144 Islands Melikas Field 2020
This alluring white blend is described by Jake Dromgool of 144 Islands as ‘an evolving expression of what grapes put their hand up each year’. In 2020 this was Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Albariño and Petit Mansang harvested in 3 pickings from a single vineyard. It has yellow fruit and lemon meringue aromatics, beautiful fruit weight and freshness. It calls for crustaceans - scampi, crayfish, whatever you can get your mitts on.
When we sat down to taste with Jake we realised pretty quickly that we were onto something special. The vineyards are planted 20km inland from the Bay of Islands on gravelly, volcanic soils at an exposed 300 metres above sea level. From this site overlooking some of the Bay’s 144 islands, Jake and his wife Melika have been bold and experimental in planting a myriad of different varieties including Albariño, Semillon, Syrah, Tempranillo and Sangiovese. Farmed organically without irrigation, the resulting wines are both sophisticated and delicious.