One Off Chardonnay 2013 and Two Gates Merlot/Franc/Cabernet 2010

I like the way that Rod McDonald has the many approaches to his winemaking and marketing covered. He’s slowly developed the structure of his brands and just recently released his flagship ‘Trademark’ Syrah (originally conceived as ‘No. 8’). Click here to see my notes of the launch. He has his premium, single-vineyard focussed brand of ‘Quarter Acre’, realising his dreams of a range of top Hawke’s Bay wines. There are also the ‘Te Awanga Estate’ and ‘Two Gates’ labels with a more specific definition of place and origin. And the ‘Frizzell’ brand is another layer to Rod’s work.

Serendipitous opportunities arise and the wines made from them don’t necessarily fit into the structured models, and the ‘One Off’ label is a wonderful way to capture anything else that comes up. For the 2013 One Off Chardonnay, the ‘big, bold and buttery’ style has been made. It isn’t where the industry is taking us, but many consumers still love it. Here’s Rod’s go at a blast from the past. The other wine in this review is the 2010 Two Gates Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon blend, the ‘Two Gates’ brand an acquired one, but aiming to eventually represent the wines made from organically grown fruit from the company’s Maraekakaho vineyard.


  • One Off Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2013
  • Two Gates Hawke’s Bay Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

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