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Pask and Jackson Estate Celebrate

By November 25, 2014No Comments

John Benton – Benton Group

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing John Benton, financier of Jarden Corporation for around two decades. He’s always had an eye and palate for good wine and we had a fun relationship during my retailing years. His colleague Bryan Johnson, also a wine lover, set up Spy Valley, so it didn’t surprise anybody when John became a shareholder in the Hawke’s Bay, Gimblett Gravels pioneer Pask Winery, joining Chris Pask and Kate Radburnd in 1999. John cites the great Merlot wine from the 1998 vintage as one of the factors persuading him to do so, though Kate cautioned him that “not every year is like this”! In late 2012 John made moves to invest in one of Marlborough’s great names, Jackson Estate, a process which was finalised and announced last year, when John took a majority shareholding in the company, installing Jeff Hart as managing director, working with founder John Stitchbury.

Some may see little in common between Pask and Jackson Estate, but there’s a lot of similarity and common synergies in the approach to winemaking and aspirations of each of the companies. Both craft small batches of wines that are fully representative of their origins, and the practical running and operations of the two wine estates are in the hands of truly passionate and experienced wine people. The Benton Group investment has provided the financial stability to not only withstand the difficulties of trading in a tough market, but allowed the companies to look ahead and grow.

John Benton, Jeff Hart and winemakers Kate Radburnd of Pask, and Matt Patterson-Green of Jackson Estate visited Wellington to hold a quiet party to celebrate their working together and recent successes in shows and judgings, sharing their wine with invited corporate clients and contacts, as well members of the trade and their distributors Hancocks. The Pask ‘Declaration’ Chardonnay 2012 took 4 trophies and a gold medal at the 2014 International Wine Challenge, and the 2012 Jackson Estate ‘Vintage Widow’ Pinot Noir was rated 5-stars, No.2 in the ‘Top Ten’ and a ‘Best Buy’ in the November issue of Cuisine, as well as winning gold at the 2014 ANZWA and a Blue Gold at the 2015 Sydney IWC. www.pask.co.nz  www.jacksonestate.co.nz

Kate Radburnd – Pask Winery

Tasting Pask and Jackson Estate Winning Wines
The Pask and Jackson Estate celebration was held at Prefab Hall, the new function room part of the Prefab café complex. Rob Wilkinson and his staff served some delicious canapes to accompany the wines. The two award winning wines were introduced by their makers. I made notes on the wines:

Pask ‘Declaration’ Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2012
Light golden colour, the bouquet is full and gently voluminous with ripe citrus and yellow stonefruit aromas, growing to show real depth and density. The fruit is harmoniously interwoven with creamy barrel-ferment layers, hints of cashewnuts, smoke, oak toast and complexing flinty detail. Full-bodied with considerable presence, the palate exudes richness and detail, but retains a degree of elegance and finesse, the mouthfeel beautifully textured and smooth-flowing. Creamy barrel notes are integrated with grapefruit, savoury and nutty stonefruits, smoky and toast. A fine line of acid carries the flavours to a soft, long-lingering finish, the flinty, lees and oak blossoming. Medonza clone fruit from the ‘Gimblett Road’ vineyard fully indigenous yeast barrel-fermented to 13.0% alc, the wine aged 11 months in new French oak barriques, undergoing batonnage, with no MLF. 19.0/20 Nov 2014 RRP $40.00

Jackson Estate ‘Vintage Widow’ Marlborough Pinot Noir 2012 
Dark purple-hued red with good depth. This has a fresh, vibrant and primary fruited nose with bright red berry and dark cherry aromas, along with subtle dark herb and violet floral notes. The nose is elegant with a cool, refreshing edge that lens piquancy, the aromatics possessing depth and fine concentration. Medium-full bodied, the palate is elegant and tightly bound with fresh, lusciously juicy primary fruit flavours of dark red fruits lifted by red and violet florals. The tannins ae extremely fine and the palate is velvety-smooth in flow. Excellent acid laciness carries the sweet and aromatic flavours to a very long, lingering finish. Clones 777, 667, 115, 114, 5, 10/5, 943 and Abel from the ‘Somerset’ and ‘Gum Emperor’ sites in the southern Waihopi Valley, hand-picked, destemmed and given a cold soak and fermented with a large portion of whole berries by indigenous yeasts to 13.4% alc., the wine on skins up to 30 days and aged 11 months in new and seasoned French oak barrels. 19.0/20 Nov 2014 RRP $35.00

Matt Patterson-Green – Jackson Estate


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