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
Winemaker notes on current vintage
"Semi dry in taste there is a unique calcified character, which is sometimes seen in classic Rieslings from the old world. The fine acidity helps harmonise the phenolics and fruit sweetness. Vine age going back to 1981 helps build the honeyed spice texture in the mouth and now with very recent plantings of newly imported selections this adds lifted citrus fruit aromas and textures.The colours of a tear drop, a mouth-watering tingle of with succulent fruit, acid and phenolic balance surprise the taste. To me it’s all about the quenching acidity, lime. Full of luminosity this wine will, in time, develop more complexity with honeycomb and classic “ferner” characters. Serve cool."
5 Stars Michael Cooper ( 2014 vintage)
"Typically scented, with rich, lemony, often honeyed flavours, this is the country's northernmost fine-quality Riesling. Harvested from Gisborne vines of varying ages – the oldest planted in 1981 – it is gently sweet, in a less racy style than South Island wines. The grapes, grown in the Opou Vineyard at Manutuke, are hand-picked over a month at three stages of ripening, usually culminating in a final pick of botrytis-affected fruit. The 2014 vintage (5*) is a low-alcohol (9.5 per cent), gently sweet wine. Light lemon/green, with a fragrant bouquet, it is rich and rounded, with concentrated, peachy, slightly limey flavours, lively and lingering. A top vintage, it's a delicious, very harmonious wine, already drinking well. Certified organic."
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