Reviews and Awards
Big Sky Celestia Pinot Noir 2020 | 5 Stars
A wine to ponder over, the powerful 2020 vintage (5*) was given ‘the absolute minimum of handling’, matured for two years in seasoned French oak puncheons, and bottled unfined and unfiltered. Deep ruby, it has a highly perfumed, complex bouquet. Mouthfilling, it is savoury, ripe and notably concentrated, with good tannin backbone. Likely to be long-lived, it’s well worth cellaring to 2025+.
Big Sky Provenance Pinot Noir 2020 | 5 Stars
From mature, especially low-cropped vines, the classy 2020 vintage (5*) was aged for 18 months in French oak casks (20 per cent new). Full, bright ruby, it is mouthfilling, ripe and concentrated, in a savoury, complex style with good tannin backbone and obvious cellaring potential. Best drinking mid-2024+.
Big Sky Provenance Pinot Noir 2018 | 5 Stars
Wonderfully complex and engaging, the wine shows dark berry, smoked game, rich mushroom, thyme and cedar characters on the nose, leading to a gorgeously expressed palate that’s elegant and expansive. A sophisticated offering filled with sweet berry and savoury nuances. At its best: now to 2028.
Big Sky Provenance Pinot Noir 2014 | 94 Points
Lovely bouquet and quite alluring with aromas of vanilla and cinnamon laced tea, ripe and fragrant strawberry fruits, red apple skin and earthy silty mineral tones. On the palate – lovely tension and poise that holds my attention, flavours of red berry fruits and red apple skin, dusty and chalky tannins, harmonious and showing complexity as well as potential with a decent and lengthy finish. Drink from 2018 through 2028.
Big Sky Provenance Pinot Noir 2014 | 4 stars
Even, dark ruby-red colour, lighter on the edge with some garnet hues. The nose is full and voluminous with aromas of ripe, dark-red berry and cherry fruit along with nuances of black plums, earth and some lifted, cedary, spicy oak, melded with notes of dark herbs and game complexities. Medium-full bodied, this has a plush and juicy palate with finely concentrated and well-bound flavours of red cherry and berry fruit interwoven with layers of spicy, cedary oak, dried herbs and lifted red florals. The fruit is supported by moderately extracted, fine-grained, flowery tannins that lend a refined texture, and the acidity is softly integrated. The wine flows smoothly along a velvety line, leading to a long, lingering finish of dark-red berry and cherry fruit, with spicy, cedary oak layers. This is a refined Pinot Noir with dark-red cherry and berry fruit melded with spicy, cedary oak on smooth-flowing palate. Match with coq au vin and casserole over the next 6-7 years. 100% clone 115 from Te Muna Road, vines 15 y.o., the fruit from selected vineyard parcels, hand-picked and indigenous yeast fermented to 13.6% alc., the wine spending 28 days on skins and aged 22 months in 35% new oak. 18.5/20.
Big Sky Provenance Pinot Noir 2013 | 4 stars
Ruby-red colour with some depth, lighter on the rim. The bouquet is refined with intense aromas of dark-red cherry and berry fruit interwoven with layers of cedary, spicy oak, nuances of dried herbs and a little volatile lift. The aromatics grow in intensity with aeration. Medium-bodied, the palate features a concentrated and deep heart of dark-red cherry fruit intermixed with layers of spicy, cedary oak. The mouthfeel is smooth with very fine-textured tannin extraction and structure, and balanced, integrated acidity. The concentrated core has linearity and drive, carrying to a very long, sustained, dry, fine-textured finish of cherries, herbs and spicy oak. This is an elegantly concentrated Pinot Noir with fine textures, showing red cherry fruit, dried herbs and spicy oak. Match with slow-cooked game meat and semi-hard cheeses over the next 6-7 years. 80% clone 115 and 20% clone 10/5 from Te Muna Road, vines 15 and 24 y.o., hand-picked and indigenous yeast fermented with 20% whole bunches and mainly whole berries to 13.0% alc., the wine spending 28 days on skins and aged 20 months in 50% new French oak. 18.0+/20.
Big Sky Provenance Pinot Noir 2013
A barrel sample pre-bottling, this already has a wealth of brambly ripe dark cherry fruits and plenty of fine tannins too. The structure is better built in this wine than in the standard Big Sky pinot. With a sappy cherry and plum stone finish, there’s potential in this. Drink in 2016. Score: 91-92.
