2012 Matahiwi Estate “Holly” Pinot Gris

Wairarapa, New Zealand; 14% ABV
Purchased at Palo Alto for $5.99 on January 5, 2017

img_9822A trio of new wines from Matahiwi Estate showed up at the Palo Alto store, the “Estate” level Chardonnay and the “Holly” level Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris. This winery makes three tiers of wine with the “Estate” wines being the middle tier and the “Holly” wines their top efforts. The back label said this wine was barrel-fermented and made in the style of Pinot Gris from Alsace. Before going any further I must admit Alsatian wines as a whole and Pinot Gris as a varietal are fairly new to me. That being said, this wine has me eager to try more. I really liked it.

The wine pours a golden, straw color with clear edges. On the nose I got ripe golden apple, some flinty mineral notes, some spice (presumably from the oak), and beeswax. On the palate this wine was definitely more weighted than the typical Chardonnays or Sauv Blancs I drink more regularly. There’s fresh, ripe apple, stone fruit, citrus, some minerally acidity and well integrated barrel spice. To be really enjoyed though, the wine needs to warm from refrigerator temperature. Served too cold, it tasted just like spiced apple juice. But, once it warms up to about 45-50 degrees, it really opens up into a well-integrated and complex wine.

Day two yielded a similar experience with the wine hitting its stride a bit sooner, after about 15 minutes in the glass, but with no loss in intensity or flavor. There’s still some life left in this one. Thumbs up for me and a repeat buy. This would be fantastic with butternut squash soup.


4 thoughts on “2012 Matahiwi Estate “Holly” Pinot Gris

  1. seedboy

    I rather liked the Chardonnay from this label I bought at Oakland. Crisp, no detectable oak flavors, citrus fruit, clean. I would buy more if I knew were to put it.

      1. seedboy

        I should also add that I drank this PG over a three or four day period, just left the bottle on my kitchen counter. I noticed no deterioration. This wine shows really well at winter in Berkeley room temp, which is probably in the high 60s. Probably the ideal temp would be 55 or so.

  2. inthewinecountry

    I tried both of SB’s that the Petaluma store had carried and I thought they where well made wines but not your typical New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc since they hat been barrel fermented. The crisp tart acid and the tropical fruit flavors were muted by the oak. They seemed more like your American style SB or Chardonnay. [ed. note: I changed both “SV”s here to “SB.”]


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