The Boneline



The Boneline wines are visceralhandpicked & handmadecrafted with like minds entwined in our journeythe stories of this place are told within the wines

Hellblock Riesling 2019

apple blossom lime/lemon sherbet mandarin apple crunch salt toffee gingerale iridescent

Pale straw with lime green hues. Very subtle notes of sweet elderflower, honey puffs and coriander seed float above a base layer of cut lime. The palate sees pineapple, green mango and salted lime intertwine creating an all-encompassing and electric taste experience.

Here at The Bone Line we set a very high standard for our Hellblock Riesling, the condition of the fruit must be impeccable, the concentration of flavour intense and the acid level electric. It was with great joy that the 2019 season gave us the perfect conditions to allow us to make back to back wines. The wine began with the harvest of fruit from our river side terrace sharing the same name. The fruit here was delicate and extremely intense because of meticulously hand working of the vine by the crew and the sheltered environment in which it grows.

From the single pick, we split the batch into two components. The first (approx. four fifths of the final wine) was whole bunch pressed and fermented as bright juice in a small stainless-steel vessel with a neutral yeast strain. Based on twice daily tastings the fermentation was stopped when the balance between the acidity and unfermented sweetness was just right. The second component was crushed and soaked on the stems overnight before being pressed to old oak. This was fermented to dryness and later blended back. The final blend was stabilized, fined and bottled in late spring.

11.4% Alc/Vol

Dry Riesling 2019

lemon blossom salt crust jasmine flower lime juice spicy toffee stellar

Pale barley straw in colour with vibrant yellow, silver and green hues. This wine gives off a sense of tension and youth. Aromas of lime leaf, blossom and fruit are so pure and inviting. As it evolves in the glass it reveals subtleties like dusty dry herbs, juniper and gravel. The taste is reminiscent of a perfect Mandarin, so bursting with sweet flavour the acid provides direction and pithy phenolics provide a lingering dry mouthfeel. One of our finest examples to date.

The poor flowering conditions of the previous spring actually worked in our favour with Riesling. The typical heavy crop thinning required to ensure good fruit health and concentration was naturally performed through a significant reduction in bunch and berry size. Picking our first parcel of fruit for the season and the first component of this wine couldn’t have been more effortless, bursting with flavour and immaculate in condition the bunches were whipped from their groomed environment on a late March morning. The second parcel came in two weeks later amongst a much busier pace, but the quality was just as good. Whole bunch pressed; the free run juice was fermented bright with a neutral wine yeast while the pressings were fermented hot in barrique with natural yeast. The wines spent winter and early spring on their yeast lees before considered fining, blending and bottling occurred in quick succession at the end of spring.

12% Alc/Vol


Magnolia purple pastille black cardamon orange chocolate leather oystershell

Cabernet Franc — Merlot — Cabernet Sauvignon

Luxurious dark magenta in colour which shimmers mauve and scarlet. Purple pastille and violets leap from the glass and fill the surrounding air (as it did to the bottling hall). Dried herb, dry roasted vegetable and graphite provide subtleties while orange chocolate and wood spice ground the nose. Sweet red and purple fruits saturate the palate at first, surrounding a warm cedar heart — all balanced by juicy acidity and fine powdery tannins. The finish has a dry mineral bite that entices you back for more. Our evolutionary pathway — in a glass.

Iridium is all about evolution. Over time, changes occur within our soils and the vines they support within a warming climate. Change also flows through our winegrowing philosophies, aspirations and approach. No other wine in our portfolio captures this terrestrial & human evolution as clearly as Iridium. Iridium has evolved into a Cabernet Franc dominant, red blend. However, because it is the product of our aspiration to make the best full-bodied red blend possible from our site, it’s makeup is never set in stone.

15% Alc/Vol

Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Magnolia coriander seed green tea leaf miso jalapeno oil toasted sesame / brown rice

Golden pale silica in colour. Brined jalapenos and sweet white blossom compete for initial impression on the nose. A core of yellow fleshed fruit lays beneath zesty citrus, sweet herbs and Japanese inspired savouriness. When tasted the wine seems to become even more grounded with green tobacco and bramble. A juicy, saline entry leads to a dry and textured gravel dust finish that is incredibly persistent.

Riverbone is gravel-borne. There are two sections of soil in our vineyard where the boulders are formidable, the pebbles are pure and the columns of sands bottomless. The naturally high vigour of Sauvignon blanc is dragged beneath the earth as the roots drive deep and wide searching of sustenance. What results is a small balanced vine that produces fruit that is more austere, grounded and complex. When converting the fruit into wine we try to accentuate these characters with subtle oak, natural yeast and long maturation time both in barrel and bottle.

14% Alc/Vol

Barebone Chardonnay 2018

kowhai lemon meringue nori peachy melon white tea oily heart keystone acidity radiant

Pale golden kiwifruit in colour with iridescent hues of green and silver. On the nose this wine is truly multi-layered and yet understated. Fresh pineapple and sea salted cracker at first, perfumed white flower and white tea in the centre, all sitting on a base of malt toffee. These aromas combine and evolve into a vast number of flavours in the mouth. Ripe peach and lemon meringue define the taste, due to a combination of viscous full-bodied mouthfeel, cleansing acidity and a crunchy bite on the finish. Stripped back Chardonnay rich in subtle complexities.

