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 Yvonne Lorkin, September 2019 (2018 Vintage)
"In a word. Phenomenal. They call the boulders that litter the soils of the Mangatahi sub-region, west of Hastings, ‘Mangatahi swedes’, which is a bit of a dig at the ‘Gimblett Gravels’ or ‘Te Awanga pebbles’ monikers out there. The vines thrive on sun-saturated, ancient terraces of the Ngaruroro River, pushing their roots down and around these massive stones to find the moisture they need to produce tiny, intensely flavoured chardonnay berries which the team at Smith & Sheth have expertly shepherded into the bottle. Ultra-concentrated, bursting with citrus and packed solid with punchy peach, caramelized spices and fresh, tropical complexity, this wine is so statuesque, sublime to sip, beautifully balanced, it glides across your gums like a leggy, liquid supermodel strutting a nectarine and grapefruit-gilded catwalk. It’s worth every cent and more, plus it’ll evolve into something incredible if you’re disciplined enough to cellar it for another year or six."
5 Stars & 96/100 Sam Kim, Wine Orbit, October 2019 (2016 Vintage)
"Gorgeously fruited and immensely appealing, the bouquet shows golden peach, nougat, cedar and brioche characters, followed by a succulent palate that is mouthfilling and expansive. Gracefully opulent yet firmly structured with an extremely long sophisticated finish. At its best: 2022 to 2030."
5 Stars Bob Campbell MW, The Real Review, November 2019 (2018 Vintage)
"A ripe, fleshy chardonnay with a core of sweet tree fruit, peach and nectarine plus a seasoning of toasted nut, hazelnut, biscuit, ginger and spicy oak characters. An intense and accessible wine with obvious potential."
95/100 Cameron Douglas MS, October 2019 (2018 Vintage)
"Power and complexity, richness and fruit, oak and sweetness, spice and toast. A bouquet of a youthful white wine with aromas of brazil nut and toasty oak with a raw sugar note, peaches and vanilla, apples and a little quince. On the palate a delicious wine with a lovely creamy mouth feel, toasty oak spices, a leesy textured layer with a nice acid line, oak and vibrant fruit flavours adding depth and length. Fine oak tannins and a lengthy, youthful, finish. Cellar worthy, but also drinkable now with food. Quite delicious."