium+ acidity and toasty wood spices. Flavours of wood and dark red berry fruits lead the into a nice lengthy finish. Balanced and well made. Drink now and through 2024. 89 Points

Cameron Douglas
Ribbonwood

Ribbonwood Chardonnay 2016 Marlborough

Very attractive bouquet with a mix of subtlety, some bottle integration and core of ripe fruit. Wood spice and cashew, apple and white peach, pear and white flowers. Dry, fruity, fleshy and weighty on the palate. A firm youthful beginning that eases into a more rounded texture as the wine opens up in glass. Flavours of fresh white fleshed fruits, plenty of acidity, some softer wood spice moments and cashew. Nice finish. Drink now and through 2024. 91 Points

Produced by Framingham Wines

Cameron Douglas
Whitehaven

Whitehaven Pinot Gris 2018 Marlborough

A plump, ripe and fruity bouquet with white nectarine and fleshy pear, some spice and apple. Crisp, fresh, fruity, varietal and just dry on the finish. Fruit flavours reflect the nose, crisp acid line with some citrus flavours emerging, fruit spice highlights. A balanced and well made example that will please many who choose this wine to accompany lunch or dinner today. Best now and through 2022. 88 Points

Whitehaven Chardonnay 2018 Marlborough

Aromas of white and yellow peach, apple, pear and vanilla. A light nutty creamy layer adds a some complexity and intrigue. Dry, fruity, varietal, creamy and balanced on the palate with flavours of white fleshed fruits, some citrus and wood spice moments, gentle vanilla spice layer and persistent even finish. Very easy to sip on example, balanced and well made. Drink now and through 2022. 88 Points

Whitehaven Pinot Noir 2016 Marlborough

Really lovely bouquet of Pinot Noir with a soft floral and light red fruits, red flowers, wood spices, a touch of wood smoke and youthful vibrant tension. Dry on the palate with flavours of red cherry, red apple, raspberry and red cherry. Tannins add in tension and texture, acidity adds a layer of crunchy texture and freshness. Oak layer adds in some baking spics and tannin. Youthful, balanced, well made very easy to enjoy. Drink now and through 2025. 93 Points

Whitehaven Greg Pinot Noir 2017 Southern Valleys, Marlborough

Ripe, focused, fruity, varietal and complex bouquet of Pinot Noir. Very youthful on the palate with plenty of tension and poise. Flavours of dark berries and cherry, some black currant then baking spices of vanilla and clove. Firm tannins, plentiful acidity, a core of fruit, some dried herb notes and stony mineral finish. A wine that needs some cellar time to knit together all the finer attributes. Well made and lengthy. Best from 2021 through 2028. 95 Points

Cameron Douglas
Neudorf

Neudorf Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Upper Moutere, Nelson

Complex, organic, fruity, varietal and a little wild with white flowers, mayer lemon, grapefruit, red apple, cape gooseberry and a little passion fruit. Dry, fleshy and fruity on the palate with a hint of barrel ferment adding a creaminess to the core of fruit. Flavours of fruits and spice reflect the nose, soft herbs layer, abundant acidity, fine almost grainy texture, lengthy finish. Delicious! Drink now and through 2024+. This wine will age beyond 2024 if stored well.

94 Points

Cameron Douglas
Saint Clair Family Estate

Saint Clair James Sinclair Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Marlborough

Vibrant, varietal, fruity and herbaceous bouquet of Sauvignon Blanc. Aromas then flavours of pineapple and mango, apple and grapefruit pith, fresh herbs and a light stony mineral layer. Crisp, steely and refreshing texture with plenty of acidity, crunch and flavour. Balanced and well made with a decent finish. Drink now and through 2021. 89 Points

Saint Clair Merlot 2017 Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay

Very attractive bouquet with dark plums and clove, baked black cherry and dry stone earthy qualities, dark rose and violet layer. Dry on the palate with firmer youthful tannins, medium+ acidity then flavours of dark berry, black cherry and Doris plum. Flavours of wood spices and and some palate tension keep this wine youthful to the taste. Best with food till the wine matures more with best drinking from 2020 through 2024. 90 Points

Cameron Douglas
Marlborough Valley Wines Limited

Marlborough Sun Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Marlborough

Pungent, fruity and classic with aromas of passion fruit and mango, apple and sweet grapefruit. Crisp, refreshing, fruity and just dry with flavours that reflect the nose. Fleshy and juicy texture. Balanced and well made. Drink now and through 2021. 87 Points

Marlborough Sun Pinot Gris 2018 Marlborough

Varietal, plump, fresh and fruity bouquet. Aromas of sweet pear and yellow apple, a little white spice and white stone fruit. On the palate - juicy, fleshy, ripe and fruity with flavours that reflect the nose. Medium acidity and weight, balanced and ready to enjoy. Drink now and through 2021. 88 Points

Marlborough Sun Pinot Noir 2018 Marlborough

Attractive bouquet of Pinot Noir with aromas of red cherry and red apple skin, rose and cranberry. A layer of spice develops as the wine opens up in glass. A nice wine on the palate - dry with flavours of red berry fruits, red apple skin and some summer plum. The spice note continues to develop. Fine very easy tannins, medium+ acidity, crunchy texture, youthful, refreshing and ready. Drink now and through 2023. 88 Points

Marlborough Sun Merlot 2017 Marlborough

Attractive, fruity bouquet, varietal and fresh with aromas of dark cherry and plum, some quiet yet determined wood spice suggestions of brown baking spices. A simple yet inviting complexity. Just dry on the palate with a fruit forward core of plum and cherry, the baking spice and gentle wood ideas repeat. Fine easy tannins and medium+ acidity. Balanced and well made in a drink now style. Be sure to drink all your stocks of this wine by 2022. 87 Points

Cameron Douglas