Clearview Estate 2016 ‘Old Olive Block’, Enigma’ and ‘The Basket Press’
Established in 1996, Clearview Estate is one of Hawke’s Bay’s top performing and best loved wine producers. Owners Tim Turvey and Helma van den Berg have made a range full of consumer-friendly wines that are at the top level of quality. The friendliness of the wines and the people involved at Clearview is added to by the welcoming restaurant on site at Te Awanga, serving delicious food. All this has added up to a great track record of excellent wines led by the ‘Reserve’ Chardonnay, with a bevy of Bordeaux variety reds, earning the company my ‘Runner-Up’ to ‘Raymond Chan Wine Reviews Winery of the Year’ in 2017.
Clearview Estate continues to refine and grow the wines, and draws fruit from just over 24 ha of vines around the Te Awanga winery, supplemented with some Cabernet Sauvignon from the Gimblett Gravels. The total annual crush is around 200 tonnes, making around 15,000 cases of wine. I’ve noticed a distinctive step up in focus recently, as Tim works hard on the vineyard and wines. He is assisted by Matt Kirby and Rob Bregman who have fresh ideas and perspectives. In May last year, I paid a visit to Clearview Estate, and barrel samples of the 2016 reds impressed me immensely (click here to see my report). Here, I review the finished wines of the 2016 ‘Old Olive Block’ the Cabernet Sauvignon-based blend, the ‘Enigma’ Merlot-based blend, and the ultra-premium ‘The Basket Press’. www.clearviewestate.co.nz
FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW
Clearview ‘Old Olive Block’ Hawke’s Bay 2016Blended Red from New Zealand - Hawke's BayReview Date : 14-Mar-2018Full, very dar, impenetrable black-hued purple-red colour, very youthful in appearance. The nose is very refined with intensely concentrated and deeply packed, harmoniously interwoven aromas of ripe blackcurrant fruit with blackberries and cassis, hints of iron-earth minerals, unfolding redcurrants, dark herbs and black florals. This is beautifully presented. Medium-full bodied, the palate has vibrantly bright, sweetly rich and succulent fruit flavours blackcurrants and cassis liqueur, with notes of black plums and redcurrants, along with iron-earth minerals with spicy, cedary oak. The fruit forms an elegantly concentrated heart and is supported by fine-grained tannin structure, and the mouthfeel is enlivened by fresh, lacy acidity. The flavours carry to a long finish full of vitality. This is a succulently sweet, vibrantly rich Cabernet Sauvignon-based blend with flavours of blackcurrants, blackberries and iron-earth and spicy oak on a fine-structured, lively palate. Match with roast lamb, beef and venison over the next 9-12+ years. A blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Malbec and 17% Cabernet Franc, 70% from the Gimblett Gravels and 30% from Te Awanga, indigenous yeast fermented to14.0% alc., the wine spending 4 weeks on skins and aged 16 months in 25% new oak barrels. 19.5/20 Mar 2018 RRP $38.00
Clearview ‘Enigma’ Hawke’s Bay 2016Blended Red from New Zealand - Hawke's BayReview Date : 14-Mar-2018Dark, deep, black-purple hued ruby red, a little lighter on the rim, youthful in appearance. The nose is elegant in concentration with good depth of ripe blackberry and black plum fruit with a little liquorice nuance. The aromatics unfold in volume to show spicy and earthy complexities, unveiling a little blackcurrant and dark herbal hints. Medium-full bodied the palate is fulsome and smooth, with plush, ripe, succulent flavours of black plums with blackberry and boysenberry elements, unfolding liquorice, spice, cedary and earthy detail. Subtle blackcurrant and cassis notes emerge in the glass. The fruit is underlined by soft, fine-grained, mouthfilling tannins and balanced acidity. The wine carries to a smooth, lingering, spicy plum finish. This is a fulsome, smooth. Rich and ripe Merlot-based blend with black plum, blackberry and boysenberry fruit, along with spicy oak and earthy detail, on a well-structured, fine balanced palate. A blend of 70% Merlot, 20% Malbec and 10% Cabernet Franc from Te Awanga, indigenous yeast fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine spending 4 weeks on skins and 16 months in 39% new oak. 19.0-/20 Mar 2018 RRP $55.00
Clearview ‘The Basket Press’ Hawke’s Bay 2016Blended Red from New Zealand - Hawke's BayReview Date : 14-Mar-2018Very dark, deep, near impenetrable black-hued purple-red colour, a little lighter on the rime, youthful in appearance. The nose is fulsome and voluminous with deeply-packed and densely concentrated aromas of very ripe blackberry fruit intermixed with plack plums, hints of boysenberries, liquorice and fruit-cake spices, and a broad overlay of cedary new oak. This is bold and powerful in presentation, making a statement of opulence and richness. Full-bodied, the palate is packed with deeply concentrated and dense flavours of ripe blackberry fruit with blackcurrants and black plums providing extra layering. The fruit is overlaid by powerful, spicy, cedary and pencilly new oak which tends to prevail at present. The fruit richness is balanced by considerable extraction with fine-grained, flowery tannins and a subtle thread of acidity. The flavours are mouthfilling with richness and sweetness, and the wine carries to a very long and sustained finish. This is a fulsome Cabernet/Merlot-based blend of plenty of structure with mouthfilling sweet flavours of ripe blackberry and plum with an overlay of spicy oak. This is all about richness and opulence in a near-heroic style. Match with grilled and roasted game meat over the next 10-15+ years. A blend of 41% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot and 20% Malbec, the fruit 59% from Te Awanga and 41% from the Gimblett Gravels, indigenous yeast fermented to 14.1% alc., the wine aged 22 months in 100% new oak barrels. 19.0+/20 Mar 2018 RRP $195.00