Browse Tag


Hough & pough

Greenhough 2004 Pinot Noir (Nelson) – Chewy. Strawberry, walnut, a blend of bitter and milk chocolates, plus waves of spicy cinnamon on the finish. It’s elegant, but closes down rather rapidly. This might be better in a few years, but it’s disappointing now. (3/05)

Rimu vyor hand

[rimu grove]Rimu Grove 2002 Pinot Noir (Nelson) – Medium-soft dried cherry, strawberry, and plum. Lightly tannic, with high acidity. The finish is seedy, and re-softens after the brief structural insurrection on the midpalate. (3/05)

Rimu Grove 2004 Pinot Noir (barrel sample) (Nelson) – One year from release. Sweet vanilla, chocolate liqueur, ripe boysenberry, dark cherry, and plum skin. Oh, and mixed nuts. This is a heavy wine showing a lot of wood-influenced fetal fat, but there’s great acidity, and the finish is long and ascending. There’s even a stony undertone. Promising, as long as it handles that oak. (3/05)

Rimu & Zooty

Rimu Grove 2002 Chardonnay (Nelson) – 100% barrel fermented, whole-bunch pressed. Dense with spice (especially cinnamon) and semi-rich. Long and intense, but not showing much fruit at the moment; mostly, what one tastes is what’s been done to the fruit after harvest. It’s showing signs of mellowing, but it’s not there yet, and my belief is that the intensity of the winemaking has overwhelmed the fruit, though certainly not in an obscene fashion. (3/05)


Rimu Grove 2003 Pinot Gris “Vendange Tardive” (Nelson) – Pear and burnt caramel. Soft. Balanced between sugar and acidity, but just not very interesting. For too many producers, “late harvest” only means excessive residual sugar, while the wines that actually deserve the label deliver more than elevated brix. (3/05)


Rimu Grove 2004 Pinot Gris (Nelson) – Hot. Ripe pear with a sticky consistency. Long. Balanced in the context of a pinot gris pushed to and slightly beyond its limits, but one wishes for a little more acidity and a lot more precision. I don’t think this will have a long life, but it’s pleasant in the near term. (3/05)

Rimu Grove 2004 Pinot Gris (Nelson) – Take two, this time with dinner. Sweaty and salty, with funky banana oil and rotten pear aromatics. Dried apricot, too. It’s more varietally typical with food, which is welcome, but nonetheless it comes off more like some sort of mediocre, teenaged chardonnay than a true pinot gris. Where’s the fresh, spicy pear? Alternatively, where’s the lightly fruity fennel note? And is there any acidity to be had? I just don’t think this wine is getting it done, and in comparison to the luncheon leftovers of a Peregrine Pinot Gris, it tastes and feels rather clumsy. (3/05)

Moutere, I’m in love

Neudorf 2003 Pinot Noir (Moutere) – Reductive and tight, with leafy earth tones and waves of beautiful graphite. Very structured and narrow up front, but it grows on the palate, showing strawberries inside a smooth velvet interior. The finish is even more expressive, bringing spiced grapes and spicier black cherries in an ever-expanding blend. Beautifully balanced and ageable…in fact, it needs age. (3/05)

Drink Like a Pirate Day: Noirrrrr!

Neudorf 2003 Pinot Noir (Nelson) – Made from younger vines. Mineral-infused (mostly graphite), with strawberry, raspberry, and nicely crisped apple. Excellent balance. For fun, good quality drinking over the near term, this satisfies. (3/05)

Brightwater investigation

Neudorf 2004 Riesling (Brightwater) – “How many grams of residual sugar here?” “No grams.” Clever answer. There’s ripe lemongrass, but mostly there’s a slate-dominated minerality, plus a long, clean finish. Nicely done. (3/05)

You’ve tried that, now trytis

Neudorf 2003 “Botrytis Selection” Riesling (Nelson) – 100 grams of residual sugar. Wet and shy, with lime, grapefruit, and light minerality. And then, it builds. It’s OK now, but the length and subtle concentration of the finish suggest an improved future. (3/05)

Kina speaker

Neudorf 2004 Merlot Rosé “Kina” (Nelson) – Medium-weight blueberry and raspberry. Fruity, soft, and fluffy. Not at all serious, and it occurs to me that I’ve never had a rosé of merlot that I’ve much liked. (3/05)