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Wine Enthusiast Reviews by Christina Pickard

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New reviews by Christina Pickard

2018 Mt. Beautiful Rosé

90 Points - also selected as a Top 10 Rosé

The current vintage of this wine is a more complex and less overtly ripe expression than the previous year’s and it’s lovely to see a rosé with more strings to its bow. It sings to the tune of cherry blossoms, orange rind and dried herbs. It’s dry, slippery and refreshing. There’s a bitter note at the finish but this would be a fun one to experiment with food pairings; likely that finish would become unnoticeable with a well matched meal. Mt. Beautiful USA.


2017 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir

90 Points

A dense multifaceted nose from this quality North Canterbury producer reveals notes of black cherries, peppery herbs, violets, vanilla, warm stones and a slightly meaty funky nuance. Sturdy and relatively thick waisted, the palate is cinched with savory tight-grained tannins and a sweet brambly berry fruit flecked with herbal notes to finish. Drink now through 2026.

The Real Reviews - 92 Points - 2018 Sauv Blanc

The Real Review Logo Bob Campbell MW

A new review by Bob Campbell MW of The Real Reviews:

92 Points - Silver Medal

Quite a serious sauvignon with good weight and a pleasingly rich texture. A hint of tropical fruit with melon, nectarine and nutty yeast lees flavours. Dry but not austere. A good food wine.

Rated 43 of 149 Sauvignon Blancs tasted

Down Under and Over the Top

Taste Of The Seacoast

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Wine Buzz
by JoAnn Actis-Grande

Lighter easier drinking wines are filling the shelves at our favorite wine shops. There are many wine choices, some we seek out to enjoy for a special occasion, others we stock up on for all occasions.

Mt. Beautiful wines are made in the Southern Hemisphere. The vineyards are located in North Canterbury, the South Island of New Zealand. Mt. Beautiful is named after the group of mountains along the coastal range within eyes view. The country is known for its breathtaking scenery and beautiful wines.

Mtbeautifulvineyard

New Zealand sits in the middle of the South Pacific, adjacent to Australia, made up of two islands called the North Island and South Island. The North Island is smaller and more populated than the South Island, which is filled with lakes, rivers, glaciers, mountains, volcanoes, and sheep. Both Islands produce wine.

The country has 10 main wine regions. The cooler maritime climate conditions create wines with very distinct characteristics. The Marlborough region (South Island) basically put New Zealand on the map as a wine region with its renowned Sauvignon Blanc. White grape varietals dominate the landscapes, and the Rieslings are famous from Canterbury, and for reds New Zealand Pinot Noir is some of the best I have tasted.

The North Canterbury wine region can be found on the east coast on the South Island, not far from the Pacific Ocean. Mt. Beautiful wines are the expression of the wild, rugged and breathtakingly scenic region. Only seven miles from the Pacific Ocean, their namesake, Mt. Beautiful, protects the vineyards from harsh sea winds.

New Zealand native, Dr. David J. Teece, a well-known scholar, author, and entrepreneur, spent two years searching for the ideal place to pioneer an undiscovered region and fulfill a dream of bringing the best of New Zealand to the world. In 2003, he found the perfect place to attain his mission of producing certified-sustainable, estate-grown, and distinctively restrained wines.

Mt. Beautiful wines are unique from most New Zealand wines by way of their location in up-and-coming North Canterbury, but they are also different in style. The wine style captures the essence of New Zealand while embracing a more restrained approach. Consulting winemaker Sam Weaver describes the winemaking style as clean wines with "drive" and length of flavor. They show abundant fruit but “pull in the reins” to manage it with more balance. All of the wines carry the North Canterbury appellation and are 100% varietal.

Mtbeautiful Trio

Mt. Beautiful wines exceed expectations. The Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Chardonnay, Rosé are all delicious, and the Pinot Noir is a show stopper.

The wines are affordable ($16-$30), easy to drink, and pair beautifully with seasonally fresh foods or opened for special occasions.

2016 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir
Violet aromas followed by vibrant berry fruit flavors.

2018 Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc
Floral aromas and tropical fruit flavors that sustain a smooth balance with each sip.

2018 Mt. Beautiful Rosé
Dry yet very refreshing with floral notes and flavors of sweet cherry, orange marmalade, and some dried herbs. A great go to summer wine!

New Planet Grape Wine Reviews!

Planet Grape Wine Review

New wine reviews by Catherine Fallis MS! 

2018 Sisters Ridge Sauv Blanc – 90 Points
“Silky, fresh and dry with notes of peach. mango, thyme, lemongrass and chamomile.“

2017 Sisters Ridge Pinot Noir  - 90 Points
“Light, tart and dry with notes of cranberry, raspberry, brown mushroom and cedar.”

2018 Mt. B Sauv Blanc – 91 Points
“Full and creamy then crisp and dry with notes of lemon, lime, peach, pineapple, fennel seed and celery.”

