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Archive for 2016

10 Year Anniversary of the Mahi Winery

Ten years ago today we walked into a place of Marlborough history that was to become the home of Mahi. So many great memories, people, wines and nights have been shared here and it is still one of my favourite places to be. I still love walking through the winery doors to that familiar smell and feel, and could not have hoped for a better place to fulfil a long-held dream of having a winery; a place to express ourselves through our wines. Many thanks to all the folk that have been part of it along the way and look forward to sharing a meal and wines this evening with our current team, including Pat and Kate who have been here for most of the ride. Here is to the adventures and vintages to come!


Mahi Pinot Gris 2016 Marlborough 92 Points Extremely attractive bouquet of ripe tree and stone fruits with a core of concentration, spice and fruit. On the palate – delicious and just dry with medium+ acidity and flavours of pear skin and peach, apple and preserved lemon, a hint of white pepper spice and dried herb, crushed stone mineral note and wild honeysuckle. Lovely wine with medium+ length. Drink now and through 2020. Mahi ‘Ward Farm’ Pinot Gris 2015 Marlborough 94 Points Fragrant, spicy, complex and packed with a core of mineral ripe fruit. Flavours of peach and pear, honeysuckle and spicy apple; fabulous texture with some lees-like sulphide moments, medium+ acidity, complex and long finish. Delicious example. Drink now and through 2020.


With nearly 30 vintages under his belt, many of them overseas, Brian Bicknell is one of Marlborough’s more experienced winemakers.  He and his wife Nicola set up their own label with the 2001 vintage, their Mahi wines from Marlborough espousing their philosophy of making wines that are sophisticated with texture and subtlety, ideal with food, rather than being fruit-expressive only in style.  They produce a range of wines that are based on the classical Marlborough varieties, but in their own inimitable style of restraint.  The Marlborough regional wines are the core of the range, but the Bicknell’s delight in offering their more complex single vineyard bottlings which incorporate more winemaker input and detail.  Here, I review two new release Pinot Gris wines, the variety Brian recognises to offer much variation and is open to considerable interpretation.  The Mahi approaches are very evident in the two wines, even though they come from the same vineyard. Mahi ‘Marlborough’ Pinot Gris 2016 17.5+/20 Bright, pale straw-yellow colour with hints of green and a suggestion of blush, pale on the rim. The nose is…



It is always a highlight on the calendar when I get to pair up with a great restaurant like Avida, alongside an old friend such as Stephen Morris, to host a winemaker’s dinner. However, the night of Saturday 12th November is particularly special as all proceeds will go to the Karen Louisa Foundation. An incredibly deserving cause, the Karen Louisa Foundation is a registered charitable trust which honours the life and aspirations of the late Karen Louisa Hunter. Established to generate funding and provide direct assistance by various means, the Karen Louisa Foundation supports patients with secondary breast cancer in New Zealand. SATURDAY 12TH NOVEMBER  |  AVIDA  |  7.00PM  |  TICKETS $100 – ALL PROCEEDS TO THE KAREN LOUISA FOUNDATION Events hosted for the Karen Louisa Foundation are centred on Wellington’s vibrant food and dining culture and this one is no different. The night will take place at Avida Bar located near Wellington’s Queen’s Wharf. It will be a night of great food, wine and companionship. I would like to invite you to join us and show support for the Karen Louisa Foundation. Please enquire about bookings from We hope…



As we press some hand-pick Sauvignon direct to barrel and focus on smelling and tasting ferments I thought it would be the ideal time to have a quick recap before we start pressing off the Pinots. It looks like Wednesday the 20th of April will be the last day of picking for us, when we take our Ward Farm Sauvignon, which is pretty well always our last, and also one small bit of special Chardonnay that we have left out to concentrate further to give us another option for the Mahi Chardonnay. Even the fact that we still have a couple of blocks to pick at this stage of April gives some idea of the vintage, being that it will be a later finish for us than the last few years. After a cool start to the growing season in September we had a warm spell late November and early December which really suited flowering. Christmas was slightly cooler then midway through January it started to heat up and the ripening season has been one of our warmer ones of…