Sauvignon Blanc 2018

The Season

Settled weather in North Canterbury during December provided optimal conditions for flowering. A very hot summer then enabled the fruit to ripen beautifully. Our free draining river soil helped mitigate the effects of some late summer rain, and the ensuing dry autumn meant the fruit was harvested in excellent condition.

The Harvest and Winemaking

The grapes were picked in separate batches during April, the aim being to produce a spectrum of ripe yet zesty aromas and flavours in the finished wine. After gentle pressing of the berries, the juice was fermented in stainless steel tanks at cool temperatures to help the wine express its varietal purity. It was subsequently kept on its natural yeast deposit (sur lie) for a short while before bottling, in order to help fill out the mid-palate and add extra complexity.

The Wine

The wine is pale lemon in colour, with vibrant tropical fruit aromas of passionfruit and lychees. Layered beneath there are hints of gooseberry, citrus and dried herbs. The palate is generous, yet remains fresh and lively, with a satisfying crisp finish.

Wine in moderation is a natural health food.

Chardonnay 2016

The Season

Throughout the region, crop levels were somewhat higher than expected but judicious thinning of the fruit, a perfect summer and a warm dry autumn enabled the grapes to be harvested with excellent flavour development and physiological ripeness.

The Vineyard and the Vines

The grapes were grown on a mixture of clay and stony soils.  We removed sufficient leaves from around the bunches to keep them well ventilated and healthy, while maintaining enough foliage to prevent them from becoming too hot.

Harvest and Wine Making

We used traditional Burgundian winemaking methods in making this wine.  The grapes were harvested late April-May. The non-clarified juice, obtained by gentle pressing of the fruit, underwent primary or alcoholic fermentation in barrels made by Burgundian artisan coopers (a mix of barriques and puncheons were used).  It was then matured in these barrels over the ensuing year.  When the temperature warmed in the early summer after harvest the wine underwent partial secondary (malo-lactic) fermentation.  During this time the wine was regularly tasted and, when it was felt that the best balance had been achieved, this secondary fermentation was stopped.  The entire fermentation process was carried out by the grapes’ indigenous micro-organisms. 

The Wine

The colour is intense lemon with aromas of peach, citrus (grapefruit) & tropical fruit (pineapple). There are also some underlying savoury notes of brioche along with a hint of nutmeg. In the mouth the wine is pleasantly concentrated and exhibits a creamy texture resulting from the lees contact. A tangy minerality complements its lingering dry finish.

Wine in moderation is a natural health food

Sue LaidlawChardonnay
Riesling 2014

The Season

A mild spring, a warm summer and an early autumn produced beautifully ripe fruit. Late autumn rain encouraged a portion of beautiful noble botrytis in the grapes, giving this wine extra richness and concentration while still allowing it to clearly express its spectrum of beautiful varietal flavours.

The Vineyard and Vines

The vines were grown on freely draining soil that is underlain with thick seams of mineral rich gravels.  While it becomes beautifully warm during the day, the nights tend to be fresh and cool, encouraging both good ripening and the retention of balanced natural acid levels in the berries.

The Harvest and Winemaking

After picking during May, the grapes were gently pressed. The juice was then slowly fermented at cool temperatures to help the wine retain its vibrant fruit characters and varietal purity.  At all stages, from fermentation to bottling, it was handled very carefully to help it retain a little of its natural carbon dioxide.  This provides additional crispness and may result in a small amount of spritzig when first poured.

The Wine

The generous fruity aromas and flavours suggest citrus fruits, especially lemons, limes and orange zest, mixed with peaches and nectarines. These are intertwined with floral elements reminiscent of honeysuckle and frangipani. It is generous and mouth filling with spicy after-flavours of freshly crushed root ginger that help balance and draw out its lingering of dry/medium finish.

Sue LaidlawRiesling
Pinot Gris 2016

The Season

Warm and settled weather in North Canterbury during December provided optimal conditions for flowering. A perfect summer, followed by a warm dry autumn enabled the subsequent grapes to be picked with excellent flavour development and physiological ripeness.


