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Rosé 2021

Sam Kim / Wine Orbit | 5 Stars - 93 points

(reviewed Nov 2021)

It's delicately aromatic on the nose showing red apple, cherry, nectarine and flinty notes, leading to a beautifully focused palate offering bright fruit flavours together with fine texture and racy
acidity. Firmly structured and engaging. At its best: now to 2024.

Arneis 2022

Yvonne Lorkin / By the Glass Reviews | 4 Stars
(reviewed Nov 2022)

Just 170 cases were made of this lusciously lemony, apple and apricot-laced, peach-packed Italian favourite made in Hawke’s Bay.
Guillaume Thomas has created a juicy, multi-layered white wine with a splash of
sweetness that’ll wake up even the most tired tastebuds with its nectarine and
honeysuckle intensity. Hints of white pepper and dandelions add an extra

Candice Chow / Raymond Chan Reviews | 4 Stars
(reviewed May 2023)

Bright, pale yellow, even colour throughout. The nose is lifted and bright with aromas of pear and stonefruit filling the glass, along with honeysuckle, herb and a hint of spice. Medium-bodied, off-dry to taste, aromas of pear and nectarine intertwined with rambutan, honeysuckle, subtle fennel and delicate spice. The wine is refreshing with a cleansing, crisp acid line. Subtle pear skin textured phenolics contribute to a dusty mouthfeel and linger with spice to a dry, crisp finish. This clean and refreshing Arneis possesses lush fruit on a textural palate and a crisp finish. Match with baked camembert and spicy fish tacos over the next 3 years. 12.5% alc. 18/20 pts (90 pts)

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

Michael Cooper | 5 Stars
(reviewed March 2023)

Offering great value, this fragrant, youthful wine is already drinking well. A single-vineyard wine, it was hand-picked in the Bridge Pa Triangle and fermented in oak barrels. Mouthfilling, it has concentrated, ripe, vigorous, stone-fruit flavours, with smoky and toasty notes adding excellent complexity, balanced acidity and obvious cellaring potential. Best drinking mid-2024+. (13% alc/vol)

Maison Noire Home Block Chenin Blanc Reviews

Chenin Blanc Home Block 2021

Michael Cooper | 5 Stars
(reviewed September 2022)

Full of personality, the single estate-grown on the Waimarama Road, hand-picked and fermented in French oak casks (50 per cent new). Bright, light yellow/green, it is fragrant, full-bodied and vigorous, with intense, ripe, peachy flavours, finely integrated oak adding richness and complexity, appetising acidity and a bone-dry, lasting finish. Best drinking 2024+

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.

Maison Noire Freisa 2021 Reviews

Freisa 2021

Candice Chow / Raymond Chan Reviews | 5 Stars
(reviewed May 2023)

Medium ruby-red, slightly lighter on edge. The nose is gently full, with rich aromas of red fruit, blueberry and prune melded with savoury, meaty note and spice. Full-bodied, redberry, strawberry, blueberry and prune aromas presented with a fine dose of dusty tannins, unfolding sundried tomato, pancetta and cinnamon. The acidity is lively and fine, lifting the high tannins
palate with freshness, carrying a savoury, appetising finish. This Piedmont variety shows a fine structure, juicy fruit, savoury mealy flavours and an appetising palate. Match with roasted pork belly and duck over the next 3-4
years. 13% alc. 18.5-/20 pts (92 pts)

Michael Cooper | 4.5 Stars
(reviewed September 2022)

Maison Noire Single Vineyard Hawke’s Bay Freisa 2021 is made from the Italian Freisa (Latin for ‘strawberry’) variety, which is a close relative of Nebbiolo, the great grape of Barolo and Barbaresco. Grown at Havelock North and matured for eight months in seasoned oak puncheons, it is full-coloured, fragrant and mouthfilling, with strong, youthful, red berry and spice flavours, crunchy acidity, and excellent vigour and complexity. Well worth cellaring, it offers fine value.

Canvas Magazine - Best Wine you've never heard of | 4 Stars
(reviewed October 2021 - Yvonne Lorkin)

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, but more recently it’s found a happy home in Hawke’s Bay. It’s dry, spicy highly aromatic and very savoury to sip. The tannins are hefty and gripping, while youthful acidity means it’s very perky on the palate and hungry for proteins.

Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Franc 2021

Candice Chow - Raymond Chow reviews | 5 Stars
(reviewed October 2022)

Deep ruby-red, slightly lighter on the rim. The nose is gentle, penetrating sweet fruit of redberry, cassis and plum entwined with vanilla, cedar and perfume. Medium-full bodied, aromas of redberry, cassis and young plum form a tight core, unfolding spice, clove, vanilla, cedar and rich minerals. Tightly weaved fine-grained tannins structured the fruit and left a dry finish. Excellent acidity supports a lengthy finish. This elegant and powerful Cabernet blend with bright fruit and a firm tannin structure. Match with ribeye steak and lamb over the next 5+ years. 70% Cab Sauv from Gimblett Road and 30% Cab Franc from Waimarama Home Block, handpicked, destemmed,
fermented in open vat to 13.% alc, pressed to French oak barrels and a puncheon, 1/3 new oak overall, aged for 16 months. Unfined. 90 cases produced.
18.5/20 (93 pts)

Yvonne Lorkin - By the Glass reviews | 4.5 Stars
(reviewed Novober 2022)

The nose of this wine absolutely roars with bay leaf and bouquet garni characters, a dusting of dark cocoa, gentle, plush plums and boysenberries ahoy! Classic cabernet characters of cigar box and cedar merge with blackcurrant, dark cherry, hints of black olive and briny goodness and a balsamic glaze.  Peppercorn and seasoned leather tie it all together with elastic tannins and a suede-like finish.

Teroldego Port 2021

Candice Chow - Raymond Chow reviews | 5 Stars
(reviewed October 2022)

Full, deep purple, faintly lighter on the rim. The nose is softly full and attractive, with penetrating aromas of plum, prune and blackberry melded with herbs and spice. Medium-bodied, aromas of plum and blackberry interweave oregano, sweet basil and peppercorns. The fruit is fresh with lovely concentration; excellent balance of acidity flows effortlessly with cloying sweetness. Ripe, tight-grained tannin added texture. This Teroldego Port is appealing and fresh with dark fruit, herb and spice details. Match with dark chocolate desserts or braised short rib over the next 5 years. Fruit from Havelock North, late-picked, whole bunch fermented in open vat, fortified to
17% alc, 39g/l RS, aged for 15 months in seasoned barrels, unfined. 1,200 bottles produced. 18.5/20 pts (93 pts)

Previous Reviews

Reviews of previous vintage wines (Sold Out).

Maison Noire Home Block Syrah 2020 Reviews

Syrah Home Block 2020

Candice Chow / Raymond Chan Reviews | 5 Stars
(reviewed October 2022)

Deep ruby-red with lighter purple on the rim. The nose is fragrant and full, packed with aromas of violet, Damson plum, blackberry, vanilla and cedar. Medium-bodied, aromas of violet, Damson plum and blackberry entwined with vanilla, cedar, coffee grind and subtle spice. Lively, salivating
acidity carries spice and flows with good energy. Soft, fine-grained tannins lightly coated the palate in coarse silk. This fragrant Syrah with flavours of violet and a plum core structured by fine-grained tannins and lively acidity.
Match with roasted lamb rack and wild boar over the next 5 years. Fruit from Home Block on Waimarama Road, handpicked, grapes left to dry on vineyard's wires, fermented with a majority of whole bunch in open vat followed by short maceration, fermented to 13.97% alc, post-ferment maceration for 2 weeks, pressed into French oak barrels, 50% new oak, aged for 20 months. 100 cases produced. 18.5-/20 pts (92 pts) Oct 2022

Michael Cooper | 4.5 Stars
(reviewed October 2022)

'Inspired by the Amarone stye of Italy', the distinctive 2020 vintage of this estate-grown, single-vineyard red was hand-picked at Waimarama after the vines' canes had been cut, leaving the berries to shrivel and dry on the wires. Matured for 20 months in French oak barrels (50 per cent
new), it is full-coloured and sturdy, with very good density of flavour, vigorous, complex and savoury, and firm tannin backbone. Well worth cellaring, it should break into full stride 2024+.

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.

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+.

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!

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

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.

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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