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Featured Reviews

Pencarrow Martinborough/Hawke's Bay 2017 Chardonnay

23 January,2018

Pencarrow is the second label of Palliser Estate in Martinborough. As with almost all second tier brands, it was created to protect the integrity of the premium ‘Palliser Estate’ brand. It is one of a number of marketplace successes, with excellent growth and a life of its own. To do this, such secondary tier wines must possess style and very high quality, and the ‘Pencarrow’ wines have consistently shown this, many of them winning gold medals and top awards. The growth of the brand has seen the inclusion of Hawke’s Bay fruit to supplement the Martinborough fruit in the 2017 Chardonnay. Here I review that wine.


Pencarrow Martinborough/Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2017

Chardonnay from New Zealand - North Island


Bright straw-yellow colour with pale golden hues, lighter edged. The nose is firm with well-packed aromas of white stonefruits, tropical and citrus fruits harmoniously entwined with nutty and reductive flinty complexities, unfolding suggestions of lemon-curd MLF and toasty oak elements. Medium-full bodied, the palate has well-packed and deeply concentrated flavours of stonefruit and citrus fruit with tropical fruit exoticism, entwined with nutty, toasty oak and complex flinty reduction along with lemon-curd MLF. The mouthfeel is rounded and the flavours form a fine-textured, firm core with good alcoholic drive and underlying fresh acidity. The flavours recede a little as the wine carries to a long and sustained finish. This is a well-concentrated, up-front Chardonnay with stonefruit, citrus fruit and tropical fruit flavours intermixed with nutty and toasty oak with flinty detail. Match with barbecued and grilled poultry and pork dishes over the next 4 years. Clones 15, 95, 548 and 809, the fruit comprising 83% from the ‘Om Santi’, ‘Palliser’ and ‘Clouston’ vineyards, and 13% Hawke’s Bay Mendoza clone fruit the ‘River Valley’ region, filly barrel-fermented, 12% by indigenous yeasts to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 8 months on lees in 24% new oak with full MLF. 18.5/20 Jan 2018 RRP $23.00

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