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Rosé 2021

Candice Chow / Raymond Chan Reviews | 4 Stars
(reviewed Oct 2021)

Bright, berry-pink with depth, even colour throughout. The nose is full and attractive, packed with aromas of ripe strawberries, rose petals and candy floss. Full-bodied, dry-ish to taste, intense aromas of ripe raspberries, strawberries entwined with confectionary and red florals. Fine-textured phenolic is mouth-filling, along with ripe berries nuances packed the palate with intensity. Mouthwatering acidity provides freshness. This is an intense strawberry-flavoured rosé enriched by confectionary, vibrant acid and rose petal details. Match with grilled salmon and Thai beef salad over the next 2 years. Made from handpicked Freisa grape grown on the Tuki-Tuki plains, destemmed, on skins for 6 hours, fermented in stainless steel to 12.5% alc, 9.99g/l RS.

18/20 pts (90 pts – 4 stars) Oct 2021

Arneis 2021

Candice Chow / Raymond Chan Reviews | 4 Stars
(reviewed Oct 2021)

Bright, pale yellow colour, even throughout. The nose is gentle, softly expressing aromas of pear, apple, apricot with a hint of fennel and jasmine. Medium-bodied, dry-ish to taste, aromas of pear, apple, ripe apricot enriched by fennel bulb and a slight hint of floral on a rounded palate. Round-edged flavours curve along an oily mouthfeel, subtle fine-textured phenolic added substance; balanced acidity carries a subtle spice on the finish. The fruit has good ripeness, contribute to a lush palate. This is a textural white with lush fruit on an oily mouthfeel with a subtle spice finish. Match with pan-fried fish fillet and pork over the next 2-3 years. Fruit from Tuki-Tuki plains (75%) on skins for few hours, Maraekakaho (25%), fermented in stainless steel to 13% alc, 12.16g/l RS, aged on full lees for a couple of months. 185 cases produced.

18+/20 pts (91 pts – 4 stars) Oct 2021

Chardonnay Fraicheur 2021

Candice Chow / Raymond Chan Reviews | 5 Stars
(reviewed Oct 2021)

Bright, even, pale yellow colour. The nose is lifted and perfumed, soft aromas of citrus, mandarin flower and zest melded with a hint of spice. Medium-bodied, vibrant aromas of lemon, grapefruit and mandarin entwined with its rind, blossoms linger with zesty spice and a touch of almond and honey suggestions. The mouthfeel is smooth, almost unctuous, enlivened by vibrant and zest fruit; lacy acidity carries the wine to a nuanced finish. This is a zesty, vibrant Chardonnay with good energy and citrusy acidity on a fine-textured palate. Match with shrimps and baked cheese over the next 3 years. Handpicked fruit from a single vineyard in the Puketapu area by the Tutaekuri river, whole bunch pressed to stainless steel tank (free-run juice) and seasoned barrels (pressings), fermented to 13.25% alc, further aged a couple of months of full lees. 140 cases produced.

18.5-/20 pts (92 pts – 5 stars) Oct 2021

Maison Noire Ngatarawa Road Chardonnay 2021 Reviews

Chardonnay Ngatarawa Road 2021

Yvonne Lorkin | 4 Stars
(reviewed March 2022)

Just 120 cases were made of this refreshing, roast peach and citrus-laced chardonnay sourced from a vineyard in the iron-rich soils of Bridge Pa on Ngatarawa Road. Caramelised toasty oak, balanced acidity, cashew characters, orange zest, it’s all here. French winemaker Guillaume Thomas has crafted a highly complex, deliciously dry style with a creamy backbone and solid length of flavour.

Maison Noire Home Block Chenin Blanc Reviews

Chenin Blanc Home Block 2021

Yvonne Lorkin | 4 Stars
(reviewed March 2022)

Grown in the deep limestone soils of winemaker Guillaume Thomas’ home vineyard high up on the Waimarama Road, this bracingly fresh, frisky, apple-edged chenin blanc is absolutely heaving with flavour and personality. Grapefruit, guava, stacks of citrus and overflowing with honeysuckle and jasmine florals. It’s ultra-fresh, packed with white peach and has a ribbon of toasty, caramelised oak through the mid palate. I’d love to taste this wine again in a years’ time because I think with a teensy bit more time it’ll be excellent.

