Michael Cooper has just published the first comprehensive vertical review of Puriri Hills Reserve. We are very pleased to see that he has named our current release, 2010 Puriri Hills Reserve, as his Wine of the Week describing it as “Pure Class”.
SEEING RED – Michael Cooper
Puriri Hills Reserve wines rank among our most delicious and ageworthy reds.
In a country where most wines are consumed within a couple of years of the harvest, few of us share the view of Oliver Goldsmith, the Irish novelist, poet and playwright, who declared in 1773: “I love everything that’s old: old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wines.”
Our taste for young wine is no surprise, given that most Marlborough sauvignon blancs are at their best in their aromatic, garden-fresh and zesty youth. But many of our top reds flourish for a decade, even longer, gaining in fragrance, complexity and downright drinkability.
Inspired by the softly mouthfilling, typically merlot-based reds of Pomerol and St Emilion, in Bordeaux, expat American Judy Fowler began planting her 2ha Clevedon vineyard on clay slopes in South Auckland in 1997, Puriri Hills Reserve now ranks among our most delicious and ageworthy reds, as underlined by a memorable tasting of the 2008 to 2014 vintages (there is no 2011). The 2010 vintage on sale ($85 at the cellar door) is just starting to break into full stride.
Puriri Hills Reserve 2008 *****
At the peak of its powers, this beautifully perfumed, savoury, nutty red is weighty (14.1% alc/vol), concentrated and complex, with an enduring finish. Grab it while you can.
Puriri Hills Reserve 2009 ****½
Still fairly youthful, this deeply coloured, graceful red is fragrant and full-bodied (13.5% alc/vol), with blackcurrant, olive and herb flavours, smooth and generous. Drink now or cellar.
Puriri Hills Reserve 2010 *****
Just released, this outstanding red is sturdy (14% alc/vol), with blackcurrant, plum, spice and nut flavours, dense and lush. Showing lovely richness and harmony, it’s still unfolding but already it’s hard to resist.
Puriri Hills Reserve 2012 ****½
Fragrant and finely textured, this is a relatively “forward” year, mouthfilling (13.5% alc/vol), savoury and supple, with plum, spice and herb flavours, showing excellent depth and harmony.
Puriri Hills Reserve 2013 *****
Still a baby, this is a highly refined, dark and powerful red (14% alc/vol), with notable depth of blackcurrant and plum flavours, hints of cherries and dark chocolate, and obvious potential. Grace in a glass it should be very long-lived.
Puriri Hills Reserve 2014 *****
A classic claret style, this invitingly fragrant red is already quite “open” and expressive, with substantial body (13.5% alc/vol), smooth, ripe tannins, and delicious depth of youthful blackcurrant, herb and spice flavours.
LISTENER February 4 2017