Bell Hill 2016 Releases

Marcel Giesen and Sherwyn Veldheisen know how to capture lightning in a bottle. From their modest two hectares draped across an old chalk quarry just outside of Waipara, they have been crafting crystalline chardonnay and refined and powerful pinot noir shaped by their limestone rich soils for some 20 odd years.

They are vignerons at heart, and while every second winery release email that lands in my inbox these days espouses wines that are ‘made in the vineyard’, Marcel and Sherwyn don’t just pay lip service to the ethos, they put in the hard work. They are fastidious with their vineyard management, which has been organic and biodynamic since 2007, and it pays dividends delivering wines of immense aromatic complexity and taut structure, wrapped around a powerful core of fruit. These wines are a labour of love, time and dedication and they just get better as each vintage passes.

I would categorically place these wines among the very upper echelon produced in New Zealand and collectors the world over seem to agree, scrambling to add them to their cellars each vintage. These are age-worthy wines that are built to develop and blossom with time in bottle. Aficionados of serious pinot noir and chardonnay will no doubt be familiar with Bell Hill’s wines and reputation, but for newcomers this is a chance to be on the rockface with the very best new world pinot noir and chardonnay.

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