This is the first time I tasted Paddy Borthwick wines and I was pleased that I finally did!
The whole range shows fine concentration and integrated acidity fineness, I especially love the texture of the wines, polished and elegant.
Borthwick Vineyard established in 1996, family owned and managed. The 27 hectares of vines bordering the Ruamahunga River in Gladstone, Wairarapa are on stony, free draining, alluvial soils, with a microclimate giving warm daily temperatures, cool nights and low rainfall; perfect conditions for producing distinctive, quality wines.
Paddy Borthwick has a wealth of experience not only in winemaking but also the performance of varieties and understanding of sites in the region. Along with Briony Carnachan joined the team in 2018, who previously and Urlar and Matahiwi.
In their Pinot Noir range, there are Left- and Right-Hand Pinot Noirs represent the different personalities of the winemaking team in both vineyard and winery. Left-Handed winemaker Briony (logical, creative and precise) and right-handed Vigneron Paddy (intuitive, impulsive and thoughtful) have each selected a premium parcel of grapes they believe to be the finest expression of the Borthwick Estate Vineyard.
Paddy mentioned that growing season has been great so far, "Healthy bunch numbers, good natural water capacity going into flowering. Flowering looks to be pretty good at this stage up here but will wait a few more weeks for final visuals. Maybe a week ahead of previous years although doesn’t feel like it but the GDD days are ahead of the last 4 years and just going into summer. Sheep arrive next week for the 3 weeks over Xmas of leaf plucking."
FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW
Paddy Borthwick Sauvignon Blanc 2020, WairarapaSauvignon Blanc from New Zealand - Wairarapa & WellingtonReview Date : 11-Dec-2020Bright, pale yellow with a light green hue, even colour throughout. The nose is full and vibrant, well packed with nuances of limes, gooseberries and guava melded with subtle spicy herb notes and a hint of minerals. Medium-bodied, the palate is harmonious and refined, aromas of guava, lime flash entwined fragrance of elderflowers, fresh herbs and lifting of white spices. The fruit is concentrated with ripeness balance, presented elegantly; well-proportioned fruit, floral and herb elements, lifted with a subtle white pepper note on the closing, added interest. Lacy acidity is well integrated and supportive, flow seamlessly with a fine-textured phenolic line. This is an elegant and harmonious Sauvignon Blanc with flavours of guava, lime and herbs along with beautiful subtleties on a fine-textured smooth flow. Match with pan-fried sole fish and whitebait over the next 3-4 years. Fermented in tank to 14% alc, on lees for serval months, no fining. 19/20 pts (95 pts) Dec 2020 RRP $22.95
Paddy Borthwick Riesling 2020, WairarapaRiesling from New Zealand - Wairarapa & WellingtonReview Date : 11-Dec-2020Bright, pale yellow with a lime-green hue, slightly lighter on edge. The nose is delicate and soft, fragrances of lime blossoms, entwined with lime and zest, mandarin, white peach and mouthwatering minerals. Dry to taste, medium-bodied, the palate is fresh and focused with nuances of lime and mandarin, along with lime blossoms and white pepper. The mouthfeel is refined with a supple phenolic texture, supported by integrated electric acidity, fills the palate with tension and zesty vibrancy, linger to a long finish. This is a vibrant dry Riesling with perfect balance, flavours of lime and zest, mandarin and blossoms flow with supple phenolics and acid tension. Match with shellfish and whitefish sashimi over the next 4-6 years. Cool fermented to 12.5% alc, 5.6 g/l RS. 19-/20 pts (95 pts) Dec 2020 RRP $22.95
Paddy Borthwick Pinot Gris 2020, WairarapaPinot Gris from New Zealand - Wairarapa & WellingtonReview Date : 11-Dec-2020Bright, straw-golden-yellow with some depth, slightly lighter edged. The nose is well-proportioned with lush aromas of William pear, baked apple; honeysuckles intermix white florals, along with citrus and vanilla spices. Medium-full bodied, the palate is bright with fresh nuances of pear and apple, along with citrus crunch. Lively acidity provides an excellent balance to the body, lighten up the honeysuckles and white floral element; flow with good energy and minerals. The finish is crisp with lifting florals and aromatics. The wine is with precision, vibrant, and fruit-forward yet with subtle details and weight added depth to the palate. This is a fresh and elegant Pinot Gris with flavours of apple and pear, floral and depth with a fresh palate. Match with slightly spice aromatic Asian cuisine over the next 3-5 years. Partial fermented in stainless steel, partial fermented in old French oak barrels, aged on lees for 9 months. 13.4% alc, 5.1 g/l RS. 18.5+/20 pts (94 pts) Dec 2020 RRP $22.95
