We are a very small family business where the proprietors, Mike Old and Hazel Allan, are involved in every aspect of the production of the finished wine. We have planted the grapes, nurtured, pampered, picked and processed them. All the wine making tasks from hand plunging through to bottling and labelling have been done by our hands, not to mention a lot of help from our friends.
We can’t claim to be viticulturalists or winemakers through formal training but rather through the school of hard knocks. There have been many years where the profit has been counted in learning experiences. The Sangiovese grape has been a good but hard teacher. Our shared Italian experience, Hazel lived in Italy for 16 years and myself for 3, gave us a desire to produce the Chianti we enjoyed so much there. So, we planted Sangiovese and some Cabernet with the dream of Super Tuscans leading us on.
Dream was right. Although I realised that our site was a bit cold for sangiovese, I believed that meticulous hands on viticulture would win through. However, the susceptibility of Sangiovese to botrytis has been our undoing or, looking at it from another perspective, our making. We had to either replant or quit. Quitting wasn’t an option.
We planted Pinot Noir in 2008 after having removed most of the Sangiovese and finally our patience and perseverance has been rewarded with beautifully ripe grapes from the wonderful vintage of 2013. Even the remaining Sangiovese produced great fruit but we still had to leave a little fruit behind due to botrytis. Sadly the message was clear, botrytis in such a good year was a damning indictment which meant that the remaining Sangiovese had to go. The quality of this lucky last vintage is very special to us.
Pinot Noir is a fitting replacement but it has to be good. It has to have the right balance, where there is colour, body, depth and intensity of flavour with a long lingering finish, a wine which compels you to take another sip. Rather than a fruity, floral, light style, we aim to produce a rich, intense, masculine Pinot Noir with good body and structure, a wine to cellar. Our first vintage, the 2013 meets this specification and given reasonable seasons, we will strive to reproduce and improve upon our first offering.
Our desire to produce top level wine founded on the substance of the product has prompted us to choose the ancient roman artefact, la bocca della verità, the mouth of truth, as our symbol. The Italian connection is also present in that choice. It is a large circular piece of marble about 2 metres in diameter and 100 mm thick and was originally used in pre-Christian Rome as a means to extract the “truth”. The accused was required to place his hand in the mouth of the face while being questioned. If the powers that be decided the accused was guilty of the alleged wrong, the nod was given and the wretch lost his hand to a sharp blade behind the face. When it comes to wine, contrary to the circumstances where the powers that be dictated the truth, the truth is evident only when the glass comes to the mouth, when the wine has been tasted. The symbol we have chosen serves to remind us of this.
Our little vineyard sits in the hills of the northern end of Central Hawkes Bay. While Hawkes Bay is well established and enjoys a reputation for Bordeaux style reds, Central Hawkes Bay is beginning to be noticed for its Pinot Noir. Compared to Hawkes Bay, the overall cooler CHB climate is well suited for good Pinot Noir.
We’ve planted on a north west facing slope towards the bottom of a narrow valley. This is good and bad. In the spring we often have to fight quite severe frosts while in the summer we enjoy some stifling heat in the shelter of the valley. Summer nights are generally cool. Pinot Noir likes the heat by day and the cool of the night.
Narrow rows running across the face of a hill have meant that most work is done by hand except for mowing and spraying. Even the 3 to 4 kilometres of terraces had to be dug in by hand. Every plant and every shoot gets a lot of individual attention in order to achieve the open canopy as seen on our home screen. From the removal of excess buds right at the start of the spring to the removal of sub-standard fruit at the end of the season, each plant would get at least a dozen personal visits.
To maximise flavour and texture, fruit production is limited to less than 1 kg per plant. Only one bunch per shoot is the rule. No irrigation is applied. Fruit that shows any sign of defect or is slower to mature is removed. There is no production target. Only the best fruit is retained at harvest and only our own fruit is used in our wines.
Every year is going to be different. No matter what you do, you cannot escape or manipulate nature. Although the season will have a major influence on the nature of the wine, it will still be built on the foundation of the site: its soils, its aspect, its terroir , if you like. Underlying every vintage, the signature of our single vineyard from which all our grapes are sourced will be present, even though there will be variations from year to year. It is clear, however, that the quality of wine is determined by the quality of grape.
The process is kept simple, with the objective to extract the full potential of the grape. We have enlisted the help of consultant wine maker, Leith Ashworth, to ensure that we do all the right things at the right time in our small winery on the property.
Small batches, pre-fermentation soaking, hand plunging, post fermentation maceration and basket pressing are used. Seasoned oak and new oak barrels are used for maturation. After about 9 months, the barrels are blended to achieve the best balance of flavour and structure.
Our wine style is unashamedly towards the camp of fully structured and strong wines that are robust and bold. The site terroir pushes us in this direction and our wine making tends to follow and it seems logical to produce the style that we personally like.
