Featured Reviews

te Pa Marlborough 2018 Rosé, Sauvignon and Pinot Gris, and 2017 Chardonnay and ‘Oke’

19 November,2018

The te Pa brand of the MacDonald family led by Haysley MacDonald has made a remarkable entry into the marketplace.  The wines are based on vineyards on the Wairau Bar in Marlborough, where the MacDonalds have been based and farmed for generations.  The company has grown and diversified their vineyard sources so that they also access fruit from throughout Marlborough, giving them a degree of insurance against vulnerability from localised weather events, but also the ability to blend for greater completeness in the wines.  Sam Bennett is the winemaker at te Pa Family Vineyards, and he has grown in confidence along with the progress made by the company.  Here, I review the new release 2018 Pinot Noir Rosé, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris, and 2017  Chardonnay and oak-influenced ‘Oke’ Sauvignon Blanc.  www.tepawines.com


te Pa Marlborough Pinot Noir Rosé 2018

Rose from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright, pale peach-pink colour with some depth, lighter on the edge. The nose is softly full with gently packed aromas of strawberry fruit interwoven with savoury quince notes, soft red florals, hints of confectionary and suggestions of mouthwatering minerals. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has a firm core and line with finely concentrated and packed, interwoven flavours of strawberries, watermelon, quince and hints of herbs. The fruit is underlined by crisp acidity and the wine has a compact linearity, flowing with good drive to a lingering finish of quince and florals. This is a crisp and firm, linear dry rosé with strawberry, quince and watermelon flavours. Match with antipasto and tapas over the next 2+ years. 100% clone 10/5 from the ‘Omaka North’ vineyard, 60% cool-fermented in stainless-steel and aged 6 months on light lees, and 40% fermented in seasoned oak, to 13.0% alc. and 3.0 g/L RS. 17.5+/20 Nov 2018 RRP $19.95

te Pa Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough


Brilliant straw-yellow with lemon-green hues, a little lighter edged. The nose is light and a little restrained in expression unfolding tropical fruit with passionfruit, fresh herb detail and thirst-quenching mineral notes. The aromatics build in depth with aeration. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has sweetly luscious, but taut flavours of passionfruit along with tropical fruit notes, fresh herbs, unfolding nettle and cut-grass elements. The mouthfeel is fresh and lively and the wine flows with good energy and tension along a fine line, leading to an elegant, lingering finish. This is a sweet-fruited Sauvignon Blanc with passionfruit and tropical fruit, cut-grass and nettle flavours on a fresh, but taut palate. Serve with Pacific Rim fare over the next 2 years. 60% of the fruit from the ‘Home’ vineyard, Wairau Bar and 40% from ‘Redwood Hills’ Awatere, fermented in stainless-steel with 10% of the fruit hand-picked, WBP and fermented in 320 L French cigar-shaped barrels to 13.0% alc. and 3.6 g/L RS. 17.5/20 Nov 2018 RRP $19.95

te Pa Marlborough Pinot Gris 2018

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright, light straw-yellow colour with slight green hues, paler on the rim. The nose is elegant in proportion with a gentle core of white and yellow stonefruits along with exotic floral notes, entwined with fresh herb nuances and suggestions of nuts. Mouthwatering mineral elements add to the freshness. This has delicacy, and builds in intensity. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has a rich and rounded core, packed with layered flavours of white and yellow stonefruits, exotic florals, some pear and honied notes, and mineral nuances. The mouthfeel is smooth-flowing with moderately crisp underlying acidity, and there is some alcoholic power providing drive. The wine carries to a sustained finish. This is a rich and concentrated dry Pinot Gris with a rounded and smooth mouthfeel and some power. Match with Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine over the next 3+ years. 100% Pinot Gris from the ‘Redwood Hill’ vineyard, Awatere, 55% cool-fermented in stainless-steel and aged 4 months on light lees, and 45% fermented in barrel with full solids, and aged 4 months on gross lees, the wine at 13.5% alc. and 3.5 g/L RS. 18.0+/20 Nov 2018 RRP $19.95

te Pa Marlborough Chardonnay 2017

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Marlborough


Brilliant, light golden-hued yellow colour, a little lighter on the edge. The nose is elegant in proportion with taut and well-concentrated aromas of yellow stonefruits and citrus fruit with a complex core of nutty lees and oak notes, unveiling a little smoke and toast. Medium-full bodied, the palate has rich and succulently sweet fruit flavours of stonefruit and citrus fruit, along with tropical fruit elements, enriched by creamy barrel-ferment, nutty lees and oak and a little toastiness. The flavours grow in depth and blossom, and the wine flows with good drive and energy along a light-textured line with refreshing acidity leading to a sustained finish. This is a rich-fruited Chardonnay with stonefruit, citrus fruit and tropical fruit flavours complexed by creamy and nutty oak on a refreshing palate. Match with roasted seafood, poultry and pork dishes over the next 4 years. Mature Mendoza clone fruit, from ‘St Leonard’s’ vineyard, Wairau Valley, hand-picked, WBP and fully barrel-fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged nearly 10 months on gross lees in 40% new French oak with approx. 50% MLF. 18.5+/20 Nov 2018 RRP $24.95

te Pa ‘Oke’ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright, pale golden-hued straw-yellow colour, lighter on the rim. The nose is finely concentrated with intense and penetrating aromas of green stonefruits, gooseberries, nectarines and greengages. The fruit is interwoven with nutty lees and oak notes, unfolding an array of herbal detail. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has a concentrated heart with rich flavours of green stonefruits, greengages and nectarines, melded with a layer of nutty lees and oak. The flavours possess depth and unfold to fill the mouth. The palate is lively with plenty of vitality, with crisp acidity enhancing the tension. This has excellent linearity, the wine carrying to a lingering finish. This is a concentrated, linear, oak-influenced Sauvignon Blanc with green stonefruits, herbs and a well-driven palate with freshness. Serve with herb-marinated poultry, pork and veal over the next 3+ years. Hand-picked fruit, 60% from the ‘D Block’, ‘Redwood Hills’ vineyard, Awatere and 40% from the ‘Seaside 4’ block from the ‘Home’ vineyard, Wairau Bar, fermented with solids in 320 L Cigar shaped barrels to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 9 months on gross lees, and a selection of the best barrels was bottles as the 2017 ‘Oke’. 18.5/20 Nov 2018 RRP $24.95

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