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New Zealand tasting notes

text and photographs © 2007 Tom Cannavan

These notes accompany our in-depth feature on New Zealand's South Island.


Montana, Starborough Sauvignon Blanc 2005
From the Awatare valley, a nice passionfruit nose, with some greengage and just hints of gooseberry. On the palate reminiscent of Spangles, with crisp pear fruit that is sweet and edgy into tropical, and a citrussy, lemon and grapefruit acidity in the finish. A very drinkable style.

Montana, Stoneleigh Sauvignon Blanc 2005
Fine, fresh, quite grapey and succulent nose. Real lemony crispness and freshness on the palate, with a touch of passionfruit ripeness. There's a certain leesy, waxy quality in the finish.

Montana, Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2005
All Brancott fruit, this has a fine nettle nose, with lots of dry lemon pith and waxy fruit. There seems to be a fair dollop of RS in this, that leaves it a little sweet and sour.

Montana, Triplebank Riesling 2005
Awatare fruit, this has a fragrant nose with good aromatics, some sherbetty notes and apple and pear fruit with a lemony, vibrant palate.

Montana, Camshorn Pinot Noir 2004
From Waipara, and quite young vines this has quite a silky, plush nose with spicy wood aromas and incense. There's a strawberry softness to the fruit, but quite a crisp cherry quality on the palate, with a good texture and weight on the mid-palate, and chocolaty notes of richness. Very good.

Montana, Brancott Estate "T" Terraces Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003
Named after the Brancott terraced vineyards from which the fruit comes, 'T' is released only inthe best vintages. It spends 12 months in French oak barriques, around 40% of which are new. It has a firm, quite edgy and liquoricy cherry fruit - very firm fruit on the palate too, with touches of fennel and kirsch-like notes, if a little firm and ungiving at present. This is serious stuff that needs time.

UK Agent: Pernod Ricard UK, Phone: 0208 538 4584

for New Zealand South Island profiles, Montana