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5 Stars from The Wine Writer

We are so pleased to share that four of our Mills Reef wines received 5 Stars from Angie Atkinson – The Wine Writer.

Mills Reef Elspeth Chardonnay 2019 Hawke’s Bay – 5 Stars, The Wine Writer

Hand-harvested grapes were fermented with a combination of wild and inoculated yeasts to add complexity and show the vineyard’s unique terroir. Aged in French oak, of which 32% was new, for a period of 12 months.
Medium gold in colour with intense aromas of stone fruit, apple, juicy grapefruit, smoky oak with a trace of flint and a touch of sweet vanilla. The palate is powerful and concentrated with a creamy texture. The flavours of white peach, just ripe apricot and floral notes blend perfectly with the oak-derived spices to make a powerful but structured Chardonnay.

Mills Reef Elspeth Syrah 2016 Hawke’s Bay – 5 Stars, The Wine Writer

Produced from grapes grown the renowned Gimblett Gravels, fermented with inoculated and wild yeasts in a combination of open-top fermenters and French oak barrels, then aged for 17 months in French hogsheads, of which 50% were new. Medium crimson in colour with delicious aromas of plum, ripe berries, oaks spices, white pepper, and anise with hints of smoky graphite. Flavours of juicy red fruit, crushed violets and spice fill the generous palate. A medium-bodied wine with dusty tannins and the perfect dash of acidity lifting the elegance of the wine off the scale. Beautiful!

Mills Reef Reserve Merlot 2019 Hawke’s Bay – 5 Stars, The Wine Writer

Produced from vines planted in the Bridge Pa Triangle subregion. The grapes went through a short cold soak before fermentation, where twice daily pump-overs were used to extract colour, flavour, and tannin. Aged for 14 months in French oak including 30% new barrels. You don’t come across many straight Merlot wines, I blame that movie Sideways, but I do love them and this one is truly lovely. The aromas are an amazing combination of dark and red plum, with the slightest hint of juicy pomegranate, dark cocoa, and smoky spice. The delicious aromas carry on to the silky palate and linger long after the wine is gone. I could drink this wine with anything, but best suited to duck pasta or risotto.

Mills Reef Elspeth Cabernet Merlot 2016 Hawke’s Bay – 5 Stars, The Wine Writer             

A blend of 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, and 4% Cabernet Franc from low yielding vines in the Gimblett Gravels. The grapes were handpicked and fermented in separate parcels. Aged for 17 months in French hogsheads, of which 37% was new. I suggest you take the time to decant this wine to enjoy it at its best, leave for an hour or so and you will be rewarded. Aromas of ripe berries, plum, oak spices, tertiary aromas of cigar box and forest floor with hints of chocolate and smoke. It’s so good that saying it’s delicious doesn’t do it justice. The aromas continue onto the palate and are lightened by a touch of acidity and joined by dusty tannins. This wine has a moreish finish that makes you want to take another sip. Delicious!

Further, two of our wines received 4.5 Stars.

Mills Reef Reserve Merlot Malbec 2019 Hawke’s Bay – 4 ½ Stars, The Wine Writer

A blend of 79% Merlot and 21% Malbec from the Gimblett Gravels. Fermented in stainless steel with gentle cap management and aged in oak barrels which included 30% new French oak. mDeep ruby with a purple hue. The aromas on this wine are incredibly interesting, a blend of dark and red fruits, layers of oak derived and baking spices and a dash of cassis. The palate is bursting with ripe fruit, the spice hits next along with a splash of acidity and delicate, grainy tannins. Drink now or in the next 3-4 years, perfect with antipasto boards or roast lamb.

Mills Reef Reserve Pinot Gris 2020 Hawke’s Bay – 4 ½ Stars, The Wine Writer

Produced from grapes harvested from low yielding vines planted in the Crownthorpe sub-region. Fermented in batches in stainless steel tanks using a yeast strain chosen to retain the aromatic expression of the variety, then blended to achieve the desired complexity and texture in the finished wine.

A gorgeous pale golden colour with intoxicating aromas of baked nashi pear, ripe red apple, white spice and undertones of lychee and floral notes. The palate is broad and textural with pear and apple flavours, and a light zesty acidity leading to an extremely long, spice-driven finish.

Want to know more about our wines

New Zealand’s temperate, maritime climate and rich, free-draining volcanic soils have brought new intense flavours and styles to the world wine market. With vineyards in prime locations such as Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough.

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