Featured Reviews

Clearview Estate 2015 Chardonnays and Cape Kidnappers Syrah

21 April,2016
Established in the late 1980s, Clearview Estate has become one of the most highly regarded producers in Hawke’s Bay. Tim Turvey and Helma van den Berg promote a broad range of wines, but Chardonnay is the flagship variety. The bold, full-fruited and well-worked and oaked style of the ‘Reserve’ Chardonnay is a classic, epitomising everything the wine consumer desires in Chardonnay. Over the past few years, the ‘Reserve’ label has been guided, partly from previous winemaker Barry Riwai’s experience as a wine judge, to a more elegant expression to match the general trends with the variety, and this has been done without any change to the iconic status of the wine. The more traditional ‘full-on’ style as loved by Tim Turvey has been retained and pushed further in the super-premium ‘Endeavour’ Chardonnay. (Click here to see my reviews of the 2014 ‘Reserve’ and 2013 ‘Endeavour’ Chardonnays.)

However, Clearview has worked equally hard on other styles of Chardonnay, and I review the ‘Beachhead’ Chardonnay, with less oak influence, the ‘Coastal’ Chardonnay, formerly under the ‘Te Awanga’ label, a more fruit-driven style, and the new limited release ‘Three Rows’ Chardonnay, a tighter, more minerally style with the use of puncheons. Along with these three Chardonnays, I review the ‘Cape Kidnappers’ Syrah, made solely from Te Awanga fruit. These 2015 wines are the work of Tim Turvey and his new winemaker Matt Kirby, assisted by Rob Bregmen. www.clearviewestate.co.nz


Clearview ‘Coastal’ Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2015

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

Bright, light golden-hued yellow colour with slight green hues on the rim. The nose is full, open and accessible with ethereal aromas of white stonefruits and white florals entwined with saline elements. The aromatics grow in depth and concentration, and exude a refreshing steeliness unfolding nutty lees and mouthwatering flinty detail. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate features refreshing, vibrant and thirst-quenching flavours of stonefruits and tropical fruits. The fruit is up-front and has sweetness, purity and clarity, unfolding subtle saline elements, and the wine is enlivened by bright, lacy acidity. The wine follows a fine phenolic-textured line, carrying to a clean finish with citrus and saline notes. This is an up-front, fruit-focussed, juicy Chardonnay with stonefruit, tropical fruit and saline notes. Serve as an aperitif and serve with seafood and antipasto over the next 3 years. Estate fruit from Te Awanga, fermented in stainless-steel to 13.5% alc., the wine elevaged in barrel undergoing batonnage and 100% MLF. 17.5/20 Apr 2016 RRP $19.95

Clearview ‘Three Rows’ Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2015

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

Bright, very pale straw-yellow colour with green hues. The nose is very elegant and refined with penetrating aromas of white stonefruits entwined with gunflint lees and mineral reductive complexities. This is refined in expression with purity and clarity of expression and the aromatics are refreshing and thirst-quenching. Medium-full bodied and fine in presentation, the flavours of white stonefruits and citrus fruits form a tightly concentrated core, entwined with gunflint, lees and mineral detail. The core follows a fine-grained phenolic line with enlivening acidity lending tension and drive. This is well balanced with the subtly sweet fruit countered by the texture and acidity. The wine leads to a slender, lingering finish of flint and wet stones. This is a tightly concentrated, bright and elegant, contemporary Chardonnay with gunflint and mineral interest to the stonefruit flavours. Match with seafood and poultry over the next 4+ years. A selection of fruit from three rows of the ‘Main Block’, fermented in two puncheons to 13.1% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 1 y.o. and 2 y.o. oak on lees with no MLF. 850 bottles made. 18.0/20 Apr 2016 RRP $32.00

Clearview ‘Beachhead’ Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2015

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

Bright, light straw-yellow colour with some depth, a little lighter on the edge. This has a gently presented full and broad nose of ripe yellow stonefruits and citrus fruits entwined with nutty, creamy oak from barrel-fermentation, and soft, savoury lemon-curd and buttery MLF richness, along with subtle saline elements. Medium-full bodied, this is gently fulsome with mouthfilling flavours of ripe yellow stonefruits and citrus fruits along with tropical fruit elements. The mouthfeel is fresh and lively with a concentrated core melded with nutty oak, creamy barrel-ferment layers and subtle lemon-curd and buttery MLF. This is well-balanced and the full flavours flow to an open, lingering finish of stonefruits, nuts, cream and butter. This is a full, broad, stylishly rich Chardonnay with nutty and creamy oak, and MLF richness. Serve with roast pork over the next 4+ years. Hand-picked estate Te Awanga fruit, fully barrel fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 8 months in seasoned French oak with batonnage and 100% MLF. 18.5/20 Apr 2016 RRP $27.00

Clearview ‘Cape Kidnappers’ Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2015

Syrah from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

Very dark, near impenetrable purple-hued black-red colour, very youthful in appearance. The nose is soft and a little reserved with an amalgam of ripe, blackberry, plum and boysenberry fruits interwoven with black pepper, soft Asian spices and dark-red and violet florals. This grows in concentration with attractive harmony. Medium-full bodied, the palate is fine and tightly presented with juicy and vibrant, rich and lively black and blue berried fruits entwined with dark red plums, black pepper, spices and violet florals. The concentrated core follows a fine, grainy, tannin line with fresh, lacy acidity enlivening the mouthfeel. The fine textures carry the wine, unfolding spices and florals as it leads to a fine, dry-textured, black-fruited finish. This is an elegant, tightly concentrated and fine, grainy-textured Syrah with ripe black fruits, pepper and spices, and a lively mouthfeel. Match with Middle Eastern lamb dishes over the next 5-6+ years. 100% Te Awanga fruit indigenous yeast fermented with 20% whole bunches to 13.3% alc., the wine aged 6 months in 10% new French oak. 18.0-/20 Apr 2016 RRP$27.00
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