Featured Reviews

Mission ‘Barrique Reserve’ 2017 Chardonnay and Syrah, and 2016 Pinot Noir and Cabernet

10 September,2018

There have been some subtle changes in the winemaking at Mission Estate, with Paul Mooney who has been with the company for over 35 years now overseeing the making of both the Mission and Ngatarawa wines. Alex Roper is the dedicated Mission winemaker and James Ostergren looks after Ngatarawa. Both Mission and Ngatarawa have clearly defined tiers. The Mission ‘Estate’ wines are the core for the company, with ‘Barrique Reserve’ the premium tier. Above that are the ‘Jewelstone’ and limited-release ‘Huchet’ bottlings. Here, I review a selection of new releases from the ‘Barrique Reserve’ range: the 2017 Chardonnay, 2016 Pinot Noir, 2017 Syrah and 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon. www.missionestate.co.nz


Mission ‘Barrique Reserve’ Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2017

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Bright, light golden-hued yellow colour with some depth, paler edged. The nose is softly full with gentle aromas of yellow stonefruits along with an amalgam of nutty oak and minerally and flinty lees notes. The aromatics are harmonious in presentation. Medium-full bodied, the palate has rich and lively fruit flavours of yellow stonefruits and citrus fruit, unfolding notes of tropical fruits with nutty oak and hints of creamy barrel-ferment. The flavours form a soft and rounded core with fresh acidity enlivening the mouthfeel. The palate flows smoothly along a fine phenolic line leading to a crisp, light, citrussy finish. This is a moderately rich, citrus-fruited Chardonnay with a soft heart, but fresh and lively mouthfeel, with balanced nutty oak. Match with seafood, poultry and pork over the next 4 years. Predominantly clone 15 and Mendoza fruit from Ohiti Road, Church Road and upper Dartmoor, vines 10-20 y.o., fully barrel-fermented to 13.6% alc., the wine aged 10 months on lees in barrels 22% new with 10% MLF. 17.5+/20 Sep 2018 RRP $29.00

Mission ‘Barrique Reserve’ Marlborough Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Marlborough


Moderately deep red colour with some depth, lighter on the edge with garnet hues. The nose is light with fragrant, but penetrating aromas of dark-red berry fruit along with dark-red florals, unfolding dark herbs and tamarillo notes. This is refreshing, but somewhat restrained in expression. Medium-full bodied, the palate has juicy and sweet flavours of dark-red cherry and berry fruit, nuances of tamarillos and herbal nuances. The fruit forms an elegant heart and the mouthfeel is enlivened by fresh, lacy acidity, and underlined by fine-grained tannin extraction and structure. The acidity provides energy and carries the flavours to a lingering, brisk finish. This is a sweet-fruited Pinot Noir with cherry berry and cooler herb flavours on a palate with fine extract, carried by the brisk acidity. Serve with poultry and pork over the next 3-4 years. Fruit from the company’s Awatere Valley vineyard, destemmed and fermented to 13.7% alc., the wine aged 12 months in 10% new French oak. 16.5+/20 Sep 2018 RRP $29.00

Mission ‘Barrique Reserve’ Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2017

Syrah from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Dark ruby-red colour with youthful purple hues, lighter on the edge. The nose is elegant and slender with a softly concentrated core showing blackberries, dark raspberries with white pepper and herbs, unfolding some spice notes. Medium-bodied, the palate has elegantly concentrated flavours of blackberries, dark raspberries, unfolding violet florals, with white pepper. Cooler herb motes, a little stem and spice elements add detail. The fruit sweetness is balanced by light tannin extraction, and the mouthfeel enlivened by fresh acidity. This has a good core and line, and the flavours lead to a lingering finish. This is an elegantly concentrated, slender Syrah with blackberry, raspberry, violet and herb flavours along with white pepper on a light-structured palate with fresh acid. Match with poultry and pork, and Middle Eastern fare over the next 3-4 years. MS clone fruit from the Mere Road vineyard, and clones MS, 877, 174 and 470 from the Gimblett Road vineyard, fermented to 12.6% alc., the wine aged 12 months in 25% new French oak. 17.0+/20 Sep 2018 RRP $29.00

Mission ‘Barrique Reserve’ Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Cabernet Sauvignon from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Dark, deep, black-hued red colour, a little lighter on the edge. The nose is elegantly proportioned with firmly packed and concentrated aromas of blackcurrants, cassis liqueur, mint and dark herbs. The aromatics show depth and intensity, with lifted primary notes. Medium-full bodied, the palate has a fine and firm heart with well-packed flavours of blackcurrants, cassis and mint with notes of herbs and an edgy stem-like hint. The fruit flavours are clear and aromatic, and the wine supported by fine, grainy tannins with fresh acidity. The palate has linearity and flows to an elegant, sustained finish. This is a fine and well-concentrated Cabernet Sauvignon with blackcurrant, cassis, mint and herb flavours along with some youthful edginess, firm tannins and brisk acidity. Match with herb-marinated beef and lamb dishes over the next 5+ years. A blend of 85.1% Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Sauvignon and 14.9% Merlot from the Mere Road vineyard, fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 12 months in 25% new oak. 18.0-/20 Sep 2018 RRP $29.00

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