Featured Reviews

te Pa 2017 Rosé and White, and 2016 ‘Oke’ and Pinot Noir Releases

14 February,2018

One of the success stories of Marlborough wine is ‘te Pa’ the wine growing operation of the MacDonald family, led by Haysley MacDonald. Wine is part of an agricultural business that is based on the family’s history that stretches back 800 years on the Wairau Bar. Through viticultural growth, quality winemaking and strong marketing, the te Pa wines are seeing a rapidly growing and strong presence in all distribution and sales channels. The MacDonalds have over 150 ha of vineyards on the Bar and in other Marlborough districts. The vines are tended by Gareth Exton, with te Pa since 2008, and the wines are made by Sam Bennett and Liam McElhinney. ‘te Pa’ is the premium brand, and is supported by the ‘Pa Road’ and ‘Koha’ labels. The wines show very good varietal character and the winemaking is raising the level of sophistication in the wines. Here, I review the new te Pa 2017 rosé and white wine and 2016 barrel-influenced ‘Oke’ and Pinot Noir releases. Sam Bennett reports for the 2017 wines, he has increased the amount of barrel-ferment believing the increased weight and richness would be beneficial given the season. www.tepawines.com


te Pa Marlborough Pinot Noir Rosé 2017

Rose from New Zealand – Marlborough


Pale peach-pink colour with some depth, lighter on the rim. The nose is softly fresh with aromas of watermelon and strawberries, along with lifted red florals and gentle confectionary elements. The aromatics show good depth and intensity. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is lively with fresh flavours of strawberries, watermelon and quince along with red floral elements and confectionary notes. The mouthfeel is refreshing and mouthwatering with crisp acidity. The palate has a taut core and flows along a phenolic-threaded line leading to a light, aromatic finish. This is a refreshing dry rosé with flavours of strawberries, quince and watermelon with confectionary notes on a fine-textured, mouthwatering palate. Serve as an aperitif, with canapés and antipasto over the next 2 years. 100% Pinot Noir, clone 10/5, from the ‘Wiffen Omaka North’ vineyard, 60% fermented in stainless-steel and 40% barrel-fermented to 12.7% alc. and 2.5 g/L RS, the wine aged 6 months on lees in seasoned French oak. 17.5+/20 Feb 2018 RRP $18.95

te Pa Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright, even, light straw-yellow colour, paler edged. The nose is very tight and concentrated with an intense core of passionfruit and tropical fruits along with piquant fresh herbs, snow peas and green capsicums. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has elegantly concentrated and intense flavours of passionfruit melded with fresh herbs and subtle cooler-spectrum nettle notes. The mouthfeel is gently rich and forms a concentrated heart balanced by lacy acidity. The wine carries smoothly along a soft-textured line, leading to a lingering finish of passionfruit and nettles. This is an elegantly concentrated Sauvignon Blanc with passionfruit, herb and nettle flavours with a rounded core and refreshing acidity. Serve with Pacific Rim fare over the next 2 years. 100% Sauvignon Blanc, 40% from the ‘Home’ Wairau Bar vineyard, 35% from the ‘Alabama Road’ vineyard and 25% from the ‘Redwood Hills’ vineyard, Awatere Valley, 90% fermented in stainless-steel and 10% hand-picked, WBP and fermented in 320 L French ‘Cigar’ barrels to 13.0% alc. and 3.5 g/L RS. 18.0-/20 Feb 2018 RRP $18.95

te Pa Marlborough Pinot Gris 2017

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright, even straw-yellow colour with pale golden hues, lighter on the rim. The nose is finely concentrated with intense and deeply packed aromas of white stonefruits melded with a layering of nutty and flinty lees and oak nuances. This has mineral complexity and detailing. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has a concentrated heart with tightly bound flavours of white stonefruits, flinty lees, nutty oak and minerals. The fruit forms a taut, textural core with light, grainy phenolics, along with fresh lacy acidity lending freshness and energy. This has good linearity and the wine carries to an elegantly concentrated, lingering finish. This is a tightly bound dry Pinot Gris with white stonefruit, flint and mineral flavours on a textured palate with good freshness. Match with seafood and poultry dishes over the next 3 years. 100% Pinot Gris from the ‘Redwood Hills’ vineyard, Awatere Valley, 80% cool-fermented in stainless-steel and 20% WBP and indigenous yeast barrel-fermented and aged 4 months on lees, the wine at 13.5% alc. and 4 g/L RS. 17.5+/20 Feb 2018 RRP $18.95