As the name suggests Barebone is our opportunity to produce a stripped back Chardonnay style that showcases the fruit from our site while still being rich in subtle complexities. We achieve this using large berried Chardonnay clones, whole bunch pressing, minimal use of old oak barrels, extended time on yeast lees and no malolactic fermentation. Three qualities define this wine above all else, the first being the fruit aroma/flavour which we want to be subtle and pure. Acid structure is the second like the keystone in stone archway propping up the wine and giving it a mineral salt crunch. Finally yeast derived aroma/flavour and mouthfeel provide balance and intrigue.

12.8% Alc/Vol


caramelised butter grapefruit grilled pineapple lemon smack lush & long hazelnut toast symphonic

Silver and green flashes on sun goldened newspaper. This wine meets you with alluringly sweet white florals, quickly followed by frying butter and stone fruit. Its personality runs deep with toasty oak and creamy yeast combining with the fruit to produce a myriad of pastry dessert inspired descriptors. Although the entry to the palate is soft and creamy this give a false sense of what is to come as it builds quickly adding elements of zesty lemon, wood smoke, grapefruit pith and rock salt in a smack around the chops finish. A wine that demands your attention, made by Chardonnay geeks.

To put it bluntly we completely geek out over the growing and making of this wine. Mendoza is the clone of choice (often over 90% of final wine) and this choice coupled with 29 year old vines, leaves us very susceptible to poor fruit set and very low crops. But we feel there is no comparison to Mendoza for it’s fruit intensity and power. Good exposure of the fruit in the vineyard is pivotal in getting the right flavour profile and avoiding disease.

We aim to create a 10-15 barrel blend (depending on fruit set) each year, and through the use of picking date, sequential pressing straight to barrel, oak, wild or natural starter yeast, malolactic fermentation and barrel stirring, every barrel develops a distinct and different personality from the next. Through combining all these different personalities, the final blend has greater complexity and completeness — plus it’s far more fun making wine this way.

We were treated with exceptionally good weather during spring 2017 which led to great fruit set in the Mendoza Chardonnay. A hot and wet season transpired and only due to some meticulous grape growing were we jumping with excitement during our first pick on the 20th of March.

The wine is made up of four parcels of fruit picked with a whole month going by between the first and last pick. Generalizing, the first two parcels produced barrels that had steely acidity and burst with green apple and lemon characters. The third parcel was from our much loved “Hellblock” and provided barrels with real grapefruit pith intensity and salty acidity. The fourth parcel provided some old school Chardonnay grunt with rich stone fruit and pineapple pop. Each barrel gradually became it’s own person over nine months, before being combined into one blend in mid-January. The wine was then stabilized, very lightly fined and bottled in March.

14.5% Alc/Vol

Sauvignon Blanc 2018

passionfuit curd blue flower lemongrass salt crust va voom

Lofty aromas of passionfruit sherbet and sweet florals. Asian herbs like lemongrass and Thai basil add a savoury backdrop. Dry river bed and salt crust provide further earthy complexity. Full and juicy in the mouth – ripe tropical fruit richness flows through to a textured and cleansing granny smith finish, with stain like persistence. Fingers of flavour to discover…

This year’s approach was all about layering — starting mid-March with a fresh and punchy parcel from our top terrace — processed and fermented in a way to preserve the delicate yet intense aromatics. Three weeks later and with a classic Sauvignon blanc parcel in the bank we picked the balance of our top terrace, now lush and floral. We really tried to capture the mouth filling richness in this parcel, along with retaining some natural sweetness to provide balance.

12% Alc/Vol


pomegranate – manuka bark – pomander – florentine – bramble tart – gossamer weave

Crimson and pink flashes on a red plum canvas. Saturating aromatics of currant pastries, wood spices, and manuka leaf. With time, subtle notes of forest undergrowth and floral perfumes reveal. Moderate fruit sweetness, fine silky tannin and restrained volume allow savoury elements to splice evenly into the tart red berry fruit core. This wine was crafted in vineyard and winery from a wild and unpredictable season, so we find great joy in the level of calm and poise it possesses.

Hand picked and sorted in the vineyard, individual parcels were gently de-stemmed without crushing into small open top fermenters. The fruit was ambient soaked until natural fermentation commenced, before a selected yeast strain was inoculated to carry on and finish the fermentation, usually in a hot and fast fashion. During this time the ferments were gently worked with various techniques to ensure that tannin extraction was respectful to the natural fruit weight and intensity. The more aromatic parcels were pressed off skins within five days of dryness, while the more robust Swiss clones spent up to two weeks on skins. Parcels were then run to barrel where we refrained from using much new oak (5%), instead opting for a high percentage of one year old oak (20%) to again ensure respect was shown to the fruit. The wine then spent 12 months in barrel undergoing malolactic fermentation in Spring, before being lightly fined and coarse pad filtered prior to bottling.

