The first biodynamic estate in New Zealand (and the first in the Southern Hemisphere to gain Demeter certification), James and Annie Millton have been growing wine in Manutuke on the banks of the Te Arai river in Gisborne since 1984. Farmed from inception in this manner, it was built on the backbone of family winegrowing in the area, with both James and Annie's parents having vines in what is now known as "Opou" and "Riverpoint". The Clos de Ste. Anne is a single vineyard situated on steep north-facing slopes in the foothills of Poverty Bay. The grapes are all hand harvested and fermented with indigenous yeasts present in the vineyard. The estate is mostly known for their Chenin Blanc - a benchmark for the country - but they also grow wonderful Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Viognier, Gewurztraminer and Riesling.
What The Critics Say
96/100 Wine Orbit, Sam Kim
"A spectacular chardonnay showing elegance, refinement and complexity; the bouquet shows yellow stone fruit, fig, orange peel, hazelnut and subtle savoury notes. The palate delivers outstanding fruit concentration and weight, wonderfully enhanced by layers of fine texture and creamy mouthfeel. The wine is richly fruited yet restrained and poised, finishing superbly long and expansive. At its best: 2018 to 2025. $75.50. Certified organic & biodynamic. www.millton.co.nz. Aug 2017." Drink 2018 - 2025
19-/20 Raymond Chan
"Brilliant light golden-hued yellow colour with some depth, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is elegantly presented, revealing a deep, concentrated core of ripe yellow stonefruits, along with integrated creamy barrel-ferment notes, subtle savoury nutty elements and a suggestion of spicy oak, unfolding mineral detail. The nose grows in richness with aeration. Medium-full bodied, the palate is initially restrained in expression, but blossoms in richness, revealing harmoniously entwined flavours of ripe yellow stonefruits and citrus fruits, with soft, creamy barrel-ferment and nutty oak elements. The palate has excellent presence and is driven by a little alcoholic power with fresh, lacy acidity providing energy and vibrancy. The wine has strong linearity, flowing along a fine-textured phenolic thread, carrying to a long and sustained finish of stonefruits and nuts. This is a rich and complex, harmoniously melded Chardonnay with stonefruit and nutty flavours, freshness and power. Serve with roasted poultry, pork and veal dishes over the next 5+ years. Hand-picked fruit from the older vines, indigenous yeast barrel-fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 10 months on lees in 15% new Louis Latour French oak with batonnage, preferring minimal MLF. Certified BioGro organic and certified Demeter biodynamic. 19.0-/20 Sep 2017 RRP $75.50." Drink 2017 - 2022
97/100 Bob Campbell (2014 vintage)
"Rich, mellow and complex Chardonnay with ginger, peach, apricot, spicy apple, anise, brioche and classy oak among the more obvious flavours although other more subtle characters are revealed on the wine’s lengthy finish. Silken textured wine in a very appealing style."
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