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Rosé 2023

Candice Chow (Raymond Chan reviews) | 4 Stars - 91 points

(reviewed Nov 2023)

Bright, pale blush pink, even colour throughout. The nose is fresh,
bursting with aromas of strawberry, raspberry, watermelon, blossom and a hint
of spice. Medium-light bodied, dry to taste, aromas of raspberry entwined with
strawberry, watermelon and a suggestion of blood orange, adorned by a subtle
dusting of star anise and pink blossom. A thirst-quenching acid line and an
effortless flow support the bright and crisp fruit. Subtle spices elevate the
closing. Serve as an aperitif and match with seared tuna over the next 2-3
years. Fruit from Wairarama Road, made from 100% Cabernet Franc, 11.5% alc. 95
cases produced. 18+/20 pts (91 pts)

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)

Chenin Blanc 2023

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

Bright, even, very pale yellow. This has a fresh, lively bouquet, packed
with aromas of lemon, apple apricot, blossom and minerals. Medium-bodied, dry
to taste, aromas of lemon, Granny Smith and apricot graze the palate, unfolding
stony minerals, citrus peels and delicate floral. Stony minerals contribute a
silky texture. The zingy acidity enlivens the palate and lingers to an
appetizing finish. Fruit from Waimarama Road fermented to 8% alc. 85 cases
produced. 17.5/20 pts (87 pts)

Chardonnay Puketapu 2022

Michael Cooper | 5 Stars
(reviewed Nov 2023)

refined 2022 vintage (5*) is a single-vineyard, hand-picked wine, fermented and
matured for a year in French oak casks (30 per cent new). Bright, light
lemon/green, it is fresh, full-bodied and savoury, with strong, citrusy
flavours, mealy and biscuity notes adding complexity, balanced acidity, and a
finely textured, lingering finish. A very ageworthy wine, it's well worth
cellaring to mid-2025+.

Cabernet Franc 2022

Michael Cooper | 4 Stars
(reviewed Nov 2023)

Still very youthful, the 2022 vintage (4*) is a single vineyard
red, hand-harvested and oak-aged. Full, bright ruby, it is medium-bodied, with
vibrant red berry, blackcurrant and herb flavours, nutty and spicy notes adding
complexity, and fresh acidity. An elegant, ageworthy wine, it should be at its
best mid-2025+.

Syrah Reserve 2022

Candice Chow (Raymond Chan reviews) | 5 Stars
(reviewed November 2023)

Deep purple, lighter ruby-red on the rim. The nose is gently full, with
blackberry, Doris plum, violet, vanilla and spices aromas. Medium-full bodied,
aromas of blackberry, plum intermixed cherry, violet, unfolding vanilla, black
pepper, clove and hints of meatiness. The tannins are soft and delicate, and
adorn a velvety mouthfeel. Lively, juicy acidity lends a sustained finish. This
Syrah shows beautiful fruit and vibrancy on a velvety mouthfeel. Match with
wild boar and roasted lamb over the next 5 years. Fruit from Waimarama Road,
handpicked, fermented to 13% alc, aged 12 months in French oak, 40% new oak.
130 cases produced. 18.5/20 pts (93 pts)

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.

Syrah Home Block 2021

Michael Cooper | 5 Stars

(reviewed Nov 2023)

The very powerful, ageworthy 2021 vintage (5*) of this estate-grown, single-vineyard red was hand-harvested at Waimarama and matured for two years in French oak barrels (70 per cent new). Deeply coloured, it is weighty and fleshy, with a strong surge of plummy, spicy flavours, seasoned with nutty oak, a hint of liquorice, and ripe, supple tannins. Built for the long haul, it's well worth cellaring to 2026+.

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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