Winemaker "Intense passionfruit aromas combine with tropical fruit flavours, as well as some herbal notes apparent in the background. A classic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc that is fresh, pure and long on the palate. This wine reflects premium vineyard sites within the Wairau and Awatere Valleys."
Bob Campbell "The first Bilancia Chardonnay I have tasted. Fruit from La Collina vineyard and Bridge Pa Triangle. Indigenous yeast and 15 months in oak without fining or cold stabilisation. Attractive, elegant chardonnay with tight citrus, mineral, struck flint and savoury yeast lees and spicy oak flavours. A classy chardonnay with development potential."
95 Points - Jeb Dunnuck (erobertparker.com) "Starting off the single vineyard efforts, the 2012 Cotes du Roussillon Villages Latour de France Visitare Interiore Terrae (VIT) is a blend of mostly Syrah, with a small portion of Grenache, that comes from the schist soils around the town of Latour de France. It’s unfortunate that there are only 180 cases of this beauty to go around, as it offers a singular profile. Inky purple in color, with awesome black raspberry, liquid minerality, smoke and violets, it flows onto the palate with full-bodied richness, laser-like focus and superb concentration. Fleshing out with time in the glass, it should benefit from short-term cellaring and have upwards of two decades of longevity."
94-97 Points - Jeb Dunnuck (erobertparker.com)
More focused and delineated than the Les Granits release, the 2014 Saint Joseph le Clos comes from a mostly east-facing parcel that's located high up on the slope. Surprisingly, it’s an early ripening parcel that’s harvest in mid-September in most vintages. Crème de cassis, liquid rock, graphite and violets characteristics all flow to a full-bodied, structures and layered Saint Joseph that has uncommon density, concentration and depth. It will have two decades of longevity.
100 Points - Stuart McCloskey “Probably, one of the greatest white wines outside of Burgundy. The old-vine Roussanne Vieilles Vignes is produced from the original three-hectare parcel planted in 1909. The wine needs to be decanted to reveal a perfume so extraordinary, I am struggling to find the correct words. Complex layers of honey, wildflowers, nectarine, marmalade and hot wet stones. The palate is an incredibly intense experience – full-bodied, extravagant, viscous with an intense grip that doesn’t let go. Still primary and requires a decade to reveal its true self. Honey is intermixed with buttery fruits and lots of minerals. It’s vibrant and the acidity is mouth-watering (in a great sense). This is a wine which is relentless and doesn’t stop giving. Put a stopwatch to the length and you’ll be there until tomorrow. This is one of those ‘rare’ wine moments when words seem pointless.” Served using Zalto’s Bordeaux Glassware…
97-99 Points - Wine Advocate "The 500-case production of this wine comes from a three-hectare parcel of Roussanne planted in 1909. The Chateauneuf du Pape Roussanne Vieilles Vignes takes the quality of Beaucastel's traditional white and raises it another level. Caramelized pineapple sounds sweet and cloying, but it isn't when it's backed by amazing texture, citrus zest and a briny sensation on the never-ending finish. As this was the last wine of my visit to the estate, I found it especially hard to spit out."
96 Points - Jeb Dunnuck (erobertparker.com)
The 2011 Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve Le Clos du Caillou is near the top of the heap in the vintage, and is a brilliant wine. Giving up classy creme de cassis, black raspberry, ground herbs and creamy licorice, it has full-bodied richness and depth to go with an open, sexy, supple style that’s hard to resist. The tannin here is present however, but is polished and sweet, so it will evolve gracefully going forward.
95-97 Points - Jeb Dunnuck (erobertparker.com)
The 2014 Cotes du Roussillon Villages Lesquerde Rectificando Invenies (RI) will easily be in the top handful of wines in the vintage. All Syrah that will see 26 months in 60% demi-muids, it has massive minerality, thrilling purity of fruit, full-bodied richness and a tight, focused tannin structure that will no doubt benefit from short-term cellaring. My note finished with “filtered through rocks," so if you like a little minerality in your Syrah, this beauty's for you. There are roughly 200 cases of this to go around, but it’s a brilliant wine.
99 Points - Jeb Dunnuck
Bottled end of February/early in March, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Chaupin is incredible stuff, and while I suspect it’s the best vintage to date, it’s going to be great comparing it to bottles of the 2005, 2007, 2010, and 2015 over the coming 15+ years. This beauty offers a thrilling blend of kirsch, blackberries, smoked earth, graphite, and licorice on the nose. It's full-bodied, deep, pure, ultra-fine, and powerful on the palate and flirts with perfection. It’s a tour de force in Grenache that readers need to snatch up!
98 Points - Bob Campbell
This dense, rich and quite complex red is a top example from a top vintage. Warm, generous wine with ripe berry fruits, spice, tobacco leaf and a hint of chocolate/mocha character. Deliciously accessible now but with the power and density to develop well.
International Wine Challenge: Gold 2017
Hawkes Bay A&P Wine Awards 2016: Gold
#35 in James Sucklings Top 100 NZ Wines 2017
97 Points - Bob Campbell
Dense and powerful Syrah with impressively rich flavours of chocolate, plum/dark berry, liquorice, cracked black pepper and spicy oak. I rate it slightly ahead of the more structured and highly celebrated wine from the 2013 vintage and I believe it will cellar at least as well despite being more accessible now.