Browse our reviews below.



31 OCTOBER , 2021

Our most exciting wine region. Sherwyn Veldhuizen and Marcel Giesen of Bell Hill, found what they were looking for in the sparsely populated Waikari sub-region. Inspired by the hallowed vineyards of Burgundy in France, they began their ambitious project with a search for a cool, dry, growing region and limestone-rich soils. North Canterbury might speak quietly, but it has a lot to say.Bell Hill is the closest thing to a grand cru Burgundian vineyard you’re likely to get in New Zealand. There’s a clarity of purpose and a hell of a lot of hard work that’s gone into getting there. These are serious, and seriously good wines.


Single Parcel Limeworks Chardonnay 2016 The first single parcel wine that will help owners Marcel Giesen and Sherwyn Veldhuizen explore the potential of their small but perfectly formed vineyard. Complex, concentrated chardonnay with citrus, chalk/mineral, baguette crust and spicy oak flavours. It’s a mouth-filling wine with an ethereal texture and obvious cellaring potential.  

MARCH 29, 2021

A new label from Bell Hill the Single Parcel Limeworks Chardonnay 2016 sets a new high price for New Zealand chardonnay. Tasted alongside the outstanding 2016 Chardonnay label, this wine shows greater concentration and even more complexity. Impressively textural chardonnay that's mouth-filling with an ethereal texture. Citrus, chalk-mineral, baguette crust and spicy oak flavours. A wonderful wine with great cellaring potential. Only 639 bottles made - very collectible! Drink 2021-2028 99 Points

Bell Hill Chardonnay 2017 Tasted alongside the 2016 vintage. Quite a gutsy, concentrated chardonnay that perhaps lacks the finesse of the 2016 but has character and impressive intensity with toast, green apple, lime-citrus and an attractive saline, chalk character. Drink 2021-2027 96 Points

Bell Hill Pinot Noir 2017 Taut, elegant, vibrant pinot noir with cherry, savoury, dried herbs, oyster-shell, violet and mixed spice flavours supported by a backbone of fine, gently drying tannins. A youthful wine with the potential to develop well with bottle age. 96 Points

MARCH, 2021

New Zealand Whites: The State of Play - Bell Hill Chardonnay 2016 Hailing from a warm and dry season, this is a powerful, ripe style, offering intense aromas and flavors of peach, grilled hazelnuts and flint. It has the structural componentry of a grand cru: full in body, dense in concentration and silken in texture, it is a deeply satisfying, savory wine with long length. The finish has great precision and purpose. While the ripeness of this wine means you can approach it now, its tight structural corset suggests it will hold together for at least 6–10 years. 95 Points
Making a Case for New Zealand Reds - Bell Hill Pinot Noir 2016 There are a lot of “made” Pinot Noirs – wines that really try hard to be good – and there are a small number that are seemingly effortless. This sits in the latter category with its delicacy and transparency. While it has an elegant finesse, there's innate power within its refined core. It offers sweet cranberry and tangy red cherry on entry, but there's a layer of earthiness, a subtle herbal nuance and an oak-derived cedar layer sitting quietly in the background. A refined, mouthwatering style with a low level of fine chalky tannins in the background. 93 Points

22 FEBRUARY, 2021

Bell Hill Pinot Noir 2017 Deeply complex, youthful and enticing bouquet. Aromas of earthy mineral then fruit then scents of oak, spice and flowers. On the palate - tense, youthful, textured, fruity and dry. Flavours grow, evolve and change as the wine begins to open up in glass. After twenty minutes it is different again while holding to the core of red berries and sweet plum, red currants and barrel spices, mineral and red flowers. A delicious and complex wine with an abundance of fine wood and fruit tannins, persistent, lengthy and desirable. Best drinking from 2022 through 2032+. Store well. 97 Points
Bell Hill Chardonnay 2017 Elegant, complex and alluring bouquet. Aromas of ripe white fleshed fruits layered between scents of oak, raw cashew nut and minerality offering a sense of place and time. On the palate - equally complex, fruity and dry with flavours that mirror the nose, layers of mineral and spice from site and use of barrel, a nut and gentle wood smoke layer, plenty of acidity and fine wood tannins that enhance a limestone-like foundation. Beautifully made, balanced and ageing well. A wine for the cellar still, but also okay to indulge over a few days. Best drinking from late 2021 through 2025+ 96 Points

9 FEBRUARY, 2021

Bell Hill Single Parcel Limeworks Chardonnay 2016 Very complex and seductive bouquet with aromas layered between shape and form as much as soil, fruit, mineral and a sense of place. On the palate - equally complex, complete, balanced and ready. Flavours range from sweet grapefruit through gun-flint, preserved citrus and French vanilla custard mixed with baking spices, nut and a fine lees autolysis. Acidity carries lots of energy, is ripe and adds a seam of current through the palate. Needless to say this wine carries a long and detailed story. Beautifully balanced, complex and lengthy finishing as it began - complex and seductive with fine tannins, a core of energy, fruit and harmony. Buy and drink, cellar if you must. best from 2021 through 2030. 97 Points

3 JANUARY, 2020

Bell Hill’s wines are precise, complex and Burgundian-influenced. They craft small batches of hauntingly beautiful Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with pristine acidity, depth and expression that rival the world’s best. Waikari teeters at the edge of where viticulture is possible. Its altitude, exposure and lime-rich soils amplify all of what makes North Canterbury special, but also all that makes it challenging.

Bell Hill Pinot Noir 2013 This hauntingly beautiful Pinot is delicate, high-toned and expressive upfront, offering a mélange of red berries, cumin, cloves, bay leaf, sap and woodsy spice. The palate unfurls slowly, gliding velvet-like along the tongue. The fruit comes first, then the fine, spicy tannins, then in rushes the acidity, begging you to take another sip. It's drinking beautifully now but could cellar until 2028 or longer. 97 Points
Bell Hill Chardonnay 2012 Nestled amidst limestone boulders and one of only two wineries in the Waikari subregion of North Canterbury, Bell Hill is one of New Zealand's crown jewels. The 2012 Chard is downright beautiful. It needs time in decanter but will will hold up in the opened bottle for many days. It's linear, precise and gorgeously textured, with notes of lemon peel, guava, honeysuckle, flint and wild herbs, all hugged by fine, toasty oak. The finish is long and saline. There's stellar cellaring potential here. Drink until 2030 at least. 97 Points
Bell Hill Chardonnay 2013 Made in painfully small quantities, this gorgeous wine reveals layer after layer of honeysuckle, cantaloupe, oyster shell, flint and minerals, all laser-focused and buoyed by beautiful acidity and a chalky texture. More approachable than the 2012 vintage, this should age with exceptional grace for many years to come. 96 Points
Bell Hill Pinot Noir 2012 Like a mirror held up to the unique cool climate and limestone-rich soils, this wine a deep well of flavor. It's like a walk in the forest: fresh red berries, a crunch of dried leaves, woodsy, earthy spice and cold rain on warm rocks. It's sexy and elegant, with filigree tannins curling around the tongue, sliced by crystalline acidity and an endless finish. Drink now–2030 98 Points