At Nautilus we like to keep things simple so we have a small (and friendly!) team. A small team means everyone can be fully involved in the winemaking from start to finish. It also means Clive, our winemaker, can spend his time in the winery making wine rather than managing a large team of people. It is a pretty hands-on approach.
Great winery facilities mean that we can pick our grapes when they are ripe rather than being governed by logistics and we have a great deal of control over things like the amount of extraction (the colour and flavour) we get out of the grape skins.
Family ownership means we have the benefit of generations of experience through the highs and lows of wine-growing – our owner Robert Hill Smith is a fifth-generation vigneron – and also means that we take a long-term, cautious approach. We only make a change if we are really, really convinced it adds to the quality of what we do.
This philosophy is shared by our ‘brothers and sisters’ in the Family of Twelve. This is a group of 12 family-owned wineries that represents a selection of great wines from each of NZ’s winegrowing regions. We are extremely proud to be part of this group and enjoy sharing ideas and time with our extended family!
You can find more information about our winemaking and viticulture throughout this website, however feel free to drop us a line if you can’t find the information you are looking for – we will do our best to help!
Nautilus Southern Valleys Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
The 2015 Nautilus Pinot Noir is dark ruby in color. The nose reveals gentle floral aromas, ripe wild blackberries, cherries and spices. The palate is medium bodied with good structure. Refined and balanced, this elegant wine shows good intensity and a lengthy finish.
A smart pinot noir from the get-go with bright strawberry, boysenberry and cherry fruits on offer, as well as nicely judged oak influence and a gentle reductive inflection. The palate has a smooth flow of fine tannins carrying plenty of red cherry fruit flavor. Attractive resolve here.
-James Suckling 93 Points
This wine combines so much of what we've come to love about New Zealand Pinot. It's light and bright but serious too, with plenty of site expression. Raspberry and blueberry compote, violets, baking spices and sun-baked stones all dance together on the nose. There's plush fruit on the palate but a savoriness too, framed by sinewy tannins and finishing on a stoney, mineral note.
-Wine Enthusiast 93 Points
Tasting Note: This very aromatic Syrah has hints of black pepper, dark berries and herbs and a bloody, earthy character on the nose. The palate is full-bodied with velvety but structured tannins and a balanced natural acidity. The finish is fresh, long and supple. Best served at 16 to 18 °C, this wine will greatly benefit from decanting when drunk within the first 3 to 5 years after bottling.
Andrea Mullineux told me that their debut 2012 Mullineux Iron Syrah has been the hardest cru to fine-tune over the years. Indeed, it has been trialed since 2005 but never bottled...until now. "We have been working hard to perfect the acidity here and it's been important to get life into the soil, getting the vineyard healthy, so that it can be picked with good acidity. Because it is dry farmed, in a space of three days, it can god from 22 to 26 Brix – so picking decision is critical," she said. It has a subtle marine influence coming through on the nose with macerated black cherries, boysenberry jam and touches of iodine. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, quite grainy tannins, very nicely poised with touches of fig and marmalade towards the slightly saline finish. This is a strong debut to form the trio of Syrah single "terroir" offerings.
"The 2013 Iron Syrah has a roundness and softness on the nose that almost belies its complexity - red berry fruit, red peppercorns, rooibos and undergrowth scents that are very well defined. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe tannin, wonderfully savory and quite gamey, and beautifully balanced with impressive volume and sustain on the finish that you would have difficult distinguishing from a top Côte-Rôtie. This is an excellent Syrah, my only reservation being that there is a touch of heat on the finish. - Neal Martin"
- The Wine Advocate (erobertparker.com, November 2015), 93 pts
"Similar to the Schist Syrah in its weight and meatiness, the Iron Syrah offers a more elegant, immediate appeal. Dark red plum, smoked meat, and savory herbs are seamlessly integrated on a lush, juicy and firmly structured palate, finishing very very long."
- iwinereview.com (January 2016), 95 pts
Force Majeure Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.
The estate Cabernet Sauvignon is grown primarily along the southwest ridge of the vineyard. The vines produce small berries with bountiful flavor, concentration and intensity, but also a good degree of finesse, excellent structure and layers of complexity that will continue to develop during extended bottle aging for those who want to cellar and age their wines. The wine is powerful, elegant, full-bodied.
Bottled unfined and unfiltered.100% free run
Pumpovers and punch-downs, up to 45 day macerations
Native yeast, 5 day cold soaks
22 months in 75% new French oak barrels
Fermented in concrete and stainless closed top tanks.
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain Estate is much more dense, tannic, backward wine compared to the Walla Walla Estate release. Its deep purple/plum color is followed by a masculine bouquet of crushed rocks, tobacco, iodine, and lead pencil. This carries to a full-bodied Red Mountain Cabernet with gorgeous overall balance, ripe yet building tannins, an undeniable sense of minerality, and a blockbuster finish. Possessing a liquid rock-like minerality (it seems to have been filtered through a bed of rocks), it's mostly educational at this young age and deserves 4-5 years of bottle age. It should keep for 2-3 decades in cold cellars.
-Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points