Featured Reviews




Stanley Estates 2016 Albarino, Chardonnay, 2015 Pinot Noir, Lagrein and Stanrock Merlot 2013

28 June,2017
Steve Pellett and Bridget Ennals established their Awatere Valley winegrowing venture in 2003 when they purchased 11 ha of vineyard land. They named the business after the name of the Land Rover they travelled around the world in before settling down. Pellett and Ennals have grown their holdings to three vineyards in the Awatere Valley, and besides the more conventional Marlborough diet of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vines, they also have Albrino and Lagrein, from which they have made interesting wines, from young plants. Steve tends to the viticulture with advice from Jeremy Hyland, and the highly respected Eveline Fraser is the contracted winemaker. Here, I review the new 2016 Albarino and Chardonnay, 2015 Pinot Noir and Lagrein, this being the third crop of the latter variety, plus a 2013 Stanrock Merlot made from Hawke’s Bay fruit. www.stanleyestates.co.nz

FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW



Stanley Estates ‘Single Vineyard’ Awatere Valley Marlborough Albarino 2016

Other White from New Zealand – Marlborough

17.5/20
Bright, pale straw-yellow colour with slight green hues, lighter on the rim. The nose is fresh and firm with aromas of white and yellow stonefruits, and white florals with subtle notes of herbs and minerals. The nose shows good depth and is refreshing and thirst-quenching. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has a good concentrated core of white stonefruits and white florals with waxy mineral notes, along with herb and nutty detail. The mouthfeel is firm and features the concentrated core which is enlivened by brisk acidity, the wine flowing along a dry-textured line, carrying to a firm and taut, dry finish of stonefruits, florals and minerals. This is a firmly concentrated dry Albarino with white stonefruit, floral and mineral flavours on a brisk palate. Match with seafood and Asian fare over the next 3-4 years. From 7 y.o. vines, 60% tank-fermented, and 40% hand-picked fruit and indigenous yeast fermented in seasoned oak, to 13.0% alc. and 2.7 g/L RS, the wine aged 10 months in oak with light lees contact and 60% MLF. 17.5/20 Jun 2017 RRP $22.95

Stanley Estates ‘Reserve’ ‘Single Vineyard’ Awatere Valley Marlborough Chardonnay 2016

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Marlborough

18.5/20
Bright, even, pale straw-yellow colour with slight green hues. The nose is up-front with concentrated and firmly packed aromas of white stonefruit entwined with citrus fruit and subtle mealy elements, unfolding layers of flint and mineral complexities, along with creamy barrel-ferment and lemon-curd MLF detail and toasty oak nuances. Medium-full bodied, the palate is bright and vibrant with well-concentrated, intense flavours of white stonefruits and citrus fruits melded with creamy barrel-ferment and mealy complexities, along with flint, lemon-curd MLF and toasty oak. The rich flavours are enlivened by crisp, racy acidity, and the wine flows along a fine-textured phenolic line, leading to a crisp, tight, zesty, citrussy finish with toasty oak. This is a rich, concentrated, up-front Chardonnay with flavours of citrus and stonefruit with creamy barrel-ferment, flint and toasty oak on a fine, brisk palate. Match with grilled seafood and creamy poultry and pork dishes over the next 4+ years. Hand-picked fruit from 13 y.o. vines, WBP, and barrel-fermented with 60% by indigenous yeasts to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 10% new French oak barriques, 90% undergoing batonnage and 100% MLF. 122 cases made. 18.5/20 Jun 2017 RRP $28.50

Stanley Estates ‘Block 8’ Awatere Valley Marlborough Pinot Noir 2015

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Marlborough

18/20
Moderately deep ruby-red colour with light garnet hues on the rim. This has a full, aromatic nose of savoury red berry fruits entwined with dark herbs, red florals and nuances of nutty oak. A subtle game-like element unfolds with aeration lending complexing detail. The nose grows in density with aeration. Medium-full bodied, the palate has gently sweet and rich flavours of savoury dark-red berry fruits intermingling with dark and dried herbs, dark-red florals and nuances of nutty oak and a little game. The fruit sweetness is balanced by fine-grained supple tannins providing a core of structure and grip, with lacy acid energy lending some drive. The wine carries to a lingering, finely concentrated finish with rich, savoury red fruits. This is a sweetly rich Pinot Noir with savoury red fruits and herb notes and nutty oak, on a well-structured, balanced palate. Match with duck, pork and casseroles over the next 5 years. Hand-picked fruit, clones 667 and 777, fully destemmed and fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 25% new French oak barriques’. 650 dozen made. 18.0/20 Jun 2017 RRP $27.95

Stanley Estates ‘Limited Edition’ ‘Single Vineyard’ Awatere Valley Marlborough Lagrein 2015

Other Red from New Zealand – Marlborough

17.5+/20
Very dark, near impenetrable black-red colour with slight garnet hues on the rim. The nose is moderately full and firmly concentrated with good depth of ripe black berry and black cherry fruit along with herbs and black minerals and a hint of chocolate. The aromatics have a fresh, steely edge to the expression. Medium-full bodied, the palate is elegantly concentrated with juicy flavours of ripe black cherry and berry fruit, along with notes of dark herbs and black minerals. The fruit forms an elegant core and is underlined by a fine-grained tannin line, and balanced by fresh acidity lending energy and tension. The wine carries to an elegant, finely concentrated black-fruited, sustained finish. Match with pizza, pork, veal, lamb and beef dishes over the next 3-4 years. The third crop from these vines. Hand-picked, destemmed, and fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 20% new oak. 146 dozen made. 17.5+/20 Jun 2017 RRP $27.95

Stanrock Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2013

Merlot from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

16.5/20
Dark, deep, black-hued garnet-red colour, a little lighter on the edge with a hint of garnet-brick. The bouquet is softly full with aromas of dark-red plum and berry fruit, along with tobacco and dried herb notes, a little fruit-cake and a nutty amalgam at the core. Medium-bodied, the palate has gently concentrated flavour of dark-red plums and berry fruit with tobacco, fruit-cake and dried herb, revealing a little spice. The fruit is moderately rich and is supported by light, grainy tannin extraction with integrated acidity. The wine carries to a light finish of savoury, earthy, plum fruit and dried herbs. This is a gently concentrated Merlot with soft, savoury plum, tobacco and herb flavours on a grainy-textured palate. Serve with casseroles and slow-cooked meats over the next 3-4 years. Hawke’s Bay fruit fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine given oak contact, undergoing elevage by Eveline Fraser and Steve Pellet. 585 dozen made. 16.5/20 Jun 2017 RRP $22.95

 

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