13.1% Alc/Vol

Noble Riesling 2017

quince paste fig nougat toasted coconut golden heart

Polished green gold with hues of dandelion and filtered sunlight. Classic lifted noble rot characters of apricot, caramelized pineapple and fruit preserves are met with the late harvest notes of lemon curd and rose petal. These are built upon with subtle toasted coconut and vanilla cream from the extended oak maturation. Glorious summer peach, and fresh figs perfectly melt into butterscotch and schnapps. The firm acidity helped by fine black tea like tannins and warming alcohol ensure the sumptuous sweetness never cloys at any point. Within a honey drop a story of the season….

One of the benefits of the wild and unpredictable 2017 growing season was the development of lovely dry noble rot in some of our Hellblock Riesling. One month after the clean bunches had been picked, around them the remaining shrivelled bunches were hand picked and pressed. The bunches required two long press cycles to get enough juice to fill a single barrel. The juice was then heavily clarified and fermented over two weeks until the yeast ran out of steam. The wine stayed in the same barrel for 15 months before fining, stabilization and filtration took place in late winter of the following year.

14% Alc/Vol

Pinot Noir 2016

alluring perfume cherry blossom almond winterspice fluid silk poise suspense

Very bright ruby garnet with distinct crimson hues. Aromatically – striking & seductive, bright red fruits, heartwarming winter spice, almond kernel & cherry stone lift – in time revealing a darker core. Warm, soft & silken on the palate – palpable fruit depth – authoritive presence. A fine poised pinot which sings of where it is from, and those who have worked with it from vine to wine.

Vinification of this wine is still evolving as we learn to voice the sense of establishment that these old vines bring. We destem without crushing before ferment, then soak on skins for up to a week. A small portion we whole bunch ferment and work specifically to draw out aromatics & structure. Primary ferments are fairly quick, hot & hand plunged, then sit on skins for a while, aiming for extraction levels just right for each vat. Wine then matures in Burgundian coopered French oak for a year before blending & bottling unfiltered.

14.5% Alc/Vol

Previous Vintages

Dry Riesling 2018

White petals beeswax lemon sherbet wine gum chalk salty gravel drive

Pale barley straw in colour with vibrant yellow, silver and green hues.  The nose gives away this wine as a riper rendition on previous versions with rose water, sherbet and spice lofting above a blanket of dried lemon and tropical fruits. The wine is rich and full bodied in the mouth. Ripe nectarine sweetness, soda water salinity, driven acidity and green apple skin texture all combine for our interpretation of engaging balance from the warm and lush 2018 vintage.

For our Dry Riesling all the decisions made during the season are influenced above all else by two clear mandates “retain purity and clarity of flavour” and “achieve engaging balance between dry fruit sweetness, pithy sourness and salinity”. Because of this approach the body of the wine stays the same with each vintage but the limbs move back and forth according to what mother nature offers up.

Lush green canopies made a welcome change from the wind ravaged, thirsty looking vines we are used to seeing in our top terrace Riesling as harvest rolls near. Crop thinning performed early in the season ensured that near perfect bunches rode through a season suited for botrytis fungi growth. Like so many of the picking decisions in 2018 the acid level in the fruit was the major consideration in determining perfect maturity.

The fruit was picked all in one day on the back of a busy opening week of April. Whole bunch pressed; the free run juice was fermented bright with a neutral wine yeast while the pressings were fermented hot in barrique with natural yeast. The wines spent winter and early spring on their yeast lees before considered fining, blending and bottling occurred in quick succession in the new year.

14% Alc/Vol

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Dark violet heart blackcurrant bramble warm wood spices suede liquorice broody red orb

Black Doris plum in colour with enticing hues of crimson and red rose. Juicy blackcurrant and red liquorice abound on the nose, with savoury notes of star anise, cinnamon, and toasted almond. Fresh coastal sea spray creates nostalgic memories of summer days. Sweet plums are made plush and juicy with crunchy acidity and satisfyingly chewy tannins. Lasting flavours of toffee apple and blueberry ice cream are wrapped in warm glow on the finish.

When the valley has gone quiet and all that’s left outside of the winery to show for a season’s hard work are bare lignified canes, a small patch of lime green canopy remains. Found deep in a natural amphitheatre scoured out by the river, our old Franc vines focus the last of the fading sun’s energy into its soft blue bunches. This is the time where patience is in short supply as thoughts of post-harvest holidays weigh heavily on the mind — however patience is exactly what’s required waiting for optimum ripeness to harvest fruit perfectly poised on the edge.

14.5% Alc/Vol

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Pink Noise Rosé 2019

rose petal cherry berry persimmon warm spice orange zest pink grapefruit summer

Pink grapefruit flesh in colour with illuminated dusk and dawn red sky. Bright red berry fruit is encircled with apple blossom and green cardamom spice on the nose.
Ripe watermelon best describes the pallet incorporating the juicy sweet flesh with the dry, tart and crunchy bites close to the rind that are so cleansing. The barrel fermentation adds underlying savoury flavours and weight. Our small tribute to summer.

