Maude | Tasting Review | September 2019

25 years ago Dr Terry and Dawn Wilson planted the first vines on the steep north facing slopes of the sheltered Maungawera Valley just outside of Wanaka, Central Otago. Those were pioneering times and this is now known as the Home Block. In 2004 they were joined by their daughter Sarah Kate and her husband Dan Dineen who had both been making wines in Australia. Sarah-Kate and Dan set about building the winery and expanding the vineyards. Today Maude are well and truly established and highly regarded for their own range of wines and the skill set of winemaking for other clients. Last year they deservedly won the Trophy for Champion Wine of the Show at the New Zealand Wine of the Year for their 2017 Pinot Noir.

It was a real pleasure to have Sarah-Kate present the wines to us. Included were a set of new single vineyard Pinot Noir wines that are due for release in a few weeks – watch out for them when they become available. We were also treated to a taste of their home grown Maple Syrup which as a side project is very much a labour of love.

Maude Methode Traditionnelle Brut NV

A blend of 50:50 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir using aged base wines with more recent vintages. Around 40% is fermented in older oak. The blend is bottled and re-fermented in the traditional manner and aged on less for around 3 years before disgorging.

A light straw hue with fine bead. Flavours of white flowers, apple and marzipan. Dry and rich with crisp acidity and some brioche characters. Classy packaging and wine.

Maude Mt Maude Dry Riesling 2019

Hand harvested from the 25 year old Riesling vines on the Mt Maude family vineyard.

Youthful looking and tasting, this has a burst of orange and lavender flavours. Quite pretty and elegant with fresh acidity finishing crisp and dry. A wine that will age very well.

Maude Mt Maude East Block Riesling 2019

Again hand harvested fruit from the Mt Maude vineyard, this time all from the cooler East side. Also light and delicate with more lime and red apple. A ying/yang of sweet and sour. Totally salivating with low alcohol of 8.6% and around 40 gms rs.

Maude Pinot Gris 2018

From four vineyards in Central, including the Rafters Road in Gibbston which is thought to have the oldest Pinot Gris vines in Central Otago. Around 60% of the grapes are gently pressed and fermented in stainless steel to retain the aromatics whilst the balance are foot stomped then fermented in older barrels. This is what we describe as a golden style – ripe fruits with pear, apricot, quince flavours and a rounded, almost plush texture.

Maude Mt Maude Chardonnay 2018

Hand harvested from the Mt Maude that was planted in 1994. Made as naturally as possible. Foot stomped, basket pressed and naturally fermented in older French oak puncheons and full malolactic. With only 6 rows this is a very limited production.

We just love this Chardonnay. There’s lots of flavours – salted caramel, a hint of smokiness, peaches and cream. Rich and mouthfilling and finishes nice and savoury.

Maude Pinot Noir 2018

Made to reflect the Central Otago style and the fruit is sourced from both the Lowburn and Queensberry vineyards. Fermented very traditionally in open topped tanks, hand plunged, indigenous yeast fermented with a portion of whole bunch and matured in French barriques (30% new) for 10 months before bottling unfined and unfiltered.

It has a seductive nose of cherry and dark raspberry with a hint of ripe tamarillo. Silky on the palate with good mouth feel and presence. A very approachable wine that will also give enjoyment over the next few years.

Maude Poison Creek Pinot Noir 2017

This vineyard is located in the Queensberry sub-region near Luggat at the head of Lake Dunstan. The gravelly soils give the wine a mineral character which SK described as ‘blackberry on a dusty road’. Sinewy and fine and a wine that seems to be a bit of a sleeper to watch develop over a few years in the bottle.

Maude Mohawk Hill Pinot Noir 2017

The Mohawk Hill vineyard is located in the foothills of the Pisa range. So named as a view of pine trees on a nearby hill ridge looks like a Mohawk. A little more wild herb character here, this is quite structured and savoury.

Maude Kid’s Block Pinot Noir 2017

The ‘Kid’s Block’ is from 6 rows on the Home Block, planted for each grandchild, all planted in 2000 and all to different Dijon clones. Ironically SK and Dan’s children came along later so missed out! Quite perfumed with floral notes and some dried stemmy herb notes. Ripe rich fruit and nice firm, chalky tannins. Good concentration.

Maude EMW Pinot Noir 2018

From the two Mt Maude homeblocks – East and West – hence the name East Meets West. Fermented with whole cluster, whole berry ferment ‘al la Beaujolais methode’ in a sealed vat for 3 weeks before basket pressing and putting to barrel. Quite a distinctive wine with aromas jumping out of the glass – juicy ripe strawberry, violets, spice. Deliciously moreish!