The wines of Mud House, New Zealand
Good wines from this large South Island producer, working in Marlborough, Waipara and Central Otago


I met with winemaker Ben Glover (above) to taste through these wines. Ben’s been group winemaker with Mud House since 2012. Previously, he worked at successful Marlborough winery Wither Hills.

Mud House is a relatively large South Island winery owned by Accolade Wines since early 2014, and has vineyard holdings in Central Otago, Waipara and Marlborough. Because of Accolade’s distribution network, these wines have wide commercial availability. They’re pretty good, and sometimes exceptional, always offering remarkable value for money.

The core of Mud House’s operation consists of three large vineyards, one in each of the three regions they work in. [These were sold to a Hong Kong-based company in 2014 at the time of the Accolade purchase, and are now leased back by Mud House.] In Marlborough, there’s the 106 hectare Woolshed Vineyard, planted mostly to Sauvignon in the upper Wairau Valley. The vines here are now 13 years old. In Central Otago they have the 92 hectare Claim 431 vineyard in Bendigo, planted in three stages beginning in 2003, which is 100% Pinot Noir. And in Waipara, they have a substantial 93 hectare vineyard called The Mound, planted in 2002, 75% of which is Riesling. As well as these vineyards they draw on growers’ fruit.



Mud House Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Marlborough, New Zealand
With his Sauvignon, Ben says that he’s looking for something gives all the thiols that Marlborough Sauvignon is famous for, but also some nettle and tomato leaf greenness. ‘If I can get the palate right, then the nose will follow,’ he says. ‘I’m not picking some blocks earlier to get the greens: there are enough sites in the district that will give us the green notes.’ This is bottled in market (bulk-shipped) in arctic blue bottles. Lovely aromatics: grassy and citrussy with a passionfruit twist. Lively, textural palate with a bit of juiciness and an attractive tomato leaf greenness. 90/100

Mud House Woolshed Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Marlborough, New Zealand
From a large vineyard tucked into the hills west of Renwick, with a mix of slopes, clays and river terraces. Very grassy, nettly nose with some grapefruit. The palate is textured and fresh with nic green flavours and a slightly chalky edge. A lovely wine that’s potentially ageworthy. 92/100

Mud House Sauvignon Blanc 2015 Marlborough, New Zealand
This is a single blend of 350 000 cases. Really aromatic and grassy with nice tomato leaf, pear and citrus. Quite primary but with nice weight and texture, and a bit of richness. 90/100

Mud House The Mound Riesling 2014 Waipara, New Zealand
There are 250 hectares of vines that Mud House source from in Waipara, spread across three vineyards. This is hand picked, has 8 g/l residual sugar and 11.5% alcohol. Textured, rounded and pretty with nice pure lime and ripe apple fruit, as well as what Ben calls a ‘gin and tonic’ character. Pure and delicious. 92/100

Mud House Riesling 2014 Waipara, New Zealand
Lively, fresh and pure with a bit of grapefruit and clementine character. Precise with nice acidity, balanced with just a bit of sweetness. 91/100

Mud House Pinot Noir 2014 Central Otago, New Zealand
Sweet black cherry, raspberry fruit with nice freshness and a bit of meatiness. There’s damson and black pepper in the mix, too. Fruity and fresh. 91/100

Mud House Claim 431 Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014 Central Otago, New Zealand
From three terraces in Bendigo. 30% whole bunch. Lovely black cherry and blackcurrant fruit with nice texture. Spicy with attractive raspberry freshness and some grains structure. This is really good. 94/100

Mud House Claim 431 Vineyard Pinot Noir 2013 Central Otago, New Zealand
Focused black cherry and raspberry fruit with freshness and nice silkiness in the mouth. There’s an appealing sappy quality to the finish. Pure. 93/100

Mud House Claim 431 Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012 Central Otago, New Zealand
This was blended by Ben Glover, but wasn’t made by him. No whole bunch. Nice freshness to the dense raspberry and cherry fruit. Sweet and quite rich with warm spiciness. 92/100

Mud House Pinot Gris 2014 South Island, New Zealand
Lively and grapey with nice fruit. Citrus, pear, a bit of spice. Has some richness. 88/100

Mud House Pinot Gris 2014 Marlborough, New Zealand
Grapey, smoky nose with nice freshness and some pear fruit. Attractive pear skin, peach and melon fruit on the palate. 90/100

Mud House The Home Block Pinot Gris 2014 Waipara, New Zealand
Smoky, mineral, stony nose. Nice complexity on the palate: lovely weight and nice tangerine, pear and tea leaf notes. Very appealing. 92/100

Lawson's Dry Hills
Villa Maria
Staete Landt
Spy Valley
Cloudy Bay
Te Whare Ra
Dog Point

See also:

Gibbston Valley
Chard Farm
Wooing Tree
Folding Hill
Mount Difficulty
Lowburn Ferry
Grasshopper Rock
Doctors Flat
Two Paddocks
Surveyor Thomson

Wines tasted 10/15  
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