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Bushmere Estate Gisborne 2017, 2016 and 2015 Releases

04 September,2018

Bushmere Estate is the wine label of David and Shona Egan, grapegrowers in Gisborne for 48 years. I met the Egans along with several other growers during my time as a judge at the International Wine Challenge through the 1990s, and was impressed with their enthusiasm and eye for producing quality fruit. All changed when the large companies stopped renewing their grape supply contracts in the early-mid 2000s, so the Egans, as well as other growers established their own label with wines from the 2005 vintage. At that time they established on S.H. 2 their cellar door complex which has a restaurant with it. The Egans have 17 ha of vines in the Central Valley, mainly Chardonnay, along with smaller amounts of Gewurztraminer, Viognier, Montepulciano and Sangiovese. The Bushmere Estate wines are made by Amelia Riwai, initially at Matariki, moving to Alpha Domus where the Egans have contracted tank space. The wines are well-made and have earned good medal awards at shows. Here, I review a selection from 2017 to 2015. www.bushmere.com


Bushmere Gisborne Gewurztraminer 2017

Gewurztraminer from New Zealand – Gisborne


Bright straw-yellow colour with some depth. The nose is a little shy, and quite elegant and taut in expression with a fine, soft core of rese-petal and nuances of exotic florals, root ginger, earth and spices. Dryish to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate has a taut core of yellow stonefruits with subtle nose of rose-petals, along with some root ginger, earth and nuttiness. The palate flows along a fine-textured line with integrated acidity lending energy, and carrying the wine to a light finish. The aromatics build on the end. This is a taut, off-dry Gewurztraminer with good aromatics, but a restrained flavours of stonefruits, florals and root ginger, on a smooth flowing palate. Match with antipasto, Middle Eastern fare and semi-hard cheeses over the next 3 years. Hand-picked fruit soaked for 4 hours and cool-fermented in tank to 14.0% alc. and 10 g/L RS, the wine aged on light lees. 17.0/20 Aug 2018 RRP $23.00

Bushmere ‘Classic’ Gisborne Chardonnay 2017

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Gisborne


Full, even, light golden-hued yellow colour. The nose is well-proportioned with gentle depth and concentration of citrus fruits, yellow stonefruits and tropical fruits subtly entwined with creamy barrel-ferment and nutty oak, and a little lemon-curd MLF detail. This is balanced and attractive. Medium-bodied, the palate has elegant, but intense citrus fruit flavours with gentle notes of tropical fruits. The mouthfeel is harmonious and balanced with a rounded core with soft-textures, enlivened by fresh, lacy acidity. Nuanced layers of barrel-ferment, nutty oak and lemon-curd MLF add to the soft textures and interest, and carry to a moderately long finish. This is a fresh, elegant Chardonnay with citrus fruit along with barrel-ferment and nutty oak and notes of MLF all in harmony. Match with poultry and pork over the next 3-4 years. Chardonnay fruit fully barrel-fermented to 13.3% alc., the wine aged on lees 11 months in 26% new oak, undergoing batonnage and 100% MLF. 18.0/20 Sep 2018 RRP $25.00

Bushmere ‘Reserve’ Gisborne Merlot/Malbec 2017

Blended Red from New Zealand – Gisborne


Very dark, deep, black-hued ruby-red with youthful purple hues, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is bright and aromatic with fragrant notes of dark-red plum fruit along with blackberries and hints of spices, unveiling funky game elements which grow with aeration. Medium-bodied, the palate is vibrant and juicy with plush dark plum and blackberry fruit along with spice notes, dark herbs and funky game notes. The fruit is sweet and rich, and forms an elegant core, with supple tannins underlining the fruit. The tannin structure firms up and the fruit begins to dry as the wines carries to a crisp and zesty, lingering, firm finish. This is a juicy and plush Merlot/Malbec blend with ripe plum and blackberry fruit along with some savoury, funky game notes on a palate that grows in firmness. Match with casseroles and slow-cooked game meats over the next 3-4 years. A blend of 51% Merlot and 49% Malbec, fermented to 12.5% alc., the wine aged 7 months in seasoned French oak. 17.0/20 Sep 2018 RRP $25.00 TBC

Bushmere Gisborne Montepulciano 2016

Montepulciano from New Zealand – Gisborne


Even ruby-red colour with some depth, a little lighter on the edge. The nose is elegantly concentrated with finely packed aromas of dark-red berry fruit along with intricate savoury notes of dark herbs and earth. This has good depth and interest. Medium-bodied, the palate is elegant in proportion and presentation with a fine core of juicy, savoury red berry fruit harmoniously entwined with dark and dried herbs with a little earthiness. The tannins are fine-grained and the acidity is integrated, the wine flowing to an elegant finish. This is an elegantly concentrated Montepulciano with finely presented savoury red fruits with herbs and earthy detail on a fine-textured palate. Match with lamb and beef and Mediterranean fare over the next 4-5 years. 99% Montepulciano and 1% Sangiovese, fermented to 12.5% alc., the wine aged 11 months in seasoned French oak. 17.5/20 Sep 2018 RRP $25.00

Bushmere ‘The Italians’ Gisborne 2015

Blended Red from New Zealand – Gisborne


Moderately deep ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is elegant in proportion with moderate depth of savoury red berry fruit intermixed with dark and dried herbs and earthy detail, unfolding a green stalk element. Medium-bodied, the palate has a fulsome and juicy, luscious mouthfeel with savoury dark-red berry and plum fruit entwined with dark herbs and earth. The palate has fine, grainy tannin extraction and fresh acidity in support, lending plenty of presence and liveliness to the mouthfeel. The palate has good weight and carries to a soft-textured, lingering finish. Somewhat cool in expression on the nose, this blended red has savoury, but rich fruit with plenty of extract and acidity providing a satisfying mouthfeel. Match with roasted game meat dishes over the next 4+ years. Hand-picked fruit, a co-fermented blend of 60% Sangiovese and 40% Montepulciano to 12.8% alc., the wine spending 10 days on skins post ferment and aged 10 months in seasoned French oak barriques. 17.5-/20 Sep 2018 RRP $25.00

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