By John Anthony
THE WWW (WHO, WHERE & WINE)
Stoneleigh of Marlborough New Zealand
Stoneleigh Vineyard is situated in the heart of the Rapaura area on the northern side of the Wairau Valley in Marlborough, New Zealand. Within two kilometres of the Wairau River and the Richmond Ranges, their home lies within an area known locally as the Golden Mile of vineyards.
I really lucked out when the journo team of Prodijee interviewed Jamie Marfell – the brilliant winemaker of Stoneleigh. I had been savouring the beautiful fruity flavours of this particular Marlborough vineyard for years and when the team came back with five beautiful examples of this man’s craft, I could not wait to start.
This review is unusual in that I will cover all five in this one article. Not for any other reason than this is the way I want to do it, and I also feel that it speaks very well of the vineyard and winemaker as it does of the individual wines.
The first to be opened was the Stoneleigh Latitude Sauvignon Blanc 2014.
This wine displayed a beautiful clear light straw colour and citrus aromas wafted up as I was pouring. The first sip just bounced off my tongue and I was hooked from then on. This is not a regular Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough and I mean that in a good way. I find almost all Sauvignon Blanc from the region to be great, but this one was just a little different – just as good, if not better. It was not heavy on citrus and fruit like many others, but still very full of flavour – it was just way too easy to drink.
A couple of nights passed and a meal opportunity came up to open the Stoneleigh Marlborough Pinot Noir Rosé. The wine was very inviting with that undeniable light, strawberry, pink hue screaming “Open Me”.
Once opened and poured, that great nose of true Pinot grapes mixed with strawberry scents just invited the senses to quench the growing thirst. It was a satisfying, light, fresh and flavourful wine that, whilst not exhibiting any effervescence, just jumped out of the glass into my mouth.
This wine sat on my palate well, with a refreshing taste that just kept on giving to the end of the bottle. It was definitely one of the lightest Rosés I have had, making it perfect for any occasion and cuisine – it is simply delightful.
I could not wait for a specific dining experience to open the next one, so I just jumped in and opened it to share with some friends – Stoneleigh Latitude Pinot Noir 2013.
There are just some wines that look good and this is one of them. Sitting in the glass and revealing a glorious ruby red that any gem merchant would envy, I drank in the light nose of pinot noir with the most subtle hint of muskiness that made it really heady, especially for a 2013.
The flavour was beautiful, being fresh, fruity and light but complex and full of flavour. It swirled all around to the back of my tongue and settled there with full flavour and a real pinot taste.
This wine would be great for dinner of either meat or fish or a café pizza and then again after dinner with breads and cheese.
I had to get back onto the whites and the perfect opportunity came with the bottle that I had enjoyed many times in the past – Stoneleigh Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014.
Sitting in the glass as pretty as a picture, this Sauvignon Blanc is very light and clear.
The aroma is by far one of the best I have smelled and never tire of. It is heavy on passion fruit aroma, yet it does not have a passion fruit flavour, it is full of citrus tones but has just the right balance so as not to not be too lemony. This Sauvignon Blanc leaves you with a fresh clean palate and, well chilled, it is perfect on a hot day for lunch or in the afternoon with a cheese platter.
This Stoneleigh Sauvignon Blanc is my first choice of wine to accompany a bucket of prawns whilst sitting outside and enjoying the views at any one of Australia’s fantastic outdoor eateries.
Last cab off the rank was the Stoneleigh Marlborough Pinot Noir 2013.
The light and clear, gem red colour glinted in the light as it swirled around my glass. This Pinot Noir has a lovely soft nose with a beautiful fresh grape scent. My first sip fell over my palate with a rush of flavour that sat nicely at the back of my throat and had a subtle after note of tannin.
It’s terrible to say, but from the first sip, I regretted opening it to share with others. I look forward to another bottle, yes, shared with friends, but this time chilled and served with cheese and antipasto platters. It’s a great wine to have with lunch or dinner, or any time in between or after – yes, it’s perfect with everything.
A huge thankyou to Stoneleigh for giving me this opportunity. I have already started to pay you back as I went out and bought a dozen of the Stoneleigh Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc at my local First Choice liquor outlet – true!
There is now real fear in the house that I will bust the budget buying the rest of these truly delicious and ‘drink now’ little masterpieces.
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