Lime Rock Wines at Decanta

I was unable to attend the tasting with Rosie from Lime Rock Wines but Robert and Sarah were kind enough to take some notes so we could report back.

Thanks to Rosie for coming to present Lime Rock wines! The presentation was relaxed, friendly and informative…

LIME ROCK is a stunning vineyard situated on limestone hills in sunny Central Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand, 40km SW of Hastings and 6km west of Waipawa.

Rosie Butler (Winemaker) and Rodger Tynan (Vit-ecologist) specialise in Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Merlot and Grüner Veltliner. Elegance, balance and length are a feature of their wines.  They believe the limestone contributes sought-after mineral characters.

Their ecological philosophy (vit-ecology), combined with over 30 years of wine industry experience, provides a solid basis for producing wines that express the flavour of our land.
The vineyard management is based on minimal disturbance to the soils to preserve natural biological processes and site complexity.

Rosie produced a 3 million-year-old oyster found in the vineyard (there’s a photo of this in Lime Rock’s website). In contrast, Central Otago’s limestone is 33 million years old. The limestone soil is soft and crumbly – calcina, formed from broken shells. She is certain that this influences the flavours of the grapes.

The vineyard starts at 230 m above sea level, rising to 270 metres. Grapes grown at each level exhibit different characteristics. The slope is not terraced and not disturbed before planting, the vines being placed in specially dug holes, this is to stop erosion on the hillside.

In the 1970s and 80s vines were usually left with all their leaves, of which there are naturally lots. This gave rise to lots of sugar and acid. Viticulturalists have since learnt to prune off leaves so that each bunch has an ‘umbrella’, manipulating the canopy to get desired flavours and giving dappled light to the fruit. Rows in this vineyard grow from north to south.


Most of what was said about the wines themselves is set out in the tasting notes, but a few additional points are:

Pinot Rosé 2015:
A very pretty wine, rather brighter in colour than many rosés – this is because the skins are soaked together with the juice for some time. Very fresh, summery style.

Grüner Veltliner 2016:
An easy-drinking style, more a quaffer…

Pinot Gris 2014:
Luscious and oily, but mild flavours. Weighty.

Sauvignon Blanc 2015:
Most definitely not a Marlborough wine! Quite mild, easy-drinking wine.

Kota Pinot Noir 2010:
This is grown on slopes at all levels (270 m down to 230 m above sea level), rows going from north to south. The different levels produce different characteristics. Very pale for a pinot noir.

White Knuckle Hill Pinot Noir 2013:
A full-bodied pinot, much darker in colour.

Cabernet Franc 2015:
Cab Franc has only been made twice – in 2015 only 48 cases were made, so not enough to enter competitions (need 50 cases). Very little interference with the fermentation and little filtering.

Merlot 2010: Strong blackcurrant jam on the nose and on the palate.

To read more detailed tasting notes and purchase wine online CLICK HERE


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