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Mahi Single Vineyard Aromatic Whites by Raymond Chan

Building texture into wines is Brian Bicknell’s specialty. The presence of texture is essential for wine to stand any chance matching food, and is just as important as flavour. This applies to the white varieties as well as the reds, and even greater care must be taken them, especially the aromatic varieties, as an excess of phenolics will introduce bitterness and astringency that will make a white wine, supposedly refreshing, into something unpalatable.

Brian has released two single vineyard aromatics which are examples of how the Mahi whites wines manage texture, and they show their individual vineyard character. The ‘Ward Farm’ vineyard of Pam and Polly Francis is situated in southern Marlborough, very near the coast, and is approx. 40 minutes from the Mahi winery. It is north-facing and run organically and will be fully certified for the 2013 vintage. The ‘Twin Valleys’ vineyard is owned by Pete and Anne Reed, and is situated in Fareham Road, at the western end of the Wairau, where it joins the Waihopi Valley. Being inland, away from the sea, and a little elevated, it is a cooler site.

Mahi ‘Ward Farm’ Marlborough Pinot Gris 2011

Three different clones from the ‘Ward Farm’ site, hand-picked and WBP, and indigenous yeast fermented in mainly older oak to 14.1% alc. and 3.14 g/L rs, the wine aged in barrel for 10 months. Brilliant straw-yellow colour with pale golden hues, lighter on rim. The nose is elegant and tightly bound showing good depth of an aromatic array of pure white and yellow stonefruits with hints of pears and a minerally flintiness. Off-dry to taste, delicately pure and gently rich flavours of stonefruits, and pears build to show weight and presence on the palate. Attractive notes of honey and spices enrich the wine, and bright acidity enlivens the expression. Near succulent honey flavours intermingle with minerally elements, and the finish is long and lingering. This attractively elegant Pinot Gris builds with richness revealing plenty of detail while retaining freshness. Match with fine Asian cuisine over the next 3-4+ years. 18.0+/20 Jul 2012 RRP $29.00

Mahi ‘Twin Valleys’ Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2010

Bright straw-yellow colour with light green-golden hues. This has a very refined and attractively lifted, penetrating nose of exotic florals, rose-petals and some honied, creaming soda aromas, just showing a little bottle-age development. Dry to taste, stylishly rich, but restrained flavours of honey and rose-petals unfold to reveal hints of ginger and creaming soda. The mouthfeel is smooth and near unctuous, but with fine, lacy acidity for balance. This is becoming integrated and very harmonious. The wine features a very long and finely expressed, dry finish. This Gewurztraminer has developed beautifully and with harmony and will be a match with pork and Middle Eastern fare over the next 3-4+ years. Four clones of fruit from the ‘Twin Valleys’ site in Fareham Lane, WBP and wild yeast fermented in tank and older French oak to14.1% alc. and 1.5 g/L rs, the wine rested on lees with some stirring. 18.5/20 Jul 2012 RRP $24.00