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Featured Reviews

Paulownia 2016 Rosé and 2012 Pinot Noir

24 April,2017
This review has come about by meeting a man, Alan Cook who has been helping his son and daughter-in-law settle into our neighbourhood. He’s an ex-Royal Australian Navy man, who while commanding a ship took part in three joint-venture exercises with the New Zealand military. One of the friends he made in these exercises was Vaughan Paul, then with the R.N.Z.A.F., who established Paulownia Estate in Masterton. After visiting Vaughan, Alan brought back some wine for me to taste and enjoy. So this is published over our long ANZAC weekend in recognition of the long and strong ties between Australia and New Zealand.

Paulownia Estate is the Wairarapa wine venture of Christine and Vaughan Paul who purchased a former dairy block on Manaia Road, east of Masterton in 1995 with the intention of growing contract fruit for local wineries. Their first plantings were of Riesling and Merlot in 1998 growing their acreage with Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc to 9 ha over the next 4 years. The varieties are planted to 3 ha of Pinot Noir, all clone 10/5, 2 ha each of Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc, 1.5 ha of Riesling and 0.5 ha of Merlot. The Pauls introduced their ‘Paulownia’ wines with small quantities until 2008 when they decided to devote more of the efforts to their own wines rather than contract growing. The name ‘Paulownia’ refers to the Paulownia trees that overlook their vineyard, and it is also a play on their family name. Vaughan tends to the viticulture, and the wines are made by Karl Johner of Johner Estate. The annual production is approx. 1,200 cases.


Paulownia Wairarapa Rosé 2016

Rose from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington

Candy-floss pink with peach hues and some depth, a little lighter on the edge. The nose is gently full and moderately concentrated with subtly mouthwatering aromas of strawberries and cream with notes of quince and pomegranate. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is juicy and bright with aromatic flavours of strawberries and cream, and pomegranate, with subtle, lifted red florals. The mouthfeel is lively and thirst-quenching with refreshing acidity and the wine flows along a fine, phenolic-textured line, leading to a fresh and zesty, lingering finish of strawberries and cream. This is a bright, lively and juicy, mouthwatering dry rosé with flavours of strawberries and cream and pomegranate on a light, textured palate. Serve as an aperitif or with antipasto over the next 2 years. A blend of 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Merlot, given 12 hours skin contact and tank fermented to 13.5% alc. and 4.5 g/L RS, the wine aged 2 months on lees. 16.5/20 Apr 2017 RRP $18.00

Paulownia Wairarapa Pinot Noir 2012

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington

Even garnet-red colour with lighter tawny and brick hues on the rim. The bouquet is softly full with aromas of savoury red berry fruit along with dried herb, earthy and mushroom notes and resinous and nutty at the core. The aromatics grow in depth with aeration. Medium-full bodied, the palate is softly mouthfilling with interwoven and integrated savoury secondary flavours of red berry fruits, dried herbs, earth and undergrowth notes, along with nutty and resinous oak elements. The mouthfeel is soft and dry with fine-grained tannin extraction with soft acidity leading the wine with good line to a savoury finish. This is a savoury red-fruited Pinot Noir with secondary flavours and some resinous oak and a soft, dry mouthfeel. Match with mushroom dishes and casseroles over the next 2+ years. All clone 10/5 fruit, fully destemmed and fermented to 13.3% alc., the wine aged 12 months in seasoned French oak barriques. 15.5-/20 Apr 2017 RRP $23.00
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