2017 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Gris – 91 Points
“Creamy. lightly sweet and tingly with notes of starfruit, lemon custard and candied ginger.” 

2017 Mt. Beautiful Chardonnay – 90 Points  
“Creamy, supple and fresh with notes of lemon bar, baked pear, vanilla bean, almond sliver and buttered baguette.” 

2017 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir – 93 Points
“Lean, fresh, brisk and racy with notes of strawberry, raspberry, cantaloupe, pink rose. brown mushroom, toasted almond and cinnamon raisin bread.” 

New Zealand Pinot Noir Wines to Seek Out

New Zealand Pinot Noir Wines 1220X807

In this article, our 2016 Pinot Noir was selected by Associate Editor of Decanter, Tina Gellie, and featured alongside 12 other New Zealand Pinots Noirs. Ours is the only Pinot Noir from North Canterbury, rated 92 points with only one other rated higher (93 points).

New Zealand Pinot Noir Wines to Seek Out
Decanter, Tina Gellie, February 2019

"Decanter's Tina Gellie picks your next New Zealand Pinots to try... Pinot Noir grows at its best in cooler climates – think Burgundy and Champagne – which is why it fares well in New Zealand, especially in regions such as Marlborough and Central Otago. New Zealand has developed a reputation for the quality of its Pinot Noir in recent years, and they can offer great value for money compared to the old world competition, typically offering a fragrant aroma with flavours of cherry, raspberry and brambles. The following wines showcase some top picks for drinking in 2019 and beyond, from the full-bodied, rich expressions of Central Otago to the weighty concentration of Martinborough and the balanced elegance of Marlborough.

2016 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir 
Cracking value here, with vibrant cherry and strawberry characters on a full-bodied, creamy palate, alongside pinpoint balance of acidity and alcohol. It's firm and fresh, with gentle oak spicing and supple tannins from 10 months in new and used barrels.
Drinking Window 2019 - 2022."

Shop this wine here: /wines.asp

CIA Sommelier Summit at Copia in Napa, California

CIA Sommelier Summit

In late January, the Culinary Institute of America at the Copia Building in downtown Napa hosted the fourth annual CIA Sommelier Summit. David Strada organized a lunch hosted by New Zealand Winegrowers and Mt. Beautiful alongside Amisfield wines were two of the seven brands from New Zealand represented at this lunch.  For a full recap check out "Going Beyond Sauvignon Blanc at the Culinary Institute of America's Fourth Annual Sommelier Summit" authored by Melissa A. Marrapese Ph.d in the April issue of The Tasting Panel. Link here.

Twelve Excellent Wines to Begin the Year

SB And Food 3 Web

Bigger Than Your Head,
Fredric Koeppel

"Actually, the title of this post is a misnomer. What I offer today, in the first Weekend Wine Notes of 2019, are 10 wines that rate Excellent and two that rate Exceptional, the latter both pinot noirs from different regions of California. Also included in this diverse roster are a Gewurztraminer 2012 from Alsace; a chardonnay from Sonoma Coast; two sauvignon blancs, one from New Zealand, the other from Tuscany; a monumental cabernet/shiraz blend from Australia’s McLaren Vale region as well as an equally monumental 100 percent shiraz from Padthaway; two wines from Costières de Nîmes in the Southern Rhone Valley, one white, one red; a Spätlese Riesling from Rheingau, in Germany; and a stylish merlot from Walla Walla, Washington. As usual in these Weekend Wine Notes, I eschew the technical, historical and geographical data that I dote on for the sake of quick and incisive reviews ripped, as it were, from the pages of my scribblings and designed to pique your interest and whet your palate. Enjoy! In moderation, of course.

Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc 2017, North Canterbury, New Zealand. NA% alc. Very pale straw-gold color; lime peel and grapefruit, celery seed and leaf, hint of caraway; lavish with roasted lemon, quince and ginger; very dry, with the pent energy of vibrant acidity and crystalline limestone; real presence and personality; altogether fresh, clean and scintillating. Excellent. About $16, representing Great Value."

View the article HERE. 

