Ngatarawa ‘Stables Reserve’ 2016 Whites, Rosé and Reds
Three International Wines from Great Little Vineyards
Blind River and Lawson’s Dry Hills ‘Reserve’ 2016 Pinot Noirs
Grasshopper Rock Earnscleugh Central Otago Pinot Noir 2016
Raimat Spanish Wines from Lawson’s Dry Hills
Neudorf ‘Rosie’s Block’ Chardonnay 2017
Lawson’s Dry Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Misha’s Vineyard ‘The High Note’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015
Quarter Acre Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2017
Millton ‘Les Trois Enfants’ 2017
Maui Waipara Pinot Noir 2016
Mahi Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Escarpment Vineyard 2016 Martinborough, ‘Kiwa’, ‘Te Rehua’ and ‘Kupe’ Pinot Noirs
Mount Brown 2017 Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir
Decibel Wines 2017 Sauvignon, and 2016 Rosé, Pinot Noir, Malbec and ‘Testify’
Coco di Mama 2016 Terre Siciliane Grillo and Syrah
Mt Beautiful 2017 Rosé and Sauvignon Blanc, and 2016 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir
McArthur Ridge Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015
Dunleavy ‘The Strip’ Waiheke Island Cabernet/Merlot 2015
Wooing Tree 2017 ‘Beetle Juice’ and 2013 ‘Sandstorm Reserve’ Pinot Noirs
Terrace Edge 2017 North Canterbury Albarino and Pinot Gris
Anna’s Way Marlborough 2017 Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris
Obsidian 2016 ‘Estate’ Syrah, ‘Reserve’ Chardonnay 2017, Viognier 2015, ‘Mayor’ 2016 and ‘Obsidian’ 2014
Mills Reef ‘Elspeth’ 2015 Chardonnay and 2016 Merlot
Jean Josselin ‘Cuvee des Jean’ NV and Blanc de Blancs 2013 Champagne
// View More Featured Reviews

Featured Reviews

Te Awanga Estate 2014 Syrah and 2013 Merlot Cabernet Franc

30 March,2017
Te Awanga Estate is one of the brands that come under the Rod McDonald Wines portfolio. The wines essentially come from the 17 ha coastal vineyard, but wines can be made from fruit from other sources. The over-riding factor is that the wines show the elegance and aromatics that comes from cooler growing conditions. The Te Awanga Estate wines are designed to show fruit clarity and focus, and contrast those that come from the inland vines, bottled under the ‘Two Gates’ label. Here, I review a new bottling of the 2014 Syrah, distinguishable from the first bottling being 12.0% alc. rather than 12.5%; plus a re-look at the 2013 Merlot/Cabernet Franc which I reviewed earlier in June 2015.


Te Awanga Estate Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2014

Syrah from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Even, dark ruby-red colour, lighter on the rim. This has an elegantly presented nose with a firm, concentrated core of dark-red berry fruits with plums, white pepper and liquorice, along with a subtle earthy layer, unfolding ethereal spice and cedar notes. Medium-bodied, the palate has succulently rich flavours of savoury red berry fruits, plums and notes of white pepper, unfolding layers of earth and cedar. The fruit flavours form a rounded but positive core, which is harmoniously balanced by fine, grainy tannin extraction and integrated acidity. The flavours are mouthfilling and flow smoothly to a soft, but lingering finish of savoury red fruits, spices and cedar. This is a harmonious Syrah with rich, savoury red berry, pepper, liquorice and cedar flavours on a ripe, fine-textured palate. Match with wild pork and slow-cooked game meat dishes over the next 5-6 years. The second bottling of this label, with 12.0% alc. The first bottling was 12.5% alc. Syrah fruit from a site inland west of Hastings, destemmed but not crushed and indigenous yeast fermented to 12.0% alc., the wine spending 3 weeks on skins post ferment and aged 16 months in 25% new French oak barrels. 18.0-/20 Mar 2017 RRP $27.99

Dark, deep ruby-red colour, a little lighter edged and youthful in appearance. The nose is softly fresh and elegant and restrained in expression with bright and aromatic aromas of dark raspberry fruit entwined with dark red florals and harmoniously melded notes of dark herbs, spices and black pepper. Medium-bodied, smooth and juicy, sweet flavours of dark raspberries, black berried fruits, red florals and pepper show with stylish restraint. The mouthfeel is refreshing, vibrant and lush with bright, lacy acidity and supple, fine-grained tannins supporting the fruit. Suggestions of complexing reduction add a minerally nuance, and the palate flows to a soft, plush, raspberry fruited finish. This is a plush, juicy, gently-fruited Syrah with bright dark raspberry notes and a supple mouthfeel. Serve with poultry, pork, Asian and Middle Eastern fare over the next 4+ years. Syrah fruit from a site west of Hastings, destemmed and indigenous yeast fermented with whole berries to 12.5% alc., the wine spending 3 weeks on skins post ferment and aged 16 month in 25% new French oak. 17.5/20 Mar 2016 RRP $27.99

Te Awanga Estate Hawke’s Bay Merlot/Cabernet Franc 2013

Merlot from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Even, dark ruby-red colour with garnet hues, lighter edged. The bouquet is fine in proportion with harmoniously entwined aromas of redcurrants and dark-red plums, along with gentle earthy and savoury nutty and tobacco notes. This is beginning to show some secondary development complexities. Medium-full bodied, the palate has a well-packed heart of ripe redcurrant and plum fruit flavours with savoury earth and dried herb notes. The fruit is rich with good drive and linearity, and is supported by grainy tannin extraction with underlying acid energy. The wine carries to an elegant, gently lingering finish of tobacco and cedar. This is an elegantly concentrated Merlot-based blend with redcurrant and plum flavours with secondary tobacco, earth and cedary notes on a grainy structured palate. Serve with casseroles and slow-cooked red meat dishes over the next 6-7+ years. A blend of 94% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon, with over 85% sourced from the ‘Te Awanga’ vineyard, fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine spending nearly 4 weeks on skins and aged 18 months in 20% new French oak barrels. 18.0-/20 Mar 2017 RRP $27.99

Full, dark, black-hued ruby-red colour with youthful purple hues. This has a full and voluminous nose with deeply packed aromas of ripe black plum fruit entwined with layers of spices, liquorice, cassis and iron-earth mineral notes, and lifted oak. Medium-full bodied, the palate exudes vinosity and presence, the fruit initially restrained but blossoming with flavours of sweetly ripe black plums, blackberries, liquorice, minerals and iron-earth elements. The fruit is balanced by fulsome, but supple tannin extraction, and enlivened by excellent acid vitality. The palate is well-structured and vibrant, near robust, flowing with plenty of energy, carrying through to a full, black-fruited and earthy finish showing good grip, texture and length. This is a fulsome and robust Merlot and Cabernet Franc blend with ripe black fruits and good vitality. Match with slow cooked game meat, and hard cheeses over the next 8-10 years. A blend of 91% Merlot from 17 y.o. vines and 9% Cabernet Franc from 12 y.o. vines from the ‘Te Awanga Estate’ vineyard fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine spending 4 weeks on skins and aged 18 months in 20% new French oak. 18.5/20 Jun 2015 RRP $27.99
Copyright © 2011 Raymond Chan Wine Reviews
Website by DataFlex | Design by Skinny