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Featured Reviews




Ngatarawa ‘Stables Reserve’ 2016 Whites, Rosé and Reds

25 April,2018

With Mission Estate purchasing Ngatarawa Wines in August last year, the industry saw the amalgamation of two moderately large, and well-established Hawke’s Bay labels. On the surface, it appears to be a doubling up of much of the resources and wines, but closer scrutiny shows that there are significant differences which make the combination particularly strong.

As far as wine tourism goes, Mission Estate and Ngatarawa remain separate entities, each offering their own personality (though Ngatarawa has just closed for the winter season). Both Mission Estate and Ngatarawa Wines have their wineries operating, though Mission is taking an increasing role in this part. Most of the Ngatarawa Wines estate vineyards have been retained, but there is some consolidation with contract vineyard fruit. And most importantly, most of the Ngatarawa personnel in the viticulture and winemaking areas have become unified with the Mission Estate team. The situation is similar with the sales and marketing staff. Alwyn and Brian Corban have withdrawn from the business completely now, and their long-time winemaker Peter Gough stayed on initially, but has just recently departed.

The Ngatarawa Wines brands are being continued, with more releases of ‘Stables’, ‘Stables Reserve’, Glazebrook’, ‘Proprietors Reserve’ and ‘Alwyn’ wines in the works. I’ve found there are stylistic differences between the Mission Estate wines and the Ngatarawa wines, simply put, the former somewhat more contemporary, and the latter more traditional. This is a positive, as the variety and range of wines in the portfolio is larger, but all have their individuality. It is interesting times as Mission and Ngatarawa move forward. Here, I review a selection of the latest Ngatarawa ‘Stables Reserve’ wines. These were made at the Ngatarawa winery. www.ngatarawa.co.nz www.missionestate.co.nz

FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW



Ngatarawa ‘Stables Reserve’ Hawke’s Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

16+/20

Bright straw-yellow colour with slight green hues, a little lighter on the edge. The nose is soft and accessible with light, easy and up-front aromas of passionfruit along with subtle notes of fresh herbs and mouthwatering green capsicum elements. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has a light, but positive, elegant core of vibrant passionfruit flavours along with notes of gooseberries, fresh herbs and notes of green capsicums. The flavours are up-front and possess some drive, and the wine flows along a light, phenolic-textured line with fresh underlying acidity lending a thirst-quenching edge. This leads to a light, dry finish. This is a light, up-front, but positively fruity Sauvignon Blanc with passionfruit, gooseberry and capsicum flavours on a slightly grainy-textured palate. Fruit from the Ngatarawa Triangle, cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 13.0% alc. and 4.3 g/L RS, the wine undergoing batonnage. 16.0+/20 Apr 2018 RRP $16.00

Ngatarawa ‘Stables Reserve’ Hawke’s Bay Pinot Gris 2016

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

16.5/20

Full, even, pale golden-yellow colour with straw tints on the rim. The nose is light and fresh with moderately deep aromas of yellow stonefruits entwined with subtle white and yellow floral notes forming an elegant core. The fruit is clean and detailed. Dryish to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has bright and lively, penetrating flavours of white and yellow stonefruits along with lifted yellow florals and hints of honeysuckle. The mouthfeel is fresh and enlivenred by crisp acidity, and the wine flows along a light-textured line. This has linearity and the wine carries to a lingering finish of stonefruits, florals and honeysuckle. This is a bright and lively, off-dry Pinot Gris with penetrating stonefruit and floral flavours on a refreshing palate. Match with Asian fare over the next 2+ years. Fruit from the Ngatarawa Triangle fermented in stainless-steel to 13.5% alc. and 6 g/L RS, the wine undergoing batonnage. 16.5/20 Apr 2018 RRP $16.00

Ngatarawa ‘Stables Reserve’ Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2016

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

16/20

Brilliant straw-yellow colour with lemon-gold hues, lighter on the rim. The nose is light with a good heart of fresh citrus fruit and yellow stonefruits, along with subtle notes of nutty and spicy oak. This is clean and fresh and unveils some herbal detail. Medium-full bodied, the palate has light flavours of white and yellow stonefruits along with citrus fruit notes forming a light core. The flavours are up-front and underlined by some light phenolic grip. A little spicy oak emerges, and the wine carries along a light-textured line with fresh acidity to a clean finish of citrus fruit and nutty oak nuances, This is a light-flavoured, up-front Chardonnay with uncomplicated stonefruit and citrus fruit with a touch of spicy oak. Match with seafood, poultry and pork over the next 2 years. Fruit from Mangatahi and the Ngatarawa Triangle, fermented in tank to 13.5% alc., the wine given oak contact to 20% new equivalence, undergoing batonnage and 30% MLF. 16.0/20 Apr 2018 RRP $16.00

