Wine Reviews

The Pruner's Reward Sauvignon Blanc 2016

"From Bellbird Spring, the 2016 vintage (4*) was fermented in tanks (80 per cent) and old oak casks (20 per cent). The best yet, it is medium to full-bodied, fresh and lively, with very good vigour and depth of ripe tropical-fruit flavours, showing a touch of complexity, and a dry, crisp finish." Michael Cooper 2017

The Pruner's Reward Pinot Noir 2013

"From Bellbird Spring, the 2013 vintage (3*) was matured for a year in French oak casks (15 per cent new). It is mouthfilling, with good depth of cherry, plum, herb and spice flavours, showing a touch of complexity, and a rounded finish. Drink now." Michael Cooper 2017

Bellbird Spring Block Eight Pinot Gris 2013

"The 2013 vintage (4*) was estate-grown at Waipara, hand-harvested, and fermented and lees-aged in old oak casks. Showing good complexity, it is medium to full-bodied, with concentrated, ripe stone-fruit flavours, a distinct splash of sweetness (40 grams/litre of residual sugar), and a soft, faintly honeyed finish. Drink now or cellar." Michael Cooper 2017

Bellbird Spring Block Eight Waipara Pinot Noir 2012

"The 2012 vintage (3.5*) has lightish, developed colour. Mouthfilling and supple, with cherry, plum, herb and nut flavours, it is savoury and finely textured. Ready." Michael Cooper 2017

Bellbird Spring Block Eight Sauvignon Blanc 2014

"This distinctive wine is hand-picked and fermented with indigenous yeasts in old oak barriques. The 2014 vintage (4*), barrel-aged for 10 months, is light yellow/green, with strong, ripe tropical-fruit flavours, a subtle seasoning of toasty oak adding complexity, and a tight, dry finish. A highly distinctive wine, it's a drink-now or cellaring proposition. (In a short vertical tasting of the 2011–2013 vintages, held in August 2015, the older wines were still drinking well.)" Michael Cooper 2017

Bellbird Spring Home Block White 2013

"Showing greater complexity than most aromatic whites, the 2013 vintage (4.5*) is a single-vineyard, Waipara blend of Pinot Gris, Riesling, Muscat and Gewürztraminer, hand-picked and fermented and lees-aged for five months in old oak barrels. Pale gold, it is full-bodied, with a strong surge of peachy, slightly spicy and gingery flavours, a splash of sweetness (20 grams/litre of residual sugar), and excellent complexity and richness. A medium style in the traditional Alsace mould, it's full of personality. Ready. The 2015 vintage (3.5*) was barrel-aged for five months and made in a medium style. Pale yellow, it is medium-bodied, with peachy, slightly spicy flavours, gentle sweetness, fresh acidity, a touch of complexity, and a smooth finish." Michael Cooper 2017

Bellbird Spring Pinot Noir Rosé 2016

"Grown at Waipara, the 2016 vintage (4*) was fermented in old oak casks. Pale pink/slight orange, it is full-bodied, with good depth of ripe, peachy and spicy flavours, showing a touch of complexity, and a dry, rounded finish. Drink this summer." Michael Cooper 2017

Bellbird Spring River Terrace Pinot Noir 2012

"The 2012 (3.5*), matured for a year in French oak casks (15 per cent new), is a 'forward' vintage, with full, slightly developed colour, mouthfilling body, and very good depth of cherry and plum flavours, soft and harmonious. Ready." Michael Cooper 2017

Bellbird Spring Sous Voile

"The non-vintage wine (5*) released in 2015 is unique for New Zealand, but echoes wines from Jura, France, and amontillado sherry. Made in a deliberately 'oxidative' style from Waipara Pinot Gris, it was fermented dry and matured for four years in old oak barriques under a layer of yeast ('sous voile' means 'under veil'). Light gold, it is an unfortified wine (although harbouring 15.5 per cent alcohol), with substantial body and strong, dry, peachy, yeasty, nutty flavours. Well worth discovering." Michael Cooper 2017