As summer approaches and we are gently tilted to bask in the full glow of the sun we celebrate the change in seasons with our Pink Noise, Rose. The first wine released from a low cropping and pleasingly typical season, is designed to be something to savour during the coming months and be fleeting as the day light begins to wane once more.

Made up of Merlot from our small planting on the mid-terrace, the grapes were picked smack bang in the middle of their ripeness spectrum. Crushed and soaked on skins for 8 hours before being pressed, settled and racked clear to three old barrels. Fermented with a very slow, yeast strain which more than anything allowed us to retain a modest amount of residual sweetness to balance the palate.

12.5% Alc/Vol

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Barebone Chardonnay 2017

lemongrass lime shortbread beeswax mineral drive salt flat

Brilliant pale straw in colour with hues of greened jewellery. Sweet bakery notes of shortbread and nougat win the race to your nose, followed by lemon peel and clover honey. In the palate, modest alcohol gives the wine a light and delicate mouthfeel. Primary green apple and mandarin are met with developed almond and clove — all spliced together by steering salty acidity.

As the name suggests Barebone is our opportunity to produce a stripped back Chardonnay style that showcases the fruit from our site while still being rich in subtle complexities. We achieve this using large berried Chardonnay clones, whole bunch pressing, minimal use of old oak barrels, extended time on yeast lees and no malolactic fermentation.

Three qualities define this wine above all else, the first being the fruit aroma/flavour which we want to be subtle and pure. Acid structure is the second — like the keystone in a stone archway — propping up the wine and giving it a mineral salt crunch. Finally, yeast derived aroma/flavour and mouthfeel provide balance and intrigue.

The 2016-17 growing season allowed for long cool ripening, the abundance of overcast days resulted in fruit that had intense citrus and green apple characteristics. The first parcel was picked at the beginning of April and whole bunch pressed to old neutral barrels for natural fermentation. The second parcel hand sorted in the vineyard at the end of the month, was again whole bunch pressed, and this time settled without enzyme for 12 hours before being racked to a small squat tank for fermentation with a neutral yeast strain. Both parcels were combined shortly after fermentation and underwent 15 months of ageing on yeast lees with manual stirring occurring for the first 6 months. The wine was then stabilised, fined and bottled in early winter 2018.

12.8% Alc/Vol

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Dry Riesling 2017

lime sorbet almond honeysuckle oystershell luminescent

Youthful pale straw in colour with flashes of morning sunlight. The nose is engaging yet subtle, built on a core of tropical green citrus fruit and decorated with delicate white flower and green herbs. When tasted the characters on the nose carry over, joined by some secondary almond and dried rose petal notes. Sweet green melon sweetness is cleansed by tart and grainy granny smith apple flesh. Its overall harmony makes this wine so exciting — a light, delicate proposition that draws its power and intrigue from its purity and sustained clarity.

For our Dry Riesling the decisions made during the season are influenced by two clear mandates “retain purity / clarity of flavour” and “achieve engaging balance between dry fruit sweetness, pithy sourness and salinity”. Because of this approach the body of the wine stays the same with each vintage but the limbs move back and forth according to what mother nature offers up.

The 2017 was made from two parcels of fruit picked a week apart. The first from our lower river terrace involved the picking crew meticulously hand selecting the cleanest bunches – rich in tropical flavours with intense lemonade acidity. The second pick also a hand selection – from our top terrace – giving delicate and floral fruit. Both parcels were whole bunch pressed, fermented with cultured yeast, parcel one fermented in stainless steel and parcel two fermented in old oak barrels. The ferments were stopped at the wine-makers interpretation of “engaging balance” and the parcels were left on gross lees until late spring. Clarification, considered fining, and bottling occurred in quick succession in the new year.

11.4% Alc/Vol

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Pink Noise Rosé 2018

honeydew pink grapefruit strawberry sherbet summer

Pink watermelon in colour with hues of sepia and cherry blossom. Lofty aromas of strawberry, rock melon and dried cranberry captivate at first followed by more complex secondary notes of spicy poached pear. Mouth coating autumnal fruit, juicy currant bites and sweet grapefruit pith lead to a satisfyingly tart nectarine and cream finish.  Our tribute to summer…

This Rosé differs from many of its South Island counterparts due to the inclusion of Merlot. We intentionally harvested a few rows of our Merlot block in the middle of its ripeness spectrum. We did this to add richness and aromatic complexity to the classic ‘strawberries and cream’ Pinot Noir core. Both varieties were hand-picked, crushed and soaked on skins for 12-24hrs before being run to tank for settling. The juice was racked very clean and transferred to old oak barrels before being inoculated with a clean and slow fermenting yeast strain. The ferments were stopped just before dryness to balance the crisp acidity. The wine was then stabilised and filtered over winter and bottled in early spring.

