Who are Smith & Sheath?
"We are in the business of creating great wines that bring great pleasure. Pleasure that comes from consuming great wine made by fine people to be shared with good friends.
As contemporary negociants Steve Smith and Brian Sheth seek out the exceptional. We have made the most of over 35 years of experience with the growers and makers of New Zealand – forging relationships, hand selecting the best parcels from exceptional vineyards only, then nurturing, blending and bottling these wines. Establishing steadfast relationships with the land, growers and makers who form the DNA of our CRU.
The french call it terroir – a sense of place. In New Zealand we have our own defining word – turangawaewae – our place to stand in the world – it describes the special connection of a people and the land they live, love and work in. Our wines reflect the magic and alchemy of this relationship and the true beauty of these places. CRU has been chosen to collect these wines under one banner as it is the only word that exists that means “vineyards of exceptional quality.” Each wine also has the Maori designation that relates to its whenua (land) origins. The labels have a unique design embossed within that represent the genomes sequence of the grape varieties we are working with. The DNA that is natural to the vine and to the vineyard ecosystem is reflected in each and every wine we make. Our names, Steve Smith and Brian Sheth, are the assurance of a wine that will give inordinate pleasure. Let us share with you the pleasure, culture and craft of our wine."
5 Stars & 97/100 Sam Kim, Wine Orbit, March 2018 (2015 Vintage)
"This is flatteringly classy and undeniably premier league. The bouquet is totally seductive, exhibiting white stone fruit, lemon peel, fig, hazelnut and nougat characters with a whiff of gun smoke. The palate delivers exceptional concentration and focus, together with plush texture and seamless mouthfeel, finishing spectacularly complex and sustained. At its best: now to 2024."
5 Stars & 96/100 Bab Campbell MW, The Real Review, April 2018 (2015 Vintage)
"Elegant and quite powerful chardonnay with subtle hazelnut, grapefruit, struck flint, jalapeno pepper, brioche, root ginger and spicy oak flavours. A stylish wine that’s long and linear with an ethereal texture. Good now but should develop well with bottle age."
5 Stars Michael Cooper (2015 Vintage)
"Full of personality, the classy 2015 vintage was hand-picked from mature vines in the elevated, inland district of Mangatahi, in Hawke's Bay, and fermented and aged for 11 months in French oak barriques (35 per cent new). Drinking well now, but still worth cellaring, it has a fragrant, highly complex bouquet, leading into a weighty, generous wine with layers of grapefruit, peach and biscuity oak flavours. Slightly minerally and earthy, it's a seamless, 'complete' wine, with lovely delicacy and depth."
93/100 Cameron Douglas MS, March 2018 (2015 Vintage)
"The strengths of site and wine making shine through the bouquet of this wine with aromas of gun flint, ripe peaches and quince, apple and citrus; a layer of sulphides adding complexity and intrigue. On the palate – vibrant, textured, youthful and flavourful showing off the fruits and flintiness suggested on the nose; medium+ acidity, plenty of fine new oak, vanilla, spices and long finish. Drink now (decanting suggested) and through 2024."
5 Stars & 18.5/20 (93) Raymond Chan, March 2018 (2015 Vintage)
"Bright straw-yellow colour with lemon hues, paler on the rim. The nose is well-proportioned with pungent and funky aromas of savoury matchstick sulphide reduction interwoven with white stonefruit and nutty notes forming a firm and concentrated heart. The sulphides prevail, but unveil complexing mealy elements with aeration. Medium-full bodied, the palate has mouthfilling flavours of white stonefruits integrated with edgy, funky and pungent gunflint, matchstick and minerally reduction, along with toasty oak. The flavours are broad and show depth and presence, revealing barrel-ferment richness and soft textures to balance the firm reduction. The flavours carry to a fulsome, open finish of stonefruits, flint and toasty oak. This is a mouthfilling Chardonnay with edgy and funky, pungent reductive flavours alongside stonefruits, nuts and toast on a weighty palate. Match with roasted and grilled white meat dishes over the next 5 years. Hand-picked fruit from Mangatahi, WBP and fully indigenous yeast barrel-fermented to 13.22% alc., the wine aged 11 months in 35% new French oak barrriques, undergoing batonnage and 100% MLF."