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Pukeora Estate 2015 Syrah, 2014 Pinot Noir and 2013 The Benches

05 July,2017
Pukeora Estate is the Central Hawke’s Bay wine venture of Max Annabell and Kate Norman who purchased the former Pukeora Sanatorium buildings and property near Waipukurau in 2000. They have refurbished the hospital as a hospitality site and function venue, while planting 5 ha of vines in the limestone influenced soils from the time of purchase. A varied mix of varieties is planted, including Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir on the gentle upper slopes, and Merlot on the steeper, upper slopes. Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Syrah and Semillon are on the mid to lower slopes. The first commercial wines were made with the 2004 vintage by Michael Bennett, who had considerable input in establishing the 40 tonne capacity winery in the sanatorium. Max Annabell took over the winemaking from 2005. Max tends to and oversees the viticulture as well. There are two ranges of wines made, the ‘Estate’ and premium ‘Ruahina Range’ tier. Up to 2009, the wines were branded ‘San Hill’. Here, I review a range of current 'Ruahine Range' red wines. www.pukeora.com

FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW



Pukeora ‘Ruahine Range’ Central Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2015

Syrah from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

17.5+/20
Very dark, deep, black-hued purple-red colour, a little lighter on the edge, youthful in appearance, This has a fresh, aromatic nose of ripe blackberries and black plum fruit along with liquorice and black pepper notes, unfolding spices, violet florals and white pepper nuances. Medium-full bodied, the palate has bright and vibrant fruit flavours of blackberries and plums along with liquorice and spices, entwined with black and white pepper and floral elements. The mouthfeel is lively with fresh, lacy acidity, and the fruit is supported by light, grainy tannin extraction and structure. This has a concentrated core that leads to a long, lingering finish of black fruits, liquorice and spices. This is a vibrant and lively black-fruited Syrah with liquorice spice and peppery notes on a fresh, grainy palate. Match with lamb and beef, and Mediterranean fare over the next 6 years. The second release of a Syrah varietal. The fruit hand-picked, destemmed and fermented to 13.5% alc. the wine aged 20 months in 50% new French oak barriques. Two barrels made. 17.5+/20 Jul 2017 RRP $27.00

Pukeora ‘Ruahine Range’ Central Hawke’s Bay Pinot Noir 2014

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

16.5+/20
Even garnet-red colour with some depth, lighter on the rim. This has an elegantly concentrated and intense nose with finely presented aromas of savoury dark-red berry and cherry fruit, along with a harmonious layer of dried herbs, red florals and a little nutty oak. Medium-full bodied, the fruit is fine in proportion showing flavours of savoury red cherries along with red florals, dried herbs and subtle notes of nutty oak. The fruit is moderately sweet and is supported by light, grainy tannin extraction with balanced acidity. Some alcohol power carries the wine to a slender finish of red fruits and florals. This is an elegant Pinot Noir with savoury red cherry fruit , florals and dried herbs on a light, grainy palate. Serve with duck and pork dishes over the next 4 years. Hand-picked fruit, fully destemmed, partially crushed and fermented to 13.7% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 40% new French oak barriques. 16.5+/20 Jul 2017 RRP $28.00

Pukeora ‘Ruahine Range’ ‘The Benches’ 2013

Blended Red from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

17.5/20
Full, very dark, deep, black-hued ruby-red colour. The bouquet is full and voluminous with aromas of ripe black plums and blackberries entwined with sweet oak vanilla, unfolding notes of spice and cedar. This has good depth and density. Full-bodied, the palate possesses full, rich, sweet fruit flavours of ripe blackberries, plums and spices, interwoven with cedar and oak vanilla. The fruit is supported by good extraction and structure, with integrated acidity, and some underlying alcoholic drive. The wine carries with good power to a long, lingering finish of black fruits, spices and oak vanilla and cedar. This is a fulsome and powerful black-fruited Merlot blend with sweet and spicy oak. Match with grilled and roasted game meat dishes over the next 6-8 years. A blend of 70% Merlot, 17% Malbec, 7% Syrah and 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, the fruit hand-picked and fermented to 14.9% alc., the wine aged 22 months in one-third new American oak, one-third seasoned American oak and one-third seasoned French oak barriques. 17.5/20 Jul 2017 RRP $28.00
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