Raymond Chan Wine Reviews

Raymond Chan Logo

2018 Mt. Beautiful Rosé
17 / 20 Points, 4 Stars
Bright, light copper-orange colour with some depth, paler on the rim. The nose is softly full with densely packed aromas of savoury quince fruit with subtle strawberry notes, hints of yellow stonefruits and soft nutty and mineral elements, unfolding red florals. Dry to taste and fullish bodied, the palate has fulsome flavours of savoury quince and strawberries with stonefruit and floral detail. The mouthfeel is robust and vigorous with some phenolic textures lending presence. The fruit is underlined by light, background, thirst-quenching acidity and the wine carries to a light flavoured finish of quince and florals. This is a fulsome and vigorous dry rosé with quince, strawberry, stonefruit and floral flavours on a textural palate. Serve with antipasto and tapas over the next 2-3 years. A blend of 65% Pinot Noir given 12 hours skin contact and 35% hand-picked Pinot Gris, also given time on skins, the two varieties co-fermented in stainless-steel with 15% in seasoned French oak to 14.5% alc. and <3 g/L RS, the barrel portion aged on lees. 17.0/20 Nov 2018 RRP $21.50

2017 Mt. Beautiful Chardonnay
17/20 Points, 4 Stars
Bright straw-yellow colour with lemon-green hues, lighter on the rim. The nose is elegant and slender in presentation, possessing a taut and finely concentrated core of fresh citrus fruit with yellow stonefruits, with a subtle layering of nutty oak and hints of lemon-curd MLF detail. Medium-bodied, the palate has an elegantly concentrated and taut heart with bright and lively citrus fruit and yellow stonefruits, along with nutty oak, and hints of creamy barrel-ferment melded with MLF. The mouthfeel is refreshing and sleek, and flows along a fine line with brisk acidity enlivening the fruitiness. The wine carries to an elegant, slender, but lingering finish. This is an elegantly taut, refreshing Chardonnay with lively citrus fruit along with nutty oak notes and hints of creaminess on a sleek palate. Serve with seafood dishes over the next 3+ years. Clone 95 and 2/23 fruit, hand-picked, WBP and fermented in equal portions in stainless-steel and new and seasoned oak to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 10 months on less, the barrel portion undergoing MLF. 17.5-/20 Nov 2018 RRP $26.90

2017 Mt. Beautiful Riesling
17.5 / 20 Points, 4 Stars
Bright, pale straw colour with slight green hues, near colourless on the rim. The nose is finely concentrated with very good depth of penetrating aromas of lime fruit entwined with notes of honeysuckle and toast. The nose exudes a mineral freshness. Medium in sweetness and light-medium bodied, the palate has soft and gentle flavours of lime fruit with hints of lemon, melded harmoniously with some honeysuckle and toast, unfolding lifted white florals. The flavours are delicate and integrated, with the sweetness adding to the fruit richness. The wine flows along a light, tight line of fruit extract, with taut, soft acidity indicating low pH, and the wine carries softly to a light, nuanced finish. This is a delicately flavoured, harmoniously integrated medium Riesling with lime, lemon, honey and white floral flavours on a soft-textured, taut palate. Serve as an aperitif and with Asian fare over the next 4+ years. Fruit fermented in stainless-steel to 11.24% alc. and 21 g/L RS, TA 9.45 g/L and pH 2.74. 17.5/20 Nov 2018 RRP $28.00

2017 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir
17.5/20 Points, 4 Stars
Moderately deep red colour with ruby hues, lighter on the rim. The nose is soft and somewhat restrained in expression, showing light aromas of dark-red cherry and berry fruit along with delicate nuances of fresh herbs, red florals and nutty oak. The aromatics build in depth with aeration. Medium-bodied, the palate has medium-deep flavours of red cherry and berry fruit along with subtle notes of fresh herbs, some light, nutty oak, unfolding lifted red florals. The fruit forms a soft-textured core with light, grainy tannins lending presence to the mouthfeel, the acidity integrated and balanced. The wine carries softly to a gentle finish of red fruits and florals. This is an elegantly fruited Pinot Noir with red cherry and berry fruit with herbs, oak and floral notes on a soft, grainy-textured palate. Serve with poultry and pork over the next 4 years. Predominantly clones 667 and 777 with up to 11 other clones employed, the fruit hand-picked and fully destemmed, and fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 20% new French oak barrels. 17.5-/20 Nov 2018 RRP $32.00

90 Points - 2016 Sauvignon Blanc - Wine Enthusiast

Here's a new review on our 2016 Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc authored by Wine Enthusiast's Editor, Cristina Pickard!

90 Points

"Light gold in color, this is a luscious wine for those who like their Sauvignon Blanc with body and texture. Aromas of lemon rind and green apple skins mingle with tomato leaf, wet stone and a matchstick flintiness. The palate is incredibly mouthfilling and plump, but there is just enough acidity to keep it afloat."

See this review on Wine Enthusiast's website here!

Great Value Wines For Under £20

Decanter, Tastings Team - June 1, 2018

"Great Value Wines For the Weekend Under £20

Calling all Chardonnay lovers – this weekend we bring you a collection of single varietal and blended examples from around the world. Including expertly rated wines from France, Australia, Chile and United Kingdom."

Our 2016 Mt. Beautiful Chardonnay was selected as one of the ten featured!

"Lovely fruit concentration on the nose leads to a lingering palate full of stone fruit and moreish complexity. Good crispness and it will evolve with time, despite the touch of heat on the finish." 91 Points