Recent Wine Reviews


Yvonne Lorkin, September 2011
4 STARS, 2010 Riverpoint Viognier
Scented with yellow plum, orange oil and frangipani. In the mouth it boasts citrus pith and musky, midpalate seductiveness. Topped off with tangy, warming length of flavour and a nicely balanced 13.5 per cent alcohol, this is definitely a drinkable example that works beautifully with apricot and sage stuffed pork roast.
Yvonne Lorkin, July 30 2011
5 STARS, 2009 Clos de Ste. Anne Viognier
"Mandarin and tangelo notes with classic apricot kernel and cheek-tingling texture and orange oil unctuosity. Delicious stuff from one of this country's viognier pioneers, plus it's organic and biodynamically produced so no doubt you'll have warm eco-fuzzy feelings with every sip."

Cameron J. Douglas, Master Sommelier, July 2011
97 Points, 5 STARS+ 2009 Clos de Ste. Anne Pinot Noir

"Nose: Wow and OMG! - the bouquet from this wine will send shivers down your spine (well it did to mine) - what an incredible bouquet! Chambolle Musigny, mushroom, truffle and other perigord; drifting and feminine and sexy.
Palate: The palate reflects the nose with pristine clarity; soft and generous red fruits, playful yet firm tannins - youthful; dried herb undertones and a soft minerality. This is an amazing wine!"

Cameron J. Douglas, Master Sommelier, July 2011
4 STARS - 2009 Te Arai Chenin Blanc

"Nose: Give this wine a little time to settle in the glass please - apple fruits emerge in various guises with a spike if fruit/skin/spice. Straight-forward bouquet with a soft floral note to look out for.
Palate: Just Off-Dry, but to many will seem dry with the Medium+ acidity that quickly envelopes the palate. Flavors if crisp apple, quince and touches of honey. Lovely balance (a hall mark of this producer) with medium+ length."

Cameron J. Douglas, Master Sommelier, July 2011
5 STARS - 2009 Clos de Ste. Anne Viognier

"Nose: Condrieu thoughts - floral then soil then fruits - baked apples then apricots then flowers (yellow); complexity and panache.
Palate: Soft and silky textures then a tidal wave of flowers, fruits and generosity; bacon fat, spice, warmth and finish. This is a great wine and will easily last for a decade."

Cameron J. Douglas, Master Sommelier, July 2011
4.5 STARS - 2010 Riverpoint Viognier

"Nose: Classic - varietal attributes of intense yellow peach and apricot; emerging yellow flowers, a whisper of bacon fat, baked terracotta soil notes.
Palate: A plush and central core of stone fruits flavors surrounded by florals especially buttercup and daisy; warm and generous mouth feel overall and balance right on the finish."

Cameron J. Douglas, Master Sommelier, July 2011
94 Points, 5 STARS+ 2009 Clos de Ste. Anne Chardonnay

"Nose: Don't let the first aromas fool you - there is a very complex bouquet of white flowers, warm and generous fruits and personality silently waiting your attention; soft stone fruit, hints of golden melon and blonde tobacco; as the wine is swirled and absorbs more oxygen the bouquet unfurls its splendor.
Palate: Youthful, primary and complex: Plenty of acidity emphasizes a younger side - yet the stone fruits and delicate tropical note, sweet citrus layers and playful oak (adding structure) suggests to me there is a long and necessary development time for this wine. The finish moderate just now, but I know it will extend in time. The complexity too is sitting in the shadows of the power and intensity of the fruit and oak. Three to five more years in cellar will prove a sound investment."

Cameron J. Douglas, Master Sommelier, July 2011
4.5 STARS - 2009 Opou Chardonnay

"Nose: Figs, peaches, melons; silky oak notes; complex, interesting and inviting.
Palate: Soft, generous and inspiring. The outer edges of the palate show the acid and structure different from many other chardonnays I have tasted - an electric field of energy that shimmers and draws my attention; cashew flavors from the oak add a delicious and nutty/sweet note; youthful still with medium plus length."

