Marlborough's Nautilus Estate has long been a winedirect favourite - we think their wines are fabulous and quaff significant quantities of the Sauvignon, Chardonnay and especially the Pinot Noir. The wines seem to get better with each vintage and the latest set of releases are no exception. New to our portfolio are their top sparkling wine - the Cuvee Marlborough which is one of the most highly acclaimed in New Zealand - and the fresh, lively and varietally typical Gruner Veltliner which is even better in the 2012 vintage than in the inaugural 2011 vintage reviewed. Hardly surprising given the fact that Nautilus is owned by Yalumba's Hill-Smith family who know a thing or two about producing reliably good wines across a vast portfolio.The winemaking team is headed up by veteran Clive Jones - 20 years in Marlborough and 14 years at Nautilus itself - and this experience is complemented by a range of vineyards encompassing some of the finest terroirs in Marlborough plus state of the art winemaking facilities, including the first ever winery dedicated solely to the vinification of pinot noir. All the equipment in the pinot facility is expressly designed to handle the fruit as gently as possible and allow the natural intense flavours and aromas - the expression of the different vineyards to come to the fore. The tanks have both heating and cooling capacity, enabling us to cold soak prior to fermentation and warm or cool ferments as necessary. The crusher is mounted on a rail above the tanks and a "Taylors" bin lifter is used to elevate the fruit and feed the crusher/destemmer. The fruit is destemmed directly into the tanks avoiding the use of a must pump. The Pinot Noir winemaking has involved significant research into the impact of different clonal selections. Nautilus blends a selection of different pinot noir clonal material to give layers of complexity to the wines.In 2006, Nautilus completed a new white wine making facility to process the Sauvignon Blanc, Cuvee, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. This facility is absolutely state of the art, allowing precise control of the winemaking process and improving the environmental footprint of the winery by reducing energy requirements and waste. All tanks are insulated for precise temperature control and energy efficiency, with the ability to process 10% on the entire vintage intake on a single day (if required).