Mountford Winery sits stylishly on the limestone slopes of North Canterbury's Waipara Valley where its new owner, Takahiro Koyama, is carrying on the great work that his well known predecessor did. The winery has changed hands twice in its life and for most of its history, the wines have been made by CP Lin; not only an outstanding winemaker but a blind one, whose taste buds and palate are legendary for good reason. Fellow winemaker Theo Coles then made Mountford Wines for a couple of years in 2014, 2015 and 2016. There was no 2017 vintage produced and Takahiro took over from 2018 onwards. Mountford may be small but the quality has a long track record for being superlative.
Late last month, our store manager Matt King and wine advisor, Joelle Thomson (that's me, by the way, writing this story in third person), were lucky enough to meet Takahiro Koyama for the first time and taste the wines. Takahiro visited us with his distributor Brandon Nash of Dhall & Nash. The pair showed their newest releases and we now have a couple of highlights of the Mountford Wine range in store, which are likely to be joined by others from the range in future.
* All grapes in Mountford Estate's production are grown on site. None are bought in. The entire estate is nearly 10 hectares and heavy in limestone. All grapes hand harvested.
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2014 Mountford Estate Homage $28.99
Takahiro Koyama is both winemaker and owner of the 10 hectare property that is Mountford Estate, planted on the gentle limestone slopes of the Waipara Valley in North Canterbury.
This wine is an equal four way blend of RIesling, Pinot Gris, Muscat and Gewurztraminer, inspired by the great white co ferments and field blends of Marcel Deiss from Alsace in France. It took six years to get a crop from these vines and when the vineyard did produce one, it was small, so flavours are intense and rich with well balanced residual sugar of 20 grams per litre and fresh acidity providing length and balance.
2015 Mountford Estate Chardonnay $38.99
Deep golden, waxy characters, hand picked, whole bunch ferment in barrel, full bodied and dry with great balance of acidity adding freshness. Aged in a combination of barrel and stainless. Big and fresh. Long on the finish and rich with great balance.
2016 Mountford Liaison Pinot Noir $28.99
Just released. Absolutely delicious. Grapes were all destemmed into small open top fermenters with pump overs at juice stage. This wine has beautiful refreshing, well balanced acidity and brightness. Drinks well right now but clearly has potential to hold for up to five years, evolving interestingly over that time. It was pressed into French oak where it had wild yeast fermentation and spent 16-18 months; it was then bottled with no fining or filtration.