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
96/100 Wine Orbit, Sam Kim
"A hugely appealing chardonnay; the inviting bouquet shows grapefruit, fig, stone fruit and cedar characters with nuances of vanilla and flint. The palate is impressively concentrated and weighted, delivering waves of delectable flavours backed by savoury undertones, leading to a persistent expansive finish. This is multi-layered and symphonic." Drink 2018 - 2023
19/20 Raymond Chan
"Brilliant lemon-yellow colour with slight golden hues, pale edged. The nose is elegantly proportioned with taut aromas of white stonefruits and subtle citrus fruit notes along with flint and mineral detail entwined with delicate white florals, some nutty oak and smoke nuances. The aromatics are fresh and bright with a mineral and saline edge. Medium-full bodied, the palate has intense and deep flavours of white stonefruits melded with firm gunflint and minerally reductive complexities along with nutty and toasty oak. The fruit richness is enhanced by some rounded barrel-ferment textures, but cut by crisp acidity. The gunflint notes unfold to reveal matchstick notes and toasty oak, and the flavours carry to a very long and sustained finish. Match with grilled and roasted poultry and pork dishes over the next 5-6 years. Hand-picked fruit from the ‘Howell’ vineyard, Bridge Pa Triangle, vines 15-20 y.o., pressed with stems and fully indigenous yeast barrel-fermented with cloudy juice to 13.36% alc., the wine aged 11 months in 67% new French oak barriques, the wine undergoing MLF. 83 dozen made. 19.0/20 Mar 2018." Drink 2018 - 2024
92/100 Cameron Douglas Master Sommelier
"Ripe, bold, creamy, olive oil, ripe peach and quince, red apple and a fine layer of Sulphides/lees/oak in combination; plenty of new oak with a toasty vanilla edge. On the palate - dry, firmly textured with definitive acid line, a mix of yellow stone fruit,
peach and grapefruit peel; fine wood tannins and a light floral note. Lengthy finish and well-made. Drink now and through 2022."
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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.