The Harvest and Winemaking

The fruit was harvested in stages during April, with the later portion including some noble botrytis. After picking, it was pressed and the juice was fermented in stainless steel tanks. The wine was then given a short period of ageing on its natural yeast deposit (sur lie), prior to bottling. 

The Wine

On the nose there are pronounced aromas of stone fruit, lychees and pear drops, underpinned with honeysuckle and tropical spices. It is full-bodied, concentrated and unctuous in the mouth with a tangy hint of root ginger. The earlier picked fruit adds freshness and satisfying acidity, while the noble botrytis and lees ageing have increased the mouth feel and complexity of this wine.

Sue LaidlawPinot Gris
Gewurztraminer 2016

The Season

Throughout the valley, crop levels were somewhat higher than expected but judicious thinning of the fruit, a perfect summer and a warm dry autumn enabled the grapes to be harvested with excellent flavour development and physiological ripeness.

The Vineyard and vines

The wine was made from several clones of gewürztraminer that were grown on a mixture of clay and gravel-based soils

The Wine

On release it is a lemon-straw colour. It has intense varietal characters, with the aromas and flavours suggestive of quince, lychee, rose petal, Turkish musk and oriental spices. It is rich and unctuous on the palate yet retains a lively freshness. Lingering impressions of ginger draw out its length and complement its off dry finish.

Rosé 2018

The Season

Settled weather in North Canterbury during December provided optimal conditions for flowering.  A very hot summer then enabled the fruit to ripen beautifully.  Our free draining river soil helped mitigate the effects of some late summer rain, and the ensuing dry autumn meant the fruit was able to be picked in excellent condition.   

The Harvest and Winemaking

Carefully selected grapes from Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc were harvested in early April to make this wine.  The free run juice was given a small amount of skin contact to add some colour. Fermentation was carried out in stainless steel vats at a cool temperature to retain varietal purity and freshness, with the wine being bottled shortly after. 

The Wine

It is salmon pink, with fragrant aromas of strawberries and red currents. On the palate it is dry and finely textured, with fresh and vibrant minerality. The influence of the Pinot Noir ensures the wine remains fleshy and supple, while the two Cabernets contribute structure.

Wine in moderation is a natural health food.

Sue LaidlawRosé
Pinot Noir 2015

The Season

Cooler than average Spring temperatures in North Canterbury led to a smaller set, resulting in excellent fruit concentration. A warm Summer and long lingering Autumn then followed, allowing this smaller crop to reach optimum ripeness.

The Harvest and Winemaking

Traditional Burgundian winemaking methods were used to make this wine. We picked the various blocks at different stages, depending on their maturity, aiming for a range of red and dark fruit flavours. Approximately one quarter of the grapes were put at the bottom of the fermentation vats as whole bunches, with the balance being destemmed on top, retaining as many whole berries as possible. The vats were kept cool over the next few days to help extract the soft, silky tannins from the pinot noir skins. After approximately a week the must started to ferment naturally. During fermentation, the floating cap of grape skins was gently plunged twice daily. When the fermentation finished, the grape remnants were left to steep in the wine for up to a week to help extract a different range of tannins that add structure and depth. The exact duration of this period was determined by daily tasting. Subsequently the wine was gently pressed off and put into oak barriques (15% new), from selected artisan Burgundian coopers. In the summer after harvest, when the weather warmed, the wine underwent a natural malo-lactic (secondary) fermentation. After maturing for 22mths in these barriques, the wine was finally bottled.

The Wine

It is bright ruby in appearance with complex aromas of red and dark fruits, such as raspberries, blackberries, black cherries and purple plums. Layered beneath this are hints of chocolate, vanilla and spice. On the palate it is rich and powerful, with ripe and velvety tannins adding a satisfying mouth feel. This season’s smaller crop has resulted in a wine with excellent concentration, structure and length.

Sue LaidlawPinot Noir
Merlot Cabernet 2017

The Season

Favourable weather over flowering resulted in an excellent fruit set.  The subsequent warm summer then allowed the grapes to ripen beautifully.  Naturally smaller bunches present among these varieties meant the fruit was harvested in April at optimal ripeness.