Big Sky Te Muna Road Pinot Noir 2020 | 5 stars
Offering stunning fruit purity with seductive complexity, showing dark cherry, blueberry, violet, clove and roasted hazelnut characters on the nose with a hint of warm mushroom. The concentrated palate displays excellent weight and depth, while remaining elegant and refined with velvety mouthfeel and polished tannins. At its best: now to 2030.
Big Sky Te Muna Road Pinot Noir 2019 | 94 Points
Savoury, complex, earthy, floral. Aromas and flavours of strawberry compote and ripe red cherry, brown spices and plum, rose and mild toasty barrel complexities. A lovely core of fruit is surrounded by tension and poise from fruit tannins and acidity, a savoury earthy quality layers in complexity. The oak is simply there for support and foundation, but adds its own layer of texture and complexity as well. Youthful, firm, dry, lengthy, well made and ready to drink upon purchase. I would also recommend time in cellar for further flavour and texture developments.
Big Sky Te Muna Road Pinot Noir 2019 | 5 stars
Gorgeously fruited and seductively complex, showing dark berry, smoky bacon, vanilla and roasted nut characters on the nose with a hint of earthy mushroom nuance. The palate delivers excellent weight and richness together with refined mouthfeel and silky tannins, finishing superbly long and velvety. At its best: now to 2027.
Big Sky Te Muna Road Pinot Noir 2019 | 4.5 stars
Delicious young, the refined, savoury 2019 vintage was estate-grown and matured for a year in French oak barriques (12.5 per cent new). Ruby hued, it is fragrant and mouthfilling, with very good depth of cherry, plum and spice flavours, hints of herbs and nuts, and ripe, supple tannins.
Big Sky Te Muna Road Pinot Noir 2018 | 5 stars
Offering very good value, the 2018 vintage (5) was estate-grown and matured in French oak casks (15 per cent new.) Full-coloured, it is fragrant, mouthfilling and sweet-fruited, with generous, ripe cherry, plum, spice and nut flavours, good tannin support, and a savoury, finely structured finish. A very ageworthy wine, it’s well worth cellaring to mid-2021+.
Big Sky Te Muna Road Pinot Noir 2018 | 5 stars
Sweetly fruited and fabulously lifted, the bouquet shows dark cherry, plum, vanilla, game and mixed spice aromas, leading to a wonderfully weighted palate that is supple and fleshy. The wine offers terrific fruit purity together with delightful spicy complexity, finishing long and delicious. At its best: now to 2023.
Big Sky Te Muna Road Pinot Noir 2017 | 5 stars
The wine offers gorgeous fruit intensity with seductive savoury nuances, showing spiced cherry, ripe strawberry, olive, game and toasted almond characters on the nose. It is beautifully weighted and rounded on the palate, displaying silky texture backed by fine, grainy tannins, leading to a persistent, delicately dry finish. At its best: now to 2022.
Big Sky Te Muna Road Pinot Noir 2017 | 4.5 stars
The 2017 vintage (4.5*) is ruby-hued, with strong, berryish, spicy, nutty flavours, savoury notes adding complexity, and a firm finish. It shows a slight lack of fruit sweetness, compared to the 2018, but needs time; open 2021+.
Big Sky Te Muna Road Pinot Noir 2015 | 5 stars
Light ruby-red colour with some depth, paler on the edge with a little purple. The nose is elegantly concentrated with very good depth and intensity of complex, savoury dark-red berry fruits entwined with well-packed aromas of dried herbs, earth and undergrowth, and suggestions of whole bunch dried stalk detail. This has secondary development and interest. Medium-full bodied, the palate has rich and deep flavours of sweet and savoury dark-red berry fruits interwoven with a layering of dried herbs melded with earth and nutty notes. The palate has richness and the mouthfeel underlined by a fresh line of acidity. The wine flows with good power and drive along a fine-structured palate line. The wine carries to a succulent, lingering finish. This is a powerfully driven, well-concentrated and intensely packed Pinot Noir with complex secondary sweet and savoury fruit along with dried herbs and earth. Match with slow-cooked game meat and casseroles over the next 6-8 years. Predominantly clone 115 fruit with 10/5 from the ‘Big Sky’ vineyard, with some Abel clone from ‘Pond Paddock’ fermented with 10% whole bunches to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 12 months in 20% new oak. 18.5-/20.
