94 Points - Sam Kim "As with all other Kumeu River wines, this is impeccably composed and elegantly expressed, showing nectarine, acacia, lemon peel and yeasty notes on the nose. The palate is superfine and beautifully weighted with creamy mouthfeel and elegant fruit intensity, wonderfully enhanced by subtle savoury nuances and perfectly pitched acidity. Very long and engaging, and hugely appealing. Grapes were hand harvested, whole bunch pressed, fermented using indigenous yeasts; then secondary fermentation in the bottle with 30 months on lees; disgorged by hand."
18 Points - Raymond Chan "Bright straw-yellow colour with some depth, lighter on the edge. The nose is softly full and gently up-front and voluminous with aromas of yellow stonefruits in an amalgam with white peaches and a subtle mealy and nutty overlay. Medium-full bodied, the palate is stylishly up-front with flavours of ripe yellow stonefruits and peaches with nutty and savoury mineral interest. The mouthfeel has fruit richness lending rounded textures and plenty of presence. The wine flows positively along a fine phenolic line leading to a lingering dry finish of stonefruits, nuts and mealy detail. This is an elegantly rich, up-front Chardonnay with ripe stonefruit, nutty and mealy flavours with good weight, a rounded mouthfeel and a dry finish. Match with poultry, pork and veal over the next 3+ years. Hand-picked Kumeu fruit, WBP and indigenous yeast fermented, 75% in tank and 25% in seasoned oak to 13.5% alc., the wine given extended lees aging, undergoing 100% MLF"
97+ Points Stuart McCloskey "My third bottle and my opinion has not changed. An ineffably complex bouquet which builds and builds with more aeration in the glass. Emphatically, mineral-dominated, which combine perfectly with Amalfi lemon peel and orchard fruits (quince). The palate is full of energy, exhilarating, tightly coiled and perfectly balanced. The wine is chiselled, builds slowly and would benefit from decanting. Richness does not come in the form of fruit. Instead, the wine's fullness comes in the form of texture (phenolic weight) which is undeniably attractive (a nod to the painstaking work carried out in the vineyard). Wet stones wash across my palate but it’s the salinity which I love and sets this New Zealand Chardonnay apart from all the others. There’s a killer line of acidity which will ease with more time in the bottle. Wonderfully alive, memorable and a breathtaking wine. Wow! Served in Zalto Bordeaux glassware." Drink now to 2026
Stuart McCloskey "Muddy Water Pinot Noirs truly reflect their philosophy, more so than any other New Zealand Pinot Noir (with the exception of Devotus) I have encountered. Burgundian to the very core but by no means trying to copy. Evolution has been kind to all three. Perfectly judged, uniquely captivating, full of detail, effortless, precise and everything a Grand Cru should be. Unquestionably, three Pinot Noirs which stop you in your tracks. Simply stunning by any measure and not one wine dipped below 97+ / 98 points. All served using Zalto Burgundy glassware. Decant for 30 minutes."
The Hare’s Breath block is Muddy Water’s hillside plot that consists of seven different Burgundy clones, one of which was allegedly smuggled out of the Domaine Romanee Contee vineyard in the 1970’s tucked into a rugby players boot. Each clone adds its own distinct element to craft wines of great complexity, structure and intensity...
96 Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz "Quality-driven, the Muddy Water maxim is ‘hand-crafted…no compromise’ which is prominent across the range. Everything about their Estate Pinot Noir translates to great quality you often find at a higher price tier. Deep colour, fantastic aromas of ripe blackberries, morello cherry, kirsch and autumn leaves with lingering hints of nutmeg are indeed signs of no compromises here. The cascade of sweet fruit on the palate is followed by expansive, well-rounded textures evolving from the initial sweet fruit to a broad, savoury finish. Full malolactic fermentation gave it a beautifully soft and well-integrated acidity. The wine spent 16 months in barrel before racking, blending and bottling, which aids complexity. Bottled unfiltered in order to retain as much natural flavour as possible."
97 Points - Peter Robinson "Superb value, the nose is incredibly inviting with aromas of sweet black cherry, damson, red plum, and blackcurrant combined with hints of sweet spice, violet and some background agricultural earthiness. The aromas are extremely succulent, the Zalto Burgundy glass enticing everything out of this wine, concentrating the aromatic complexity into a harmonious whole. The overall balance and texture is quite magnificent, touches of the sweet spice continuing on the palate along with dried cranberry lead into a slightly savoury but almost endless finish. This wine seriously punches above its weight and is incredible for the price." Tasted 12th April 2019
The original block that Muddy Waters planted, the Slow Hands name derives from their founding philosophy of meticulous but gentle care be awarded to the vineyard, the vines must be tended by ‘slow hands’. The wine is only made in the best years when the conditions are dry, warm and sunny enough to aid the slow ripening from this block. This slow ripening is one of the defining features that gives the Slow Hands wine its distinct structure and texture, only the finest grapes are selected and the wine is made in very small batches. The wines are described as being an iron fist in a velvet glove, balancing intense power, with a fine, velvety texture delivering sensual blackcurrant, blueberry, plum, bramble and violet, seamlessly combined with gentle, French oak.
95 Points - Bob Campbell
First release of a new Marlborough chardonnay. Full-flavoured, with salty, briny, citrus, toasty yeast lees and spicy oak flavours. Lively, tangy wine with a pleasing texture and lengthy finish. Intensity and power suggest good cellaring potential. Clearly one to watch
94 Points - Bob Campbell
First release of a brand new wine brand. Quite a rich, flavoursome and oaky red with cigar box, plum, dark berry, anise, spice and liquorice flavours. A weighty, textural wine with appealing spicy complexity. Accessible now but should age well
96 Points - James Suckling "Super vibrant with plenty of earthy forest floor aromas as well as toasted spices. The palate reveals a core of pristine dark cherry fruit flavor, beautifully judged ripe tannins and a level of effortless depth that singles this out as a consistently great New Zealand pinot noir. Drink now. Screw cap."
96 Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz - "A serious, multidimensional Pinot Noir from New Zealand. Sweet raspberries, forest floor evolving to red cherries and pomegranate with a little aeration. Tannins, as you would hope for, are satiny and wrap the fruit perfectly. A hallmark of the producers is elegance but the wine fans-out beautifully on the palate." Served in a Zalto Burgundy Glass.
96 Points - James Suckling "The refinement and brilliance of the fruit on offer here really sets this wine apart from the regular Pegasus Bay pinot noir. Deliciously rich dark cherry aromas and flavors are presented amid silky, refined and long-form tannins. A great wine, in every respect. Drink now. Screw cap."