Bright, light golden colour with some depth, lighter on the rim. This has an elegantly concentrated nose with refreshing, aromatic white and yellow stonefruits, lifted tropical fruits, and spicy, nutty oak notes, along with a layering of lemon-curd and caramel-like MLF elements. Medium-full bodied, the palate is rounded with moderately rich flavours of yellow stonefruits and tropical fruit melded with an amalgam of nutty and spicy oak with caramel MLF flavours. The wine flows along a fine, grainy textured line with background acidity providing energy. The structure carries the wine to a softly full finish of tropical fruit and buttery elements. This is a moderately rich and textured Chardonnay with stonefruit and tropical fruit flavours entwined with nutty oak and caramel and buttery MLF notes. Match with roast pork over the next 2-3 years. Fruit 50% from Bridge Pa Triangle and 50% Mangatahi, tank-fermented with 15% new oak equivalence to 13.5% alc., the wine undergoing batonnage and 20% MLF. 16.5+/20 Feb 2017 RRP $18.99

Ngatarawa ‘Stables Reserve’ Hawke’s Bay Rosé 2016

Rose from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

15.5-/20

Light cerise-pink colour with some depth and faint purple hues on the rim. The nose is light with restrained aromas of red cherry fruit with fruit lozenges, and nuances of herbs and red floral elements. This is simple in expression. Dryish to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has a positive vinous core with flavours of red cherries, savoury fruit pastilles and lozenges. The fruit shows some sweetness and presence, and the wine flows along a light-textured line with fresh acidity. The flavours recede as the wine carries to a light, clean finish. This is a straightforward dryish rosé with cherry and fruit pastille flavours showing some fruit richness, receding on the finish. Serve as an aperitif, with antipasto and tapas over the next 2 years. Predominantly Merlot with a small portion of Pinot Noir, a portion given 24 hours skin contact and fermented in tank to 13.0% alc. and 7 g/L RS, the wine undergoing batonnage. 15.5-/20 Apr 2018 RRP $16.00

Light strawberry-peach colour with some depth and pale purple hues on the rim. The nose is soft and gently full with refreshing aromas of strawberries, redcurrants and pomegranate, unfolding red florals and a mouthwatering amalgam of nuts and minerals. Off-dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has fresh, juicy flavours of strawberries, pomegranate and redcurrants. The fruit is enlivened by fresh, lacy acidity and the wine flows along a soft-textured line, revealing subtle notes of red florals, minerals and a hint of confectionary. The wine carries to a light-fruited, dry, thirst-quenching finish. This is a fresh, mouthwatering, off-dry rosé with moderately juicy fruit flavours, soft textures and a light, dry finish. Serve as an aperitif and with tapas over the next 2 years. A blend of 92.5% Merlot and 7.5% Pinot Noir, given 12+ hours skin contact and tank-fermented to 13.0% alc. and 7 g/L RS, the wine undergoing batonnage. 16.5+/20 Feb 2017 RRP $18.99

Ngatarawa ‘Stables Reserve’ Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2016

Merlot from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

15.5+/20

Full, dark, deep, black-hued ruby-red colour with slight purple hues, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is shy with light and tightly bound aromas of dark-red berry fruit with hints of black plums and dark herbs. The fruit is detailed by a little oak spice. Medium-bodied, the palate has a fine core of sweetly ripe fruit flavours of blackberries and black plums entwined with subtle notes of currants and fresh herbs. The palate is elegantly proportioned, forming a fine line with light tannin textures and balanced acidity. The flavours carry along a fine line, leading to a gently sweet, light finish. This is a slender Merlot with gently sweet blackberry and black plum fruit with currant and herb elements on a fine-textured palate. Match with lamb and beef dishes over the next 3 years. Fruit from the Ngatarawa Triangle and the Gimblett Gravels to 13.0% alc. with oak contact to 20% new equivalence. 15.5+/20 Apr 2018 RRP $16.00

Ngatarawa ‘Stables Reserve’ Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2016

Syrah from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

15.5-/20

Moderately deep ruby-red colour with black hues at the heart and light purple tints on the rim. The nose is soft and restrained in expression with light aromas of dark-red berry and raspberry fruit along with white pepper, and subtle nuances of meat and tar. Medium-bodied, the palate is slim with light flavours of blackberries and dark raspberries along with white and black pepper notes and dark herbs. The fruit is gently sweet and succulent, and is supported by light tannin extraction and fresh, lacy acidity that enlivens the mouthfeel. The flavours carry to a light, but lingering finish. This is a slender Syrah with gently sweet dark raspberry and blackberry fruit, with some peppery and herbal elements on a light-structured, refreshing palate. Match with Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine over the next 2-3 years. Fruit from the Ngatarawa Triangle and Puketapu, fermented to 13.0% alc. with oak contact to 20% new equivalence. 15.5-/20 Apr 2018 RRP $16.00

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