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Featured Reviews

Te Awanga Estate 2017 Pinot Gris and 2015 Syrah

11 September,2017
The ‘Te Awanga Estate’ brand of Rod McDonald is his expression of the cooler, more elegant and aromatic styles of Hawke’s Bay wines, as typified by the coastal styles as originating from the 17 ha home vineyard at Te Awanga. There, he has Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Merlot planted. Interestingly, it is the style of the wine that is paramount, so Rod is not averse to sourcing fruit and other varieties not planted on the vineyard from inland sources. These wines are made to capture the cooler-style characteristics. Here, I review the ‘Te Awanga Estate’ 2017 Pinot Gris and 2015 Syrah from further inland.


Te Awanga Estate Hawke’s Bay Pinot Gris 2017

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

Bright, light straw-yellow colour, lighter on the rim. The nose is fresh and tightly bound with good intensity of white stonefruit and white floral aromas, and a soft amalgam nutty notes, honeysuckle and saline. The aromatics grow in intensity with aeration. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has a fine, concentrated core of white stonefruits and white florals, with hints of honeysuckle and nuts. The wine has a positive linearity and flow along a fine-textured phenolic line with fresh, underlying acidity, and the flavours carry to a refreshing, clean, crisp, dry finish of stonefruits and florals. This is a fresh, crisp, dry Pinot Gris with stonefruit and floral flavours, good linearity and fine, dry textures. Match with most white meat dishes over the next 3 years. Fruit from an inland site, cool-fermented in tank, with 25% in seasoned barriques to 13.0% alc. and 2.5 g/L RS, the wine aged 4 months on lees. 17.5-/20 Sep 2017 RRP $21.99

Te Awanga Estate Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2015

Syrah from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

Even, dark ruby-red with black hues at the heart, a little lighter on the edge. This has a softly full and gently voluminous nose of ripe blackberry and raspberry fruit harmoniously integrated with cracked pepper, dark herbs and spice notes, lifted by violet florals. The nose is elegant in concentration with good depth. Medium-bodied, the palate has gently rich and harmoniously melded flavours of blackberries and dark raspberries entwined with black pepper, herbs and Asian spice nuances, lifted by floral elements. The fruit forms a refined core which is supported by fine-grained tannins and integrated acidity. The wine carries smoothly to a long and sustained finish with a pepper and spice flourish. This is a harmonious and elegantly concentrated Syrah with blackberry and raspberry fruit along with cracked pepper notes and lifted florals on a fine-textured palate. Match with lamb, beef and venison dishes, and Mediterranean cuisine over the next 6-7+ years. Fruit from an inland site, destemmed but not crushed and fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine spending 3 weeks on skins post ferment, and aged 12 months in 35% new French oak barriques. 18.5/20 Sep 2017 RRP $27.99
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