Moana Park 2018 Pet Nat and 2017 Preservative Free Merlot
Dan and Kaylea Barker’s Moana Park wine operation bases much of its philosophy on making vegan and vegetarian friendly wines which are also low allergen, Although not claiming to be making ‘natural’ wines in the funky sense, they use natural and sustainable regimes in the vineyards and the winery, and are indeed pushing the boundaries in what they do.
The 2018 vintage sees the release of a Chardonnay Pet Nat wine, fermented to dryness in the bottle, and capped with the lees. It is the start of their sparkling wine programme which will see a Blanc de Blanc method tradtionelle with modest time on lees to be released in August or September, this followed by a Methode Traditionelle given more time on lees, to be released in 2019. 2018 also saw John Hancock working at the Moana Park winery making his ‘Hancock and Son’ wines. Of course, John and Dan couldn’t help themselves in making joint collaboration Chardonnay and Syrah.
With the 2017 vintage Dan investigated the commercialisation of Preservative Free wine as an extension of the company’s low allergen commitment. Dan is very aware of the loss of preservative qualities of SO2, but also wishes his clientele to see the fresher and purer fruit expression of these wines. So they are designed to be consumed early. The other news is that Dan has been joined by Benji Gibson in the assistant winemaker role. Young people; fresh ideas. Here, I review the 2018 Pet Nat and 2017 PF Merlot. www.moanapark.co.nz
FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW
Moana Park Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay Pet Nat 2018Sparkling Wine from New Zealand - Hawke's BayReview Date : 05-Jun-2018Light golden-yellow colour with some depth, pale on the rim and a little opaque, the bubbles fine and with good persistence. The nose is softly full with fresh aromas of sweetly ripe peaches and yellow stonefruits, along with citrus and tropical fruit notes, along with some nutty-yeasty elements unfolding fresh herb nuances. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is up-front with broad and accessible, ripe fruit flavours of peaches and tropical fruits with citrus fruit elements. The mouthfeel is fresh and soft with creamy effervescence adding roundness, and the palate has fresh, brisk underlying acidity for balance. The fruit flavours are mouthfilling and the wine carries to a gently full, lighter flavoured finish. This is a fresh, up-front and accessible peachy dry Pet Nat sparkling with creamy effervescence and underlying fresh acidity. Serve as an aperitif over the next 18 months to 2 years. A petillant natural wine. 100% Chardonnay clone 95 from a single site in Twyford, and indigenous yeast fermented in tank to 18 g/L RS, then transferred to bottle to finish primary ferment at 12.5% alc. and <1 g/L RS. 988 bottles made. 17.5/20 Jun 2018 RRP $30.00
Moana Park ‘PF’ Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2017Merlot from New Zealand - Hawke's BayReview Date : 20-Jun-2018Dark, deep, purple-hued black-ruby colour, a little lighter on the rim, with youthful purple tints. The nose is tight and firm with a deep core of black plums and dark-red berry fruit melded with a dark herbal line and reductive mineral overtones. The aromatics are fresh and vibrantly brash. Medium-bodied, the palate is elegant in proportion with fresh and bright dark-red plum and berry fruit with subtle, piquant herbal notes, floral elements and some minerally reduction. The palate possesses light, supple tannin extraction lending a soft, smooth mouthfeel and texture, with soft acidity adding roundness. The wine flows smoothly and softly to a gentle, dark-red fruited finish/ Firm and fresh on the nose, this SO2-free Merlot is soft with bright fruit flavours on the palate showing a touch of reduction. Match with antipasto, pasta, pizza and barbecued fare over the next 2 years. Merlot fruit from Gimblett Road, indigenous yeast fermented to 12.5% alc., the wine aged 8 months in new and seasoned oak. 945 bottles made. 16.5+/20 Jun 2018 RRP $25.00