Millar Road comprises both guest accommodation and a wine producing estate in the hills above Haumoana overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand. It provides stylish accommodation as well as crafting certified organic, naturally vinified wines from its own vineyards. Produced under the banner of their subsidiary, Supernatural Wine Company, these wines are low sulphur with some being skin-fermented white wines, all sourced from their north-facing hillside estate in Hawke’s Bay on New Zealand’s North Island.
Their philosophy centres on great terroir and traditional ways of working, the aim being to make all wines as naturally as possible. The use of indigenous yeast from their own vineyard for fermentation as well as ensuring that they add nothing to the wines other than a little sulphur prior to bottling results in wines of pure, vibrant character. The focus is on producing dry aromatic and skin-fermented white wines in a very clean and direct style.
Their vineyard at Millar Road has proven pedigree being in proximity to and on similar soils, slope and aspect as Te Mata’s Coleraine vineyard, one of New Zealand’s most accoladed sites. Bearing in mind that more than 90% of New Zealand’s vineyards are on flat land with alluvial gravel soils, this soil and site produces very distinctive wines in a New Zealand context.
The site is a standout location for viticulture being situated on a north-facing hillside with slopes up to 30 degrees. Soils are lime-rich clay with volcanic influence. In total the estate encompasses just under 20 hectares, with just 9 hectares planted to vines – 8 hectares of Sauvignon Blanc and almost 1 hectare of Pinot Gris (approximately 1,800 vines only!). All were planted in 2004 and 2005.
The company gained full organic certification with BioGro New Zealand in March 2015 and commenced biodynamic farming practices in 2015.
100% skin-fermented Sauvignon Blanc with a deep gold colour. There’s a complex nose of stone fruit, citrus and cut-grass, which follows through to the palate with dried apricots and sweet spice. The skin contact gives a lovely creamy texture and makes it a wonderfully food-friendly wine. A very different style of wine that has been hugely popular at our tastings.
92 Points – JamesSuckling.com, ‘An amber style with attractive lime-marmalade, guava and kumquat aromas and flavors. The palate delivers a rich, smooth texture and a polished, tidy finish. Well done!‘ October 2018 (2015 vintage)
Wine of the Week – Simon Woolf ‘One of the most delicious bottles I’ve happened across this year. Or any year. Green Glow 2015 was wild fermented on the skins for roughly 3 weeks, before an extended stay on the lees, and bottling without filtration or fining. It’s upfront but beautiful, and so damn ripe on the nose. The aromas span mango, papaya, dried apricot, citrus fruit and toffee-apple. I could go on. In the mouth, it’s the texture that grabs the attention – velvety, smooth and caressing with just a tiny prickle of tannins. It could easily be too big, too boisterous, over ripe. All the things I love to hate about “The New World”. But there’s a seam of lemony acids and a lick of minerals that reins everything in. And then the finish – so long, so silken, so fine. I knocked back two glasses while writing this, pretending I was tasting it. But the truth is I’m outright drinking, and it seems to get better and more complex with every greedy slurp. And… the label glows in the dark. You can’t say that about Puligny Montrachet now can you?‘ TheMorningClaret.com, June 2017 (2015 vintage)
91 Points – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, ‘The 2015 Green Glow Skin Fermented Sauvignon Blanc spent two to three weeks on the skins, then six months on the lees, resulting in a brassy-coloured wine that’s full-bodied but only moderately tannic. Guava and honeyed notes give the impression of ample ripeness, and the wine is round and mouth-filling, with a gently dusty finish. Impressive.’ Joe Czerwinski, March 2018 (2015 vintage)
Recommended by Stephen Wong MW, ‘Burnished, rich golden colour, this is a more oxidative, powerful style of Green Glow. Gone is the kaffir lime and pandan leaf of previous vintages, replaced with a toasted coconut, slightly oily, rich oolong tea nose laced with spicy honey, very ripe pineapple and tropical lime aromas. This really benefits from aeration and decanting. The palate combines a manuka-honey, full-bodied, oily character with balancing gravelly phenolic grip and roasted nutty flavours. Dry, powerful yet clean on the finish, this is at once refreshingly cleansing yet intense and weighty. Monumental and mountainous, the most profound Green Glow rendition yet. For me, this bridges the gap between an aromatic (usually Muscat-based) Italian-style of orange wine and the inherent, warm, tropical ripeness of Hawke’s Bay fruit. The technique takes a back seat to the sense of place, an encouraging sign of sensitivity which comes from a more mature understanding of natural wine’s place in the greater world of wine.’ WineSentience.com, November 2017 (2015 vintage)
Recommended by Rebecca Gibb MW, ‘Destemmed without crushing leaving whole berries in the ferment. This mid-gold wine has spent two weeks on skins, gone through full malo and six months on lees before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. The result is a rich, full-bodied and phenolic off-the-wall Sauvignon Blanc that’s more about texture than aromatics. It has a high level of concentration and intensity. Bone dry with nutty, grassy flavours.’ December 2017 (2015 vintage)
The Supernatural Wine Co. - Green Glow Skin Fermented Sauvignon Blanc
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