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Featured Reviews

Paritua Chardonnays, Pinot Noir, Syrahs and Blended Reds

31 July,2017
Paritua Vineyards was established on Maraekakaho Road in the Bridge Pa Triangle district by Americans Brianne Bremer Fisher and Gary Fisher in 2001 who planted vines for their first release from the 2005 vintage. The company was purchased by a group of N.Z. Chinese citizens in 2011 who have had considerable success with the wines in the Chinese market. At present, approx. 80% of the wines are exported to China, the U.K. and U.S.A, but the owners are wishing to increase their domestic presence, which is primarily in Auckland at present.

Paritua Vineyards has 53 ha of vines, this made up of 19 ha Merlot, 8.7 ha Cabernet Sauvignon, 8.8 ha Cabernet Franc, 3.44 ha Syrah, 5.8 ha of Sauvignon Blanc, 5.6 ha of Chardonnay and 1.6 ha of Malbec. A small amount of Syrah is purchased from other Bridge Pa sites and Pinot Noir from Central Otago when needed. Paritua has a modern, well-equipped 450 tonne capacity winery, though at present an average of 300 tonnes is processed annually. There are facilities for a cellar door, which is planned to be opened in October this year.

The Paritua team is small, and is headed by Jason Stent who was involved with the making of the Paritua wine releases from 2005 to 2008 while he was at Sacred Hill. (Jason was with Sacred Hill for 13 years in total.) Jason came on board with Paritua for the 2009 harvest and became chief winemaker after Evert Nizjink in 2010. He has Teresa Lincoln in administration, and recently was joined for the 2017 vintage by Amy Farnsworth, following the departure of Daniel Brennan who was the assistant winemaker.  Amy, a young Canadian, has worked with wine extensively in New Zealand and overseas. Jason oversees the viticulture with a consultant, and has a team assisting with the vineyard work. Organic viticulture is an aim. Jack Wu, the managing partner lives on site.

The wines are marketed under the accessible ‘Stone Paddock’ brand, the premium ‘Paritua’ label and there is a super-premium wine named ‘Paritua 21.12’ referring to the number on Mareaekakaho Road where the vineyard and winery are sited. Here, I review a selection Stone Paddock and Paritua wines, from the 2014 and 2013 vintages.


Stone Paddock Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2014

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

Bright, straw-yellow colour with lemon-green hues, a little lighter on the edge. The nose is up-front, full and solidly packed with aromas of ripe yellow stonefruits along with savoury citrus and tropical fruits, showing some secondary development, unfolding creamy barrel-fement and nutty oak notes. Medium-full bodied, the palate is full, open and accessible with good depth of sweetly ripe yellow stonefruits and tropical fruits entwined with a little savoury citrus fruit from secondary development. The mouthfeel is rounded and concentrated, and the palate enlivened by fresh, lacy acidity. The wine carries easily to a light, phenolic-textured, dry finish. This is an up-front, rich and rounded Chardonnay with sweet stonefruit and tropical fruit flavours, just showing some secondary interest, finishing dry. Serve with poultry and pork over the next 3-4 years. Clone 95 and 15 fruit fermented, 60% in tank and 40% in barrique to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 10-11 months on lees, with approx. 5% of the wine aged in barrel, and 40% of the wine undergoing MLF. 17.5-/20 Jul 2017 RRP $19.99

Stone Paddock Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2014

Syrah from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

Dark, deep ruby-red colour with black-red hues and slight purple tints, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is gently full with a soft and moderately deep core of blackberry fruit entwined with dark raspberries, with an amalgam of dark herbs, black pepper, and inky-earth notes. Medium-full bodied, the palate is softly full with good presence and depth, but restrained fruit flavours, showing blackberries and raspberries intermixed with flavours of black pepper, earth, inky notes and some spice. The fruit has freshness and sweetness and is supported by moderately extracted, grainy tannin structure. The acidity is balanced and lends energy, carrying to an earthy and peppery nuanced finish. This is a solid and weighty Syrah with slightly amorphous black fruit expression melded with pepper, ink and earth, on a grainy structured palate. Match with casseroles and Middle Eastern lamb dishes over the next 4-5 years. Syrah fruit destemmed and partially crushed, and fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 12 months in 20% new French oak. 17.0+/20 Jul 2017 RRP $23.99

Stone Paddock ‘Scarlet’ Hawke’s Bay 2013

Blended Red from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

Full, deep, dark ruby-red colour with black-red hues, a little lighter edged. The nose is elegant in proportion with a fine heart of blackcurrant and redcurrant fruit along with dark plums and dark herbs, plus a little cassis. The fruit has an attractive fragrance. Medium-full bodied, the palate is elegantly presented with good depth and intensity of black and redcurrant fruit with black plum flavours. Dark herbal notes and cassis add detail, and the fruit shows with freshness and clarity. The mouthfeel features fine-grained tannin grip and structure, with fresh acidity lending vibrancy and energy. The wine flows with good drive to an elegant, lingering finish of currants and herbs. This is an elegant, finely concentrated Merlot blend with currant and plum flavours, along with herb notes on a fresh palate. Match with herb-marinated lamb and beef dishes, and Mediterranean fare over the next + years. A blend of 73.5% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc, 7.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Malbec, fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged up to 14 months in seasoned oak. 17.5/20 Jul 2017 RRP $23.99

