The 2016 vintage (5) is also distinguished. An elegant, distinctly cool-climate style, it is full-bodied, with youthful, very fresh, pure and delicate flavours, citrusy, peachy, vaguely buttery and persistent. A finely poised, very harmonious wine, it should flourish with cellaring; open 2019+.
A stylish rendition, the complex bouquet shows stone fruit, grapefruit, almond, nougat and brioche characters, followed by a focused palate that is beautifully weighted and rounded, offering supple mouthfeel and silky texture, firmly structured by crisp acidity. Restrained and elegant, and promises to evolve gracefully. At its best: now to 2021.
Restrained and elegant, and
promises to evolve gracefully.
Bright, very pale straw colour with slight green hues. The nose is elegantly concentrated and tightly bound with aromas of white and yellow stonefruts and subtle citrus fruit notes, complexed by creamy, waxy barrel-ferment notes and spicy, nutty oak with subtle lemon-curd MLF elements. This is very refined and grows in intensity with aeration. Medium-full bodied, the palate is finely concentrated and slender in proportion, with very good depth and intensity of vibrant stonefruit and citrus fruit flavours melded with creamy barrel-ferment, spicy and nutty oak and lemon-curd MLF detail. The wine has a very tight line enlivened by bright and zesty acidity and underlying power and drive carrying the flavours to a very long, lingering finish with citrus fruit and oak complexities. This is an elegantly concentrated, intense Chardonnay with bright citrussy fruit with creamy and nutty oak on a palate with energy, tension and linearity. Match with seafood, poultry and pork dishes over the next 4-5+ years. Mendoza clone fruit from the ‘Hellblock’ on silt and gravel loam, vines 20 y.o., fully indigenous yeast barrel-fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 22% new oak, the wine undergoing batonnage and 15% MLF. 18.5/20
From ‘some of the oldest and most southerly Cabernet Franc vines in New Zealand’. The 2016 vintage (4.5) is of eye-catching quality. The colour is deep and youthful; the palate sturdy and vibrant, with deep, ripe blackcurrant, plum and spice flavours, gentle tannins, and a seductively rich, smooth finish. This ranks among the South Island’s best-yet Cabernet Francs.
This ranks among the South Island’s
best-yet Cabernet Francs.
This is impressively fruited on the nose displaying dark plum, blueberry compote, cocoa, cedar and violet aromas with a hint of dried herb complexity. The palate is concentrated and succulent, and offers superb fruit weight and intensity, wonderfully complemented by supple tannins. The wine is bold and flavoursome, and already drinking magnificently. At its best: now to 2022.
Very dark, near impenetrable black-hued purple-red colour, a little lighter on the rim, youthful in appearance. The nose is elegant in presentation with ripe and concentrated aromas of blackberries entwined with blackcurrants, black herbs and nuances of boysenberries and blueberries with hints of jam. This is sleek in proportion on the nose. Full-bodied, the palate has bright and lively, vibrantly sweet fruit flavours of ripe blackberries and blackcurrants, with notes of blackberry liqueur, boysenberries and jam elements. The mouthfeel is vigorous and lively and the wine follows a fine, grainy-structured line which allows the fruit richness to prevail. The wine has good acid energy and carries to a long, sweetly ripe, rich and juicy black-fruited finish. This is a rich and sweet-fruited Cabernet Franc with ripe flavours of blackberries, blackcurrants, boysenberries and hints of jam on a vigorous palate with good tannin structure and energy. Match with barbecued and roasted red meat dishes over the next 6 years. Fruit from ‘Block 1’ on silt and gravel loam, vines 26 y.o., fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine spending 40 days on skins and aged 10 months in 20% new oak. 18.0/20
If you are looking for an unoaked, ‘Chablis-style’ Chardonnay, this North Canterbury beauty is hard to beat. It’s not at all brash, but still full of personality. Pale, with mouthfilling body, it is lemon-scented, very fresh and vibrant, with pure, delicate, citrusy, peachy flavours, lively acidity, a minerally streak, and excellent vigour and intensity. Fine value.
this North Canterbury
beauty is hard to beat.
Delicate and refined, the wine shows aromas of white stone fruit, lemon peel, oatmeal and wet limestone on the nose, leading to a finely textured palate that is taut and linear. The wine offers pristine fruit characters with flinty undertones, beautifully structured by bright acidity, finishing long and crisp. At its best: now to 2021.
