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Featured Reviews

One Off 2017 Chiaretto Rosé and Quarter Acre 2016 Merlot Malbec and Syrah

15 November,2017

Of the Rod McDonald brands, I find the most interesting is the ‘One Off’ label. The wines here are unique and innovative, and a springboard for developing new styles. The most serious is ‘Quarter Acre’ as they represent Rod’s desire to showcase the best of Hawke’s Bay and his interpretation of the best varieties and styles. Of course, all of the brands have a place and demonstrate or represent a facet of how Rod sees his world of wine. Putting them all together, there is a comprehensive portfolio that encompasses much. Here, I review the One Off ‘Chiaretto’ Rosé 2017, a wine inspired by the style of Italian rosé, and Quarter Acre Merlot/Malbec and Syrah from the 2016 vintage, these being classical Hawke’s Bay varieties.


One Off ‘Chiaretto’ Hawke’s Bay Sangiovese Rosé 2017

Rose from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Bright, pale strawberry pink with slight purple hues, a little lighter edged. The nose is very fresh with bright, light aromas of white stonefruits and subtle notes of watermelon, cranberries and thirst-quenching mineral nuances. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has fine and elegantly concentrated flavours of stonefruits, with nuances of florals and mouthwatering mineral notes. The mouthfeel is lively and refreshing with brisk acidity, and the wine flows along a very fine-textured line, leading to a fine, dry, light finish. This is a crisp, dry rosé with light stonefruit, cranberry and floral flavours on a fine-textured, refreshing line. Serve as an aperitif, with canapés and antipasto over the next 2 years. Sangiovese fruit from Maraekakaho, destemmed and given a couple of hours skin contact, and cool-fermented to 12.0% alc. and <1.0 g/L RS, the wine aged on lees for a few months. 17.5/20 Nov 2017 RRP $24.99

Quarter Acre Hawke’s Bay Merlot/Malbec 2016

Blended Red from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Even dark ruby-red colour with slight purple hues, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is elegantly concentrated with well-packed aromas of ripe dark-red and black plums and blackberry fruit along with a subtle amalgam of dark herbs and earth. The aromatics are harmoniously interwoven. Medium-full bodied, the palate has moderately rich and piquant flavours of dark-red and black plums with blackberry fruit melded with dark herb elements. The mouthfeel is smooth and flowing with very fine textured extraction and structure, along with integrated acidity. The wine carries to an elegant, lingering finish of plums, berries and herbs. This is an elegant and finely proportioned Merlot blend with black and dark-red plums, blackberry and herb flavours on a smooth textured palate. Match with roast lamb and beef dishes over the next 6+ years. Hand-picked fruit, a blend of 71% Merlot, 22% Malbec and 7% Cabernet Franc from as site at the base of Te Mata Peak, Havelock North, fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine spending 25 days on skins and aged 16 months in 25% new French oak barriques. 18.5-/20 Nov 2017 RRP $34.99

Quarter Acre Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2016

Syrah from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Even, dark ruby-red colour with good depth. This has a finely presented nose with good depth of dark raspberry and blackberry fruity, along with black pepper notes, subtle spicy and earthy nuances, hints of reduction, unfolding violet florals. The aromas are a little restrained in expression. Medium-bodied, the palate has lively and fresh fruit flavours of blackberries and dark raspberries harmoniously entwined with notes of black pepper, spice and lifted florals. The mouthfeel is fresh, with lacy acidity, and light, fine-grained tannin extraction. The wine has good linearity and flows softly to a lingering finish of dark raspberries, blackberries and pepper. This is a fresh and lively Syrah with harmonious flavours of dark raspberries, blackberries, pepper and spice notes, along with reductive hints on a fine textured palate. Match with beef and lamb, and Middle Eastern fare over the next 6 years. Hand-picked Chave clone Syrah fruit from hillside and old riverbed vineyards, destemmed and indigenous yeast fermented with whole berries to 13.0% alc., the wine spending 28 days on skins and aged 16 months in 25% new French oak barriques. 18.0/20 Nov 2017 RRP $39.99

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