Featured Reviews

Alpha Domus 2014 Wingwalker Viognier and The Navigator

19 May,2017
Alpha Domus was established by the Ham family who purchased 20 ha of land in the Bridge Pa district of Hawke’s Bay in 1990 and planted vines in 1991, these being Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, Chardonnay and Semillon. Since then, Syrah and Viognier have been added. The vineyard manager is Darren Chatterton and winemaker is Barry Riwai, taking over from the long-serving Kate Galloway, for the 2015 vintage. The wines from Alpha Domus have been archetype Bridge Pa expressions, and over the years have built a strong following for their strong character. Here, I review the 2014 ‘Wingwalker’ Viognier and ‘The Navigator’ Bordeaux-varietal blend. The vintage was a warm one, following the highly touted 2013 harvest, and is deemed very successful. Both wines show a lovely harmony and integration, with balanced componentry. www.alphadomus.co.nz


Alpha Domus ‘Wingwalker’ Hawke’s Bay Viognier 2014

Viognier from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

Full, even, light golden yellow colour, a little lighter on the rim. This has a full, soft and voluminous nose with well-packed and dense aromas of ripe apricots entwined with tropical fruits, and a layering of creamy, nutty oak, with underlying refreshing citrus zest and floral elements. This is well-integrated and harmonious in presentation. Medium-full bodied, the palate has rich and detailed flavours of ripe apricots and yellow stonefruits, along with tropical fruit, creamy barrel-ferment and nutty oak nuances, and fresh citrus zest and floral notes. The palate has weight and an unctuous texture, balanced by fresh, lacy acidity and some alcoholic cut and power. The wine carries with good linearity, leading to a full, soft, integrated finish of ripe apricots, tropical fruits and exotic floral and citrus nuances. This is a rich, harmonious and well-balanced Viognier with ripe apricot and tropical fruits, an unctuous mouthfeel, good freshness and some power. Match with Middle Eastern and Asian cuisine over the next 3 years. Estate fruit fermented in oak, partially with indigenous yeasts to 14.0% Alc. and 1.4 g/L RS, the wine undergoing batonnage over several months. 18.5/20 May 2017 RRP $28.90

Alpha Domus ‘The Navigator' Hawke’s Bay 2014

Blended Red from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

Very dark, near-impenetrable black-red colour with a little garnet on the edge. The nose is softly concentrated with deep and dense aromas of ripe black plums and dark-red berryfruit, unfolding liquorice, spice and cassis notes. Some funky, savoury game and cedary oak elements emerge to add interest. Medium-full bodied, the palate has rich and succulent flavours of ripe black plums, dark-red berry fruits and complexing layers of liquorice, spices and cedary oak, along with savoury, funky game and earth elements. The fruit sweetness is balanced by grainy tannin extraction and structure, with integrated, soft acidity. The flavours carry smoothly to a gently receding, but long, lingering finish. This is a rich Merlot-based wine with ripe black plum, liquorice and spice flavours along with complexing cedary oak, earth and funky game elements on a soft, grainy-textured palate. Match with roasted and slow-cooked game meat dishes over the next 6-8 years. A blend of 46% Merlot, 24% Malbec, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon and 14% Cabernet Franc, fermented o 14.0% alc., the wine aged in seasoned oak, predominantly French for 12 months. 18.5-/20 May 2017 RRP $31.90
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