Featured Reviews

te Pa ‘The Reserve Collection’ 2018 Sauvignon Blanc and 2017 Chardonnay

22 November,2018

The te Pa wines of the MacDonald family based on the Wairau Bar in Marlborough have made major inroads in the marketplace. The ‘Koha’ wines are the accessible varietal wines, the ‘Pa Road’ are the regionally expressive bottlings and the premium tier are the ‘te Pa’ wines which highlight sub-region and vineyard character. Winemaker Sam Bennett has grown in confidence as he becomes intimate with the different vineyard sites from where the fruit is sourced, and this shows in the wines being made. te Pa are now introducing ‘The Reserve Collection’ range as the flagships, these being single vineyard bottlings made from fruit of the highest quality. The first releases are a 2018 Sauvignon Blanc and a 2017 Chardonnay. Sam tells me he was intending to release two Sauvignon Blancs – the ‘Seaside’ from the ‘Home’ block on the Wairau Bar, and the ‘Hillside’ from the Redwood Hills in the Awatere, but the wine destined for ‘Seaside’ didn’t quite measure up. A Pinot Noir 2017 is yet to be released. Here, I review the first two te Pa ‘Reserve’ wines. www.tepawines.com


te Pa ‘Reserve’ ‘Hillside’ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright, pale straw-yellow colour with some depth, lighter on the rim. The nose is beautifully refined with elegantly concentrated aromas of pungent passionfruit along with an amalgam of soft fresh herbs and tropical fruits unfolding white florals and saline, chalky mineral detail. This has finesse and purity of expression. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate has a concentrated core of deeply packed pungent passionfruit flavours melded with herbs and tropical fruits and a layering of chalky, mouthwatering minerals. The wine flows along a light-textured, fine phenolic line with fresh and racy background acidity enlivening the mouthfeel. The wine carries to a lingering finish of passionfruit and minerals. This is a refined, but concentrated, passionfruity and minerally Sauvignon Blanc with clarity and purity on a fine-textured palate with a refreshing mouthfeel. Match with Pacific Rim cuisine over the next 2+ years. Hand-picked fruit from the ‘C’ and ‘I’ blocks of the ‘Redwood Hills’ vineyard, Awatere, WBP and fermented in stainless-steel to 13.5% alc. and 1 g/L RS, the wine aged 6 weeks on lees, blended and given a further 2 months on lees. 18.5+/20 Nov 2018 RRP $24.95

te Pa ‘Reserve’ ‘St Leonard’s’ Marlborough Chardonnay 2017

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Marlborough


Full, light golden-hued yellow colour with some depth, a little lighter edged. The nose is elegantly concentrated with layers of ripe yellow stonefruits and citrus fruit harmoniously integrated and lifted with creamy barrel-ferment and nutty oak complexities, unfolding notes of mouthwatering minerals. This exudes finesse and class. Medium-full bodied, the palate has a concentrated and intensely packed, vibrant-fruited heart of ripe stonefruits and citrus fruit layered with complexing creamy barrel-ferment and nutty, toasty oak. The fruit is rich and detailed and the palate has wonderful vitality, the mouthfeel enlivened by fresh, lacy acidity. The wine flows with linearity and some underlying power, leading to a long, complex nuanced finish. This is a rich and concentrated, complex Chardonnay with vitality and layers of stonefruit, citrus fruit and creamy, toasty oak and refreshing acid balance. Serve with creamy seafood, poultry and pork dishes over the next 4+ years. Mature Mendoza clone fruit from the ‘St Leonard’s’ vineyard, central Wairau, hand-picked, WBP and fully barrel-fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 11 months in one-third new French oak with full MLF. A selection of the 6 best barrels. 19.0/20 Nov 2018 RRP $49.99

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