14% Alc/Vol

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Hellblock Riesling 2018

apple sorbet lime blossom sweet/sour/salt chalky crumble starlight

Pale straw with lime green hues and silver flashes. On the nose you are met with sweet spring scents of citrus blossom and wild flowers. The variety of fragrant herbs and green/yellow fruits that develop with time provide intrigue and reward.  In the mouth intense flavours of lemonade, guava and honey-dew melon take you to a slightly more tropical place than the nose would suggest. Lighter in alcohol the wines body is attributed to the soft clover honey sweetness from the residual sugar. Thai inspired balance is achieved by this sweetness perfectly tempering the driving saline acidity. All elements are left to ring out on the finish from a drying nashi pear crunch. Hello, old friend…

Here at The Bone Line we set a very high standard for our Hellblock Riesling, the purity, intensity and balance must be just right. For this reason, the wine has eluded us for several seasons back to back. The 2018 season provided the perfect climatic conditions for great Riesling and this combined with some intuitive winegrowing, allowed us to craft this favourite once again (previous release was 2014). This wine began with the harvest of fruit from our river side terrace sharing the same name. The fruit here was delicate and extremely intense because of meticulously hand working of the vine/crop by the crew and the sheltered environment in which it grows. Nearly a month later we picked a small portion of our top terrace Riesling which due to being more exposed to the sun and drying wind had developed robust and more grounded characters. Both components were hand-picked, whole bunch pressed and fermented as bright juice in small stainless-steel vessels. Based on twice daily tastings the fermentation was stopped when the balance between the acidity and unfermented sweetness was just right. The two components were then blended, stabilized and filtered over winter and bottled in early spring.

11% Alc/Vol

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Sauvignon Blanc 2017

passionfuit green apple Thai basil lively flinty crunch

Classic sauvignon blanc aromas of gooseberry — passionfruit — elderflower — herb & flint.

In the mouth, bright focussed tropical fruit, grapefruit & citrus liveliness — overlying gentle restraint, elegance of line & groundingly good perfect grape sugar / acid balance.

Sourced from 3 different blocks within our single estate vineyard — each block picked at optimum ripeness and condition — in winery each parcel handled individually as to decisions on whole bunch pressing, or crushed; solids use; fermentation in stainless steel or oak; yeasts and ferment nutrition — providing intriguing parcels of wine for final blending.

12% Alc/Vol

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cabernet waltz olive tapenade almond meal cocoa nib black hole heart reverb & sustain

Mid ruby with crimson flashes in colour. Classic cool climate Cabernet nose — cassis cedar spice. Dark plum Merlot. Lifted violets from the Franc. Seasoning notes of soft oak and salty maritime edge Palate is full bodied, softly textured. Franc brings blueberry fruit and savoury peppery tannins. Ripe Merlot brings fleshy dense dark plum and low tone earthy graphite. Cabernet Sauvignon brings terroir specific tobacco leaf, cassis, and fine sinewy tannins to the young wine.

Iridium is one of our most loved wines to grow and make here at The Boneline — vines planted 28 years ago, some of the oldest Cabernet vines in the country, tucked in to a natural amphitheatre type bend in the Waipara river that traps serious heat in our dry summers — enough to ripen these late varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc & Merlot. Hand tended bunches, hand sorted in the vineyard, destemmed and soaked for up to a week pre-ferment. Hand plunged in small open top fermenters, with extended post ferment maceration — pressed off to a mix of old and new Bordeaux coopered oak, for slow maturation over 18 months. Racked twice prior to grading, blending and finishing in late Winter 2016.

14% Alc/Vol

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warm cedar heart cinnamon quill red liquorice poised tension coastal complexity

Ruby purple with magenta hues. Fresh primary fruits of cranberry & raspberry over dried herbs and blackberry bramble. Understated oak of liquorice & char. Ripe fruit forward palate of dense plum, mocha & violets. Fine powdery tannins balance soft juicy acidity – plush.

Higher rainfall for the vineyard gave vigorous growth requiring heavier crop and leaf thinning – a small ripe crop was picked on 10 May 2017. Hand selected fruit was destemmed without crushing to retain skin and seed integrity. Cool maceration and high fermentation temperatures in small open top fermenters with gentle plunging. Pressing focussed on balanced extraction, with less new oak used in maturation. A gentle approach from the beginning to end in the winery, provided good parcels to build a Cabernet Franc both intriguing and delightful.

13.8% Alc/Vol

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Sauvignon Blanc 2014

tropical flora seabreeze 
jalapeno gravels driven

Initial subtle exotic aromas of papaya, frangipani & guava – a more savoury element splices in with jalapeno pepper, creamy lees & toasty oak. In the mouth it’s bone dry, full bodied with a rich citrus & stonefruit core. A refreshing dry finish of cinnamon spice & maritime crunch.

13.0% Alc/Vol

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Riesling 2016 2016

sun drenched apple orange blossom honeysuckle harvest gold slipstream sleek

Brilliant pale straw with lime green hues. Aromatics of ripe apple enhanced by lifted florals. Even texture building through mid palate to ripe golden delicious apple with soft edged persistence. Long textured finish winding to conclusion in clean fruity acidity.