Bob Campbell, June 2011
5 STARS - 2009 Clos de Ste. Anne Viognier
"Rich, unctuous wine with a velvet texture and plenty of weight. It's bone dry with classic apricot, floral and spice flavours. Very impressive wine in truly varietal style with underlying complexity from barrel and yeast lees work. Complex and very stylish, it has the "X" factor."

Jane Skilton, Sunday Star Times, 12 June 2011
5 STARS - 2010 Riverpoint Viognier
"Some viognier can be quite overwhelming but this trophy-winning wine, while not short on flavour shows restraint and subtlety. Very elegant indeed."

Jarrod Englefield, TussockJumper.com, 15 May 2011
2007 Te Arai Chenin Blanc

"The wine has an impressive golden hue colour about it. Honey, and nectar notes shine through on the nose. It’s clearly Chenin Blanc, but so different from a lot of the South African styles I’ve tried. It’s clearly taken a leaf out of the Loire Valley booklet.
It gets really exciting in the palate. The honey characters flow through with refreshing acidity. The oak used adds an extra layer of complexity, it seems sweet, but finishes dry. Beautifully balanced with great texture. Rich, round and elegant. It's already 4 years old and shows great ability to age. This is serious stuff!!"

Read the full article here.


Rebecca Gibb, The NZ Herald, 3 May 2011
2009 Clos de Ste. Anne Viognier

"
Anne is the mother of the Millton family and the inspiration for this hedonistic viognier. It exudes an ethereal perfume of sweet dried apricots, flower petals and ginger."

Read full article here.

Bob Campbell, Your Home & Garden Magazine, May 2011
2009 Clos Samuel Viognier Special Bunch Selection

"Orgasmic Organic. An intense, lusciously sweet botrytis-affected wine with masses of musk, tropical fruits, chocolate, honey and a mysterious, magical aroma that can be described only as the scent of the hair of the Marsh King's daughter."

Joelle Thomson,The Dominion Post, 30 April 2011
2009 Clos de Ste. Anne Syrah

"James Millton has been taking great pleasure in pushing boundaries ever since he began fermenting ‘things’ as a teenager. His latest trio of top Millton Vineyard wines come from his hillside vineyard, Clos de Ste Anne, which he named after his wife, Annie Millton. There’s a viognier, pinot noir, chardonnay and syrah – and it’s the last of this four that turned my tastebuds on, one chilly autumn night. The 2009 Clos de Ste Anne The Crucible Syrah is about $48 a bottle, and is a big bold, peppery red offering a surprising amount of wow factor, thanks to James’ quiet and unwavering adherence to ‘natural winemaking’ practices; organic and biodynamic. The taste of the wine proves the point."

5 Stars, Bob Campbell, April 2011
2010 Clos Samuel Viognier Special Berry Selection

"Very sweet wine with honeysuckle, vanilla, honey and wild flower flavours. Nicely balanced with a smooth texture and lengthy finish. Very impressive."

Rebecca Gibb, The NZ Herald, 3 April 2011
2008 Millton Te Arai Vineyard Chenin Blanc

"A shimmering golden colour draws you into the rich, honeyed, mandarin and nutty nose. Seamless in the mouth with mouthwatering acidity and savoury notes on the finish."

John Hawkesby, Canvas Magazine, 25 February 2011
2009 Clos de Ste. Anne Viognier

"Still underrated and hovering below the radar, viognier must be due to take its rightful position as a truly great white wine that flourishes with appropriate care in New Zealand. The folk at Gisborne's biodynamic estate, Millton Vineyard, know how to do "grape whispering"' better than anyone and their efforts have been rewarded with a wine that makes you wonder why so many consumers stay with sauvignon or chardonnay. Release the rebel within and try something different."
Read full article 'A year of gorgeous drops'

Joelle Thomson, Your Weekend Magazine, December 2010
Te Arai Chenin Blanc and 2009 Riverpoint Viognier

"Another top biodynamic wine won the Champion Other White Trophy at this year's Air NZ Wine Awards. The 2009 Millton Riverpoint Viognier is a fantastic dry white, made by organic-turned-biodynamic wine maker James Millton. While everybody else gave up on chenin blanc, Millton dedicated himself to making one, which also happens to be one of New Zealand's best whites. He has also figured out how to coax the best from viognier, as this year's awards rightly judged. He is fanatical about not using chemicals in the vineyard or winery."