Maison Noire Freisa 2021 Reviews

Freisa 2021

Yvonne Lorkin | 3.5 Stars
(reviewed March 2022)

Bright, garnet-hued, Freisa is Latin for ‘strawberry’ and it’s a very rare little Italian grape that grows mainly in the Monferrato and Langhe areas in the Piemonte region. It dates back to the middle ages. Despite the name indicating it might be sweet, this red is dry, spicy and softly chewy, highly aromatic and savoury. It’s a vigorous variety and ultra-rare in this part of the world, in fact this is the first time I’ve tasted a local example. The tannins are hefty and gripping, while the youthful acidity means it’s very perky on the palate. I’d like to taste this wine again in a year to see how it’s fleshing out.

Maison Noire Home Block Syrah 2020 Reviews

Syrah Home Block 2020

Yvonne Lorkin | 4.5 Stars
(reviewed March 2022)

Wow. This is one sexy wine! Deep, glossy and crimson-hued, I love the waft of caramelised spices, coffee, sweet cocoa and buckets of baked fruit on the nose. It’s intensely fragrant and gushes with peppercorns, red currant and smoked cherry flavours on the palate. The tannins are elastic and muscular and accentuate a finish laced with pomegranate, juicy spices, Black Doris plum and fabulous freshness.

Maison Noire Syrah 2020 Reviews

Syrah 2020

Yvonne Lorkin | 4.5 Stars
(reviewed March 2022)

With its deliciously soft tannins, pencil shavings complexity, fragrant pepper, redcurrant, pomegranate, juicy spices and Black Doris plum punchiness, this is a superb example from a hugely exciting red wine vintage. Just 85 dozen bottles were made to satisfy a growing fanbase, so best you get in quick for this one! Fresh acidity and beautifully-structured tannins lead to spice-saturated layers of dark berries and a warming, soothing mid-palate. Superb value and seriously sippable.

Previous Reviews

Reviews of previous vintage wines (Sold Out).

Syrah Home Block 2019

Candice Chow - Raymond Chow reviews | 5 Stars
(reviewed 2021)

Moderate deep ruby-red with some depth and good clarity, slightly lighter purple on the rim. The bouquet is elegant and fragrant, softly penetrating nuances of black cherries, plums and currants melded with vanilla, cedar, milk chocolate, unfolding violets and liquorice. Medium-full bodied, black cherries, plums and currants have an elegant core, adorned by black pepper, vanilla and cedar. Subtle dark herbs, liquorice and milk chocolate unfold as the wine opened. The fruit is perfectly ripened with good weight and intensity; fine-grained tannin contributes to a supple, silky mouthfeel along a herbaceous and meaty direction. This is an elegant, black-fruited Syrah with a poised structure and fine barrel details. Match with herb-crusted lamb and venison over the next 5+ years. Handpicked, destemmed, lightly crushed, fermented in small open vats to 12.68% alc, 2 weeks post-ferment maceration, then pressed and aged in a new French Oak puncheon and 2-3-year-old barrels and a tank for 20 months, no fining.

18.5/20 pts (93 pts) Apr 2021


Yvonne Lorkin | 4.5 Stars
(reviewed 2021)

Just 75 dozen bottles were crafted of this wine which was sourced from Guillaume Thomas’ own tiny vineyard on the Waimarama Road east of Havelock North. It’s a gorgeously floral, fruit-stacked style that oozes softness, elegance and (if left in the glass for a few minutes) shows a sexy, tweak of tobacco on the finish. The tannins are fleshy and elastic, not grippy or grainy. The acidity is fresh and soothing and accentuates the soft, black pepper, cocoa and blueberry layers.


Sam Kim - Wine Orbit | 4 Stars
(reviewed 2021)

It's complex and fragrant on the nose showing dark cherry, vanilla, cedar, cracked pepper and game notes, followed by a succulent palate delivering rounded mouthfeel and supple texture. Soothing and lingering with spicy/savoury nuances. At its best: now to 2026.


Michael Cooper | 4 Stars
(reviewed 2021)

The 2019 vintage is a single-vineyard red, hand-harvested at Waimarama from second-crop vines. Deep ruby, it is mouthfilling and supple, with generous, ripe plum and spice flavours, a hint of liquorice, and excellent depth and harmony. Best drinking 2022+

Chardonnay Ngatarawa Road 2020

Sam Kim / Wine Orbit | 5 Stars
(reviewed Feb 2021)

Beautifully composed and elegantly expressed, showing white flesh peach, grapefruit, vanilla and cashew notes on the nose with a touch of flinty overtone. It's concentrated and focused on the palate offering impressive persistency and firm structure. At its best: 2022 to 2030.


