Winery notes (2015 Vintage)
"The growers of this wine are Delwyn and Doug Bell. One of Doug’s pride and joys is his restored and running Allison supercharged V12 out of a Curtis Kittyhawk. This wine is named in Doug and Allison’s honour (we aren’t sure what Delwyn thinks about this). Marsanne hails from the Rhone Valley in France and loved the warm and dry conditions that typified vintage 2015 in Gisborne. The fruit was harvested in pristine condition on 8 April and was bottled on 2 September. Vinification and elevage was entirely in tank.
Aromas of lightly scented candlewax, hints of melon, honeysuckle and stonefruit. The palate is full-bodied and luscious, with great mouthfeel and length."
4 ½ Stars & Number 1 Cuisine Non-Aromatic Whites Tasting, September 2021 (2015 Vintage)
"Hailing from the northern Rhône region of France, marsanne is commonly blended with roussanne and is also permitted to be blended – in small quantities – into the renowned red wines of the region. For the most part marsanne grapes are made into dry, medium-bodied white wines that are oak aged and cellar well for long periods of time. As such, it is commonly said that those who enjoy chardonnay are likely to enjoy a glass of marsanne. One thing to be wary of is that marsanne can have high alcohol content – in some cases as much as 15%.
Marsanne loves warm, dry conditions, so it’s not surprising that this one hails from Gisborne and is named ‘Allison’ after grape grower Doug’s greatest joy, his Allison V-1710 V12 aircraft engine, lovingly restored and apparently running well. If you fancy a bit of aeronautical history to go with your wine knowledge, then you’ll be interested to know that the Allison V-1710 was the only US-developed V12 liquid-cooled engine to see service during World War II.
But I digress. This is thought to be the first marsanne made in New Zealand and it definitely impressed our panel with its smoky church incense character on the nose, mixed with beeswax and apricot kernel. Although a 2015 vintage, the accumulated bottle age adds to the charm and intrigue of this vibrant wine. Rich and luscious on the mid-palate with both nashi and bosc pear flesh characters rounding out this dense, almost crunchy wine."