Archive for January, 2013

Raymond Chan reviews Urlar’s first releases for 2013

Saturday, January 12th, 2013

Angus and Davina Thomson have one of Gladstone district’s fastest growing wine labels.  Their commitment to organic and biodynamic principles in grapegrowing in their 31 ha vineyard and winemaking led to Urlar’s full BioGro certification in 2010, and this no doubt is a key to their recognition and success.  However it is the quality of the wines that are the basis of the brand, and with the excellent work of winemaker and viticulturist Guy McMaster, their releases sit comfortably among the leading wines of the region.  Here, I review the first Urlar releases for 2013, the Sauvignon Blanc and Noble Riesling from the 2012 vintage, and the Pinot Noir from the 2011 harvest.

Urlar Gladstone Sauvignon Blanc 2012 ««««

Cool-fermented in stainless-steel, with a small portion in seasoned oak to 13.0% alc. and 3.0 g/L rs.  Bright, very pale straw colour with slight green hues, near colourless on rim.  The nose is very tightly bound with elegantly concentrated aromas of lifted gooseberry fruit and chalky minerals intermixed with white florals and nuts.  Dry to taste, this is very fine-featured and elegantly proportioned, the concentrated but restrained gooseberry and minerally flavours still to unfold and reveal more detail and interest.  Soft textures and acidity provide a gently flowing mouthfeel with the flavours being carried to a moderately long finish with delicate gooseberry nuances.  This is a fine-textured, tightly bound Sauvignon Blanc that has a resemblance to the classical wines of the Loire.  Serve with Mediterranean fare over the next 3 years.  Certified BioGro organic.  17.5+

Urlar Gladstone Pinot Noir 2011 ««««

Even, light ruby-red colour, a little paler on rim.  The bouquet is full, deep and solidly packed with aromas of ripe, dark berry fruits with dark herbs and earth, unfolding layers of spice and oak notes.  This is brooding and has the potential to blossom.  Medium-full bodied, a weighty and rich, juicy core of dark red berry fruit and plums intermingle with spicy elements and oak.  Fine-grained, supple tannins and balanced acidity support the fruit with good structure and vitality.  The mouthfilling presence and line carry through to a very long finish featuring spicy plum flavours.  This is a full and weighty Pinot Noir with rich, spicy flavours.  It will reveal more complexity and interest over the next 4-5+ years.  Serve with duck, pork, stews and casseroles.  Hand-picked fruit given a cold soak and fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged in 25% new French oak barriques.  Certified BioGro organic.  18.0

Urlar Gladstone Noble Riesling 2012 «««««

Bright, full and even light golden-yellow colour with good depth.  This has a softly full, elegant nose with deep aromas of ripe citrus fruits, musky apricots, exotic tropical elements, nuts and caramel, all harmoniously entwined.  Very sweet, the flavours of ripe and luscious citrus fruits, marmalade and musk show with depth and are softly mouthfilling.  Smooth in texture, there is good acidity providing underlying tension and drive resulting in an elegance of proportion.  The flavours flow seamlessly and blossom on the finish with decadent talc botrytis and musky flavours.  This is a rich and seamless dessert Riesling to match with fruit desserts or serve on its own after dinner, over the next 3-4+ years.  Hand-picked fruit fermented to 12.5% alc. and 115 g/L rs, the wine spending time on lees.  (375 ml)  18.5

Wine Orbit – Sam Kim Reviews Urlar Wines

Saturday, January 5th, 2013

Wine Orbit is a bi-monthly (subscription-only) publication featuring reviews of New Zealand wines and wines of the world. Its aim is to provide independent, extensive and detailed wine reviews, written by a senior wine judge.  Click on this link to find out more about this website

Here’s what renowned wine writer Sam Kim says about our wines:

Urlar Sauvignon Blanc 2012 = 5 Stars

This is seriously good. The elegantly fragrant bouquet shows white peach, feijoa, citrus and herbaceous characters. It’s concentrated and richly textured on the palate with excellent concentration, finishing long and seamless. A stylish sauvignon showing delicate fruit intensity with subtle complexity.

Urlar Noble Riesling 2012 = 4 Stars

A beautifully expressed sweet wine, the bouquet shows tropical fruit, floral, honey and marmalade characters. It’s gorgeously sweet, but not cloying, on the palate with excellent acidity providing both structure and a refreshing finish. At its best: now to 2016.

Urlar Pinot Noir 2011 = 5 Stars

Fragrant and complex, the engaging bouquet shows dark cherry, floral, game and subtle truffle notes. It’s ripe and beautifully weighted on the palate with rich texture and superb intensity, leading to an expansive finish well supported by plenty of supple tannins. Lovely harmony and balance. At its best: now to 2018.