The Real Review – Bob Campbell

Misha’s 10th birthday

Real ReviewMisha’s Vineyard owners, Misha and Andy Wilkinson (pictured) celebrated their tenth vintage in style with a sell-out nine-course degustation dinner at the Rees Hotel in Queenstown matched with their earliest and most celebrated wines. As she sipped a 2012 ‘The Starlet’ Sauvignon Blanc (tasting) aperitif one guest remarked: “they’re getting rid of their old stuff on us”.

In fact, the Sauvignon was marvellous – if you spot a bottle from this vintage buy it! Sauvignon blanc has an unfair reputation for being a wine that, as the French say, “should be picked, pressed and pissed by Easter”. I’d like to bet that Misha’s 2012 Sauvignon Blanc will deliver even more pleasure in another decade.

We even sampled the first wine they ever made – Misha’s 2007 The Audition Pinot Noir (previous tasting). A very limited edition wine, it was never offered for sale but used instead as a calling card when Misha and Andy visited prospective customers.

I sampled the same wine earlier in the day together with every vintage of the two top pinot noir labels made by Misha’s. Only one wine was labelled ‘The Audition’. After the 2007 vintage, there has been three pinot noir labels: the entry level Impromptu (current vintage 2013, $29.95 – tasting), mid-range The High Note (current vintage 2010, $44.95 – tasting), and flagship Verismo (current vintage 2011, $69.95 – tasting).

After the 15-wine tasting, I checked my latest ratings against those given to the wines when they were first released. In relative terms, they were a close match, although the bottle-aged wines had gained stature and were clearly more accessible with emerging bottle development adding extra complexity and interest. That was even truer of the more structured Verismo. The tasting clearly demonstrated that High Note and Verismo are serious wines that deserve at least a little time in bottle, which is exactly why they are held back a few years before release.

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