“Misha’s Vineyard a New Star From Central Otago” Glenda Neil, Vinote, 12 Jan 2009

New wineries in Central Otago seem to be sprouting like weeds lately and looking at the latest numbers from NZ Winegrowers the number of wineries in Central has grown from 39 in 2000 to 95 in 2008.N The hectares of planted vines have increased from 280 to 1,526, the majority being Pinot Noir.

So a new winery promoting its new releases is no surprise. What is a surprise is that with the first commercial vintage from Misha’s Vineyard they have produced a selection of four superb wines.

Developed by Singapore based Misha and Andy Wilkinson, the vineyard some 57 hectares, is planted on three terraces gently sloping down to Lake Dunstan. Two-thirds of the vineyard is planted in Pinot Noir the rest in a mix of aromatics, Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer. The wines crafted by Martinborough winemaker Olly Masters are notable for their superb balance.

Misha’s Vineyard The Audition Pinot Noir 2007 Savoury herbs and spice aroma, full bodied, showing fine tannins and plenty of potential for further development, about $45 in NZ.

Misha’s Vineyard Dress Circle Pinot Gris 2008 Delicate floral nose, strong ripe pears and spice on palate, a perfect balance of sweet fruit and crisp acidity, certainly one of the best Pinot Gris from the 2008 vintage.

Misha’s Vineyard The Gallery Gewurztraminer 2008 Rose petals and nutmeg bouquet, again the balance of ripe fruit and acid is impeccable, already a gold medal winner at this years Air NZ Wine Awards.

Misha’s Vineyard Limelight Riesling 2008 I have often found Central Otago Rieslings too dry and austere when young but this wine again shows that getting the balance between sweetness and acid is the key. Freshly squeezed limejuice aroma, spiced apple flavours, again the balance is excellent medium dry style but a great drink anytime drop.