12.6% Alc/Vol

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Sauvignon Blanc 2016

wildflower passionfruit boxtree funk  mineral flint

Eye catching pale straw yellow with green hues. Aromatically, the most striking sauvignon we have created. The fruit showcases passionfruit, elderflower & lime perfumes. On palate – crisp, fresh & dry – explodes in the mouth, leaving mid-palate weight with struck match flint & briny crunch.

Grown mainly on two blocks of our vineyard –from an upper terrace of old vines on a mix of grafted and own roots – own rooted vines providing greater band width of green to ripe flavour, while grafted vines are more uniform and provide consistent ripeness. The other block is a low riverside terrace called Hellblock where the vineroots drink from underrunning streams in the gravels, grow vigorously producing fruit with intense thiol precursors, adding passionfruit gooseberry & flint to the finished wine. This year we also added a small quantity of fruit from Block 3, which grows more like Chardonnay than Sauvignon Blanc, lends itself well to high solids barrel fermentation, adding further intensity.

We try to make Sauvignon Blanc as distinctive as our special site, utilising subtleties in processing fruit from these different blocks, differing skin contact times, enzyme use, & temperature. Different fermentation treatments, such as yeast strain, juice solid levels, nutrition regimes, fermentation rates & lees handling all provide wonderful componentry with which to blend this wine.

12.5% Alc/Vol

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Pinot Noir 2016

Luscious berry lift rata flower rum & raisin sweet balsam mocha woven

Bright ruby crimson. Aromatically – lifted ripe summer berry – rata flower, boronia. In the mouth – soft luscious fresh fruit overlaying spicy Rum & Raisin earthiness – crème brûlée – sweet balsam – fresh fruit woven between lacy acidity & silky tannins. Autumnal loveliness.

14.5% Alc/Vol

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Sharkstone Chardonnay 2016

Layered citrus apricot crumble focus & drive multifaceted & vital

Mid straw green. Aromas of citrus oil, grapefruit pith, hazlenuts, grilled nectarine, slivers of spicy lemony oak, apricot, cashew, flintstrike, creamy lees. Silky in the mouth, layered flavour & texture mid palate, salty mineral dry finish. Lees influence tightly wound through this wine, over a rainbow of bright citrus / deep stonefruit / brioche oak aromatics. A heavenly creature.

14% Alc/Vol

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Barebone Chardonnay 2016

Chalky white citrus gorse flower keystone acidity brûlée

The limestone laced soils of our upper terrace sing their song through fruit intensity & tension. These Jurassic limestones are of a similar period to those prime parcels of Chablis — the Kimmerigian & Portlandian, and contain a myriad of fossilised diatomic creatures. Biological, chemical & physical parameters of these soils provide a happy balance of nutrition, water holding capacity & drainage. This fruit from 2016 came from a very comfortable growing season. It was lovely.

13.5% Alc/Vol

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Iridium 2014

deep crimson magenta pastille violets plum
tobacco cedar graphite maritime edge

Deep purple magenta colour. Each variety shows itself in the nose, dark chocolate / mocha & plum notes from the Merlot, smouldering tobacco, cedar & cassis from the Cabernet & violets, red-currants & graphite from the Franc. Palate shows sturdy structural tannins that cloak deep dark pastille at it’s core made slightly savoury by bay leaf, black olive & anise. Iridium ’14 shows a typical maritime edge, and with time we expect this wine to relax & reveal rue complexity from its smoky depths.

Iridium is our flagship red wine here at The Boneline – planted in 1980’s it contains some of the oldest Cabernet vines in the country, tucked in to a natural amphitheatre type bend in the Waipara river that traps serious heat in our dry summers – enough to ripen these late varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc & Merlot. Hand tended bunches, hand sorted in the vineyard, destemmed and soaked for up to a week pre-ferment. Once malolactic ferment completed, wine was pressed and settled to tank before running off to 30% new Bordeaux coopered oak, for slow maturation over 15 months.

13.8% Alc/Vol

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Hellblock Riesling 2014

Enchanting spring blossom apple lime soda driving mineral crunch

Aromatics – unashamedly floral with rose, lavender, apple & citrus blossom –leading through citrus fruit, ripe red apple & crunchy mineral. Low alcohol makes this wine refreshing in the mouth – lime & soda lightness of being. Fresh lemony citrus flavours fill the midpalate while a structural acid spine adds line & length. Significant residual sugar & acid balance to provide a lovely mineral finish.

Fruit sourced from Hellblock – a riverside terrace of gravels run through with underground streams – a source of moderate vigour and healthy canopies providing shading from the searing Waipara sun. Flavour ripening is accelerated, while brix remain low – allowing the making of this crisp, refreshing & slightly Germanic style. Handpicked at lowish brix, whole bunch pressed – only free run juice is used to avoid excessive phenolic pick up from the skins, cold settled, racked clear for cool tank ferment. Neutral yeast was used to enhance varietal grape flavours, and stopped ferment when natural sugars balanced the crisp zingy acidity.

9% Alc/Vol

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Sauvignon Blanc 2013

bone dry funk flint gravel whetstone toast cream

Grown and made with complexity in mind. Handpicked, whole bunch pressed direct to barrel. High solids ferment in new and seasoned French oak. Wine retained on lees with intermittent stirring for 8—10 months. No malolactic.

