Millton Te Arai Chenin Blanc 2007

James and Annie Millton established their vineyard in 1984 after returning from Europe, where they had gained oenological experience at Champagne Bollinger, Maison Sichel in Bordeaux and Weingut Kurstner in the Rheinhessen. Their winery is located on the banks of the Te Arai River, and their vineyards were originally developed in the late 1960’s by Annie’s father.

The small Te Arai vineyard (2.82 ha) is five kilometres from the sea and is bounded on three sides by the Te Arai River, which originates in the hills of the Waingake Valley. Traditional viticulture is practised in the vineyard with no insecticide, herbicide, systemic fungicide or soluble fertilisers being used. Millton Vineyard was New Zealand’s first commercial fully-certified organic winegrowers, and have been certified as biodynamic since 2009.

As a side note, it’s interesting and rare to see a New Zealand white under cork.  I had a look at their webpage (near the end) and their explanation is that they are “not convinced with the screwcap. The only given is that the screwcap requires little effort or satisfaction to open and they are not prone to cork taint. But it doesn’t end there. We use either natural cork and stelvin depending on the style of the wine[…]we wish to use screw caps (stelvin) with the aromatic and fruity style wines, and natural cork with styles that have been barrel fermented.”

Tasting Note Leaf DayLeaf Day
A lovely nose crammed full of dried fruits, quince, and cooked apples, followed by a hint of minerality. The palate is rich and full bodied, with quite an oily texture. The wine is almost off-dry, with hints of sweetness, but it is kept in balance by the crisp acidity. This is a great example of what Chenin Blanc can and should taste like.

April 2011

Millton Te Arai Chenin Blanc 2007
Country: New Zealand
Region: Gisborne
Vintage: 2007
Alcohol: 12.0%
Grape Variety:
Chenin Blanc
Where To Buy:
Harrods, Vintage Roots, Wine-Searcher
Tags: Wine of the Week, New Zealand, Millton, Chenin Blanc, White Wine