te Pa ‘Oke’ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright, light straw-yellow colour, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is very elegant with finely concentrated aromas of green stonefruits entwined with subtle creamy barrel-ferment notes, with oak spices, unfolding fresh herbal elements and some waxy lanolin. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate has intense and well-concentrated flavours of green stonefruits and gooseberry nuances interwoven with creamy barrel-ferment and nutty, spicy oak, with herb and lanolin elements. The flavours are vibrant with aromatic brightness, forming a concentrated, fine-textured core and line. The mouthfeel is enlivened by bright, crisp acidity, and the wine carries to a long, grainy textured, detailed finish. This is an intensely concentrated oak-influenced Sauvignon Blanc with green stonefruit, nutty oak, herbal and waxy notes on a vigorous, textural palate. Match with herb-marinated white meat dishes over the next 3+ years. A barrel selection wine. 100% Sauvignon Blanc from the ‘Home’ vineyard on the Wairau Bar, hand-picked and WBP, indigenous yeast fermented in new and seasoned French ‘Cigar’ barrels to 13.5% alc. and 2 g/L RS, the wine aged 11 months on lees with batonnage. 18.0/20 Feb 2018 RRP $24.95

te Pa Marlborough Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Marlborough


Light ruby-red colour with a little depth, pale edged with hints of purple. The nose is fine in proportion with taut aromas of bitter red cherry fruit along with subtle notes of raspberries and red liquorice, melded with nutty oak at the core. Delicate herbal elements add detail. Medium-bodied, the palate has a concentrated core of red cherry fruit with subtle herbal nuances and whole bunch elements, unfolding liquorice and nutty oak. The fruit has good depth and is supported by fine-grained tannin structure with balanced acid tension. The wine carries to a moderately sustained finish. This is an elegantly proportioned Pinot Noir with red cherry, herb and nutty oak flavours with balanced structure and freshness. Serve with wild duck and pork dishes over the next 4 years. Hand-picked fruit from the ‘Omaka North’ vineyard, clones 667 and 115, and fermented with 10-30% whole bunches to 14.0% alc., the wine spending 7-15 days on skins post ferment and aged 10 months in 25% new French oak. 17.5-/20 Feb 2018 RRP $29.95

te Pa Marlborough Noble Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Sweet Wine from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright golden-yellow colour with good depth, a little lighter on the edge. The nose is full and softly voluminous with deep and densely packed aromas of ripe lime and citrus fruits with green stonefruit and lime marmalade, entwined with honey and fresh herbs, unveiling chalky mineral notes. Very sweet to taste and light-medium bodied, the palate has good depth of rich and luscious flavours of limes, citrus fruits, marmalade and herbs, with notes of tropical fruits, unveiling caramel suggestions. The fruit forms a fine core which is enhanced by a degree of unctuousness. The sweetness is balanced by crisp acidity and the wine flows along a fine-textured, rounded line, leading to an opulent finish. This is a full-flavoured Noble Sauvignon Blanc dessert wine with luscious lime, tropical fruit, marmalade and honied flavours on an unctuous palate. Match with fruit and baked desserts, as well as caramel flavoured desserts over the next 4 years. Hand-picked late-harvested Sauvignon Blanc fruit with botrytis infection, from the ‘Redwood Hills’ vineyard, Awatere, fermented in tank and seasoned French oak to 10.0% alc. and 150 g/L RS, the wine aged 3 months on lees. (375 ml) 18.0-/20 Feb 2018 RRP $29.95

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