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Our New Vintage Single Vineyard Wines

On Monday 1st November 2021, we celebrate the release of our new Single Vineyard collection, offering distinctive expressions of exceptional sites from New Zealand’s premium wine growing regions. 

These highly anticipated Single Vineyard wines take wine lovers on a journey through New Zealand, exploring the nuance of vineyard site and the impact of season. Each Single Vineyard site is chosen having long-produced our most exceptional wines, embodying the profound influence of diverse terroirs. The wines capture a moment in time, each imparted with a unique story of season, soil and growing environment. Every year is different, each is individual and their characteristics not only talk to a sense of place, they embody the pride, skill and passion of the entire Villa Maria team.

This year’s range of twelve exemplary wines represent the best vineyards of the Hawkes Bay, Gisborne, Auckland, and Marlborough. Read on to discover more about our exceptional Single Vineyard sites and the unique collection of new vintage wines unveiled.

Auckland

Ihumātao Vineyard, Auckland

Ihumātao Vineyard

Located within a wind-protected volcanic basin on the edge of the Manukau Harbour in South Auckland, this ancient crater is estimated to be between 30,000 – 40,000 years old. The soil profile is diverse with deposits of calcified shell and ancient scoria on the edge of the basin, with heavier peat and clay soils toward the centre layered above a volcanic basalt rock base. The immediate proximity to the Manukau Harbour provides a cooling influence, favourable in the retention of fruit acidity during the ripening season.

 

Ihumātao Auckland Chardonnay 2020

Youthful in appearance, the Ihumātao Auckland Chardonnay 2020 has a precise and restrained array of aromas and flavours. The nose possesses white peach, apple blossom, and yellow citrus notes combining with fresh pastry, hazelnuts, flint and subtle toast. With layers of flavour, the succulent mid-palate mouthfeel reveals textural complexity and poised acidity leading to a long and elegant finish.

Settled weather conditions late in 2019 provided an optimum environment for flowering and even fruit set. The important ripening months of February and March were warm and dry, perfect conditions for berry flavour development and harvest.

This beautiful Auckland Chardonnay boasts exceptional acclaims from some of New Zealand’s most influential wine critics including 96 points from Cameron Douglas MS, 96 points from Bob Campbell MW and 97 points from Sam Kim, Wine Orbit.

 

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Gisborne

Gisborne

McDiarmid Hill Vineyard

Home to expansive fertile plains framed by forested hills on one side and 200km of coastline on the other, the province has an abundance of natural resources. Gisborne’s climate is characterised by warm summers and mild winters. McDiarmid Hill is beautifully positioned on an elevated north-facing hillside slope in Patutahi. Taking full advantage of sunlight, drying wind conditions, slightly cooler temperatures and natural water drainage, the additional elevation provides a wonderful advantage for producing consistently outstanding wine. Small parcels of mature, dry farmed Mendoza vines provide ideal blending options for building complexity in the final wine.

 

McDiarmid Hill Gisborne Chardonnay 2020

Capturing the qualities of a spectacular vineyard, McDiarmid Hill Gisborne Chardonnay 2020 offers a medley of tropical fruit aromas, fig and smoky grilled nut. The palate is seamlessly textured, leading to a finish extended by fine acidity. Small parcels of mature, dry farmed Mendoza vines provide ideal blending options for building complexity in the final wine that will benefit from maturation, developing intrigue over the next 5-8 years.

The 2020 harvest was highly regarded and followed a warm and incredibly dry summer that persisted long after the last grapes were picked. Cooler evening temperatures in the lead up to harvest intensified both flavour and acidity. Harvest of these naturally low yielding vines commenced earlier than normal in March with beautiful, clean fruit.

This outstanding Gisborne Chardonnay has already received worthy acclaims from New Zealand’s most influential wine critics including 95 points from Cameron Douglas MS, 95 points from Bob Campbell MW and 96 points from Sam Kim, Wine Orbit.

 

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Hawkes Bay

The landscape of New Zealand’s second largest wine region, Hawkes Bay, is diverse and dramatic, with north-facing ranges running down to expansive alluvial plains that stretch out to meet the large curved coastline. Hawkes Bay’s long, hot summers and cool winters offer an ideal climate for grape growing.

 

Joseph Soler Vineyard

Joseph Soler Vineyard

Villa Maria’s Joseph Soler Vineyard is planted in close proximity to Gimblett Road and the Albariño block comprises of silt loams with ridges of free draining gravel, ideal for the production of premium wines. This vineyard parcel produces fruit that is richly concentrated in flavour.

 

Braided Gravels Hawkes Bay Albariño 2020 

Handpicked from a small area within the Joseph Soler Vineyard, whole bunches were gently pressed with the finest juice settled prior to being racked to our concrete ‘egg’ vessel for fermentation and 12 months maturation. The final wine displays beautifully pure and expressive characters of peach and lime entwined  with subtle mineral complexities, leading to a textural palate and a long finish.

The 2020 vintage was highly regarded with a warm and dry summer that persisted well after the last grapes were harvested, allowing picking to occur at optimum ripeness without any disease pressure.  Albariño benefited from the cooler evening temperatures leading into March which intensified aromatics  and flavours and retained the trademark acidity which the grape is famous for. The grapes were harvested in exceptional condition.

