Featured Reviews




Jackson Estate – A Broad Selection from a Marlborough Pioneer

09 July,2018

In 2015, Jackson Estate celebrated 25 years of winegrowing in Marlborough. Established by John and Jo Stitchbury in the late 1980s, Jackson Estate quickly gained a reputation for excellent and vibrant Sauvignon Blanc that was particularly appreciated in the U.K. market. Of course things have changed considerably, not only in a market that wants greater diversity, but also at Jackson Estate as it has evolved to operate successfully in these modern times.

Jackson Estate is now effectively owned by John Benton of the Benton Family Wine Group, which also has Pask Winery in Hawke’s Bay. John Benton, a schoolmate of John Stitchbury took a majority shareholding in Jackson Estate in 2013, and from there has consolidated much of the operation, but also grown it to meet the future. I attended Jackson Estate’s 25 year Celebration in 2015 (click here to see my report), and since then, a planned winery to especially handle Pinot Noir, with modern cellar door was completed for opening in May, last year. The company owns 70 ha of vines in three sites: ‘Homestead’, ‘Somerset’ and ‘Eversley’ which provides the fruit it needs. Jackson Estate now crushes on average 350 tonnes of Sauvignon Blanc, 150 tonnes of Pinot Noir, and 20 tonnes each of Chardonnay and Riesling annually, a quantity that makes the brand specialised, and a mix that is representative of market demands.

Jeff Hart is the managing director with the very experienced Geoff Woollcombe the viticulturist, and Matt Patterson-Green the winemaker. Matt has been with the company for over a decade. Here, I review a broad selection of wines from Jackson Estate, showing how its portfolio has evolved into one of sophistication, rather than youthful exuberance as in the early days. www.jacksonestate.co.nz

FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW



Jackson Estate ‘Alayna’ Marlborough Pinot Rosé 2017

Rose from New Zealand – Marlborough

18/20

Bright strawberry-pink colour with some depth and some soft peach hues on the rim. The nose is fresh and fragrant with aromas of strawberries and cream with cherry and raspberry notes, and lifted red florals along with confectionary elements. This has a firm and concentrated core. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is fresh and crisp with an elegant heart of strawberries and cream with fragrant cheery and raspberry fruit, lifted by red florals and confectionary notes. The wine flows smoothly along a slippery line with fresh, racy acidity enlivening the mouthfeel, providing energy and drive. The wine carries to a lingering finish of florals and confectionary. This is a fresh and aromatic dry rosé with bright strawberry and cream flavours with cherries, raspberries, florals and confectionary with a slippery palate. Serve as an aperitif, with antipasto and tapas over the next 2 years. 100% Pinot Noir, 65% from the ‘Homestead’ vineyard given 6 hours skin contact, and 35% from the ‘Gum Emperor’ vineyard, saignee, blended and cool-fermented to 12.49% alc. and 4.35 g/L RS. 18.0/20 Jul 2018 RRP $21.00

Jackson Estate ‘Homestead’ Marlborough Dry Riesling 2015

Riesling from New Zealand – Marlborough

18+/20

Bright, even, straw-yellow colour with lemon hues. The bouquet is fine in expression with a tightly bound core of lime fruit entwined with subtle notes of toast and mouthwatering minerals, unfolding a suggestion of honeysuckle. The aromatics possess very good intensity. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the wine is gently and elegantly expressed with restrained flavours of lime fruit and toast, along with hints of minerals and honeysuckle. The fruit forms a softly concentrated heart with soft textures, the acidity providing liveliness. The palate flows easily along a light-textured line leading to a thirst-quenching finish. This is an elegant and refined dry Riesling with lime, toast and mineral flavours showing the beginnings of secondary development. Serve as an aperitif and with seafood over the next 4 years. Fruit from the ‘Homestead’ vineyard on Jacksons Road, hand-picked, WBP and cool-fermented in tank with a portion in seasoned oak to 12.5% alc. and 3.8 g/L RS, TA 7.2 g/L and pH 2.98. 18.0+/20 Jul 2018 RRP $20.00