Flinty oak and mineral notes lift tropical aromatics which give way to ripe lychee, melon and grapefruit. Spectrum of tropical to citrus to stonefruit — crammed full of interesting flavours, wrapped in lovely toasty oak and creamy lees underpinned by saline acidity.

13.5% Alc/Vol

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Cabernet Franc 2016

Summer berries supple soft sunburst spice coastal complexity

Bright purple with crimson hues – iridescent. Lifted red blue & plummy black fruit –- mulberry brambly wilderness. Savoury kelp – maritime plants. Understated oak manifests in spicy yoghurt tones. Soft succulent purple fruits, inherent spiciness, coating velvety tannins, yielding yet supporting acidity. Supple, ripe & fleshy luxe. One of the most wonderful wines we have grown – alluring & astounding.

14.5% Alc/Vol

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Dry Riesling 2015

Crisp dry citrus oil lime zest apple blossom ethereal

Brilliant pale straw green. Aromatically speaks of the site, variety & vintage – delicate white flowers, lemon blossom & lime zest overlay current of stony minerality. Refreshingly dry with lime zest / lemon peel complexity, deeper ripe fruit in mid palate, balanced with knife edge acidity. Doughy lees influence knits fruit & acid. Upbeat & uplifting.

Aged, small, less vigorous vines on a high terrace of Glasnevin gravels – giving low cropload & concentrated ripe citrus peely fruit – combined with more vigorous lush & zesty fruit from Hellblock at river level.

Hand harvested in two separate batches, both whole bunch pressed to tank with a hint of solids adding texture & dimension to the ferments, while retaining purity & elegance. Fermented to near complete dryness, before components blended together with small amount of yeast lees to act as preservative during 10 months tank maturation.

12% Alc/Vol

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Noble Riesling 2012

Intense noble rot citrus peel compote toasty vanilla bean stonefruit luscious

Very botrytised “fruit” handpicked in the snows of 2012. Pressed over 3 days to release small amount of intense sweet orange juice – fined & settled for several month, while we grew up a strain of yeast able to handle the severe osmotic pressure in this juice. Slow ferment over 18 months to achieve balance, then matured in 1 year old oak for another 18 months to settle & balance.

Straw gold. Complex nose with lifted waxy botrytis characters, think grapefruit marmalade, baked apple, candied pineapple, dried apricot, & lovely toasted brulee. Highly viscous slippery wine crammed with dried stone & exotic fruits, roasted hazelnut, quince & pineapple flavours. Palate has intense sweetness, yet acid to divert cloying, giving serious palate length.

10.8% Alc/Vol

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Pinot Noir 2015

Lush autumn berries deep dark generous weathered earth

Deep ruby – crimson flashes at rim. Aromatically of the Waipara region – black plum – morello cherry & spice – understated oak offers gentle earthiness. In the mouth – bountiful sweet fruit – plummy dark cherry from Dijon clones & long tapered finish from old Swiss clones.
Supple soft endearing wine made to enjoy young. Please do.

13.0% Alc/Vol

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Sauvignon Blanc 2015

Intense gooseberry passionfruit tropical mineral flint

Brilliant pale straw green. Aromatically striking & appealing – passionfruit, gooseberry, elderflower & grapefruit, with a ripe exotic fruit undercurrent. Gunflint from barrel fermentation & creamy yoghurt complexity from extended lees contact, knit aromatics together. Refreshingly dry, tangy, medium to full bodied & intense. Seriously concentrated flavours of passionfruit /gooseberry /grapefruit complimented with pithy tropical fruits. Lovely saline minerality pulls the fruit through the mid-palate to give a long dry satisfying finish.

13.5% Alc/Vol

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Pinot Noir 2014

Weighty soft velvet fluid silk plush fruit precise pure perfumed ethereal

Superbly ripe fruit handpicked in late March (on the same day as 2013 Waimanu went to bottle), destemmed without crushing into small fermenters, with a small portion of whole bunch ferment. Ambient soak for 5 – 7 days, then hand plunged through hot primary ferment and macerated on skins for a week or so post ferment. Matured for a year in Burgundian French oak – until next year’s harvest.

At bottling – ruby garnet, flushed with crimson, purple and blue. Fruit focussed aromatics of classic cool climate Pinot Noir – plum, cherry, and summer berries – wrapped in seasoned oak giving lively toasty spice. Ethereal florals, notes of cloves, nutmeg and violets – a totality of fruit, spice, oak and earth. In the mouth – cool, tight and high tensile – structural acidity, alcohol and tannins holding concentrated Pinot flavours to the core. Whole bunch process adds lovely sappy edge to the tannins, suggesting tension yet to be released. Bouyancy of the bright acidity balances the sweetness of fruit and alcohol. A wine true to this site, to the various old clones. A remarkable wine of temporal and spatial acuity.

