In 1982, Michael Tiller, a retired airline
pilot, and his wife, Robyn, established
Isabel Estate Vineyard, which is named
in honor of Michael’s late mother. For
over a decade, they sold grapes to some
of Marlborough’s leading wine producers.
But, in 1994, encouraged by the
quality of their fruit and the profound
successes of their neighbors, the Tillers
decided to produce and market their
own wines under the Isabel label. Patricia
Miranda, a native of Chile’s Maipo
Valley, is currently their winemaker.
She brings considerable experience
from many of the world’s greatest wine
regions, including Washington’s Yakima
Valley; Sancerre, France; and Germany’s
A couple of thoughtful sniffs reveal
nicely perfumed aromas of black cherry,
pomegranate, underbrush, Valencia
orange rind and a background floral
note reminiscent of rosemary blossoms.
Savory on the palate with well-focused
notes of red cherry, dried cranberry, candied
pomegranate and conifer, this wine
delivers surprising flavor impact while
finishing with light, well-balanced tannins.
At the peak of maturity, it is ready
to drink. Made from grapes planted on
land that was once thought too hard, too
dry and too cruelly infertile to sustain
viticulture, this wine proves maxims that
none of us really want to believe: Less is
more, and suffering builds character.