Bright, light straw-yellow colour with pale green hues. The nose is very fresh, elegant and tightly bound with aromas of white stonefruits, white florals, some mineral notes and nutty suggestions, along with hints of saline. This is pure and refreshing. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate is crisp and zesty with tight and finely concentrated white stonefruit flavours along with white florals, minerals and saline nuances. The mouthfeel is slippery and seamless with crisp acidity providing energy and finesse. The wine follows a light-textured phenolic line leading to a subtly flavoured, thirst-quenching, minerally finish. This is a fresh, taut, un-oaked Chardonnay with white stonefruit, mineral and stonefruit flavours on a slippery, crisp, fine-textured palate. Match with shellfish and seafood over the next 3-4 years. UCD Champagne and Mendoza clone fruit from ‘Block 4’ Glasnevin Gravels, vines 20-25 y.o., fermented in tank to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 10 months on lees with batonnage and no MLF, with no oak contact. 17.5/20
This is a rich, full bodied style of Sauvignon with flavours of green apple, fresh herbs and creamy flavours – lovers of French wine will recognise its Bordeauxesque style in its rich, oily feel in the mouth. This wine is made from four rows of grapes grown on the Waipara River banks in North Canterbury. All grapes were hand picked and whole bunch pressed straight to oak (approximately 30% new oak) with the creamy notes coming from the oak and lees stirring. Low crop levels and lots of hand work adds the bells and the very subtle whistles to this high quality Sauvignon Blanc.
A rich, full bodied style of Sauvignon with flavours of green apple, fresh herbs and creamy flavours – lovers of French wine will recognise its Bordeauxesque style in its rich, oily feel in the mouth.
I adore what Cabernet Franc does, in particular, in the Loire Valley of
France, and in many cooler regions of the world, and I recently tasted a Cabernet Franc from North Canterbury in New Zealand that was simply fabulous (called Boneline, not available in United States)…
Dan Berger’s Vintage Experiences
February 27, 2017
Volume XX – Issue 14
Described by its makers as ‘an everyday and lighter style of Cabernet Franc’, this wine is made with grapes grown on Claremont limestone soils and it tastes ripe and smooth with big tannins and dark fruit flavours; it’s an approachable style to drink now rather than to age.
Made from grapes grown on the bottom terrace close to the river, which enables the grapes there to develop noble rot, which shrivels them and reduces their moisture, leaving elevated levels of sweetness in the grapes’ natural sugars, so that this wine cruises in with 46 grams of residual sugar, putting it firmly in the ‘sweet’ category. Its high acidity (cool climates retain that) means it has the perception of a medium sweet wine with a lingering finish. Very seductive…
Dry Riesling is the gateway for many to one of the world’s greatest quality but so frequently misunderstood wines – by using the word ‘dry’ on the label and by ensuring this wine lives up to its name, the Boneline team hope to harness a new following for this fresh, light bodied, vibrant refreshing wine. Think lime zest on speed… it’s delicious.
A beautifully perfumed dry riesling that’s fresh and pure with nuances of jasmine and honeysuckle on the nose and palate where they’re joined by crisp bergamot-like citrusy notes.
Jo Burzynska — VIVA — Aug 15 2016
The buttery lovechild of 11 Chardonnay clones brings bewitching aromas of oaky stone fruits and whispers of butterscotch and fresh popcorn…
Showing excellent cellaring potential, the 2014 vintage (5) was hand-picked and matured in French oak barrels (20 per cent new). Mouthfilling, rich and finely balanced, it is youthful, with good weight, strong grapefruit and peach flavours, fresh acidity, a hint of butterscotch and a crisp, slightly creamy, lingering finish.
The buttery lovechild of 11 Chardonnay clones brings bewitching aromas of oaky stone fruits and whispers of butterscotch and fresh popcorn. Luxurious in the mouth, with ﬂinty mineral layers transcending a strong oak and stonefruit palate and a seductive, hazelnut biscotti ﬁnish.
A bouquet with complexity driven by the oak statement first then softer brown spices and baked stone fruits laced with some butterscotch and popcorn-like suggestions; inviting and engaging. On the palate – loads of stone fruit and oak combinations, spicy and toasty too, medium+ acidity and oak bite, some stony mineral layers and toasted barrel spike. Plenty of length and finish – drink between 2017 and 2020 or decant for service.
Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas
The wine is tightly structured and restrained with delicate fruit intensity and elegant texture. Aromas of lemon peel, nectarine, rockmelon and flint lead to a focused palate that delivers linear mouthfeel and bright acidity. The wine flows beautifully to a lingering, mouth-watering finish.
