Featured Reviews

Mission ‘Estate’ 2018, 2017 and 2016 New Releases

14 August,2018

Winegrowing since 1851, Mission Estate is truly venerable. There are few truly venerable wine producers in New Zealand, but those that qualify have the experience to ensure that they provide good wine that the general consumer can afford regularly, as well as making wines at the forefront of innovation and quality, which can be expensive. Lessons learned making cutting-edge wines filter down to the lower tiers, and as a whole the wine producer continues to make progress. At the highest level, Mission Estate has the limited bottling ‘Huchet’ wines with the ‘Jewelstone’ tier just under that. Then come the ‘Reserve’ wines which are of a very high standard as well. It is the ‘Estate’ range which is the ‘workhorse’, and these give the company its commercial viability and visibility. Here, I review a selection of new ‘Estate’ releases, from the 2018, 2017 and 2016 vintages. www.missionestate.co.nz


Mission Hawke’s Bay Rosé 2018

Rose from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Bright, pale cerise-pink colour with some depth and slight purple hues, lighter on the edge. The nose is fresh, bright and fragrant with aromas of strawberries and cream and raspberries, along with lifted red florals and a subtle thread of confectionary and fermentation esters that unfold with aeration. Dry to taste and light-medium bodied, the palate has a slender heart with elegantly concentrated flavours of strawberries and cream, raspberries and cherries, along with lifted confectionary. The wine flows along a light, phenolic-textured, thirst-quenching line with fresh, lacy acidity providing energy, leading to a lingering finish of cherries and confectionary. This dry rosé has an aromatic bouquet with a slender presentation on palate with strawberries and cream, raspberries and cherries on a thirst-quenching palate. Serve with antipasto over the next 2 years. Hawke’s Bay fruit, 88% Syrah with Merlot and Tempranillo, direct to press and cool-fermented to 12.5% alc. and 5.75 g/L RS. 17.5-/20 Aug 2018 RRP $13.99

Mission Marlborough Pinot Gris 2018

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright, light straw-yellow colour, a little lighter on the edge. The nose is full with a rounded core of white and yellow stonefruits, and lifted stonefruit kernels, melded with nutty lees notes. This has depth and presence, revealing mineral elements that build in depth. The mineral notes lend a degree of firmness and austerity. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate has good weight and presence, but the wine is somewhat restrained in expression, showing integrated flavours of stonefruits, soft nutty and minerally lees elements. The palate is harmonious in construction and unfolds a little unctuousness, as the wine carries along a light-textured line with balanced, fresh acidity. This dry Pinot Gris has a firm nose but an integrated and harmonious palate with stonefruit, nutty and minerally lees notes. Serve with poultry and pork over the next 3 years. Fruit from the company’s Blind River, Awatere vineyard, cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 13.1% alc. and 7 g/L RS, the wine aged on lees. 17.0/20 Aug 2018 RRP $13.99

Mission Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2017

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Full, even, light golden-hued yellow colour, paler on the rim. The nose is full and voluminous with deep aromas of white stonefruits harmoniously melded with a layer of nutty notes with hints of flinty minerals, unfolding a little smoke. The aromatics retain good freshness. Medium-bodied, the palate has an elegantly concentrated core of white stonefruits along with nutty notes and subtle flinty and minerally complexities. The flavours are up-front and gently mouthfilling. As the wine flows, the flavours become more slender, and carry on a smooth palate with fresh acidity, leading to a crisp, clean finish. This is a fresh, clean, up-front Chardonnay with stonefruit, nutty and flinty flavours that carry to a slender finish. Match with most white meat courses over the next 3 years. Hawke’s Bay fruit, predominantly Mendoza and clone 15, fermented to 13.1% alc., the wine given light oak contact, spending 6 months on lees without MLF. 17.0/20 Aug 2018 RRP $13.99

Mission Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2017

Syrah from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Dark, deep ruby-red colour with slight black hues, lighter on the rim. The nose is elegant and fresh in expression with light aromas of dark-red berry fruit entwined with white pepper and subtle notes of violet florals along with fresh and dark herbs. Medium-bodied, the palate has an elegant and fine core of red berries, redcurrants and plums intermixed with white pepper, subtle notes of red florals, with fresh and dark herbs. The fruit is in the cooler spectrum. The flavours form an easy flowing line with light, grainy tannins and balanced acidity lending some dry grip. The textures carry the wine to a light and slender finish. This is a light Syrah with cool-spectrum red cherry and berry fruit with white pepper and herbs on a grainy-textured palate. Serve with pasta and pizza, and Mediterranean fare over the next 2-3 years. Syrah fruit from inland sites including the Gimblett Gravels, destemmed and fermented to 12.4% alc., the wine aged in tank with oak stave contact. 16.0+/20 Aug 2018 RRP $13.99

Mission Hawke’s Bay Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Cabernet Sauvignon from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Very dark, deep, near impenetrable black-red colour with slight purple hues at the rim. This has an elegantly packed nose with aromas of blackcurrants, dark herbs, a little cassis with notes of olives and mint. The aromatics form a firm core with the aromatics in the cool-spectrum. Medium-full bodied, the palate has a concentrated and dense core of blackcurrants and blackberries, with cassis elements, and fresh and dark herbs. A little earthiness emerges. The mouthfeel has grainy textures with the extraction and grip underlining the fruit. Fresh acidity lends energy and zestiness, and the wine carries to a finish with hints of stems and stalks to the currant and herb flavours. This is a cool-spectrum Cabernet Sauvignon with blackcurrant, herb, stalk and stem notes on a grainy, extractive palate. Match with herb-marinated lamb and beef dishes over the next 3 years. Hawke’s Bay Cabernet Sauvignon fruit, 22% from the Gimblett Gravels, fermented to 13.2% alc., the wine aged 56% in tank and 44% in barrel for 18 months. 16.5-/20 Aug 2018 RRP $13.99

Mission Hawke’s Bay Late Harvest 2018

Sweet Wine from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Brilliant, light golden-hued straw-yellow colour with lemon tints. The nose is elegant and firm with a core of fragrant lime fruit intermixed with subtle notes of honeysuckle and musk, unfolding refreshing herbal nuances, with a suggestion of minerals. Sweet to taste and light-medium bodied, the palate is a little restrained, but possesses a lusciously honied core with lime and lemon fruit, with notes of apricots and musk. The fruit core is underlined by some phenolic textures with soft acidity balancing the sweetness with a light grip. The flavours carry to a long and sustained finish. This is a sweet Late-Harvest Riesling with citrus fruit along with musky botrytis on a slightly grainy, phenolic palate with good length. Serve with fruit desserts over the next 3+ years. Late-picked Riesling fruit with some botrytis, from the Ohiti Road vineyard blended with 2% late-harvested Viognier, fermented to 10.8% alc. and 90 g/L RS, TA 801 g/L and pH 3.25. (375 ml) 17.0+/20 Aug 2018 RRP $13.99

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