Nautilus : new releases

2019 Albarino 13.0% alcohol $29.00
2019 Gruner Veltiner 13.0% alcohol $29.00
2019 Pinot Gris 13.5% alcohol $29.00
2016 Southern Valleys Pinot Noir 13.5% alcohol $39.00

In an industry preoccupied with finding the ‘next big thing’ the team at Nautilus is seemingly content to stick to what it does best ie. producing first-rate wines that acknowledge their Marlborough origins. Never straying too far from the tried and trusted, the latest releases show a deft hand with aromatic varieties.

The 2019 Albarino is crisply fruited with a strong aroma of salted lemon peel and kaffir lime. The palate is dry with a bright citrus infused character and mouth-watering acidity supporting the appealing grapefruit pith texture. Whilst most NZ gruner is pretty woeful stuff, the 2019 Gruner Veltliner is a pleasant surprise. White pepper, a touch of fennel and fresh basil on the nose leading to a crisp, fairly light bodied palate. The 2019 Pinot Gris displays baked pear and ripe white nectarine aromas and there is a little hint of baking spice too. The palate is ever so slightly off-dry and a light hand with the winemaking means a wine that retains a degree of elegance and suggest it would be more food-friendly than some of the more weighty examples of pinot gris out there. 

A library tasting of Nautilus Pinot Noir, held in Auckland in late 2019, showed the wines can develop well in bottle. Winemaker Clive Jones said he thought 5-8 years was probably the sweet spot for premium NZ pinot noir and tasting the latest release he seems to be on the money.  The 2016 Southern Valleys Pinot Noir has a lifted, perfumed aroma of wild strawberry, raspberry with some lavender. Silky and vibrant on the palate with ripe tannins, a little cinnamon spice thanks to some whole bunch. Poised and polished.

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