Maude Wines, Central Otago
A south Island New
Zealand road trip, part 1
first stop on any wine trip is always an important one. It sets the
level; the benchmark. And Maude was the first
stop on a road trip taking in many of the wine regions of the South
Island that I embarked on with a friend in January 2016. I've
visited most of these regions before, but I've never really driven
around the South Island, so I thought that this time, it would be
fun. It also made it possible to visit Waitaki - a small region that
I'd heard of but never been to. So the plan was to start in Central
Otago and end up in Marlborough, via Waitaki and North Canterbury (Waipara).
been to Maude before a couple of years back for lunch with a large
group, and I’d made a note to come back. It seemed an interesting
place, and the wines we’d tried were a bit different. I was also
curious about the dudes behind the project, Sarah-Kate (SK) and Dan
Dineen, who’d moved over here from winemaking jobs in Australia. So
when I was thinking about this Central trip, they were on the list.
in Wanaka. This subregion forms one end of Central Otago wine
country, and there are two significant wineries here. The pioneer,
Rippon, and Maude.
Maude is the vineyard, which was originally planted by SK’s parents,
Dawn and Terry Wilson, 22 years ago. It’s a terraced vineyard of 4
hectares that’s mainly planted to Pinot Noir, but there’s also
Riesling, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay here. Right at the top there’s a
more recent planting of 12 year old Dijon clone Pinot, while the
older stuff is 10/5 which is what was available at the time. Lake
Wanaka is at 300 m, while the vineyards here go from 340m to almost
400 m at the top.
the Maude wines, SK and Dan source grapes from around Central Otago,
and then the Mount Maude wines come from the home vineyard.
wine has been released this year. There’s a difference between Pinot
from the East and West blocks and the main block. Normally, the East
and West portions go into Maude, while the main block is so
distinctive it is kept separate and goes into Mount Maude. In 2015
they tried something different with the East and West fruit: they
put it into a fermenter, whole bunch, and stuck a lid on after
adding a bucket of fermenting wine. They left it for three and a
half weeks and then pressed it off. This is the Love Bug Pinot Noir,
and it’s brilliant.
Maude Sparkling Wine NV
This is a blend of 2004, 2005, 2008, 2011 and 2012. When the
Dineens came back from Australia they started laying base wines
down, and this is an equal parts blend of Pinot and Chardonnay. Fine
and fresh, but also rich, dense and toasty with some pear and peach
notes, as well as almond nuttiness. Lovely depth of flavour. 91/100
Mount Maude Vineyard Dry Riesling 2015 Central Otago, New Zealand
citrus and pear notes with a bit of spice. Very fine and expressive
with some talcum powder notes and lovely lemon fruit. Very fine and
Maude Mount Maude Vineyard Dry Riesling 2013 Central Otago, New
There are some lime oil notes here, and a bit of pithiness, with
powerful lemon and lime fruit. Structured grapefruit pith notes too.
Some toasty notes and a hint of marmalade. 92/100
Maude Mount Maude Vineyard East Block Riesling 2015 Central Otago,
2010 was the first separate bottling of the East Block. This
2015 is delicate, fine and expressive with tangerine notes.
Beautiful with lovely finesse. Pure and linear with lime, lemon and
ripe melon notes. Off dry and delicate. 94/100
Maude Mount Maude Vineyard East Block Riesling 2012 Central Otago,
Very expressive with lovely linear lemon, tangerine and
grapefruit notes. Lovely precision and purity with real finesse.
Linear with nice melon notes. Delicate and off-dry with citrus peel
Maude Mount Maude Chardonnay 2014 Central Otago, New Zealand
Grapes from the main block and west block are processed
separately for this wine. It’s foot stomped, basket pressed and put
into puncheons for fermentation. There’s full malolactic and the
wine doesn’t get sulphured until bottling. It’s fresh and shows
lovely toast, pear fruit and a bit of white peach. Concentrated with
real finesse, and lovely weight. 94/100
Maude Mount Maude Chardonnay 2015 Central Otago, New Zealand (cask
Very fresh and linear with lemony fruit to the fore. Fine palate
with white peach and some citrus notes. So expressive and fine.
Love Bug Pinot Noir 2015 Central Otago, New Zealand
So supple and expressive with fine red cherries and plums. Fine,
lighter red in colour and very expressive. This is a supple, elegant
Pinot of real appeal. 93/100
Maude Mount Maude Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014
Central Otago, New
Normall this wine is at least 60% whole bunch in order to get
some stalk tannins from ripe stems. This 2014 is 100% whole bunch.
Rich and quite powerful with raspberry and black cherry fruit.
Structured with a herby nose and nice direct spiciness. Has real
interest: weighty, but not overdone with a savoury spiciness.
Maude Mount Maude Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012
Central Otago, New
Floral red cherry and plum nose with some iodine and herb notes.
Focused palate with a savoury twist to the plum and cherry fruit.
Fresh with some spiciness, this is a focused with with structure and
Maude Mount Maude Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010 Central Otago, New
Finely aromatic with lively cherry fruit. The palate is elegant
and supple with real finesse: red cherries, spice and plums. Nice
detail here: very fine and expressive. 94/100
Maude Pinot Noir 2014 Central Otago, New Zealand
Fresh, fine and expressive, showing bright juicy cherry fruit
and a bit of raspberry bite. Very expressive with lovely purity.
OTAGO PINOT NOIR 2014
Central Otago masterclass
24 fine wines tasted at the Grand Dinner
VISITING CENTRAL OTAGO (2014)
Central Otago, New Zealand (2010) (series)
Martinborough, New Zealand (series)
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