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Featured Reviews

Paddy Borthwick 2016 Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and ‘Falloon’ Pinot Noir

29 March,2017
With over 35 vintages under his belt, Paddy Borthwick is one of the Wairarapa’s more experienced winemakers. The Borthwick vineyard on Dakins Road in Gladstone that he operates was established in 1996 and has 27 ha of vines. Making high quality wines, Paddy exports much of the production, but he has a loyal and growing domestic market. Here, I review the new 2016 Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, and ‘Falloon Block’ Pinot Noir, the latter situated at Bideford, but farmed by Paddy since it was established.


Paddy Borthwick Wairarapa Pinot Gris 2016

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington

Bright straw-yellow colour with light golden hues, a little paler on the rim. The nose is softly full and gently concentrated with aromas of yellow stonefruits entwined with nutty oak nuances and flinty, minerally lees interest. The nose unfolds nuances of florals and spice with aeration. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate has flavours of ripe yellow stonefruits along with pear fruit and aromatic florals, complexed by subtle nuances of nuts and flinty lees. The palate is upfront with good fruit richness balanced by fine, dry phenolic textures and soft, integrated acidity. The flavours recede as the wine carries to a restrained, clean, dry finish. This dry Pinot Gris has rich yellow stonefruit, pear and floral flavours complexed by nutty and flinty notes, on a fine palate with a clean, light finish. Match with most white meat dishes over the next 3+ years. Fruit from the ‘Borthwick’ vineyard, fermented in stainless-steel with 25% in seasoned oak to 13.5% alc. and 3.5 g/L RS, the barrel portion on gross lees 7 months and the tank portion on lees for 8 months. 17.5/20/20 Mar 2017 RRP $22.00

Paddy Borthwick Wairarapa Chardonnay 2016

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington

Bright straw-yellow colour with lemon-green hues, pale edged. This has a very fine and elegantly proportioned nose with good depth and intensity of aromatic citrus fruit interwoven with spicy, nutty oak and subtle hints of creamy barrel-ferment, complex notes of flint, and nuances of lemon-curd MLF. Medium-bodied, the palate is finely concentrated with a tight core of fresh citrus fruit melded with fine, spicy and creamy oak, and subtle notes of flint and MLF lemon-curd. The wine has a fresh mouthfeel with bright, enlivening acidity and the wine follows a fine-textured line leading to a light, lingering finish of citrus fruits and flinty lees. This is an elegantly concentrated and fine-textured Chardonnay with citrus fruit complexed by nutty oak and subtle notes of flint and MLF. Match with seafood, poultry and pork over the next 4-5 years. Clones 548, 809, 95 and 2/23 from the ‘Borthwick’ vineyard, vines 5 y.o., indigenous yeast hot-fermented in barrel to 12.5% alc., the wine aged 8 months in 20% new oak with MLF conversion. 18.0/20 Mar 2017 RRP $26.00

Paddy Borthwick ‘Falloon Block’ Wairarapa Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington

Moderately deep ruby-red colour with light purple hues on the rim. The nose is up-front and voluminous with open and accessible aromas of vibrant, primary dark red berry, raspberry and cherry fruit lifted by violet florals, unfolding suggestions of dark-red plums, spices and perfumes. Medium-full bodied, the palate has bright, lively primary raspberry and cherry fruit along with violet floral aromatics, and lifted whole berry fermentation suggestions. The fruit is supported by fine-grained, flowery tannin extraction providing a refined, textural mouthfeel. The acidity is balanced and integrated, allowing the fruit and structure to feature. The wine carries to a fine-featured, lingering finish. This is an open and accessible Pinot Noir with vibrant primary fruit flavours of raspberries and cherries with violet floral lift, on a finely structure palate. Match with duck, pork and beef lamb dishes over the next 5 years. Clones Abel, 10/5 and 115 from the ‘Falloon’ block in Bideford, vines approx. 20 y.o., the fruit fully destemmed and fermented, partially with indigenous yeasts to 13.6% alc., the wine aged 9 months in 15% new oak. 18.0-/20 Mar 2017 RRP $24.00
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