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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.


Wither Hills, Sauvignon Blanc 2005
Lovely clean, green, lightly herbaceous gooseberry and passionfruit with just small nettle and leafy notes. Plenty of fruit. Very fine palate - the green apple and crunchy gooseberry edge really pushes through, with fine lemon and lime acidity and lots of ripe, creamy leesy quality. Fine acidic balance, and nice and dry.

Wither Hills, Chardonnay 2004
25% New oak, 30% Malo. 10% Wild ferment. Really creamy, rich green fig with a nice level of sesame seed and nutty complexity. There's a note of orange, and plenty of spice and buttery richness. Beautiful creamy, with lots of lemon and a waxy, fine spicy notes. The oak comes through, adding lots of toast and spice, but a blast of lemon and lime acidity really shimmers through the core and extends the finish.

Wither Hills, Pinot Noir 2004
There's a definite note of minerality comes through on this, with plenty of charry, smoky oak, and then a fine cherry fruit. There is cream and a vivid plum pie fruitiness, but it seems quite bright and Pinot-like. On the palate it is quite generous and broad, with a silky texture and a good deal of bite. Good, fresh acidity, with plenty of bite. This has masses of spice and charry espresso in the finish.

Wither Hills, Pinot Noir 2003
The nose here has some coffee and toast aromas, with vanilla. Lots of bright, juicy, fine cherry and raspberry fruit, nice and soft and juicy. Lovely mouthfilling stuff. There is great, generous, very fine dark fruit. There is a fine, rolling acidity and nicely roughening tannic edge, adding a bit of suede like texture and a juicy edge to it. Lovely rounded coffee and cream finish with tobacco and spices.

UK Agent: Bibendum Wine Ltd, Phone: 020 7449 4100

for New Zealand South Island profiles, Wither Hills