Jackson Estate ‘Shelter Belt’ Marlborough Chardonnay 2015

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Marlborough

18/20

Bright, light golden-yellow colour with lemon hues, paler on the rim. The nose is full and gently voluminous with good depth of white and yellow stonefruits entwined with subtle notes of steely herbs and savoury nutty elements from secondary development and a little smoke. This is refreshing and has intensity and penetration. Medium-bodied, the palate has rich and bright, lively fruit flavours of yellow stonefruits and citrus fruits melded with some creamy barrel-ferment and nutty oak, unveiling some lemon-curd MLF. The palate has up-front presence, but retains freshness and acidity, and builds in richness, revealing layers of interest as it carries along a light, phenolic-textured line leading to a full finish. Just beginning to show some secondary development, this Chardonnay has plenty of fruit richness and presence with good oak balance and a fresh palate. Match with roast poultry and pork over the next 4 years. Hand-picked clone 95 fruit from the ‘Homestead’ vineyard, WBP and 75% barrel-fermented with high solids, and 25% in tank, all by indigenous yeasts to 13.7% alc., the wine aged 9 months on lees, 25% of the barrel portion in new French oak, the wine undergoing MLF. 18.0/20 Jul 2018 RRP $24.00

Jackson Estate ‘Grey Ghost’ Wairau Valley Marlborough Barrique Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough

19-/20

Brilliant straw-yellow colour with lemon-green hues, lighter on the edge. The bouquet is powerfully presented with full, voluminous and deep and densely packed aromas of green stonefruits with greengages, nectarnes and gooseberries harmoniously melded with smooth nutty oak and lees complexities. The nose unfolds a layering of dark herbs and a hint of bean, with savoury secondary elements in the glass. Medium-full bodied, the palate has a deeply packed heart with layers of green stonefruits showing greengages and nectarines, herbs been and capsicums, along with subtle nutty lees and oak detail. The palate has plenty of mouthfeel and presence, and the wine possesses structure and grip, with balanced acidity. The wine carries with good volume to a fulsome, complex finish. This is a complex layered oak and lees influenced Sauvignon Blanc with green stonefruits, herbs and nuts, with plenty of presence and grip. Serve with herb-marinated pork and veal dishes over the next 3-4 years. Hand-picked fruit from ‘Block 2’ of the ‘Homestead’ vineyard, WBP, 50% fermented in seasoned French oak barriques and 50% in tank, all by indigenous yeasts to 13.1% alc., the wine aged 8 months on lees, the barrel portion undergoing batonnage with some MLF. 19.0-/20 Jul 2018 RRP $29.00

Jackson Estate ‘Homestead’ Marlborough Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Marlborough

17.5+/20

Moderately dark ruby-red colour with some depth and slight purple hues, pale edged. The nose is a little restrained in expression, showing a soft, deep and densely packed core of dark-red cherry and berry fruit with hints of dark plums, harmoniously entwined with subtle notes of dark herbs, a little nutty oak and nuances of earth. This is beginning to show a little savoury complexity. Medium-bodied, the palate has a rich and sweet heart of luscious dark-red cherry and berry fruit, along with subtle notes of dark herbs with hints of earth and oak, unveiling lifted florals.. The flavours are mouthfilling and show good presence, with light, grainy tannin providing grip and structure. The wine carries to a long finish of dark fruits. This is a rich and sweet-fruited Pinot Noir with dark red fruits and herbs, showing presence and structure. Match with pork, beef and lamb over the next 4-5 years. Pinot Noir fruit primarily from the ‘Gum Emperor’ vineyard, southern Waihopai, destemmed and fermented with a high proportion of whole berries to 13.0% alc., the wine aged in tank and barrel, some new. 17.5+/20 Jul 2018 RRP $23.00