4.5/5 — Sept 2015
Layered bouquet with soft mineral, grapefruit and lemon with white peach and soft oak spice moments. On the palate – calm , fresh flavours with lively acidity and very fruity with plenty of citrus and stone fruit suggestions, mild to moderate oak spice and finishes as it begins with a mineral note. Medium+ weight, balanced and well made. Drink now and through 2019.
Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas
Fresh sweet raspberry jam and cherry nose. Floral and direct. Supple palate with sweet, smooth cherry and berry fruits. Very friendly, fruity and approachable, but with really nice fruit. Modern and glossy.
Jamie Goode @ Forage North Canterbury, January 2017.
Big full body, dry with high acidity – so far, so technical, but this Pinot Noir puts the South Island’s best foot forward for Pinot Noir with its red and dried fruit flavours, its freshness and its long finish – a stunner.
For me the jewel in The Boneline’s crown is the elegant Waimanu pinot noir. Its silken red cherry and cranberry fruit is infused with aromatic notes of sweet spice and florals, along with mineral and subtle savoury undertones, underpinned by bright acid and fine tannins.
Jo Burzynska — VIVA — Aug 15 2016
There were 14 four-star wines, and many were close to breaking through to the five-star ranks. It was a truly impressive performance. In our last pinot noir tasting two years ago, The Boneline, in its previous guise as Waipara West, was the top wine, with an impressive 2013 offering.
Little has changed, with the judges again raving over their 2014 wine.
Simon considered it vinous, intense purple, bright and fresh, with blackcurrant notes.
It was vibrant, said Ant, with blueberry and plum. It had excellent purity and concentration and was rich, vibrant and very good.
For Rod, it was peppery with black cherry, chalky with pert tannins and had a good mouthfeel.
Bright, fragrant and appealing, the youthful bouquet shows dark cherry, plum, cranberry and floral characters with hints of spice and cedar complexity. The palate offers succulent mouthfeel and lovely mid palate weight, beautifully supported by silky texture and polished tannins. Very inviting and expressive.
5/5 — Sept 2015
The Boneline’s flagship red includes grapes sourced form some of the oldest cabernet sauvignon vines in the country, along with cabernet franc and merlot. Richness and freshness combine in its ripe and juicy blackcurrant liqueur fruit that’s overlaid with lifted notes of spice and violets, over a savoury earthy undercurrent and supported by good structuring tannins.
Jo Burzynska — VIVA — Aug 15 2016
Waipara isn’t well-recognised for the Bordeaux grapes, being pinot country, but this wine hit the spot for the judges, who all had pleasant things to say about it.
Simon commented on its nice colour graphite characters. He said it was nice across the palate, and there were pencil lead, ripeness and balance. He said the wine was still to open out, but this is a 2014, so he’s probably on the money.
Ant had some char, chocolate and soft rosemary herbal notes. It had a mid-weight palate, soft tannins and a bright finish.
There were mint grass and greener-edged aromatics for Rod, who also had dusty oak, clean, fine tannins and a good balance.
Another Boneline, another hit.
Another Boneline, another hit. And considered it lovely. He had caramel, a citrus nose, pure fruit and botrytis. There were some barrel notes and good acid/sweetness balance. “A lovely wine.”
Rod found it very pure and noble, very floral, clean and pure, with a good match of riesling aromatics.
Simon considered it bright with a light acid tone on the nose. There was soft, good citrus. It was ripe, fleshy and round.
This is a new brand from an experienced trio of wine producers; Tutton, Sienko and Hill, who used a mix of old Swiss and new (to New Zealand) French clones of Pinot Noir; all of the grapes in this wine were hand picked and hand plunged for a week (to extract colour and tannin) before 22% of them went into new Burgundian oak to spend 10 months ageing, maturing, softening and picking up all sorts of spicy complexity along the way.
Talk about an awesome newcomer to the wine shelves; stock this one and serve it year-round.
It’s taut, fine, and just 10% alcohol, with an appealing palate of honeysuckle florals, citrus and mineral that lead to a fresh dry finish.
VIVA / New Zealand Herald
Loving the new 2013 The Boneline Hellblock Riesling which comes from vines grown on a river terrace that is, apparently, as hot as hell during summer, which must be why it tastes so intense on the old Riesling citrusy flavour front. That delish’ bite of crisp acidity is what really drives my tastebuds wild, and creates a nervy core of interest in each sip of this lovely new wine from North Canterbury.