This unique wine has already received a phenomenal 5/5 stars from wine critic Michael Cooper.

 

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Keltern Vineyard

Keltern Vineyard

Located east of the Maraekakaho region in Hawkes Bay, directly in the path of cool air currents flowing from a mountain range to the west, the Keltern Vineyard is a warm inland site, buffered by the Ngaruroro River. Established on an ancient riverbed planted in 1999 that is very dry, the vineyard has silt loams layered over red metals, including large free-draining gravel stones.

 

Keltern Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2020

Displaying a brilliant straw and lime-tinted hue in the glass, the nose offers a fragrant and complex medley of white nectarine and subtle complexing sulphides, complemented by underlying notes of flint and toast. A sleek, tightly woven palate gradually unfolds, leading to a finish with genuine length and class. This wine  will develop further complexity, mineral and toast like characters with careful cellaring.

With spring frost and hailstorm events Hawkes Bay was off to a nervous start. Once spring was navigated the weather settled and a sensational season ensued. Seasonal data indicated a growing season slightly cooler  than the previous four at 1362 GDD’s but still above the long-term average of 1303 GDD’S, and dry to the point of drought. The Chardonnay harvest was off to a record early start with Keltern vineyard harvested by  the 2nd March, our earliest harvest date yet. Hand-harvesting of pristine fruit enabled a minimal intervention  winemaking approach, allowing Keltern’s unique characteristics to shine.

This iconic Chardonnay has already received outstanding acclaims from some of the world’s most influential wine critics including 97 points from Cameron Douglas MS, 96 points from Bob Campbell MW and 94 points from James Suckling.

 

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Marlborough

Marlborough sits on the north eastern coast of the South Island of New Zealand, surrounded by the inland Kaikoura Ranges to the south and the Richmond Ranges to the north. These rugged mountains are responsible for New Zealand’s driest and sunniest climate with an average of 2,435 hours of sunshine, regulated by the cooling ocean influence, elongating the ripening period. Marlborough is composed of three sub-regions, each with their own distinctive characteristics and nuances, which are experienced in every taste.

 

Taylors Pass Vineyard

Taylors Pass Vineyard

Located on the northern bank of the Awatere River, the average vine age in our Taylors Pass Vineyard is between 14-19 years old. Sheltered from prevailing cool easterly winds, each terrace of the vineyard has varying soil types, stony gravels are  nearest to the river, whereas the mid-terrace has silt over gravels and the highest terrace is deeper silt over  clay-papa base. This patchwork of soil types provides the vineyard with dramatically variable ripening patterns.

 

Taylors Pass Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2020

The 2020 Single Vineyard Taylors Pass Sauvignon Blanc has lifted aromatics of fresh garden peas and blackcurrants mingled with herbs such as coriander. On the palate are concentrated flavours of jalapeño and lemongrass, with a punchy finish of lime zest and a hint of gunflint. A key point of interest in this wine is the chalky texture reminiscent of wet river stones.

Fruit set in the cool spring weather was lower than usual, resulting in the development of open bunches with  small flavourful berries. From January onwards, Marlborough experienced a summer of the century, with a spell  of long hot dry weather with moderately cool nights providing the perfect environment to ensure physiological  and flavour ripeness whilst retaining freshness.

This Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc has received worthy acclaims from some of the world’s most influential wine critics including 95 points from Cameron Douglas MS, 95 points from Bob Campbell MW, 95 points from Sam Kim, Wine Orbit, and 92 points from James Suckling.

 

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Taylors Pass Marlborough Pinot Noir 2019

This wine is a single vineyard expression of the Taylors Pass site, showcasing an intense bouquet of ripe juicy blackberries and blueberries with hints of baking spices. A harmonious palate delivers some liquorice notes intermingled with black cherries, subtle dried herbs and finishes with round velvety smooth tannins.

The Pinot Noir fruit is planted on a mixture of soils. Stony soil that contributes fresh floral and red cherry fruit aromas, whereas silty loam soil provides  earthy dense tannins and dark berry fruit flavours. Fruit set in the cool spring weather was lower than usual, resulting in the development of open bunches with  small flavourful berries. From January onwards, Marlborough experienced a summer of the century, with a spell of long hot dry weather with moderately cool nights providing the perfect environment to ensure physiological and flavour ripeness whilst retaining freshness.

This exceptional Marlborough Pinot Noir has received incredible acclaims from some of New Zealand’s most influential wine critics including 96 points from Cameron Douglas MS, 95 points from Bob Campbell MW and 97 points from Sam Kim, Wine Orbit.

 

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Southern Clays Vineyard

Southern Clays Vineyard

Southern Clays is a special sub-region in the Wairau Valley, Marlborough. Located at the base of the dry  eastern foothills the soil type is predominantly clay which retains moisture throughout the growing season and produces textural wines with intense tropical flavours and retain natural acidity.