We are not organic or biodynamic but our practices reflect a firm conviction in sustainable production. As a very small grower and producer our impact on the environment is negligible
It sounds simple and it is in principle but our high standards and the hands on nature of our way of doing things is demanding. We certainly don’t have economies of scale but we do have the opportunity to optimise the qualities of each small batch. The reward is in the creation of something unique and authentic.
Very dark, deep, near impenetrable, black-purple hued ruby-red colour, youthful in appearance. The nose is very full and deeply packed with concentrated aromas of ripe black-berried fruits along with notes of dark herbs, earth and black minerals, unfolding a suggestion of black florals. Full-bodied, the palate has sweet flavours of black cherries and blackberries along with a savoury dark herb element. The palate unfolds flavours of dusty earth and oak with mineral elements. This has very highly extracted, firm and concentrated tannins lending a mass of structure with integrated acidity. As the wine is carried by the structure, some nutty oak emerges, and the wine flows to a very textural, firm finish with lingering black fruit flavours. This is a fully-structured, masculine full-bodied Pinot Noir with black fruits, savoury herbs, earth and minerals. Match with slow-cooked game meat and hard cheeses over the next 8-10 years. Pinot Noir fruit from the ‘Lauregan’ vineyard, destemmed, given a cold soak and fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine aged 12 months in 29% new oak. 175 dozen made. 18.0/20 ★★★★ Aug 2018 RRP $44.95
Very dark, deep, black-red colour with light garnet hues on the rim. The nose is softly full and open with aromas of dark-red berry fruit melded with spicy oak, cinnamon and complexing nuances of camphor, dark herbs, liquorice and plums. The aromatics are well-concentrated at the heart. Medium-bodied, the palate is up-front with softly layered and deep flavours of spicy, savoury red berryfruits, plums, red florals, spices and cinnamon, along with camphor and liquorice. The palate features fine-grained tannin extraction that provides body and presence. Soft, integrated acidity lends a roundness to the mouthfeel, and the flavours carry to a long, lingering finish of spices, camphor and oak. This is a full, soft, layered Pinot Noir with spicy red fruit, plums and liquorice on a grainy-textured palate. Match with Middle Eastern and Asian fare over the next 5-6 years. Pinot Noir from the ‘Lauregan’ vineyard, destemmed and fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 12 months in one-third new oak, one-third 1 y.o. and one-third 2 y.o. barrels. 17.5+/20 ★★★★ Jun 2016 RRP $30.00
Mike Old and Hazel Allan learnt the hard way that Pinot Noir and Central Hawke’s Bay are a happy combination, and this wine is the second vintage of Pinot success from their 1.4 hectare vineyard. Its deep ruby colour, powerful spicy aromas (cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves), mushrooms and earth and red fruit flavours are all under pinned by its dry style, full body and satisfying long finish.
Their little Lauregan vineyard is at Elsthorpe, in Central Hawke’s Bay.
It is very good quality with more body, power and intensity than many Pinot Noirs from the relatively cool climate and relative tiny wine region of Central Hawke’s Bay. It drinks well now and shows potential for further aging of up to 5 to 6 years.
Sealed with a Diam cork. 17.5 /20, May 2017
Very full, deep, impenetrable black-red colour, youthful in appearance. This has a fully concentrated and packed bouquet with vibrant and aromatic black berried fruits along with black plums, iron-earth minerals and some oak char. The nose has richness, firm intensity and great vitality. Full-bodied, the palate possesses rich, luscious and succulently ripe flavours of black-berried fruits with plums and dark florals suggestions, iron-earth minerals and toasty oak. The mouthfeel is fulsome with a powerfully driven core. This has considerable extract, the tannins fine-grained lending a degree of finesse. Fresh, balanced acidity enlivens the flow and provides liveliness to the fruit, and the wine carries to a very long, rich, dry-textured finish. This is a rich and powerful black-fruited Pinot Noir with iron-earth and mineral notes and great vitality. Match with roasted game meat dishes over the next 8+ years. Pinot Noir fruit from the ‘Lauregan’ vineyard, destemmed, given a cold soak and fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine aged 9 months in one-third new oak. 170 dozen made. 18.5/20 ★★★★★ June 2016 RRP $40.00
With its deeply saturated, Tyrian Purple colour and aromas of concentrated dark berry fruit, rose hip tea and lifted spices, this wine is definitely pinot noir but not as we know it! The intensity of the spice and cocoa characters on the palate make it a unique, powerful style, which for a young wine bodes well for its cellaring potential. The tannins are muscular and chewy, the mouthfeel warm and bold and I can see this wine holding its own with a spicy, barbecued lamb shoulder very nicely.