The wine is made from grapes grown on 25 year old vines grown downstream from the White Gorge, which is carved out of terraces on the south bank of the Waipara River. Its makers, Tutton, Sienko and Hill, all say that they picked the grapes prior to sunburn to avoid phenolic development; for non-wine heads, that is another way of saying that they have avoided over ripeness, which can (in Riesling) lead to some strong aromas that can polarise people just a tad. This wine is driven by an intense lemon taste and really is a very fresh, youthful, yet-to-develop style that has great flavour intensity and a long life ahead
The Boneline is a new brand from some well experienced North Canterbury winemakers on Ram Paddock Road, North Canterbury, New Zealand. Another wine that shows what this region is capable of: in a word: greatness.
The Boneline is a new brand from some well experienced North Canterbury winemakers on Ram Paddock Road, North Canterbury, New Zealand. Another wine that shows what this region is capable of, in a word: greatness.
Bright pale straw-yellow colour with slight green hues. This has a very fresh and tightly bound nose with pure lime, white floral and savoury mineral aromas, unfolding suggestions of honeysuckle interest with aeration. Medium-dry to taste, the fruit flavours of citrus fruits and flowers are tight and restrained in expression. The wine is taut and near austere in mouthfeel, but this has soft textures and very fine phenolics. Thirst-quenching sweet and sour minerally elements combine with racy acidity, lending vitality and poise, and carry the wine to a refined, dry, sustained finish. This is a tight and racy medium-dry Riesling with citrus and savoury minerally flavours. Serve as an aperitif and with fine Asian fare over the next 5-6 years. Fruit grown on a gravel river terrace, WBP and fermented to 10.0% alc. and 37 g/L RS.
17.5+/20 Nov 2014
This smooth new Chardonnay is big on flavours of citrus (lemon, grapefruit and ripe orange) and beautifully balanced by fresh acidity and a medium body; every sip lingers and it’s so tasty that it practically begs for a roast chicken to eat alongside it.
WineNZ to Sharkstone Chardonnay.
…a pleasant, pure and perky unoaked Chardonnay. Expect peach and honeydew melon aromas with some creamy, lees-derived character. Fresh and zesty with an interesting chalky texture on the finish.
17/20 — Nov 2014
…A classy distinctive wine, hand-picked at Waipara, partly barrel-fermented and lees-aged for eight months. Pale lemon/green, it’s reminiscent of a white Bordeaux, with substantial body and concentrated, ripe, tropical fruit flavours, showing excellent complexity, harmony and length. A subtle wine, it is still youthful; drink now or cellar.
Two parcels of fruit vinified separately, hand-picked, WBP and high solids fermented in barrel to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 8-10 months on lees with some batonnage, with no MLF. Bright, even straw-yellow colour with light gold at the core, lighter on rim. The nose is elegant and tightly concentrated with aromas of greengages, nectarines and herbs with spicy and nutty barrel-ferment nuances, minerals and hints of smoke. A saline component adds interest to the aromatics. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the fruit flavours of green stonefruits, herbs and spicy oak form a tight and intensely concentrated core with a firm line. Elevated acidity lends brightness and energy to the mouthfeel, providing bite and drive. The palate carries through to a concentrated, lingering finish with stonefruits and bitter herb nuances. This is a very tight and concentrated oak-influenced Sauvignon Blanc with intensity and cut. Serve with herb-marinated seafood, poultry and white meat dishes over the next 3-4 years.
18.0-/20 — Nov 2014
Approx. equal portions of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot from 25 y.o. vines, hand-picked and given an ambient soak and fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 14 months in 25% new French oak. Dark, deep, black-red colour with ruby hues on rim. The nose is finely concentrated with very fresh, bright and pure aromas of blackcurrants, cassis and herbs, the fruit in the cooler spectrum, the aromatics showing focus and intensity. Medium to medium full-bodied, elegantly proportioned and intense flavours of blackcurrants, cassis and redcurrants are the feature on palate. A little cool leafiness and oak lift adds interest to the fruit. Fine-grained, firm and tight tannins carry the wine along with fresh and bracing acidity, leading to a moderately sustained, lively and brisk, curranty finish. This is an elegant, racy and finely firm Bordeaux varietal blend with curranty and leafy flavours. Serve with herb-marinated beef and lamb dishes over the next 4-6 years.
17.5-/20 — Nov 2014
…Ripe blackcurrants, sweet berries with hints of herbs & mineral giving an exciting edge in this cabernet sauvignon, merlot & cabernet franc made from 25 year old vines…