Featured Reviews




Mister and Te Awanga Estate 2017 Releases

17 July,2018

Te Awanga Estate is the winegrowing business of Hawke’s Bay winemaking veteran Rod McDonald. The coastal Te Awanga Estate is home base, home vineyard and cellar door, and where wines are made. But Rod’s breadth of vision and reach encompasses the wider Hawke’s Bay region, and Te Awanga Estate sources fruit from company owned vineyards in Bridge Pa and Maraekakaho, and a number of specific ‘small blocks’ in other districts. Te Awanga Estate has a number of sibling brands, these being ‘Quarter Acre’, ‘One Off’, ‘Mister’, plus the flagship ‘Trademark’ wines. (Rod also has wine made at the Hawke’s Bay Wine Co. in Napier, which he operates.) It’s been an exciting and tangential journey for Rod and his team to get to this consolidated position, but Rod’s vision seems to have been attained to a large degree, from where he will continually evolve his wines. Here, I review a number of new 2017 vintage releases under the ‘Mister’ range which offers modern, fruit forward styles, and from the ‘Te Awanga Estate’ range which demonstrates to elegance of cooler growing conditions. Included is the inaugural ‘Te Awanga Estate’ ‘The Loom’ ‘Reserve’ Chardonnay. This is named after ‘the best wave of the day’ as seen by Te Awanga locals. www.teawangaestate.co.nz

FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW



Mister Hawke’s Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

16.5+/20

Bright, light straw-yellow colour with slight green hues, pale edged. The nose is fresh and softly up-front with restrained aromas of gooseberries and white stonefruits, along with notes of fresh herbs and a suggestion of waxy lanolin. The aromatics are slender in presentation. Dry to taste and light-medium bodied, the palate has a soft core of gooseberries and stonefruits along with herb and tropical fruit elements. The mouthfeel is rounded with fresh, lacy acidity providing a slippery mouthfeel. The flavours carry to a light finish of herbs and gooseberries. This is a light Sauvignon Blanc with soft gooseberry, stonefruit and herb flavours on a fresh, slippery palate. Serve with salads and vegetables over the next 2 years. Fruit from Maraekakaho and Te Awanga, fermented in tank to 12.5% alc. and 4.25 g/L RS, the wine aged on lees, undergoing batonnage. 16.5+/20 Jul 2018 RRP $19.99

Mister Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2017

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

17-/20

Full, even, light straw-yellow colour with lemon-green hues. The nose is elegant with a fine, tight core of fresh white and yellow stonefruits with subtle citrus fruit notes, unveiling nutty oak notes and lemon-curd MLF detail. The aromatics are softly fresh and a little shy in expression. Medium-full bodied, the palate has moderately rich flavours of citrus fruit and yellow stonefruits, along with nutty oak notes and lemon-curd MLF. The flavours form a fine, smooth-flowing core and the mouthfeel is enlivened by fresh acidity. The wines has linearity and the wine carries to an elegant, lingering finish. This is an elegant Chardonnay with smooth-flowing citrus and stonefruit flavours with nutty oak and MLF on a fresh palate. Match with seafood and poultry over the next 2-3 years. Fruit from Bridge Pa and Maraekakaho, fermented in tank with 25% in barrel to 13.5% alc., 20% of the barrel portion new oak, the wine aged on lees, undergoing batonnage and 60% MLF. 17.0-/20 Jul 2018 RRP $21.99

Mister Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2017

Syrah from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

16+/20

Moderately deep ruby-red colour with slight purple hues, lighter on the rim. The nose is fresh and bright with light, but vibrant primary fruit aromas of raspberries and red cherries with red floral notes entwined with fresh and dark herbs. This is youthful and straightforward in the cooler spectrum. Medium-bodied, the palate is vibrant and lively with refreshing acidity lifting the flavours of raspberries and cherries. Fresh and dark herbal notes are entwined with the fruit showing the cool aspect. The mouthfeel has fruit extract presence, forming an elegant core which is underlined by light supple tannins. The wine leads to a light, clean finish. This is a light-fruited Syrah with cool-spectrum raspberry and herbal flavours with some weight on a brisk palate. Serve with antipasto, tapas and pasta over the next 2 years. Fruit from Bridge Pa, destemmed and fermented to 11.5% alc., the wine on skins 23 days and given 14 months French oak contact. 16.0+/20 Jul 2018 RRP $24.99

Te Awanga Estate Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2017

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

17.5/20

Bright straw-yellow colour with pale gold hues, lighter on the edge. The nose is light with fresh and detailed aromas of citrus fruit and yellow stonefruits along with nuances of creamy barrel-ferment and nutty oak. The aromatics possess a steely freshness unfolding saline suggestions, and express youth. Medium=bodied, the palate has a softly rich and deep heart with white and yellow stonefruits, with citrus fruit notes, and a layering of creamy, nutty oak. The MLF is well-integrated and harmonious. The flavours form a positive, rounded core and the mouthfeel is fresh from lacy acidity. The wine flows to a soft and light, lingering finish of citrus fruit and nuts. This is a softly rich Chardonnay with stonefruit and citrus fruit flavours, along with nutty oak and a fresh mouthfeel. Serve with seafood and poultry over the next 3-4 years. Primarily Mendoza and clone 15 fruit from Te Awanga with a small portion from Maraekakaho, 60% fermented in tank and 40% in new and seasoned barrels to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 10 months on lees with 60% MLF. 17.5/20 Jul 2018 RRP $24.99

Te Awanga Estate Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2017

Syrah from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

16.5+/20

Dark ruby-red colour with youthful purple hues, a little paler on the rim. The nose is soft with a moderately deep and concentrated core of fresh dark raspberries harmoniously entwined with fresh and dark herbs, and an amalgam of nutty oak and soft earthy elements. Medium-bodied, the palate has a softly restrained, rounded core of harmoniously integrated flavours of succulent raspberry fruit, red cherries and a hint of liquorice along with herb and nutty detail. The mouthfeel is soft with light, supple tannin extraction and fresh, lacy acidity in the background. The wine carries to a light finish. This is a moderately rich Syrah with raspberry and cherry fruit with notes of herbs and liquorice on a harmonious, supple palate. Match with pasta, pizza, tapas and Middle Eastern cuisine over the next 3+ years. Fruit from an inland vineyard, destemmed but not crushed and fermented to 11.5% alc., the wine aged 14 months in 10-15% new French oak. 16.5+/20 Jul 2018 RRP $27.99

Te Awanga Estate ‘The Loom’ ‘Reserve’ Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2017

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

18.5-/20

Bright straw-yellow colour with pale gold hints and some depth, paler on the rim. The nose is elegantly concentrated with a well-packed, but stylish heart of white and yellow stonefruits with citrus fruit notes softly melded with creamy barrel-ferment elements and spicy, nutty oak unveiling some toast and a suggestion of butter. Medium-bodied, the palate has a rich and well-concentrated core of ripe yellow stonefruit and citrus fruit integrated with nutty and toasty oak, along with an amalgam of creamy barrel-ferment and subtle buttery MLF nuances. The mouthfeel is rich with good presence and is balanced by fine acid cut. The flavours flow smoothy to a lingering and sustained finish. This is a rich and well-concentrated medium-bodied Chardonnay with elegant stonefruit and citrus fruit flavours entwined with nutty oak and some creamy MLF lusciousness and good presence. Serve with roasted pork over the next 4 years. Te Awanga fruit, hand-picked and WBP, straight to approx. 50% new French oak barrels and indigenous yeast fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 10 months on lees in 20% new oak with batonnage and 75% MLF. 18.5-/20 Jul 2018 RRP $34.99

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