Paddy Borthwick Chardonnay 2019, WairarapaChardonnay from New Zealand - Wairarapa & WellingtonReview Date : 11-Dec-2020Bright, pale yellow with a green-gold hue and some depth, even colour throughout. The nose is fresh with clear layers aromas of citrus, lemon sherbet, white peach melded with creamy lees and a hint of hazelnut. Medium-bodied, the palate is elegantly presented, aromas of lemon sherbet, white peach have a good core, the palate broadens by well proportioned creamy lees, hazelnut and spices. Acidity is balanced and lacy, carries a subtle hint of minerality on a fine-textured line. The is an elegant Chardonnay with the purity of fruit and balanced oak and lees details. Match with white fish and poultry over the next 3-5 years. Fermented in French puncheons with solids to 13.5% alc. Minimal MLF, aged on lees in puncheons for 10 months, 20% new oak. 18.5/20 pts (93 pts) Dec 2020 RRP $24.95
Paddy Borthwick Pinot Rosé 2020, WairarapaRosé from New Zealand - Wairarapa & WellingtonReview Date : 11-Dec-2020Bright, pale neon-orange with a pink hue and some depth, even colour throughout. The nose is softly-full, aromas of deep florals leading the bouquet, along with cranberries, cherries and candied orange. Medium-bodied, aromas of cherries, cranberries are penetrating on the palate, accompanied by spices of orange peels and a hint of confectionary. The palate is creamy and fresh, balanced by mouthwatering acidity, carrying spices linger to a refreshing finish. Subtle phenolic added to the texture, flow along a mineral line with ease. This is a refreshing Pinot Rosé with red fruit, orange peels and spices on a creamy and elegant palate. Match with salmon gravlax and charcuteries over the next 2-3 years. Fruit was partly crushed and pressed for juice; another part was selected from Pinot Noir vats after a few hours of skin contacts, then fermented to 13.5% alc. One batch finished ferment in old oak barrels and left on less for 2 months before blending. 18+/20 pts (91 pts) Dec 2020 RRP $22.95
Paddy Borthwick Pinot Noir 2019, WairarapaPinot Noir from New Zealand - Wairarapa & WellingtonReview Date : 11-Dec-2020Deep, ruby-red with a purple hue and some depth, slight lighter edged. The nose is fragrant with density aromas of dark cherries and plums, unveiling dark herbs of thyme, earthy minerals, florals details and alluring spices. The palate has weight and power, penetrating aromas of dark plums, cherries and violet; unfolding earth, thyme and cloves. Medium-full bodied, the breadth of the palate is satisfying, the fruit is ripe with vibrancy, herbaceous notes of thyme and dark herbs enrich the mouthfeel along with powdery fine-grained tannin, reminiscent of dark cocoa. The palate is comforting with underlined alcohol power, bringing out spices and dark herbs rounded off to an earthy, savoury breadth palate. Match with lamb koftas and venison over the next 4-5 years. Fermented to 14.9% alc, extends post-ferment maceration. Aged in French oak barrels for 11 months, 30% new oak. 18.5/20 (93 pts) Dec 2020 RRP $34.95
Paddy Borthwick Left Hand Pinot Noir 2019, WairarapaPinot Noir from New Zealand - Wairarapa & WellingtonReview Date : 11-Dec-2020Deep ruby-red with some transparency, purple on the rim. The nose is gently full and elegantly presented, lifted aromas of cherry-plums, dark cherries, melded with herbs, dark violet and subtle flinty minerals. The bouquet has depth and vibrancy. Medium-full bodied, intense aromas of cherry-plums, black cherries have a concentrated core and energy; interweaved a smoky, flinty mineral element, elevated dark violet, and herbs. The fruit is supported by a fine and lacy acid line, underlined powdery fine-grained tannin structure. A very fine palate carries dark botanicals and spices with tension to a concentrated, long finish. This is a concentrated Pinot Noir with elegance and vibrancy, displaying flavours of dark cherry-plum fruit, enlivened by smoky, flinty minerals, violet and herbs details on a finely structured palate. Match with venison and boar over the next 5-8 years. Selected premium parcels and barrel selection, 14.9% alc, aged in 100% French oak for 11 months, 40% new barrels, minimal fining and filtration. 1,730 bottles produced. 19/20 pts Dec 2020 RRP $55
Paddy Borthwick Right Hand Pinot Noir 2019, WairarapaPinot Noir from New Zealand - Wairarapa & WellingtonReview Date : 11-Dec-2020Dark ruby-red with a purple hue, slightly lighter edged. The nose is rich with concentration, aromas of dark cherries, plums, blackberries, intermix thyme, spices and earth. Medium-full bodied, the palate is concentrated with dark aromas of black cherries, blackberries, plums, along with dark liquorice, ash and herbs. Tannin is dusty and fine-grained, integrated with the dark shaded fruit, formed a concentrated core. Lively acidity provides freshness and balance to the rich palate, lends a bitter and sweet, sustained closing. This is a rich Pinot Noir with depth and concentration of dark fruit, thyme along with ash, earth element and a dusty tannin mouthfeel. Match with venison and lamb over the next 5-7 years. Selected premium parcels and barrel selection, 14.9% alc, aged in 100% French oak for 11 months, 40% new barrels, minimal fining and filtration. 1,730 bottles produced. 18.5+/20 pts Dec 2020 RRP $55