Featured Reviews

Petane Station 2016 Pinot Gris, Viognier and Chardonnay, and 2015 Syrah

23 March,2017
Petane Station is the wine venture of Philip and Sarah Barber who purchased an established vineyard in the Esk Valley district of Hawkes Bay with the intent to produce boutique single vineyard wines. They have developed their holdings to 8 ha over 5 blocks. They have the 3.3 ha ‘Church Block’ established in 1999, planted to Pinot Gris, the ‘0.3 ha ‘Tracks’, established in 2009 with Viognier, the 1.0 ha ‘Hau Hau’, planted in 2011 to Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer, 0.2 ha in ‘Bellbird’, established also in 2011 with Gewurztraminer, and 0.5 ha in ‘Puriri’, established in 2014 with Chardonnay. Red wine fruit is sourced from other districts. The Barbers personally tend to the viticulture and have Ant Mackenzie making their wines at the Askerne facility. Already, the wines have been awarded well as judgings, and critical acclaim is growing. Here, I review the 2016 Pinot Gris, Viognier and Chardonnay, and 2015 Syrah. The 2016 whites show enhanced aromatics and fresh acidity as shared traits. www.petanestation.co.nz


Petane Station Esk Valley ‘Single Vineyard’ Hawke’s Bay Pinot Gris 2016

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

Bright straw-yellow with light golden tints and lemon-green hues, the colour with some depth. The nose is softly full with good volume of fresh, ripe, yellow stonefruits and pears, entwined with honeysuckle and nuances of rose-petal and exotic florals. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, this has a firm core of yellow stonefruits and pears, with rose petal florals and exotic floral elements. The fruit has brightness and aromatic vitality. The mouthfeel is refreshing and lively with a subtle phenolic threaded line and lacy acidity lending poise and tension. The wine carries to a finely concentrated, lingering finish of stonefruits, honey and florals. This is a fine, elegantly concentrated dry Pinot Gris with flavours of stonefruits and exotic florals, and a fresh, lively mouthfeel. It will develop richness over the next 3-4+ years. Match with Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese cuisine. Fruit hand-picked from the ‘Hau Hau’ block, one-third, picked early and fermented in seasoned oak, and two-thirds picked later and tank-fermented to13.0% alc. and 6.5 g/L RS, the wine aged 10 months on lees with no batonnage. 350 cases made. 18.0+/20 Mar 2017 RRP $27.00

Petane Station Esk Valley ‘Single Vineyard’ Hawke’s Bay Viognier 2016

Viognier from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

Brilliant, pale straw-yellow colour, very light on the rim. The nose is fresh with youthfully fragrant and vibrant aromas of exotic florals, citrus blossom and yellow stonefruits. The aromatics ae elegant in expression with attractive detailing, revealing nutty oak and creamy barrel-ferment elements with aeration. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is subtly rich and luscious, balancing liveliness and unctuousness, showing flavours of exotic stonefruits, citrus fruits and florals. The fruit is complexed by nutty oak and creamy barrel-ferment elements. The mouthfeel flows smoothly with a soft core and line, enlivened by acid vitality. The palate leads to a long and sustained, concentrated finish of stonefruits and florals. This is a fresh, fragrant Viognier with exotic fruit and a subtly unctuous, rich palate with balancing acid vitality. Serve with Asian and Middle Eastern fare over the next 4 years. Clone 642 fruit from the ‘Tracks’ block, hand-picked, WBP and barrel-fermented with full solids to 13.5% alc. and dryness, the wine aged 8 months on lees in one-third new oak. 70 cases made. 18.0/20 Mar 2017 RRP $31.00

Petane Station Esk Valley ‘Single Vineyard’ Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2016

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

Bright, light straw-yellow with pale gold tints, lighter on the edge. The nose is elegantly proportioned with fresh aromas of white and yellow stonefruits along with citrus fruits, unfolding a soft layering of creamy barrel-ferment and spicy, nutty oak. The nose grows in intensity with aeration. Medium-bodied, the palate possesses a finely concentrated core of citrus fruit entwined with spicy, nutty oak flavours. The mouthfeel features soft, fine textures and fresh, lacy acidity providing good drive and energy. This has positive linearity and leads to a long, sustained citrussy and nutty finish. This is an elegant and finely concentrated Chardonnay with clear-cut citrus fruit with nutty, spicy oak notes on a refreshing, lingering palate. Serve with seafood and poultry dishes over the next 4 years. First vintage, clones 95, 548 and 15 from the Puriri’ block, hand-picked, WBP, and barrel-fermented to 12.5% alc., the wine aged in seasoned oak with 3 months fortnightly batonnage. 17.5+/20 Mar 2017 RRP $30.00

Petane Station Esk Valley ‘Single Vineyard’ Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2015

Syrah from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

Dark, deep ruby-red colour with youthful purple hues, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is elegant with intense and penetrating, tightly bound aromas of blackberries, black and white pepper, and lifted violet florals, unfolding nuances of liquorice and dark herbs. Medium-full bodied, the palate is tightly packed with intense and deep flavours of blackberries entwined with black and white pepper, along with liquorice and spice notes and violet florals. The palate has firm but fine-grained tannins in support, and vibrant acidity enlivening the fruit aromatics and enhancing the richness. The wine carries with energy and vitality to a long, lingering, elegant finish. This is a tight and intensely flavours Syrah with flavours of blackberries, black and white pepper and florals on a firmly structured palate with lively acidity. Serve with lamb, beef and venison, and semi-hard cheeses over the next 6-7 years. Fruit from the ‘Askerne’ vineyard in the Te Mata, Havelock district, fermented with 20% whole bunches and clusters of Viognier added, to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 18 months in 30% new French oak. 130 cases made. 17.5+/20 Mar 2017 RRP $36.00
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