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Featured Reviews

Lauregan Central Hawke’s Bay Pinot Noir 2014 and 2013

14 June,2016
One of the most interesting Hawke’s Bay Pinot Noirs I’ve seen to date is the Lauregan Wines inaugural commercial bottling from the 2013 vintage. Tasted in October 2014, it impressed with its ripe black fruits, richness and structure. The wine is the passion of Mike and Hazel Old who established a small 1.6 ha vineyard on Kahuranaki Road on the eastern side of the Tukituki River is at the northern end of Central Hawke’s Bay in 1995. The Dijon clones of Pinot Noir vines were replanted over the original Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon that performed inconsistently. Mike and Hazel dry farm the vineyard and aim at very low yields, and have Leith Ashworth assist with the winemaking.

Mike and Hazel are aware of the robust nature of the wine, which is the result of site, their preferred stylistic interpretation and vintage, and will see if there is more finesse in future vintages. Here, I review the 2014 Pinot Noir, a wine that was more dictated by the season which meant earlier picking. 300 dozen bottles were made, an increase over the previous year, as new plantings came on stream and increased viticultural attention was applied. Mike Old reports there will be 180 dozen of the 2015, and around 300 dozen of the 2016. The Olds prefer to work to a viticultural standard rather than aim for a preferred tonnage. The 2013 wine has also been retasted and my notes follow too. I have upgraded my rating on this powerful and vibrant wine.


Lauregan Central Hawke’s Bay Pinot Noir 2014

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

Very dark, deep, black-red colour with light garnet hues on the rim. The nose is softly full and open with aromas of dark-red berry fruit melded with spicy oak, cinnamon and complexing nuances of camphor, dark herbs, liquorice and plums. The aromatics are well-concentrated at the heart. Medium-bodied, the palate is up-front with softly layered and deep flavours of spicy, savoury red berryfruits, plums, red florals, spices and cinnamon, along with camphor and liquorice. The palate features fine-grained tannin extraction that provides body and presence. Soft, integrated acidity lends a roundness to the mouthfeel, and the flavours carry to a long, lingering finish of spices, camphor and oak. This is a full, soft, layered Pinot Noir with spicy red fruit, plums and liquorice on a grainy-textured palate. Match with Middle Eastern and Asian fare over the next 5-6 years. Pinot Noir from the ‘Lauregan’ vineyard, destemmed and fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 12 months in one-third new oak, one-third 1 y.o. and one-third 2 y.o. barrels. 17.5+/20 Jun 2016 RRP $40.00

Lauregan Central Hawke’s Bay Pinot Noir 2013

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Very full, deep, impenetrable black-red colour, youthful in appearance. This has a fully concentrated and packed bouquet with vibrant and aromatic black berried fruits along with black plums, iron-earth minerals and some oak char. The nose has richness, firm intensity and great vitality. Full-bodied, the palate possesses rich, luscious and succulently ripe flavours of black-berried fruits with plums and dark florals suggestions, iron-earth minerals and toasty oak. The mouthfeel is fulsome with a powerfully driven core. This has considerable extract, the tannins fine-grained lending a degree of finesse. Fresh, balanced acidity enlivens the flow and provides liveliness to the fruit, and the wine carries to a very long, rich, dry-textured finish. This is a rich and powerful black-fruited Pinot Noir with iron-earth and mineral notes and great vitality. Match with roasted game meat dishes over the next 8+ years. Pinot Noir fruit from the ‘Lauregan’ vineyard, destemmed, given a cold soak and fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine aged 9 months in one-third new oak. Approx. 150 dozen made. 18.5/20 June 2015 RRP $40.00

Dark, deep, black-hued ruby-red colour, near impenetrable, youthful in appearance. The nose is full, rich, and solidly concentrated with ripe fruit aromas of blackberries, dark raspberries and dark red plums, unfolding liquorice, spicy oak, lifted violet florals, and complexing dark herb and earthy nuances. Full-bodied, this is mouthfilling and fleshy, with ripe fruit flavours of blackberries, dark red plums, liquorice and spicy oak featuring on the palate. The fruit is encased by fulsome tannin extraction and structure, providing a firm and blocky, concentrated core. This is densely packed with ink and mineral nuances, and the wine has power driving the wine to a strong, sustained finish. This is a rich and sweetly ripe, black-fruited Pinot Noir with considerable structure, size and power. Match with casseroles, game meat and hard cheeses over the next 6 – 8 years. Pinot Noir fruit from the ‘Lauregan’ vineyard, destemmed, given a cold soak and fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine aged 9 months in one-third new oak. 18.0+/20 Oct 2014 RRP $40.00
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