94 Points - 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."
Winemaker "We hand pick the fruit from Matthews Lane vineyard ensuring each parcel of fruit is in pristine condition. After a yeast starter the juice rests on yeast lees for 11 months in new 1,000L German Oak Fuder Barrels. The use of Fuder barrels in this way ensures our Single Vineyard white wines develop a greater complexity and refinement because oak doesn’t dominate. The ratio of wine in contact with the barrel surface is less than smaller barrels so oak pick up is less. The staves of Fuder barrels are thicker which means the temperature of ferment tends to be warmer and we find the fruit characters gain greater depth and complexity."
Stuart McCloskey "Without doubt, the best new world Riesling I've tasted."
18.5+ Raymond Chan "Bright, light golden-yellow colour with some depth, paler on the edge. The nose is elegant in proportion with rich and concentrated, well-packed aromas of ripe citrus fruits along with honey, marmalade and musk, unfolding exotic floral elements. Dryish to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate has a concentrated, dense heart packed with harmoniously integrated flavours of ripe citrus fruits, marmalade, honeysuckle and musk. This has real body and presence, and the palate has a rounded and gently unctuous mouthfeel. The acidity is ripe and soft, providing underlying energy and drive, and the wine carries to a long, lingering finish of honey, citrus fruits and musk. This is a full and concentrated dry Riesling with ripe citrus fruits, honey, musk and marmalade botrytis flavours on a rounded, unctuous palate.
97 Points - Stuart McCloskey “Reductive with aromas still very much in development. That said, this impeccably made wine is centred around textural elegance, satiny structure, mid-palate depth and an effortless sense of cohesion. Decanting for a short while is essential as the oxygenation takes it from the ordinary to immensely appealing. Layer upon layer of fruit and white flowers harmonises beautifully with oatmeal and a beautiful vein of minerality. This is more tensile, finer than many, which adds an intellectual quality found with high-quality Burgundy. This is a superb Chardonnay from one of New Zealand's leading producers. I recommend a drinking window from now to 2025 but would not be surprised to this peak beyond 10 years.. Sampled in Zalto Bordeaux glassware and comes highly recommended”.
A significant step up in quality compared to the ‘Estate’ wine – The nose has an intense and irresistible aroma of passion fruit and a whole array of ripe tropical fruit. The palate is equally intense on the entry and immediately expresses those ripe tropical fruits found on the nose. This is a fantastic wine from Vidal that rivals many ‘top’ Kiwi Sauvignon Blancs. Just delicious – no more, no less...
Bob Campbell "Pungent, flavoursome sauvignon blanc with classic passionfruit, capsicum, pink grapefruit and citrus flavours. A good example of the Marlborough style, with appealing punchy varietal character."
What a great vintage on the back of the 98 (Decanter) Point 2016... Cool fermentation with cultured yeast in stainless steel tanks was utilised to retain the fresh varietal aromatics. This was balanced by a portion of the fruit subjected to traditional winemaking practices; handpicked, whole bunch pressed and fermented in seasoned oak barrels, adding texture and length to the wine. The result is a hand-crafted wine combining the bright fresh fruit characters with an underlying minerality and fine structure.
17 Points - Tim Jackson MW (JancisRobinson.com) "Very pale lemon. Delicate, nutty, boxwood, subtle spice, with lime and lemongrass fruit. Brisk and lively. Textured palate, with lime, spice and a hint of pea pod. Attractive in its subtlety, and long too."
94 Points - Sam Kim (The Wine Orbit) "From their estate vineyard in the Southern Valleys, the wine offers fabulous fruit intensity as well as silky mouthfeel. The beautifully lifted bouquet shows lemon peel, feijoa, passionfruit and lime zest aromas, followed by a concentrated palate that is focused and linear. The wine delivers wonderful vibrancy and bright acidity, leading to a superbly long, fine finish. A stylish rendition filled with attractive flavours. At its best: now to 2020. (Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2017). "
Finalist, FINE WINES OF NEW ZEALAND. 2019
18.5/20 Raymond Chan "Very pale straw colour. The nose is soft with ripe, passionfruity aromas and gentle density. This has lovely harmony. Medium-bodied, the ripe passionfruit flavours are softly presented, and the palate is composed of fine phenolic textures with bright acidity. The integration, balance and togetherness is gorgeous. Luc Cowley reported that 2018 wasn’t an easy vintage, but lessons learnt from 2017 were invaluable." Tasted August 2018
Bob Campbell "Bright, tangy sauvignon blanc with gooseberry, lime, grapefruit, pineapple and a suggestion of passionfruit flavours. A punchy, assertive and flavoursome wine." Tasted October, 2018
Cameron Douglas "Seductive and alluring bouquet of SB with softer fruit spice layers woven between suggestions of lemon and sweet grapefruit, apple, mineral and fresh lychee. Crisp, dry, packed with flavour and texture. Notable acidity well balanced against the ripeness of fruit and gentle fruit spice moments. Lengthy and quite complex finish. Drink now through 2022." Tasted February, 2019
Five Stars, Michael Cooper "Estate-grown on the south side of the Wairau Valley, on a site where the region’s first wines were made in the 1870s, this youthful wine was mostly handled in tanks; 5% was fermented in old French oak casks. Mouthfilling (13% alc/vol) and dry, with excellent weight and depth of ripely herbaceous, grapefruit/lime flavours, it’s a powerful, finely poised wine with a long finish." Tasted November, 2018.
95 Points - Mike Bennie "One of the top chardonnay wines in New Zealand, generally speaking. Indeed, Dog Point in general excels at its quarries. This one is for the flint and mineral fans. Strong slate and graphite scents, lemon and apple underlying. The palate is racy, whipcracked with citrus/white flesh stone fruit, charged with that flinty mineral thing going on. Sheesh, it's got some velocity too. In its style, it's done brilliantly. A fancy racing car of a wine. Cellar long too."
17 Points - Tim Jackson MW (JancisRobinson.com) "Pale-mid lemon. Celery seed, toasted hazelnut and quite integral, struck match. Orchard fruit. Bright rather than brisk acidity, with hazelnut, toast and struck match. Creamy-spicy finish. Complex and layered, needing time for the reduction to fall back more."
95 Points - Stuart McCloskey "Hand-picked grapes from eight of Dog Point own vineyards within the Wairau Valley. The fruit is whole bunch pressed, cold settled before fermentation and 2-3 months aging in stainless steel tanks. A portion of this wine is fermented using indigenous yeast and bottled without fining. A wonderfully deep and mineral nose with white and yellow stone fruits with a tinge of herbs. The palate is positively electric with stone fruits and minerals. Extremely pure, shows finesse and elegance as well as a touch of sweetness, but the overall balance is perfect. A wine which straddles New Zealand and the Loire, which is most pleasing as many Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc are too overtly pungent and unappealing. An exceptional Sauvignon Blanc for the price and an utter joy when the sun shines… "
17 Points - Jancis Robinson "Very racy, alluring, complex nose with some reductive struck-match character. Rather splits the difference between Marlborough and Sancerre. Creamy undertow with exciting top notes. Extraordinary tension on the palate. Dry but not drying finish. Long. Very accomplished and intense."