One Off 2018 ‘Cherry Bomb’, ‘Double Happy’ and 2016 ‘Red Planet’, and Te Awanga Estate Merlot Franc 2015


The overarching ‘Te Awanga Estate’ brand is Rod McDonald’s vehicle for his Hawke’s Bay-based wine operation, which recognises place, instead of the former ‘Rod McDonald Wines’ which is about a person. Rod’s dream has been to make top class Hawke’s Bay wines, so the new nomenclature is a step to showing and reaching that aim. Under ‘Te Awanga Estate’ Rod has his icon ‘Trademark’ wines (click here to see my recent review of the 2015 Trademark Syrah’), the premium ‘Quarter Acre’ bottlings, the ‘Te Awanga Estate’ wines which reflect the coastal home vineyard, cellar door and administration headquarters, the individual ‘One Off’ wines, and the fruit-focussed ‘Mister’ wines’. It’s a broad portfolio, and one that covers most of the Hawke’s Bay wine styles (and more) that Rod wishes to pursue. Here, I review three new ‘One Off’ wines, and a more conventional Te Awanga Estate red blend. www.teawangaestate.co.nz


  • One Off ‘Cherry Bomb’ Hawke’s Bay Syrah Rosé 2018
  • One Off ‘Double Happy’ Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay/Viognier 2018
  • One Off ‘Red Planet’ Martinborough Pinot Noir 2016
  • Te Awanga Estate Hawke’s Bay Merlot/Cabernet Franc 2015

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