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Featured Reviews

Clearview 2017 Blush, Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay, and 2016 Merlot

15 January,2018

Clearview Estate in the coastal area of Te Awanga in Hawke’s Bay was my runner-up ‘Winery of the Year’ in 2017. I’ve always enjoyed the quality and up-front consumer-friendly style of the wines from Tim Turvey and Helma van den Berg. A visit in May last year, catching up with winemaker Matt Kirby working with Rob Bregmen reinforced a renewed vitality and energy at Clearview Estate. The wines have stepped up in quality, and wine styles are more defined than ever. The flagship ‘Endeavour’ Chardonnay and ‘Basket Press’ Red are truly stunning wines that take no prisoners, and the ‘Reserve’ level wines possess great character and distinctiveness. However, it is in the progress of the ‘Estate’ wines that is especially pleasing. Clearview Estate grows 13 different varieties in 24 ha of vineyard the have access to, and it is a statement of versatility and skill in managing to make very smart wine with all of them. Here, I review the new 2017 ‘Black Reef’ Blush, ‘Coastal’ Gewurztraminer and Chardonnay, and 2016 ‘Cape Kidnappers’ Merlot.


Clearview ‘Black Reef Blush’ Hawke’s Bay 2017

Rose from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Pale ruby-red colour with some depth, and slight purple hues on the rim. The nose is full with good depth of packed and robust aromas of red berry fruit with stonefruits, nutty suggestions and an overlay of mouthwatering chalky minerals, unveiling a little confectionary. Off-dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has sweet and juicy flavours of savoury soft-red berry fruit entwined with red florals, stonefruits, quince and raspberry notes along with underlying thirst-quenching mineral nuances. The fruit sweetness is enlivened by fresh, lacy acidity and the wine flows along a very fine-textured line leading to a finish with raspberry, quince and floral elements. This is a juicy, mouthwatering off-dry rosé with savoury red berry fruits, quince and subtle confectionary notes on a bright, very fine-textured palate. Serve with antipasto and tapas over the next 2 years. Fruit from Te Awanga, a blend based on Chambourcin, crushed and destemmed straight to press, with Merlot and Malbec given up to 12 hours skin contact, and some Gewurztraminer, indigenous yeast cool co-fermented in tank to 12.0% alc. and 7.2 g/L RS. 17.5-/20 Jan 2018 RRP $21.00

Clearview ‘Coastal’ Hawke’s Bay Gewurztraminer 2017

Gewurztraminer from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Bright straw-yellow colour with light golden hues, paler on the edge. The nose is tight and firmly concentrated with good intensity of spices and root ginger, subtle exotic floral notes and Turkish Delight elements. Medium-dry to medium in taste and medium-bodied, the palate has an elegant and tightly bound heart of root ginger and spices with savoury Turkish Delight and exotic florals. The palate has good energy and is underlined by fine acid freshness and phenolics, balanced with a little unctuousness. The wine carries to a lingering finish of spice and root ginger. This is an elegant and taut medium-dry Gewurztraminer with intense flavours of root ginger and savoury Turkish Delight on a gently rich palate. Match with Asian and Middle Eastern fare over the next 3 years. Fruit from Te Awanga, WBP and indigenous yeast tank-fermented to 13.2% alc. and 12.5 g/L RS. 17.5+/20 Jan 2018 RRP $21.00

Clearview ‘Coastal’ Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2017

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Bright, light golden-yellow colour with some depth, pale edged. The nose is fresh and bright with good depth of white and yellow stonefruit aromas. The nose opens in volume, showing nuances of nutty oak, some minerally lees and saline elements. This possesses freshness and clarity. Medium-bodied, the palate features a rounded core of yellow stonefruits intermingling with flavours of nuts and minerals and distinctive saline nuances. The mouthfeel is softly fresh with fine, lacy acidity lending good poise and tension as the wine carries to a clean, lingering, stonefruited finish. This is a softly fresh, fruit-focussed Chardonnay with a rounded core of yellow stonefruits with nutty, mineral and saline interest. Serve with seafood over the next 3+ years. Te Awanga fruit fermented in tank with approx. 30% in barrel to 12.8% alc., the wine aged 5 months in seasoned oak on lees with batonnage and 100% MLF. 17.5-/20 May 2018 RRP $21.00

Full, even, light golden-hued yellow colour. The nose is fresh with well-concentrated aromas of yellow stonefruits and stonefruit pith notes harmoniously interwoven with a nutty overlay of lees and oak elements. Medium-bodied, the palate has an elegant core of yellow stonefruits entwines with nutty lees and oak. The palate has good presence with rounded and smooth mouthfeel, soft-textured and gentle drive. The flavours carry to a subtly flavoured finish. This is an elegant and gently concentrated Chardonnay with yellow stonefruits and soft lees and nutty oak notes on a smooth and soft palate with good drive. Match with poultry and pork over the next 3+ years. Te Awanga fruit fermented in tank with approx. 30% in barrel to 12.8% alc., the wine aged 5 months in seasoned oak on lees with batonnage and 100% MLF. 17.5-/20 Jan 2018 RRP $21.00

Clearview ‘Cape Kidnappers’ Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2016

Merlot from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Very dark, deep, near impenetrable black-hued red with purple hues. The nose is full and deep with well-concentrated aromas of ripe blackberry and black plum fruit along with liquorice and subtle spice notes with aromatic oak, unveiling some earthy detail. Medium-full bodied, the palate has rich and vibrant fruit flavours of ripe blackberries and black plums, notes of spices and liquorice, along with subtle violet floral elements. The rich fruit is balanced by fine acidity and supple, fine-grained, tannin extraction lending accessibility. The fruit shows with strong presence and carries along a soft-textured line, leading to a plump, lush finish. This is a rich and plush, ripe blackberry and plum flavoured Merlot with liquorice and spice notes on an accessible palate. Match with barbecued and grilled red meat dishes over the next 5-6 years. A blend of 86% Merlot and 14% Malbec, fruit from Te Awanga, fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 14 months in 18% new French oak. 18.5-/20 Jan 2018 RRP $21.00

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