"The Nelson wine community has welcomed Sea Level into its ranks, as it adds a very experienced and professional element to the region. The Smail family has son Sam, winemaker at the Whitehaven operation in Marlborough making the wines from the 8 ha of grapes from the 14 ha property at Mariri, on the coastal highway between Tasman and Motueka, opposite the Kina peninsula. Dan Manuge, the on-site vineyard manager tends the Pinot Gris, which accounts for around half of the plantings, Gewurztraminer, clone 95 Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Pinot Noir. Sam makes the wines at the Whitehaven facility, except for the Pinot Gris, which is made at the nearby Anchorage winery to minimise skin contact for the machine harvest fruit. I visited Sea Level just over a year ago, and everything looked immaculate at this exciting venture." Raymond Chan
What The Critics Say
9/100 Wine Orbit, Sam Kim
"Pristine and fragrant, the inviting bouquet shows fresh pear, green rockmelon, orange peel and floral characters on the nose. The palate is juicy and vibrant, and delivers attractive fruit flavours combined with silky texture and refreshing acidity. The wine is beautifully weighted and composed, and offers terrific drinking. At its best: now to 2020. $19.00. www.sealevelwines.co.nz. Aug 2017." Drink 2017 - 2020
17.5/20 Raymond Chan
"Bright, light straw-yellow colour with a green-gold suggestion. The nose is slender and elegant, but grows in intensity showing pure aromas of white and yellow stonefruits with notes of honeysuckle, and yellow florals. The aromatics possess a degree of poise. Medium-dry to taste, the palate is up-front with blossoming fruit flavours of white and yellow stonefruits melded with nuances of honeysuckle. The palate has good weight and core with some unctuousness to the mouthfeel. Fresh lacy acidity and some phenolic textures provide a firm, slightly grippy line with plenty of drive, and the wine carries to a lingering finish of stonefruits, florals and honey. Serve with Asian cuisine over the next 3 years. Fruit from the ‘Sea Level’ vineyard, Mariri, cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 13.0% alc. and 5.3 g.L RS, the wine aged 2-3 months on lees with batonnage. 17.5-/20 Aug 2017." Drink 2017 - 2020
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