Nga Waka – Vintage 2020 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir
Nga Waka is a well-established name in Martinborough, situated on State Highway 53; on the way to Martinborough Square. Founded in 1988, currant owners Jay Short and Peggy Dupeg purchased the winery in 2015 expanded the vineyard size from 10 hectares to 20 hectares with seven small vineyards around the village of Martinborough.
A consistent style of winemaking earned them many loyal followers over the years. Winemaker Roger Parkinson has been making the first vintage since 1993, along with Vineyard Manager Mike Kershaw joined the team in 1996; the depth of knowledge with the sites and vines enables them to produce a consistent and elegant style years after years.
I have recently reviewed the Chardonnay, Three Paddles Pinot Noir, Estate Pinot Noir and The Lease Block Pinot Noir, all from the vintage 2020. They were consistently good as expected. Overall, 2020 has a bright sense in the wine, full of energy, vibrant layers, immediate freshness and balance, making them very inviting. Read my full reviews below.
The sunflowers at the Home Block are in full bloom, where the pop-up cellar door is available over the summer months on Friday & Saturday 10 am-4 pm until their harvest starts.
FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW
Nga Waka Chardonnay 2020, MartinboroughChardonnay from New Zealand - Wairarapa & WellingtonReview Date : 15-Jan-2022Bright, straw yellow with depth, slightly lighter on the rim. The wine has an enticing elegance, generously fills the glass with aromas of pear, stonefruit, interweave toasty oak, spice and oyster shell. Medium-full bodied, excellent acidity tension flows with lemon, pear and apricot, spice tingle, and toasty oak detail. Oyster shell minerals contribute to a fine-textured mouthfeel and creaminess supported by beautiful acid tension. This is a harmonious and radiant Chardonnay with excellent acid tension, elegant fruit, balanced oak details and a fine-textured mouthfeel. Match with lemon chicken and bouillabaisse over the next 3-5 years. 100% barrel fermented (20% new oak) to 13.3% alc, aged in barrels for 10 months and lees stirred monthly. 18.5/20 pts (93 pts) Jan 2022 RRP $28
Three Paddles by Nga Waka Pinot Noir 2020, MartinboroughPinot Noir from New Zealand - Wairarapa & WellingtonReview Date : 15-Jan-2022Bright, ruby-red with good transparency, lighter on edge. The nose is softly full, youthful yet elegant, aromas of red cherries and cranberries entwined with herbal nuance, earth and sweet vanilla. Medium-bodied, bright aromas of red cherries, cranberries melded with earth and dark herbs. Lively acidity drives along a supple tannin mouthfeel. This is a youthful, juicy and elegant Pinot Noir. Match with sausage casserole and cha siu over the next 3 years. Fruit was destemmed, fermented to 14% alc, total maceration time 21-24 days, MLF in tight-grain French oak barriques, aged 16 months. Unfined, unfiltered. 18.5-/20 pts (92 pts) Jan 2022 RRP $25
Nga Waka Pinot Noir 2020, MartinboroughPinot Noir from New Zealand - Wairarapa & WellingtonReview Date : 15-Jan-2022Deep, ruby-red, lighter on the rim. The wine has an enticing bouquet, softly full with a lead of savoury aroma, intermix cherries, bruised plums, earth and sweet spices. Medium-full bodied, aromas of cherries, plums have depths, entwined with dark herb, vanilla, cinnamon and earth. The mouthfeel is silky with supple, powdery tannin; spice lingers on the finish and reveals earth and herb details. The fruit has good weight and concentration, complimenting oak spices. This Pinot Noir has power and elegance, savoury earth and herb detail with weight on a silky palate. Match with roasted duck and lamb over the next 4-5 years. Fermented with 10% whole bunches to 14% alc, 11-23 days total maceration, MLF in tight grain French oak barriques, 20% new oak, total time 16 months. Unfined & unfiltered. 18.5/20 pts (93 pts) Jan 2022 RRP $35
Nga Waka Lease Block Pinot Noir 2020, MartinboroughPinot Noir from New Zealand - Wairarapa & WellingtonReview Date : 15-Jan-2022Deep, ruby-red, slightly lighter edged. The nose is elegantly presented, soft and sweet aroma of strawberries, cherry-plums, melded with spice, vanilla and herb. Medium-full bodied, strawberries and cherry-plums have a sweet core, interweave vanilla, cardamon, cinnamon and rosemary. Fine-grained silky tannin lightly coated the mouthfeel, and lacy acidity provided a fine backbone. This elegant Pinot Noir possesses a sweet fruit core, harmonious oak detail and a poised structure. Match with pigeon and roast pork over the next 5+ years. Fermented with 15% whole bunches to 14% alc, total maceration time 20 days, MLF in thigh-grain French oak barriques, aged for 16 months, 30% new oak. Unfined, unfiltered. 18.5+/20 pts (94 pts) Jan 2022 RRP $45