Featured Reviews

Hawksdrift 2018 Sauvignon Blanc and 2016 Barrel Whites and Single Vineyard Pinot Noir

09 November,2018

Hawksdrift is the wine brand of Marlborough contract grapegrowers Murray and Robyn Butt who have 9 ha of vines on Morgans Road, Dillons Point, pioneering the district in 1998. The vineyard is planted to approx. 4 ha of Sauvignon Blanc, over 2.5 ha of Pinot Noir and 2 ha of Chardonnay. Their fruit goes to high profile quality producers, and this inspired them to launch their own label with the 2011 vintage to make small quantities of distinctive and complex Marlborough wine, with Dave Tyney as their winemaker. David makes wine for a number of Marlborough labels, and also in the growing industry in China. (www.davidtyney.com) The sophisticated and serious Hawksdrift barrel-worked Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines were recently joined by a fruit-driven Sauvignon Blanc to give the portfolio more accessibility. Here, I review the 2018 Sauvignon Blanc, and 2016 Barrel-Fermented Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, and 2016 Single Vineyard Pinot Noir. These 2016s appear very "comfortable” to me. The majority of the production is exported. www.hawksdriftwines.co.nz


Hawksdrift Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright, pale straw colour with light green hues, near colourless on the rim. The nose is very fresh with elegantly concentrated aromas of pungent passionfruit and subtle notes of tropical fruits with fresh herbs, forming a moderately deep core. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is crisp and brisk, with racy, refreshing acidity enlivening the passionfruit flavours and enriching the tropical fruit and herb notes. The fruit forms a tight, firm core and the wine flows along a light-textured phenolic line leading to a light, but lingering finish. This is a crisp and refreshing Sauvignon Blanc with penetrating flavours of passionfruit, tropical fruits and herbs on a light-textured, linear palate. Serve with seafood and Pacific Rim fare over the next 2 years. Fruit from the lower and mid Wairau, in barrel to 12.5% alc. and approx. 3 g/L RS, the wine given extended aging on lees. 17.5/20 Nov 2018 RRP $TBC

Hawksdrift ‘Barrel Fermented’ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright, even, pale golden-hued yellow colour, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is softly full with well-proportioned aromas of ripe green stonefruits, greengages and nectarines harmoniously entwined with a subtle layer of fresh herb elements and nutty oak. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate has gently rich and concentrated flavours of green stonefruits and fresh herbs melded with spicy, nutty oak. The fruit forms a concentrated core, rounded in mouthfeel and gently textured, with fresh, lacy energy providing cut. The flavours carry to an elegant finish. This is a well-proportioned, oak-influenced Sauvignon Blanc with green stonefruit flavours harmoniously layered with nutty oak on a rounded, concentrated palate and fresh acid cut. Match with herb-marinated poultry and pork dishes over the next 3+ years. Hand-picked fruit from the ‘Butt’ vineyard, lower Wairau, WBP direct to barrel and fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 12 months in seasoned French oak, undergoing batonnage and partial MLF. 18.0+/20 Nov 2018 RRP $TBC

Hawksdrift ‘Barrel Fermented’ Marlborough Chardonnay 2016

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright yellow colour with pale golden hues at the heart, lighter on the rim. The nose is elegant in presentation with softly packed aromas of white and yellow stonefruits, a little citrus fruit, and a harmonious layer of restrained creamy barrel-ferment and nutty oak, unfolding hints of lemon-curd MLF. Medium-full bodied, the palate has a moderately rich heart of white and yellow stonefruits and citrus fruit entwined with nutty, toasty oak. The palate has suggestions of creamy barrel-ferment which is balanced by fresh acidity, and the wine carries to a long, lingering finish with a little dry grip. This is an elegant Chardonnay with stonefruit, citrus fruit and nutty oak with some creaminess of texture and good acid balance. Match with grilled and roasted seafood, poultry and pork over the next 4 years. Hand-picked fruit from the ‘Butt’ vineyard, lower Wairau, WBP and fully barrel fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 12 months on lees in French oak, with 10% new equivalence, and full MLF. 18.0/20 Nov 2018 RRP $TBC

Hawksdrift ‘Single Vineyard’ Marlborough Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Marlborough


Garnet-red colour with some depth, lighter on the edge. The nose is soft and gentle with ethereal aromas of soft-red berry fruits and fragrant red florals, and a concentrated core of dark herbs, showing a little earth and nutty oak. Spice elements emerge with aeration. Medium-full bodied, the palate has plush and smooth flavours integrating soft-red berry fruits, strawberries, red florals and herbs with some nutty oak. The flavours form a rounded core with supple, fine-grained tannins and soft, integrated acidity. This has fruit sweetness that carries the wine to a long finish with spicy notes. This is a plush, smooth, mellow red-fruited Pinot Noir with floral and herb detail on a rounded palate, with supple tannins and a spicy, oaky finish. Serve with Poultry and pork and Asian cuisine over the next 4 years. Clone 10/5 Pinot Noir from the ‘Butt’ vineyard, lower Wairau, fully destemmed, given 5 days cold soak and fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 12-18 months in 10% new, heavy-toasted French oak barrels. 17.5/20 Nov 2018 RRP $TBC

Copyright © 2011 Raymond Chan Wine Reviews
Website by DataFlex | Design by Skinny