Smith and Sheth ‘CRU’ is the wine brand of Steve Smith MW and Brian Sheth who together have formed Aotearoa New Zealand Fine Wine Estates. This is the return of Steve Smith, who is best known for his establishing of Craggy Range with the Peabody family and his role as chief viticulturist for the Villa Maria Estates group before that. Steve has teamed up with Brian Sheth, one of the founders of Vista Equity Partners, a global technology investment firm. Among other business and interests, Brian is also the chairman of Global Wildlife Conservation. Aotearoa New Zealand Fine Wine originally aimed to have wine from great parcels from exceptional vineyards, but has grown to purchase unique and individual winegrowing operations, starting with Pyramid Valley in North Canterbury and Lowburn Ferry in Central Otago. The company also has a 5 ha vineyard in the Gimblett Gravels in Hawke’s Bay with Chardonnay and Syrah, awaiting its first yield. Michael Henley, formerly of Craggy Range and Trinity Hill is the CEO, and the company works closely with several viticulturalists. Smith and Sheth will launch their first wines under the Smith and Sheth ‘CRU’ label in April this year. The wines are made from the highest quality fruit selected from special sites. Steve personally makes the wines at friends’ winery facilities.
What The Critics Say
97/100 Wine Orbit, Sam Kim
"This is flatteringly classy and undeniably premier league. The bouquet is totally seductive, exhibiting white stone fruit, lemon peel, fig, hazelnut and nougat characters with a whiff of gun smoke. The palate delivers exceptional concentration and focus, together with plush texture and seamless mouthfeel, finishing spectacularly complex and sustained." Drink 2018 - 2024
96/100 Cameron Douglas Master Sommelier
"The strengths of site and wine making shine through the bouquet of this wine with aromas of gun flint, ripe peaches and quince, apple and citrus; a layer of sulphides adding complexity and intrigue. On the palate - vibrant, textured, youthful and flavourful showing off the fruits and flintiness suggested on the nose; medium+ acidity, plenty of fine new oak, vanilla, spices and long finish. Drink now (decanting suggested) and through 2024." Drink 2018 - 2024
18.5/20 Raymond Chan (2015 vintage)
"Right straw-yellow colour with lemon hues, paler on the rim. The nose is well-proportioned with pungent and funky aromas of savoury matchstick sulphide reduction interwoven with white stonefruit and nutty notes forming a firm and concentrated heart. The sulphides prevail, but unveil complexing mealy elements with aeration. Medium-full bodied, the palate has mouthfilling flavours of white stonefruits integrated with edgy, funky and pungent gunflint, matchstick and minerally reduction, along with toasty oak. The flavours are broad and show depth and presence, revealing barrel-ferment richness and soft textures to balance the firm reduction. The flavours carry to a fulsome, open finish of stonefruits, flint and toasty oak. This is a mouthfilling Chardonnay with edgy and funky, pungent reductive flavours alongside stonefruits, nuts and toast on a weighty palate. Match with roasted and grilled white meat dishes over the next 5 years. Hand-picked fruit from Mangatahi, WBP and fully indigenous yeast barrel-fermented to 13.22% alc., the wine aged 11 months in 35% new French oak barrriques, undergoing batonnage and 100% MLF. 91.5 dozen made. 18.5-/20 Mar 2018 RRP $65.00."
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If for any reason you are not entirely happy with your order or you suspect that they may be affected by a quality issue, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will remedy the problem straight away. Contact us on 0800 422 767.