14.0% Alc/Vol

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Iridium 2013

rare metal purple magenta seabreeze
cabernet sauvage merlot plum franc spice

Small berries are the mantra. Produced from our original plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot in roughly equal proportions. Hand picked, 100% de-stemmed without crushing and ambient soaked for 5—7 days. Hand plunged through primary ferment and macerated on skins for 2–3 weeks post ferment.

Pressed to 25% new Bordeaux coopered French oak and matured for 14 months. 100% Malolactic. Bottled with light filtration in October 2014. A wine made through perseverance and coaxing in both vineyard and winery.

Aromatically speaks of the varietal signature of the grape and the land from which it comes, the sauvage of the Cabernet, the plums of the Merlot, the perfumed spice of the Franc — alongside a distinctive sea breeze note of a semi-maritime climate. Subtle notes of cassis, mocha combine to provide understated cedary, cigar box aroma.

Palate finely focused offering sweet plummy, currant like fruit, umami undercurrent. Tannins are fine, long balanced with sweet notes of spirit and softly supporting acidity.

13.5% Alc/Vol

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Chardonnay 2014

complex classic elegant grapefruit lemon flint toast biscuit hazelnut

Drawn from eleven different clones of Chardonnay, including some younger vines in Hell Block. Lighter fruit set from a cooler Spring, gave well set bunches of small berries. Handpicked earlier, with slatey / flinty / mineral characters, yet physiologically ripe, giving a lower final alcohol than the previous year.

Whole bunch pressed to 20% new French oak coopered specifically for Chardonnay, sequential filling giving natural complexity, each barrel fermenting with differing fractions of solids, acidity and phenolics. A small portion of skin fermentation adds further complexity. Partial malolactic, while resting on lees to retain a structural seam of natural acidity.

At bottling, brilliant green-gold of striking intensity. Aromatically – biscuit, mealy with fresh straw, tight white fruit, subtle toasty oak, and gunflint. Lithe and lively classic Waipara Chardonnay stone fruit, balanced with complexity of fermentation, clever oaking, and a smear of ripe skin phenolics in the finish. A lovely progression from the 2013 Sharkstone – a seamless textural wine that speaks more of this site than an overt varietal statement.

13.0% Alc/Vol

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Hellblock Riesling 2013

big sliver light citrus fruit ripe red apple mineral crunch

Grown on a gravel river terrace in an amphitheatre that gets as hot as hell during summer.

Picked while the skins are fresh without any sunburn to avoid phenolic development. Whole bunch pressed and enzyme settled before tank fermenting with neutral yeast. Ferment stopped while relatively sweet (37 g/L r.s.) but balanced with bright, laser like acidity and very low pH. No malolactic, bottled early to retain freshness.

Floral aromatics, rose, lavender, apple and citrus blossom. Flavours of green/ yellow with veins of pink and blue woven through. Citrus like fruit notes — ripe red apple  — crunchy mineral.

10.0% Alc/Vol

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Cabernet Franc 2014

perfumed violets red summer fruits cacao nib

A truly unique wine in New Zealand – from some of the oldest Cabernet Franc vines in the country, and also some of the most southerly. Planted in a natural amphitheatre on the southern banks of the Waipara River, on soils of alluvial silt loam overlying free draining gravels

This fruit was special – dark and chewy skins with coffee roast pips. Saturated crimson/purple, with flashes of magenta at the rim. Nose shows classic cool climate Cabernet Franc characters of violets, plums and warm spices- backed by dark chocolate and rose petal, with tops notes of morello cherry. In the mouth – balanced and harmonious, with lovely fruit: tannin integration. Subtle, yet fresh French oak gives a delicious liquorice tang in the finish. Sufficient acidity allows drive and energy, lending a savoury structure to balance fruit dominance.

13.2% Alc/Vol

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Barebone Chardonnay 2014

chalky white precise mineral saline citrus

Grown on southern river terraces fresh out of the Waipara Gorge, on  natural gravel mix of greywacke, mudstone, feldspar & quartz. 25 year old vines, giving very low vigour and yields, clonally picked hand harvested fruit. Whole bunch pressed, or destemmed with brief skin contact. Juice was either cold settled, or taken cloudy to tank ferment with a yeast selected to express Chardonnay terroir. Aged on fine lees for 10 months, withholding malolactic fermentation, allowing natural grape acidity to give this wine it’s bones.

13.0% Alc/Vol

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Sauvignon Blanc 2014

faithful punchy passionfruit citrus old vine depth

Grown alongside the Riesling vines in Hellblock, sharing the searing summer heat and cold Autumn nights. This is a very lively block with spring fed gravels allowing vine roots to express their unfettered character.

Handpicked, destemmed, and given extended skin contact. Clear juice cool fermented in tank with selected yeast strains in order to extract its riotous nature. Riper fruit left on lees for the Winter which adds nuances of yoghurt, linseed and fruit.

Faithful punchy passionfruit, nettle, gooseberry and boxtree sit on top of richer tropical & citrus fruit notes. Palate dry and balanced — classic savvy. Mid palate has lovely surge of flavour. Profound depth that can only come from old vines on a great site.

13.5% Alc/Vol

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