Villa Maria Wine Auckland & Marlborough
The formidable Villa Maria group, with impressive wineries in both Auckland and Marlborough, also includes the independently run Hawkes Bay estates of ESK VALLEY and Vidal Estate. Most enviable is the company’s record of combining quality, quantity and consistency. Current winemaking direction comes from Alastair Maling MW. Most impressive are the Reserve-level and new single vineyard wines. Reserve Chardonnay can impress for its fruit intensity and improves with a little age while the Reserve Sauvignon Blancs have been among Marlborough’s best in a succession of good vintages. New single-vineyard Sauvignon promise even more, both Southern Clays and Taylor’s Pass (in the Awatere Valley) are impressively structured with a minerally intensity. Single vineyard Chardonnay from Taylors Pass is richly textured (and superb value). Single-vineyard Pinot Gris are also very good, including a floral and classy Seddon Vineyard example (also Awatere but on the southern side). Reserve Riesling is rich, ripe and intense and a Noble Late Harvest example is also made. There is considerable ambition too with Pinot Noir, as seen in the Reserve and contrasting new Seddon Vineyard and Taylor’s Pass releases. All are deeply coloured, intense and concentrated but the single vineyard examples are more individual, expansive and Burgundian. Fine Reserve reds (based on Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon) from Hawkes Bay have been made for more than a decade both from Villa Maria and Vidal Estate and show lots of ripe plum, berry and blackcurrant fruit intensity. The top Vidal wines take the Legacy label and include a Chardonnay as well as a Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot and a Gimblett Gravels Syrah. The third tier to the Villa Maria range, the Cellar Selection varietals and dual-variety reds and whites, can provide good varietal fruit but the whites need to be drunk young. Even the least expensive Private Bin whites can be very drinkable. All the wines are now bottled under Stelvin caps. Also see ESK VALLEY.
To find out more about Villa Maria and their wines, and to see how we reviewed and rated their wines you can check out the Wine Guide New Zealand..
Or indeed you can check out the Main Guide that is 2250 pages, reviews over 4000 vineyards and over 30,000 wines here …