Fine wines from Foxes Island

John Belsham of Foxes Island. (Photo: Foxes Island)

Foxes Island is the Marlborough vineyard established by high profile winemaker, John Belsham, who planted pinot noir, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and riesling.

This impressively luscious dessert wine is made in very small quantities “about once in every three years.”

La Lapine” (rabbit) is Belsham’s premium white wine, as well as his partner Kelly’s nickname. The 2013 Foxes Island La Lapine does not reveal the grape variety (sauvignon blanc) on the front label because the wine is more about the richness and complexity achieved from oak fermentation and maturation than it is about varietal character. Fermented in foudre, 1200-litre oval oak barrels, using natural yeast and without temperature control, the richly textural wine shows it has clearly benefited from maturation and yeast lees contact without being overtly oaky. “It’s a wine that needs time,” says Belsham who released it five years after the grapes were harvested. (NZD $60)

The 2015 Foxes Island Noble Selection Riesling (375ml) achieved a high level of botrytis concentration by selectively picking botrytised berries over a period of four weeks. This impressively luscious dessert wine is made in very small quantities “about once in every three years.” (NZD $55)

One thought on “Fine wines from Foxes Island”

  1. Mahmoud Ali says:

    I’ve only come across one of Foxes Island’s wines, the 2005 Pinot Noir, and I was quite impressed. Though it was already seven or eight years old I felt the wine still had some ways to go.

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