Lauraine Jacobs

Food Writer and Author of Delicious Books

Wines to drink

23 October 2010


When Brian Bicknell bought the old Cellier Le Brun site tucked into a sunny corner close to Renwick, I knew that good things were in the offing. He made the two obvious Marlborough varietals, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir and some lovely Chardonnays. He’s a winemaker with passion, who worked in Chile before basing himself in New Zealand at Seresin Estate, where the wines were very highly regarded (and still are today.)

But then he struck out to do his own thing and under his own label, Mahi, has developed a fine reputation. Mahi means “our craft” and every wine I have drunk that bears this brand is a well crafted wine that has been delicious. So I was intrigued to see just how his Mahi Gewurztraminer and Mahi Pinot Gris would be.

I am often reluctant to open a bottle of Pinot Gris as the varietal can be like a ticket in a lottery. Lots of bottles but only a few winners. I would certainly drink Mahi Pinot Gris again as it was quite light in style, and not heady with the oiliness that many other NZ Pinot Gris exhibit. It seemed almost savoury and with three of us relaxing and enjoying the wine with a platter of nibbles, it disappeared all too quickly.

The next night I tried the Gewurztraminer and thought it a lovely wine. The grape is one of my favourites and I love the way that all the wine writers declare it is full of rose petals, lychees and Turkish Delight. I don’t think that Mahi’s Gewurztraminer had all that stuff in it. To me it was had a nice little floral aroma and almost seemed to taste a little citrusy. It definitely is suited to being served as an aperitif wine. What I would really like to do with this wine is get another bottle, and braise a tasty stuffed chicken in the wine, and then reduce the juices for a lovely sauce or gravy. I reckon that would be luscious.