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06 June 2006

New Zealand: Auntsfield Estate, Marlborough

Auntsfield Estate - Marlborough

Graeme and Linda Cowley are renovating and replanting this vineyard in the upper Wairau Valley, which had been abandoned for 100 years. The fruit for the Sauvignon, International Wine Challenge 2006 gold medal winner, was grown near the earthily named "long cow paddock." The Hawk Hill Pinot is named after "magnificent harrier hawks riding the thermal currents" over Auntsfield’s north-facing slopes, and was awarded two silver medals (IWC and Decanter World Wine Awards 2006). Tasted June 2006:

2005 Long Cow Sauvignon Blanc - lovely classic style capturing the best of Marlborough's climate: purity and intensity of green yet tropical edged fruit, nice elegance and length v concentration and power. 90+
2005 Hawk Hill Pinot Noir - I found this a bit clumsy when first opened with charred oak and high alcohol (at least 14.5% from memory) dominating; the next day it better expressed those hoped-for floral 'sweet and savoury' Pinot characters, which pulled in the reins a little. Perhaps just too young at the moment, but I'd prefer much less toasted new oak a wine like this... 87


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