NWWA Top 50 – Lindauer Special Reserve Vintage Brut Cuvée 2017

The First harvest of Lindauer was in 1980, In 1981 Montana launched Lindauer in time for Xmas celebrations.

SupermarketNews spoke to Jane De Witt, head winemaker, about the iconic and award-winning brand.

What characteristics of your wine are influenced by the physical landscape of your winery?

“Lindauer Special Reserve Vintage 2017 Brut and Rose grapes are from Gisborne, the wine is predominantly made with Chardonnay grapes.

Gisborne’s long cool, maritime conditions and soils are ideal for ripening sparkling wine grapes. The early season harvest of sparkling grapes ensures that they experience a season which closely mimics that of more classically defined cool climate regions. The advantage of this early harvest is surety of ripeness and balance with natural acidities the envy of many wine growing regions of the world. Chardonnay just shines in Gisborne whether as a Sparkling wine or Still Wine.”

What is one of the most rewarding things about winemaking?

“I find the evolution and intricacies of creating a sparkling wine exciting and deeply rewarding. The blending process is both time consuming and satisfying. I get to use both science and my creative side, which I love, ticks both boxes. It takes time and patience to reap the rewards of a sparkling wine in bottle. How Sparkling wine evolves and the impact that the time in bottle on yeast lees has on the taste of the wine, never fails to amaze me, and being able to capture this under cork at the right time is key.”


“White flowers and delicate citrus sorbet.

Refined and elegant, creamy citrus sorbet and delicate honey dew. Finely sculpted structure, purity and finesse.”

What was important in making this award-winning wine?

“Sparkling wine takes time to evolve. The wine undergoes secondary fermentation in bottle and is then left to age and develop on yeast lees. Over time the wine changes.

I had to decide what wines to blend together, what vintage, the proportions of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. This meant tasting numerous samples to ascertain what was going to be the best blend.

Being a Vintage differentiates from the other sparkling’s that I do, which are Non-Vintage being a blend of a number of vintages with the aim being, consistency of style.

Being vintaged I was looking for the best vintaged sparkling wine that I could make, very exciting.”

Food Pairing?

“It is traditional to drink Sparkling wine before a meal and at celebrations however I will drink Lindauer Special Reserve Vintage Brut 2017 with a meal.

Sparkling Wine loves salty food. It is a great palate cleanser and will cut through the richness in foods.

Fish ‘n’ chips is a classic match, and Lindauer Special Reserve Vintage Brut is a great partner with seafood.

Stay away from spicy foods as the bubbles with accentuate the spice, and not in a good way.”

How long can you shelf your winning bottle of wine for?

“It is made to drink now, however will develop more toasty characters over time, if stored correctly.”

Who would your wine appeal to?

“Anyone who enjoys a glass of off dry sparkling wine.”

How would you describe this wine to someone who's never had this grape varietal/blend before?

“Delicious, creamy, toasty elegant and subtle. To me it is wow in a glass. The Chardonnay shines through displaying citrus fruit, like a subtle creamy sorbet with hints of honey dew. The Pinot Noir adds complexity, structure and length.

For Sparkling wine, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes are picked earlier than they would be for a Chardonnay or Pinot Noir Wine. The Chardonnay grapes are harvested so the fruit flavours and aromas are in the yellow citrus to green apple fruit spectrum. The Pinot Noir harvest is timed to capture the fresh red strawberry spectrum of the grapes.”

If you could do a wine bottle swap with any winery in NZ or the world, which winery and wine would it be with?

“Champagne Mailly Grand Cru – many years ago when I was in Champagne, I visited this (at the time) lesser known Champagne house. I was in between visits of some of the better-known Champagne Houses and just popped in, not really the thing to do in Champagne, however they were very welcoming. I walked away with some really lovely bottles of Champagne, and good memories.”