Featured Reviews

Te Awanga Estate Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2016

05 April,2017
The Te Awanga Estate wines are Rod McDonald’s more elegant premium bottlings which aim to capture the style of the cooler coastal climate of Hawke’s Bay. They feature the fruit rather than winemaking artefact, and in doing so can show greater aromatics and finesse than the more powerful wines from further inland which are warmer in style. Chardonnay is one variety that expresses itself well in many climates, and the Te Awanga Estate wine earns it place in the Rod McDonald portfolio for its refined style. Here, I review the new release from the 2016 vintage, deemed a very favourable one for the variety in Hawke’s Bay. www.rmwines.co.nz


Te Awanga Estate Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2016

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Bright straw-yellow colour with some depth and pale golden hues, lighter edged. The nose is elegant in expression with gently deep and well-packed aromas of white and yellow stonefruits and citrus fruit melded with some creamy barrel-ferment and nutty oak notes. The aromatics are fresh and lively with a steely edge. Medium-bodied, the palate has a fine heart of white and yellow stonefruits entwined with soft, creamy barrel-ferment and nutty, toasty oak, and a hint of flint. The fruit and mouthfeel is enlivened by fresh acidity lending a steeliness, and the wine flows with good energy and tension along a fine-textured line, leading to a long, concentrated finish showing nutty and toasty oak. This is a fresh, finely concentrated Chardonnay with stonefruit and creamy barrel-ferment flavours, nutty and toasty oak, and a steely freshness. Match with grilled and roasted seafood, pork and poultry over the next 4 years. Mendoza and clone 15 fruit predominantly from Haumoana and Te Awanga, hand-picked and 60% fermented in barrel and 40% in tank to 12.5% alc., the wine aged 10 months in new and seasoned barrels, the wine undergoing batonnage and partial MLF. 18.0/20 Jan 2018 RRP $24.99

Bright straw-yellow colour with light golden hues, paler edged. This has a soft and harmonious nose, gently voluminous showing aromas of white peach with subtle citrus fruit notes, entwined with hints of nutty and toasty oak and suggestions of flinty lees. Creamy barrel-ferment elements unfold with aeration. Medium-bodied, the palate has well-bound and restrained flavours of white stonefruits and citrus fruits entwined with delicate nutty nuances. The mouthfeel has a subtle richness with fruit sweetness and creamy barrel-ferment textures providing a smooth-flowing line. The phenolic textures are integrated and fresh acidity provides drive and energy, carrying the wine to a light, lingering finish of stonefruits, smoke and nuts. This is an elegant Chardonnay with restrained stonefruit flavours and subtle inputs, showing a gentle richness and a smooth flowing line. Match with seafood and poultry over the next 4 years, Clones Mendoza and 15 from vines 13-20 y.o., over 70% of the fruit from the ‘Te Awanga Estate’ vineyard fermented in barrel with approx.10% in tank, 50% by indigenous yeasts to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 15% new French oak barriques on lees with batonnage and 55% MLF. 17.0+/20 Apr 2017 RRP $24.99
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