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Bellbird Receives 5 Stars From Michael Cooper


It was great news for Bellbird Spring as Michael Cooper released his 2015 wine reviews. Positive scores across many of their wines including their first 5 stars.


Bellbird Spring Sous Voile 5 stars

The non-vintage wine (5*) released in 2015 is unique for New Zealand, but echoes wines from Jura, France, and amontillado sherry. Made in a deliberately 'oxidative' style from Waipara Pinot Gris, it was fermented dry and matured for two years in old oak barriques under a layer of yeast ('sous voile' means 'under veil'). Light gold, it is an unfortified wine (although harbouring 15.5 per cent alcohol), with substantial body and strong, dry, peachy, yeasty, nutty flavours. Well worth discovering.


Bellbird Spring Home Block White 4.5 stars

Delicious now and showing greater complexity than most aromatic whites, the 2013 vintage (4.5*) is a single-vineyard, Waipara blend of Pinot Gris, Riesling, Muscat and Gewürztraminer, hand-picked and fermented and lees-aged for five months in old oak barrels. Pale straw, it is full-bodied, with a strong surge of peachy, slightly spicy and gingery flavours, a splash of sweetness (20 grams/litre of residual sugar), and excellent complexity and richness. A medium style in the traditional Alsace mould, it's full of personality.


Bellbird Spring Block Eight Pinot Gris 4 stars

The 2013 vintage (4*) was estate-grown at Waipara, hand-harvested, and fermented and lees-aged in old oak casks. Light straw, with good complexity, it is medium to full-bodied, with concentrated, ripe stone-fruit flavours, a distinct splash of sweetness (40 grams/litre of residual sugar), and a soft, faintly honeyed finish. Drink now or cellar.


Bellbird Spring Block Eight Waipara Sauvignon Blanc 4 stars

This distinctive wine is hand-picked and fermented with indigenous yeasts in old oak barriques. The 2013 vintage (4.5*), barrel-aged for five months, is mouthfilling, fresh and still youthful, with strong, ripe tropical-fruit flavours, gently seasoned with oak, balanced acidity and a finely textured, persistent finish. Rich and complex, it's well worth cellaring. (In a short vertical tasting of the 2011–2013 vintages, held in August 2015, the older wines were still drinking well.)


Bellbird Spring Waipara Dry Pinot Gris 4 stars

Maturing very gracefully, with bright, still youthful colour, the 2012 vintage (4.5*) was hand-harvested and fermented and matured for five months in old oak barrels. The bouquet is fragrant, ripe and complex; the palate is mouthfilling and fleshy, with rich, vibrant, peachy, slightly spicy flavours, oak complexity, balanced acidity and a dry, long finish.

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Winetraders is an importer and distributor specialising in high-quality Italian estate wines. Established in 1997 and based in Oxfordshire we sell both in the UK and in other countries
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