The Harvest and Winemaking

This wine is made in the same style as the celebrated Claret from Bordeaux, using traditional methods.  After being picked in April, the grapes began fermentation naturally in stainless steel tanks.  During this process the juice was regularly drained and sprayed back over the cap of floating grape skins (rather than plunging), to ensure a perfect tannin balance was extracted from the fruit.  The wine was then gently pressed off and put into French oak barriques (10% new).  The following summer, when the weather warmed, it underwent a natural malo-lactic (secondary) fermentation.   After maturing in oak for 18 months, the various batches were then carefully blended in varying portions to produce the most complex and balanced wine possible.  The finished product is a blend of approximately 50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Malbec and 5% Cabernet Franc.

The Wine

It is deep ruby in appearance with aromas of dark fruit, such as black currents, plums and boysenberries. Layered beneath there are also hints of tobacco, liquorice and cloves.  While the wine is full bodied, the Merlot component ensures it remains smooth and succulent on the palate, with generous fruit weight and soft velvety tannins.

Sue Laidlaw
Tehau Reserve Pinot Noir 2014

The Season

There was a mild spring followed by a warm summer and early autumn. The fruit was ripe and in splendid condition so that was harvested before any late season rain.

The Vineyard and the Vines

The grapes were grown on a series of north facing, gradually descending terraces. Sufficient leaves were removed from around the bunches to ensure good exposure to sunlight in order to help ripening and to keep the fruit well ventilated and healthy.

The Harvest and Winemaking

We used traditional Burgundian winemaking methods. The fruit was picked in April and was put into small fermenting vats. After several days of being kept cool, primary fermentation started through the action of the fruit’s indigenous yeasts. During this fermentation, the floating cap of grape skins was gently submerged twice daily in order to keep it moist and healthy and to aid extraction. After fermentation stopped the wine and the grape remnants were left resting together. During this time it was tasted regularly, the aim being to optimise structure and mouth-feel. The wine was then pressed and put into new oak barriques from selected artisan Burgundian coopers, where it matured for 18 months. In the spring after harvest it underwent natural malo-lactic (secondary) fermentation by the action of the wine’s own microorganisms. The various vats were then carefully blended, according to taste. In making this Tehau we selected the barrels that we felt were the purest expression of the vintage and the terroir, showing typicity and balance rather than just emphasising power and size.

The Wine

On release the wine is a bright ruby colour with generous panoply of fruity aromas and flavours, suggesting black cherries, blackberries and raspberries, supported by vanilla pod, chocolate mocha and spice. There are also savoury hints of liquorice and grilled bacon and mushrooms. While full bodied and rich, its backbone of tangy ripe tannins gives it structure and length and provides a framework for the lingering flavours.

Sue LaidlawPinot Noir
Pokiri Reserve Late Harvest Pinot Gris 2014

The Season

A mild spring, warm summer and early autumn produced beautifully ripe fruit. Rain in the late autumn produced beautiful noble botrytis, which has given the wine extra richness and concentration while still allowing it to clearly express its spectrum of natural varietal flavours.

The Vineyard and the Vines

The grapes were grown on well drained stony soil in the Waipara Valley.  The rows of vines are orientated in a north south direction to ensure good sunlight exposure on each side of the plant and to assist even ripening of the berries.

The Harvest and Winemaking

After picking the beautifully shrivelled berries, the fruit was pressed and the juice was fermented and aged in barrels for two years.  The noble botrytis and lees ageing have increased the mouth feel and complexity of this wine.

The Wine

On release, it has a bright golden hue. The generous aromas and flavours suggest ripe apricots, yellow fleshed peaches, pears and spice. While rich and unctuous in the mouth, it has a lively spine of minerality and acid so that it is fresh and clean throughout the palate. There is a hint of toffee and crushed ginger in the finish that help draw out the lingering flavours of the fruit.

Sue LaidlawPinot Gris