Big Sky Te Muna Road Pinot Noir 2014 | 93 Points
Ripe and fruity bouquet of Pinot with strawberry and red cherry scents laced with an earthy mineral quality then brown spices of oak – vanilla, cinnamon and clove; attractive and inviting bouquet. On the palate – fleshy, fruity, tense and flavourful; loads of charm and pinosity, ripe core of fruit, fine to moderate tannins and plenty of acidity, great texture and mouth feel; youthful still – needs cellar time. Drink now if decanted, best drinking 2018 through 2026.
Big Sky Te Muna Road Pinot Noir 2014 | 92 Points
A mellow red cherry and forest-floor scented red that has easygoing, supple tannins and sweet baking spice oak influence. A laid-back and charming pinot noir. Drink now. Screw cap.
Big Sky Te Muna Road Pinot Noir 2013 | 4 stars
Even ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the edge. This ha an elegantly proportioned and presented bouquet with bright and vibrant, rich fruit aromas of dark-red and black berried fruits, along with nuances of dark–red plums and a subtle layering of red florals, savoury dark herbs and whole bunch stalk elements. Medium-bodied, the palate is well-concentrated with a core of ripe dark-red and black berried fruits, showing sweetness and vitality. The fruit richness is balanced by moderate, supple extraction lending a fine-grained tannin structure. The mouthfeel is lively with lacy acidity, and the palate unfolds nuances of spicy oak, savoury herb and stalk detail. The structure carries the wine to a strong and positive finish with good depth, concentration and length. This is a rich, vibrant dark-red and black-fruited Pinot Noir with fine structure and complexing savoury herb notes and nuances of spicy oak. Match with wild duck and pork, and lamb and venison over the next 6-8 years. 80% clone 115 and 10% each 10/5 and Abel clones from Te Muna Road, vines 23 and 14 y.o., fermented to 13.2% alc. with 20% whole bunches, the wine on skins 24 days and aged 11 months in 20% new French oak barriques. 18.5+/20.
Big Sky Te Muna Road Pinot Noir 2013
Moderately deep ruby-red. The nose is softly full with good depth of dark red berry and cherry fruit, quite classical varietal expression, with some complexing herb and smoky notes. Medium-bodied, this has a bright fruited core, with finely judged ripeness and subtle, complex underlying herb and savoury elements. Whole cluster here? Sinewy mouthfeel with tannin grip and integral acidity. Quite burgundian. 6+ years. 115 and 10/5, low cropped, wild yeast to 13.2% alc., 25% new oak. 18.5/20.
Big Sky Te Muna Road Pinot Noir 2011
NZ International Wine Show – Silver
Winestate Magazine – 4 Star
Big Sky Te Muna Road Pinot Noir 2009
NZ International Wine Show – Silver
Big Sky Te Muna Road Pinot Noir 2008
Romeo Bragato Awards – Silver
NZ International Wine Show – Silver
Big Sky Te Muna Road Sauvignon Blanc 2020 | 5 starsComplex and smoky, the wine shows crunchy apple, lemon zest and dried herb notes with a distinct flinty overtone. It’s wonderfully weighted and generously expressed on the palate displaying excellent focus and persistency, finishing mouth-watering and juicy. At its best: now to 2025.
Big Sky Te Muna Road Sauvignon Blanc 2016 | 4 starsBright, light straw-yellow colour, lighter edged. This has a rich, full and deep nose with aromas of greengages, nectarines and green stonefruits along with passionfruit, tropical fruits and dark herbs. The aromatics are harmoniously entwined. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the flavours of greengages, nectarines and passionfruit are luscious and rich, showing breadth and depth on the palate. The fruit is underlined by light, balancing dry textures and fresh, lacy acidity. The wine flows with vitality and tension, leading to a soft, dry finish of passionfruit and greengages. This is a mouthfilling oak-influenced Sauvignon Blanc with lush flavours of greengages and passionfruit, balanced by light, dry textures and fresh acid cut. Match with Mediterranean fare or Pacific Rim cuisine over the next 2-3 years. Equal portions of Te Muna fruit from 30 y.o. vines and Dry River Flats, vines 10 y.o., WBP and fully barrel-fermented in seasoned oak to 13.0% alc. and 4 g/L RS, the wine aged 2 months on lees with bâtonnage. 17.5/20.
Big Sky Rosé 2020 | 4 starsIt’s gently lifted on the nose showing ripe apple, apricot, strawberry and mixed spice aromas. The palate offers restrained fruit flavours with fine texture and bright acidity, finishing long and pleasingly dry. At its best: now to 2022.