Jackson Estate ‘Somerset’ ‘Single Vineyard’ Waihopai Valley Marlborough Pinot Noir 2013

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Marlborough

19-/20

Even red colour with slight garnet hues, lighter on the rim with a suggestion of bricking. The nose is full and voluminous with ethereal aromas of savoury red berry fruit entwined with dark and dried herbs, along with whole bunch stalk perfumes and a little game. The aromatics are expansive with a fine core. Medium-bodied, the palate has mouthfilling ethereal flavours of savoury strawberry and cherry fruit with an array of red florals. The wine has a very fine core and heart underlined by very fine-grained, powdery tannin providing plenty of texture, structure and fine grip. Whole bunch stalk flavours and dried herbs with a little game emerges forming a complex layering, and the wine flows with good lacy acidity to a long, elegant finish. This is an ethereal and voluminous Pinot Noir will a full and complex aromatic profile with savoury dried herbs, whole bunch notes and game on a very fine-grained palate. Match with game bird dishes over the next 5-6+ years. Hand-picked fruit, clones 667, 777 and 114 from the ‘Somerset’ vineyard, Waihopai, indigenous yeast fermented with 15% whole bunches and a high proportion of whole berries to 12.5% alc., the wine aged 17 months in 15% new French oak. 256 cases made. 19.0-/20 Jul 2018 RRP $48.00

Jackson Estate ‘Gum Emperor’ ‘Single Vineyard’ Waihopai Valley Marlborough Pinot Noir 2013

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Marlborough

18.5+/20

Full, dark-red colour with a lighter edge and slight garnet hues. The nose is softly full and densely packed with intense aromas of ripe, dark-red and black-berried fruits with notes of dark plums, harmoniously melded with savoury dark herb elements, subtle earth notes and nutty oak suggestions. Medium-full bodied, the palate is fulsome and rounded with a deep and dense heart of ripe black-berried fruits along with black plums, entwined with complexing savoury herb notes. The mouthfeel is plush and rounded, with soft, but considerable tannin extraction lending a full and accessible palate with softly integrated acidity. The flavours carry with good structure to a full, fruity finish. This is a full, rounded and plush, black-fruited Pinot Noir with supple tannins providing good structure. Match with roasted lamb, beef and venison dishes over the next 5-6+ years. Hand-picked fruit, clones 5, 777 and 115 from the ‘Gum Emperor’ vineyard, Waihopai, fully destemmed and indigenous yeast fermented to 12.5% alc., the wine spending 35 days on skins and aged 17 months in 15% new French oak barrels. 18.5+/20 Jul 2018 RRP $48.00

Jackson Estate Marlborough Botrytis Riesling 2014

Sweet Wine from New Zealand – Marlborough

18.5+/20

Bright, golden-hued orange colour with some depth. The bouquet is full and powerful with bold and deeply concentrated aromas or orange marmalade, apricots, crystallised fruits, honey and nectar along with some toffee and caramel, all lifted by some volatility. Very sweet and luscious to taste and light-medium bodied, the palate has soft, decadent and unctuous flavours of ripe tropical fruits, orange marmalade, wild honey and crystallised fruits, as well as toffee and caramel. The volatility is integrated and balanced. The flavours are nearly ‘over-the-top’, very mouthfilling and decadent. The palate has good acid balance and some cut to balance the sweetness and richness, providing good tension as the wine leads to a very long finish of caramel. This is a mature, fully botrytised Riesling with marmalade, honey and caramel and an unctuous opulent palate with fine acidity. Serve with steamed puddings, crème caramel and crème brulee over the next 3-4 years. Hand-picked botrytised Riesling fruit from old vines in the ‘Homestead’ vineyard, cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 9.6% alc. and 196 g/L RS, TA 7.0g/L and pH 3.02. (375ml) 18.5+/20 Jul 2018 RRP $45.00

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