Rock the Pinot… from Central Hawke’s Bay

Rock the Pinot… from Lime Rock in Central Hawke’s Bay

A blog last week about one of New Zealand’s smallest wineries (Lauregan Wines, owned by Mike Old and Hazel Allan) triggered a blog this week on their not-so-near-neighbours at Limestone Rock.

Both wine producers are in Central Hawke’s Bay.

If you’re asking: where, then you are not alone. This inland wine region may border the northern Wairarapa (another tiny but highly respected Pinot Noir region) but it is hardly as well as known as that. Central Hawke’s Bay is small, isolated and pretty much unheard of, but Rosie Butler and Rodger Tynan are keen to change that with their Lime Rock Wines. Not that they have.

This partnership has been making very good to outstanding Pinot Noir for years but it’s a real  insider’s wine (elegant, light, refreshing, sensationally succulent) from their hilly little limestone vineyards 6 kilometres’ drive from Waipawa and 50 minutes south west of Napier. Last week, the couple were in Wellington for a few days and delivered their wines to me at Regional Wines & Spirits – the windy city’s largest, oldest independent wine retailer. We – the ‘we’ in question being the staff at this large store and I – tasted the wines blind, alongside a bunch of (mostly) higher priced wines from around New Zealand.

The Lime Rock wines…

Stood head and shoulders above the other wines in this tasting because they were concentrated, complex and real – balanced and interesting. We tasted a wide range but, perhaps surprisingly, our favourites (tasted with their identities concealed) were their mid-price range wines.

2015 Lime Rock Central Hawke’s Bay Sauvignon Blanc RRP $20 

Intense perfume of citrusy lemon, grapefruit and mandarin with a soft, smooth, medium body and a long, flavoursome finish.

2014 Lime Rock Coquina Sauvignon Blanc Central Hawke’s Bay RRP $28

Wild yeast, oak fermented Sauvignon from central Hawke’s Bay with creamy and spicy aromas, a peachy taste – a Chardonnay lover’s Sauvignon Blanc.

2013 Lime Rock Pinot Noir Central Hawke’s Bay Pinot Noir $39

Red cherries, raspberries and summer fruit sing in every sip of this lively, delicate Central Hawke’s Bay Pinot Noir, which is nicely layered with its wild strawberry, vanilla and interesting savoury flavours.

Find out more about Lime Rock Wines by email:


Author: Joelle Thomson

I am a wine writer, author and educator... first bitten by a big buttery Chardonnay on a dark and stormy night in the 1980s and there was no turning back... Follow my tastings and join some too on this new site.

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