Michael Cooper | 4.5 Stars
(reviewed Feb 2021)

The subtle, youthful 2020 vintage (4.5*) is a rare wine – only 75 cases were produced. A single-vineyard wine, hand-picked and barrel-fermented, it is full-bodied and very harmonious, with ripe, citrusy, peachy flavours, mealy, biscuity notes adding complexity, balanced acidity and a finely textured finish. A distinctive wine with obvious potential, it's well worth cellaring to 2023+.


Yvonne Lorkin | 4 Stars
(reviewed Feb 2021)

Just 75 cases were produced of this uber-refreshing chardonnay which is grown in the deep, limestone-laden soils of Hawke’s Bay’s Paki Paki sub-region, just south of Hastings. With its lifted almond, peach and lemon aromatics and creamy, softly oaky mid-palate and saturation of citrus on the finish, it’s a highly refined, elegant style with a marathon-like finish. Superb.

Chenin Blanc Home Block 2020

Sam Kim / Wine Orbit | 5 Stars
(reviewed Feb 2021)

It's wonderfully friuted and inviting on the nose showing ripe apple, fig, rock melon and subtle savoury notes, leading to a concentrated palate offering excellent fruit power and length. Richly textured with vibrant acidity, finishing impressively long and engaging. At its best: now to 2028.


Michael Cooper | 4.5 Stars
(reviewed Feb 2021)

The 2020 vintage (4.5*) is a very youthful, vigorous, single-vineyard wine, hand-harvested at Waimarama. Bright, light lemon/green, it is full-bodied, fresh and lively, with ripe melon-like flavours, showing good complexity, a vague hint of sweetness, balanced acidity and a finely poised, persistent finish. Best drinking 2023+.


Yvonne Lorkin | 5 Stars
(reviewed Feb 2021)

Crafted from fruit grown in a tiny coast-facing vineyard amongst the hills along the Waimarama Road, this chenin blanc has clean, creamy, almond and apple aromatics and a super-nice nougat and citrus custard character in the mid palate which I really really love. But the best thing about this wine is how luscious and textural it is. Delicately fine astringency, quartz mineral characters and a generously structured finish. Only 135 cases were produced, so buy now or forever kick yourself. I absolutely adore this wine!

Maison Noire Cabernet Franc Home Block 2019 - Reviews

Cabernet Franc Home Block 2019

Sam Kim / Wine Orbit | 4 Stars
(reviewed Feb 2021)

Gently lifted and elegantly complex, the bouquet shows red plum, dried herb, clove and toasted nut characters on the nose, followed by a nicely rounded palate that’s finely textured and spicy, finishing firm and dry. At its best: now to 2024.


Michael Cooper | 4 Stars
(reviewed Feb 2021)

The 2019 vintage (4*) is a hand-harvested, single-vineyard red, estate-grown at Waimarama. Ruby hued, it is a fragrant, medium to full-bodied wine with ripe, berryish, spicy, slightly nutty flavours, oak complexity and supple tannins. A very harmonious red, it's already very approachable.


Yvonne Lorkin | 3.5 Stars
(reviewed Feb 2021)

Sourced from their tiny vineyard located high up on the Waimarama Road, this is a local take on a French favourite grape from the Loire Valley. This is Cabernet Franc crafted in a softer, more restrained style than most with fine-grained astringency in the mid-palate. Super-savoury and stitched together with dried herbs, hints of iodine and spice, it’s an easy-breezy, smooth sip for those late afternoon slabs of blue cheese.

Maison Noire Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 - Reviews

Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Sam Kim / Wine Orbit | 4 Stars
(reviewed 2020)

Nicely fruited and elegantly styled, the wine shows dark plum, cherry, dried herb, almond and floral notes on the nose. It's juicy and supple on the palate with fine texture and chalky tannins, leading to a lengthy, delicately dry finish. At its best: now to 2023.


Yvonne Lorkin | 4 Stars
(reviewed 2020)

Winemaker Guillaume Thomas managed to secure cabernet sauvignon fruit exclusively from the famous Gimblett Gravels district for the 2018 vintage, and egads and forsooth! Has it made a difference! His style is still typically super-elegant and smooth (and that’s just his hairstyle and dress sense) yet the wine has a deliciously rustic edge to it. A plummy kick and a cherry and pepper plumpness, which is why I am SO excited to bring it to you. Nicely balanced, velvet-textured and softly-styled, it slips down very sexily indeed.

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Maison Noire Home Block Syrah bottle label

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