Pure Gold Medal and Trophy "Other White" at 2010 Air New Zealand Wine Awards. Judge Steve Smith - 2009 Riverpoint Viognier
"Feels like there’s something ethereal going on here. Samples arrived by courier pigeon and were tasted on a shoot day, so all’s good. Seriously good Viognier, peaches and spice and all things nice, not big or weighty, neither is it shy. Lovely creamy texture with hints of dried spice and sweet lemon held together by a fine bead of sinew and bones. Exceptional example from a great artisan of wine."

John Hawkesby, New Zealand Herald, December 2010
2009 Riverpoint Viognier

Gisborne's rock star producer who has the knack of getting everything just right. Full of big flavours, lots of summer florals and that sweet oily creaminess that danced effortlessly with Brown's fabulous fishcakes.

Read full article here.

Michael Cooper, NZ Listener, 16 October 2010
2009 Crazy By Nature Cosmo Red

"'In 1984 they thought we were crazy to grow our grapes organically,' recall winegrowers James and Annie Millton – hence the name of their funky new range, based on certified-organic grapes. This vibrant Gisborne red – a blend of malbec, merlot, syrah and viognier – is full-coloured, fresh, berryish and lively, with a touch of savoury complexity, soft tannins and a spicy fragrance."

Michael Cooper, Winestate Magazine, July/August 2010
5 Stars - 2009 Riverpoint Viognier

"Floral and fleshy. Intensely aromatic, with ripe-fruit characters of apricots and musk, excellent flavour concentration, a sliver of sweetness and a deliciously oily, creamy texture."

John Hawksby, Canvas Magazine, June 2010
2008 Clos de Ste Anne Pinot Noir and 2008 Shotberry Chardonnay

Read full article "Fruits of the First Sun".

The New Frontier by Jo Burzynska, VIVA, NZ Herald, 16 June 2010
"Our new generation of vintners aren't afraid to push the boundaries....James and Annie Millton were certainly regarded as pretty different and even a little weird when they started growing grapes organically..." Read more.

2008 Te Arai Chenin Blanc, 4.5 stars - Michael Cooper, Winestate Magazine, May/June 2010
"A forward vintage of this organically certified Gisborne wine, already very expressive. Medium-bodied, with a gentle splash of sweetness amidst its rich, ripe, pineappley, slightly spicy and honeyed flavours."

Jonathon Ray's Top Ten Kiwi Wines, The Telegraph, 19 February 2010
"New Zealand is bewitching. I've travelled there on several occasions and it never fails to enthrall me. The wines in particular are fascinating .... 2008 Millton Vineyards Te Arai Chenin Blanc. Organic/biodynamic pioneer James Millton is gloriously eccentric and makes superlative wines at his Manutuke estate in Gisborne....." read more

Biodynamic wines by the dozen, Tamlin Currin for Jancis Robinson.com, March 2010
"UK specialist organic wine importer Vintage Roots has clearly been checking their biodynamic calendar because I did this tasting on a flower day, and whether or not that had an effect, it was certainly a very enjoyable tasting from start to finish....James Millton must be one of the most gregarious, smiling and jocular winemakers on the Vintage Root books... They pioneered biodynamics in New Zealand, starting in 1984..." read more.

Clos de Ste Anne Syrah 2006, 18/20, Tamlin Currin
"...Stunning. I don't want to write about this wine. I simply want to drink it."