Palliser Estate is one of Martinborough’s quiet achievers, producing wines of a consistently high quality year after year. I wondered whether things might change when the company founder Richard Riddiford passed away recently. I was reassured when I visited the winery. Richard’s presence loomed large, thanks in part to his framed portrait carefully positioned so he could keep an eye on everything.
I was again reassured that the house was in order when a parcel of samples arrived for evaluation.
The 2016 Palliser Sauvignon Blanc (94 points) maintained its distinctive style that sits between the tree fruit and nectarine influenced wines of Hawke’s Bay and the grassy, tropical fruit characters of Marlborough sauvignon blanc. As always it is a wine of impressive intensity and pleasing weight. (NZD $27.99)
The 2015 Palliser Pinot Noir also earned 94 points for its combination of power and complexity as well as its perfumed aroma. It’s a perfect example of the silken-textured Palliser style. (NZD $56.99)
I’ve always been a fan of Palliser Methode Traditionnelle. The 2013 vintage (93 points) is a deliciously mouth-filling and silken-textured wine, with appealing bready yeast autolysis. (NZD $50.99)