Sunday, 3 April 2016

De la Terre

De la terre wines of Hawkes’ Bay tasting notes April 1st 2016.

Blanc de Blancs 2013 – distinctive yeast autolysis greets the nose first followed by moderate aromas of roasted stone fruits; a fine bead on the palate, lovely acid bite accentuating some brioche and light ginger tones; Just a little short on the finish, but a lovely wine overall. 89 points

Viognier ‘Ridgeline’ 2015 – Varietal, rich and forward bouquet with ripe stone fruits showing off white peach and nectarine, some light mineral action, stony soils suggestions and a whiff of bacon (oak). Palate reflects these attributes, is generous with flavour and impact, lovely texture and length, bold yet controlled and well made with some fine light tannins on the finish. 90 Points.

Viognier 2014 (Estate) – Calm, varietal, some floral and soil scents then peach, apple and apricot. Palate reflects these as flavours with decent acidity, a touch too much phenolic work has added a bitter note to the back palate and spoiled the finish somewhat – easily taken care of with smart food and wine pairing. 84 Points.

Viognier Reserve 2014 – Lovely bouquet with a fine balance between oak and fruit, some floral tones and lovely fruit ripeness, all pushed along by the oak, some fine tannins, medium+ acidity and overall great balance and length. Must like oak – a very nice example overall. 90 Points.

Chardonnay 2014 – Lots of Hawke’s Bay ripe fruit intensity with aromas and flavours of California peach, some mineral, apple then lots of oak, good oak – light brown sugar tones and light toastiness. Youthful and tense on the palate, slightly firm; great food wine with medium+ length. With a little time to settle into an integration phase this will be a wine worth the wait. 88 Points.

Chardonnay Reserve 2014 – Distinctive oak centric bouquet supported by ripe stone fruit aromas, toasty brown sugar and baking spices, bacon (oak), vanilla, burnt nutty butter note. Palate shows off a just oily texture and some lovely fruit flavours; Oak is a little bit pushy but this is a young wine still – vibrant, finding balance over the next 2-3 years, well made with a decisive finish. 91 Points.

Barbera 2014 – Ripe red berry fruit aromas – some wild some dark, mild to moderate oak – overall a harmonious bouquet. On the palate – young, dry, medium weight, youthful tannins with some course layers, medium+ acidity. A solid, well made wine, a bit narrow in complexity with moderate length and relying on the oak. Overall okay, a very pleasant dry red wine. 84 Points.

Montepulciano 2014 – Ripe, floral, plush; plum and black berry and black currant fruits, dried herb, soil notes – stones; black velvet. On the palate – dry, firm, lots of energy, acidity, ripe tannins – some course, some fine, lovely varietal character, great balance, medium+ length and complexity. Very nice example – drink now if decanted or cellar for another 2-3 years. 89 Points.

Syrah Reserve 2013 – Fragrant, meaty, oaky, plenty of spice, pepper and toasty oak; violets, plums and black currant. Dry with flavours that reflect the nose, white pepper and dried herb, meat, spice and plenty of fruit concentration and fine to moderate tannins; plenty of acidity too. A young wine that needs time to integrate more, but all the elements for a fine wine in present. 92 Points.

Syrah 2013 (Estate) – Ripe, fruity, vibrant, varietal, floral. Juicy, fleshy and ripe on the palate with flavours of currants, cherry, blueberry and loads of sot white pepper; medium+ acidity. An earlier drinking style, balanced and well made with a slightly sweeter oak finish. This wine tastes better than the nose suggests. 88 Points.

Tannat 2014 – Bold, meaty, rich, ripe and juicy, fresh, lush, toasty. Some smoky moments with plenty of oak. Great balance on the palate with medium+ tannins and acidity, long easy finish, well made with medium to medium+ complexity. 88 Points.

Tannat Reserve 2014 – Aromas and flavours reflect the non-reserve attributes with lots of ripe, fresh and lush fruit flavours. This wine has more oak at the core with meaty alluring attributes; loads of black fruit flavours emerge with distinctive tannin and acid structure underpinning the overall character and finish. Very nice wine – must like oak. 89 Points.

Late Harvest Viognier 2015 – Very classic sweet and ripe bouquet of Viognier, some lush fruit flavours with sweetness and acid bite. The phenolics are a little pushy and hard with affects the length somewhat. A wine that could manage some oak layers. Overall – solid. 82 Points.

Noble Viognier 2015 – Now we’re talking……juicy, fresh, lush and vibrant with honey toned stone fruit flavours, a touch of baked pineapple and fresh white sugar; loads more honey and apricot on the palate. 88 Points.

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