Sea Level Wines

By | 25/01/2012

Sam Smail’s main occupation is as winemaker for Whitehaven Wines but he also owns Sea Level, a label that allows him to make small parcel wines from fruit he sources mainly from Nelson and Marlborough. We tasted four new release 2011 aromatics and were impressed; this was a solid offering of well made wines and with RRPs of under $20, attractively priced to boot.
2011 Gewurztraminer : a very pretty aroma; classic rose petal, orange blossom and violets. Quite delicate and lifted. The palate has plenty of character; turkish delight and musk. A touch of sweetness rounds out the palate. Not at all forced with a crisp finish making it an appealing choice for gewurztraminer lovers.
2011 Sauvignon Blanc : From the Awatere, this vibrant crunchy sauvignon has plenty of grassy, cucumber and snow pea aromas with just a touch of passionfruit peeping in. Punchy without being tiring, the fresh acid spine and slightly grapefruit peel-ish finish .
2011 Chenin Blanc : Some green apple, waxy honey and fresh herbs on the nose; crisp, lemony and youthful. The palate is surprisingly dry with an attractive chalky quality that makes for a quite savoury style. Not particularly lengthy or complex but this was the wine that we chose to drink the most of . . .
2011 Pinot Gris : Nice light aromatics; a touch of florals, ripe nectarine, poached pear and spice. The palate is just off-dry and has fresh vibrant fruit with apple and crisp pear to the fore. A clean, dry finish and decent length.

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