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Chardonnay Paki Paki 2020


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

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 - (reviewed Feb 2021)  4.5 Stars

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 (reviewed Feb 2021)  4 Stars

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.


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Chenin Blanc Home Block 2020


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

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(reviewed Feb 2021)  4.5 Stars

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 - (reviewed Feb 2021)  5 Stars

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!



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Rosé 2020 


-   Yvonne Lorkin(reviewed 2020) 4 Stars

This Provençale-style rosé from French winemaker Guillaume Thomas is lipsmackingly dry, layered with soft redcurrant and cherry characters and stiched together with attractive spices.  Ultra-fresh acidity and a super-succulent texture make for a sunny day in your mouth no matter what the weather.  Cleansing, feisty and full of personality.


 -   Sam Kim / Wine Orbit - (reviewed 2020) 4.5 Stars

Attractively fruited and elegantly lifted, the bouquet shows Gala apple, citrus peel and subtle spicy notes, followed by a beautifully focused palate that's linear and persistent. It's nicely textured with vibrant acidity, finishing lingering and pleasingly dry. At its best: now to 2022.  


 -   Michael Cooper - (reviewed 2020) 3.5 Stars

From hand-harvested grapes, the bright, light pink 2020 vintage (3.5*) is light and lively, with good depth of youthful watermelon and spice flavours, peachy notes, and a dry finish. Best drinking 2021+.


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Cabernet Franc Home Block 2019


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

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(reviewed Feb 2021)  4 Stars

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 - (reviewed Feb 2021)  3.5 Stars

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.



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Syrah Home Block 2019


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

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 (reviewed 2021)  4.5 Stars

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 (reviewed 2021)  4 Stars

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 (reviewed 2021)  4 Stars 

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+





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Arneis 2020


-   Yvonne Lorkin - (reviewed 2020)  5 Stars 

Guillaume Thomas has been crafting some of the best local Arneis I’ve ever tasted, and clearly this Italian variety (nicknamed Little Rascal due to its fussy, tricky nature) thrives in the lime and clay soils of his tiny vineyard on the Waimarama Road.  Crammed with creamy nectarine, peach and pear on the nose and palate, with layers of citrus zest, honeysuckle and soft herbs cocooning a seam of crunchy-fresh acidity.  Long on flavour, it’s a magically mouthwatering thing to sip and I absolutely love it!


-   Sam Kim / Wine Orbit - (reviewed 2020)  5 Stars

Elegant and delightfully fragrant, the wine shows apricot, fig, dried grass and jasmine aromas on the nose, leading to a beautifully weighted palate that offers rich texture and flowing mouthfeel. It's wonderfully structured by bright acidity, finishing splendidly long and crisp-dry. At its best: now to 2024.


 -   Michael Cooper - (reviewed 2020)  4 Stars

Well worth trying, the 2020 vintage (4*) is a hand-picked, single-vineyard wine, full-bodied and vivacious, with strong, citrusy, appley, slightly spicy flavours, a sliver of sweetness (10 grams/litre of residual sugar), fresh acidity, and loads of drink-young appeal.


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Cabernet/Merlot 2016


-   Sam Kim / Wine Orbit - (reviewed 2019)  5 Stars

Sweetly fruited and attractively expressed, the bouquet shows dark plum, blackcurrant and cedar characters with nuances of dried herb and mixed spice. The palate delivers lovely weight and intensity together with silky texture and fine, chalky tannins, finishing long and engaging. At its best: now to 2022. 


-   Michael Cooper - (Reviewed 2018) 4 Stars

Retasted in early 2018, the 2016 vintage (4*) is maturing gracefully. A medium-bodied style, it is a blend of Cabernet Franc (48 per cent), Merlot (45 per cent) and Cabernet Sauvignon (7 per cent), matured for a year in French oak barrels (25 per cent new). Youthful and savoury, it has very satisfying depth of ripe, berryish, plummy, slightly spicy flavours, showing good complexity, and a smooth, finely textured finish. Best drinking 2019+.


-   Raymond Chan - (Reviewed 2018) 4 Stars 

Dark red colour with youthful purple hues, lighter on the edge.  The nose is elegant and fresh-fruited with fragrant aromas of redcurrants along with lifted notes of red florals, unfolding subtle blackcurrant elements and fresh herbs.  The aromatics form a slender, but finely concentrated core.  Medium-bodied, the palate has bright and lively, fragrant fruit flavours of redcurrants, red florals and fresh herbs.  The mouthfeel is refreshing with crisp acidity, and the wine flows along a light, grainy-textured line.  This has an elegant structure and carries with very good energy to a lingering aromatic finish.  This is a bright and aromatic Cabernet/Merlot blend with pretty redcurrant fruit and lifted florals, along with cool herb notes on a zesty, grainy palate.  Serve with tapas and Mediterranean fare over the next 3+ years.  A blend of 48% Cabernet Franc from Maraekakaho, 45% Merlot from the hills overlooking Gimblett Road and 7% Cabernet Sauvignon from Gimblett Road, fermented to 12.8% alc., the wine aged in French oak barrels with 25% new equivalence.  17.5-/20


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Syrah 2017


-    Yvonne Lorkin - (reviewed 2020)  3.5 Stars

If it’s the soft, peppery, violet-soaked style of syrah that wets your whistle and shivers your timbers, then get set for some shakin’ because this new release from the good folk at Maison Noire is the business. Lightly-styled and luscious (rather than a spicy, tannic, muscle-bomb) it’s a seriously food-friendly style that’s slippery, succulent and an easy afternoon sip.


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 Syrah Home Block 2018 


-   Sam Kim / Wine Orbit - (reviewed 2020)  4.5 Stars

Pristine and fragrant, the bouquet shows Black Doris plum, sweet raspberry, violet, game and toasted nut characters. The palate delivers elegant weight and bright fruit flavours combined with silky mouthfeel and flowing texture, finishing long and refined. At its best: now to 2024

 -    Yvonne Lorkin - (reviewed 2020)  4 Stars

Grown on the limestone-laden soils of the Waimarama Road, this syrah has its own distinct personality and it’s not a massively peppery one.  Flying in the face of what we consider ‘classic’ Hawke’s Bay syrah, the Home Block is intensely floral and fruit-driven, laced with baking spices and kissed with liquorice.  The acidity is frisky-fresh, the tannins soft and velvety and the finish a combination of delicate style and delicious length.



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Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 


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

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 - (reviewed 2020)  4 Stars

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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