 

Southern Clays Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2020

This sunny, warm and sheltered site produces intense fruit with powerful aromas of fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme, intermingled with exotic tropical fruits. The palate has an earthy texture from the dense clay soils,  with rich flavours of ripe peach and mango, finishing with zesty acidity.

A near-perfect growing season led up to 2020 harvest with fruit in pristine condition. The summer was dry with  high sunshine hours during the day and the cooler nights that are typical for Marlborough. Yields were at their  optimum level and the stable autumn weather allowed us to extend the hangtime of the fruit on the vines to  achieve physiological ripeness.

This Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc has received worthy acclaims from some of the world’s most influential wine critics including 93 points from Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate and 95 points from Sam Kim, Wine Orbit.

 

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Seddon Vineyard

Seddon Vineyard

The Seddon Vineyard is located on the southern bank of the Awatere River, sheltered from the cooling weather patterns which results in a warm meso-climate. The loam soils have a distinctive soft clay “papa-rock” base allowing grapes to easily achieve physiological ripeness and fruit concentration.

 

Seddon Marlborough Pinot Gris 2020

This Pinot Gris is sourced from our iconic Seddon Vineyard on the southern bank of the Awatere River. This is  a rich, textural wine with a creamy palate from spending extended time ageing on yeast lees. Aromas of fresh honeycomb intermingle with juicy summer peaches. The fleshy palate is framed by a soft but balanced acidity with a lingering textural finish.

A near-perfect growing season led up to the 2020 harvest with fruit in pristine condition. The summer was dry with high sunshine hours during the day and the cooler nights that are typical for Marlborough. Yields were at  their optimum level and the stable autumn weather allowed us to extend the hangtime of the fruit on the vines to achieve physiological ripeness.

This Marlborough Pinot Gris has received worthy acclaims from some of New Zealand’s most influential wine critics including 94 points from Cameron Douglas MS, 94 points from Bob Campbell MW and 94 points from Sam Kim, Wine Orbit.

 

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Seddon Marlborough Pinot Noir 2019

This expression of Pinot Noir is grown on the southern side of the Awatere River in the Seddon Vineyard.  It is recognised for producing distinctive red cherry and raspberry flavours with savoury notes of bay leaf. The palate has soft tannins, a juicy linear acidity and culinary herb notes with hints of smooth dark chocolate from the subtle use of French oak.

The fruit for this single vineyard wine comes from the 98 Terrace subsection within the Seddon Vineyard. Fruit set in the cool spring weather was lower than usual, resulting in the development of open bunches with  small flavourful berries. From January onwards, Marlborough experienced a summer of the century, with a spell  of long hot dry weather with moderately cool nights providing the perfect environment to ensure physiological  and flavour ripeness whilst retaining freshness.

This delightful Marlborough Pinot Noir has received worthy acclaims from some of New Zealand’s most influential wine critics including 94 points from Cameron Douglas MS, 93 points from Bob Campbell MW, and 96 points from Sam Kim, Wine Orbit.

 

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The Attorney Vineyard

The Attorney Vineyard

The Attorney Vineyard is situated in the Southern Valleys sub-region of Marlborough, on a northern facing block on the dry foothills of the Wairau Valley. This sub-region receives minimal rainfall in the growing season and its deep clay soils provide perfect conditions to apply organic farming principles. Villa Maria began its organic program in 1999 and we achieved our first Biogro certification in 2007. The Attorney Vineyard was fully BioGro certified as organic in 2012.

 

The Attorney Marlborough Rosé 2020

This delightful Marlborough Rosé has aromas of bright red cherries intermingled with delicate rose petals and fresh culinary herbs. The palate is bursting with ripe strawberries with a creamy texture on the finish.

A near-perfect growing season led up to 2020 harvest with fruit in pristine condition. The summer was dry with  high sunshine hours during the day and the cooler nights that are typical for Marlborough. Yields were at their  optimum level and the stable autumn weather allowed us to extend the hangtime of the fruit on the vines to  achieve physiological ripeness.

This wine has received worthy acclaims from some of New Zealand’s most influential wine critics including 93 points from Cameron Douglas MS, 93 points from Bob Campbell MW and 95 points from Sam Kim, Wine Orbit.

 

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Seaspray Vineyard

Seaspray Vineyard lies against the rugged eastern coastline of the Awatere Valley where the fresh ocean air slows the growing season to develop Sauvignon Blanc of incredible power and concentration. The vines are still young, so we expect the wines intensity to only increase as the vineyard reaches maturity.

 

Seaspray Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2021

The 2021 Seaspray Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc has distinctive briny seashell characters and lively acidity derived from the nearby oceanic influence. Flavours of kaffir lime, capsicum and freshly picked culinary herbs represent the cooler windy coastal Awatere sub region in Marlborough where these young Sauvignon Blanc vines struggle to grow in the sandy river gravel Soil.

Summer was dry and mild with Marlborough’s signature high sunshine hours and cool nights delivering fruit in the best possible condition. The early autumn 2021 season provided Marlborough with very stable weather conditions therefore fruit was able to reach optimum physiological and flavour ripeness. The fruit was impeccably clean and the lower yields meant that the grapes packed a punch in flavour and concentration.

 

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Awatere Valley