Full, near impenetrable black-red colour with youthful purple hues. The nose is shy and restrained in fruit expression revealing black cherry and black berried fruits along with nuances of dark herbs and mineral elements, and subtle oak lift. The aromatics are intricate and harmoniously interwoven. Medium-bodied, ripe black cherry and berry fruits are entwined with dark herbs. The palate is tightly concentrated and underlined by fine, powdery tannins and refined acidity. The wines flows with silky finesse and plenty of acid vitality and tension, carrying through to an elegant, long and lingering finish with bitter cherry notes. This is a very tightly bound Sangiovese with restrained black cherry fruit, refined tannin structure and good acid vitality. Match with slow-cooked red meats and hard cheeses over the next 7-9+ years. Hand-picked fruit, fermented in small batches to 13.0% alc, the wine basket-pressed and aged 15 months in 1 y.o. oak. 70 cases made. 18.0/20 Mar 2015 RRP $30.00See the full review on Raymond’s website
This is a very pretty wine, glossy dark magenta in the glass and oozing exotic, fragrant floral and herb-edged notes on the nose. Cocoa powder and five-spice characters merge with fresh, youthful plum and dark berry flavours that are lengthened by defined, emery-like tannins and shows good balance and presence on the finish. I'm looking forward to seeing how this wine ages over the next few years.
Tasting note by: Leith Ashworth, Winemaker
A single vineyard Central Hawkes Bay Pinot Noir.
Lifted nose of violets, red berries with underlying savoury complexity and hints of gamey notes. The palate is soft and round with juicy red berry fruit. Fine oak tannins give layers of complexity with a lingering finish.
Unfiltered may contain sediment.
Cellaring; drinking well now and will develop well over the next 5 years.
Food match: Lamb and venison.
Analysis; pH 3.54 TA 6.5g/L
Tasting note by: Simon Nash, Master of Wine
Super colour as befits the excellent 2013 vintage. Depth is reminiscent of Central Otago Pinots.
On the nose, dark berry, youthful, hints of spice and warm fruit. This shades into dark chocolate and round warm juicy notes come to the fore.
On the palate, up front juicy fruit, fleshy plummy characters classically typical of ripe Pinot Noir. Supple fruit tannins and mouth filling flavours. Through the finish the wine shows good oak influenced structure and length. Will develop and fill out nicely. Drinking well now Lauregan Pinot Noir 2013 will also develop with time.
There are only very limited numbers of cases for sale, approximately 150 12 bottle cases.
Tasting note by: Simon Nash, Master of Wine
More colour and depth than is usual for this variety. As such it reflects the excellent 2013 vintage. The wine is bright and youthful.
On the nose this Sangiovese from Central Hawke’s Bay shows juicy prune fruit characters which shade into the dark berry spectrum and are supported by woody notes. Inviting and well integrated.
This wine shows a good balance of ripeness with classic spice and currant characters on the palate and plenty of juicy fruit, bound together with supporting oak.
On the finish the wine continues to show good balance with plenty of ripe fruit and integrated oak. It drinks very well now but will continue to fill out and develop with time. Drink now and up to 5 years.
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Single 750ml Bottle Pricing:
Pinot Noir 2013 - $44.95 per bottle (incl of GST) plus freight of $8.00, a total of $52.95
Pinot Noir 2014 - $34.95 per bottle (incl of GST) plus freight of $8.00, a total of $42.95
Sangiovese 2013 - SOLD OUT
Cases of Six 750 ml Bottles
Pinot Noir 2013 – $42.95 per bottle (incl of GST) plus freight of $8.00, a total of $265.70
Pinot Noir 2014 - $32.95 per bottle (incl of GST) plus freight of $8.00, a total of $205.70
Sangiovese 2013 - SOLD OUT
Twelve 750 ml Bottles:
Pinot Noir 2013 - $39.95 per bottle (incl of GST) plus freight of $8.00, a total of $487.40
Pinot Noir 2014 - $29.95 per bottle (incl of GST) plus freight of $8.00, a total of $367.40
Sangiovese 2013 - SOLD OUT
Mixed orders are no problem, just ask! For example a mixed case of 6 could be 3 2013 Pinot Noir and 3 2014 Pinot Noir.
The freight charge for all orders, whether the order is for single bottles, 6 bottles or 12 bottles plus, is $8.00 for anywhere in New Zealand.
Please email your order details to Lauregan Wines at email@example.com stating numbers of bottles, your delivery address, any special instructions and to whom the invoice should be made out to. We will email you back acknowledging your order with an invoice, our bank account details and confirming the address to which we will deliver the wine. The order will be despatched as soon as payment has been received via internet banking or if paying by cheque, once the cheque has cleared.
To satisfy liquor licencing requirements, please state in your email that you are 18 years of age or older.
We thank you in advance for your order.