Featured Reviews

Pask 2016 ‘Declaration’ Chardonnay and ‘Small Batch’ Trilliant’, and 2014 ‘Declaration’ Merlot and Cabernet Merlot Malbec

22 September,2018

With the departure of Kate Radburnd and Julz Brodgen from the Pask team, Paul Smith, who joined the company in 2004, and began working full-time there since 2010 has taken over the winemaking reins. The heart of Pask is made up of the 52+ ha of vines in the Gimblett Gravels in Hawke’s Bay, and Paul is dedicated to making classical Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet and Chardonnay wines. Recently, Paul told me of the continuation of the fine wines made to date, but maybe with a reduction in the amount of new oak in the flagship ‘Declaration’ bottlings in particular. It will be interesting to see how these changes will be manifest over the next few years. Here, I review the 2016 ‘Declaration’ Chardonnay and ‘Small Batch’ ‘Trilliant’, plus 2014 ‘Declaration’ Merlot and Cabernet/Merlot/Malbec. The ‘Declaration’ wines are particularly fulsome. www.pask.co.nz


Pask ‘Declaration’ Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2016

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Bright, light golden yellow colour with some depth, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is gently full and broad with good volume, concentration and presence. The aromas are stylish in presentation showing ripe yellow stonefruits and citrus fruits melded with creamy barrel-ferment and nutty oak. This grows in depth and intensity with aeration. Medium-full bodied, the palate is rich and fulsome with deep, rounded and plush flavours of ripe citrus fruit and stonefruit, harmoniously integrated with creamy barrel-ferment and nutty oak, and a little lemon-curd and butterscotch MLF. The flavours form a rich and powerful core with some underlying alcoholic power and drive, with fine lacy acidity lending tension and cut. The wine has great richness and presence that carries to a long and sustained finish. Match with roasted pork and veal dishes over the next 5 years. Fruit from the ‘Settlement 1’ vineyard, fully indigenous yeast barrel-fermented in 100% new 500 L puncheons to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 11 months in oak in lees with batonnage and 30% MLF. 19.0-/20 RRP $40.00

Pask ‘Small Batch – Trilliant’ Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay 2016

Blended Red from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Very dark, deep, black-hued ruby-red colour, lighter on the rim. The nose is fresh and bright with vibrant aromas of blackcurrant fruit along with cassis and dark herbs, unfolding black plum and blackberry notes. The fruit is youthfully fresh in expression, and the oaking is subtle and understated. Medium-bodied, the palate has fresh, lively and juicy flavours of blackberries and blackcurrants with an amalgam of dark plums, and fresh and dark herbs. The fruit forms a fine core with fine-grained tannin extraction in support, and fresh, bright, lacy acidity lending freshness and energy. The flavours flow with good vitality to a lingering finish of sweet blackberry and blackcurrant fruit. This is a vibrant and bright, fresh Malbec/Cabernet blend with blackberry, blackcurrant and plum flavours on an elegant palate with fine tannin and freshness. Match with herb-marinated lamb and beef dishes over the next 5-6 years. A blend of 52% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 27% Malbec, fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 14 months in 50% new American oak, 256 dozen made. 17.5+/20 Sep 2018 RRP $35.00

Pask ‘Declaration’ Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2014

Merlot from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Full, even, dark ruby-red colour with black hues and slight garnet on the rim. The bouquetisfull and solidly packed with deep, dense and solid aromas of very ripe blackberry and black plum fruit along with a harmonious layering of spicy, cedary oak, unveiling integrated notes of iron-earth. Full-bodied, the palate is rich and powerful with deep and dense, very ripe flavours of black plums and blackberries intermixed with nuances of dark herbs and an amalgam of cedary, spicy oak and iron-earth complexities. The palate has richness and power with great presence, and is supported by considerable fine, flowery tannin extraction. The acidity is balanced and integrated and the wine carries to a solid and fulsome finish. This is a powerful and weighty Merlot with very ripe black plum and berry fruit with a layer of spicy oak andiron-earth on a robustly structured palate. Match with slow-cooked game meat dishes over the next 8-12 years. Merlot fruit from the ‘McKay’ block, fermented to 13.7% alc., the wine aged 21 months in 90% new French oak. 18.5+/20 Sep 2018 RRP $50.00

Pask ‘Declaration’ Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Cabernet/Merlot/Malbec 2014

Blended Red from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Full, dark ruby-red colour with slight black hues, a little lighter on the edge. The nose is powerfully concentrated with intense and deeply penetrating aromas of very ripe blackcurrants and blackberries along with an amalgam of cassis, dark herbs, spicy and pencilly oak with lifted spices. Some iron-earth detail emerges with aeration. Full-bodied, the palate has rich and vibrant fruit flavours of sweet blackcurrants and blackberries, along with black plums, cassis and dark herbs, fine pencilly oak and subtle iron-earth notes. The mouthfeel has great vitality and the flavours are mouthfilling, supported by plenty of fine-grained tannin extraction and grip. The fruit is balanced by fresh acidity lending vigour and tension, and the wine carries to a long and sustained finish. This is a rich, vibrant and powerful Cabernet/Merlot blend with fulsome flavours of black fruits with cassis, oak and earth on a fully structured, fine-grained palate with freshness. Match with roasted lamb, beef and venison, and semi-hard cheeses over the next 8-12+ years. A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon from the ‘Watercourse’ block, 36% Merlot from the ‘McKay’ block and 4% Malbec from the ‘Settlement 2’ vineyard, fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 24 months in 100% new French oak. 19.0/20 Sep 2018 RRP $50.00

Copyright © 2011 Raymond Chan Wine Reviews
Website by DataFlex | Design by Skinny