Paritua Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2014

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

Bright, even, straw-yellow colour with slight golden hues, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is gently full with subtly deep and tightly bound aromas of ripe white and yellow stonefruits along with some tropical fruit elements, entwined with mealy complexities, creamy barrel-ferment, nutty oak and hints of flint and toast. Medium-full bodied, the palate has finely concentrated flavours of white and yellow stonefruita with nuances of tropical fruits, melded with layers of creamy barrel-ferment, nutty lees and oak, mealy detail, and hints of flinty minerals. The palate has depth and flows with some power along a fine, phenolic line with fresh, balancing acidity, leading to a lingering, nuanced finish. This is an elegantly concentrated Chardonnay with a fine, complex interwoven palate of stonefruit, mealy and nutty notes and hints of minerals and toast, and ome underlying power. Serve with seafood, poultry and pork over the next 4-5 years. Hand-picked clone 95 and 15 fruit, WBP and 20% indigenous yeast barrel-fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 12 months, 50% in puncheon and 50% in barriques, 50% of the oak new, undergoing batonnage and 40% MLF. 18.5/20 Jul 2017 RRP $39.99

Paritua Central Otago Pinot Noir 2014

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago

Even ruby-red colour with a little depth, lighter on the rim with some garnet tints. This has a full nose with softly concentrated aromas of savoury red cherry and berry fruit harmoniously entwined with dark and dried herbs and subtle whole bunch stalk notes, unfolding ethereal earth and game elements with aeration. Medium-full bodied, the palate has restrained flavours of savoury red cherry and berry fruit intermixed with dried and dark herbs and some earthy elements. The mouthfeel is enlivened by fresh, background acidity, and the wine flows along a fine-textured, gently extracted line providing supple structure. The wine leads to a light, lingering finish of dark cherries and herbs. This Pinot Noir has restrained flavours of savoury cherry and berry fruit with interwoven herb and earthy notes on supple palate. Match with wild duck and game bird dishes over the next 4 years. Predominantly Lowburn fruit, hand-picked and indigenous yeast fermented with 20% whole bunches to 13.5% alc., the wine spending 21 days on skins and aged 18 months in 50% new barriques. 17.5-/20 Jul 2017 RRP $44.99

Paritua Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2013

Syrah from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

Very dark, deep, black-hued purple-red colour, a little lighter on the rim and youthful in appearance. The nose is intense and well-concentrated with aromas of ripe blackberry fruit along with fragrant violet and black florals, unfolding an array of Asian spices, black pepper, liquorice and black plums. Medium-bodied, the palate is finely presented with a tight core of ripe blackberry fruit entwined with spices, ripe plums and liquorice, revealing subtle notes of black pepper and violet florals. The fruit is supported by fine-grained, powdery tannin extraction and balanced, fresh acidity. The wine carries with good energy and vitality to an elegant, lingering finish of black fruits, spices and liquorice. This is a fine and elegantly concentrated Syrah with ripe black fruits, liquorice and spice flavours. Match with game meat dishes over the next 7-9 years. Hand-picked fruit, destemmed and fermented with approx. 20% whole berries to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 14 months in 50% new oak, of which 25% are in puncheon format. 18.5/20 Jul 2017 RRP $44.99

Paritua Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2013

Merlot from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

Full, deep, near impenetrable black-hued ruby-red colour with some purple tints, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is softly full and deep with aromas of very ripe black plum fruit along with black and dark-red berry fruits interwoven with nutty oak notes. There is a suggestion of ripe porty elements. Full-bodied, the palate has full, open and accessible fruit flavours of ripe black plums and ripe black berried fruits. The flavours are sweet and supported by considerable, ripe, fine-grained tannin extraction lending fine structure and grip. A little alcoholic heat and power underlines the fruit. The acidity is balanced and integrated. The flavours build in depth and concentration and lead to a strong, positive, lingering finish with open plum and black berry fruit flavours. This is a full-bodied, very ripe black plum and berry fruited Merlot with considerable fine-gained structure and underlying alcoholic power. Match with lamb, beef, venison and casseroles over the next 8-10 years.t. The acidity is balanced ab the next 7-9 years.elegant, lingering finish of black fruits, spices and liquorice.plumd and li Merlot fruit fermented to 15.0% alc., the wine aged 18 months in 50% new French oak barriques. 18.0+/20 Jul 2017 RRP $44.99

Paritua ‘Red’ Hawke’s Bay 2013

Blended Red from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

Full, very dark, near impenetrable black-hued purple-red colour, youthful in appearance. The bouquet is well-proportioned and concentrated with fragrant aromas of ripe blackberry, blackcurrant and plum fruit along with dark herb elements, nutty oak and nuances of cedar. Full-bodied, this has a fulsome and well-packed, mouthfilling palate with flavours of ripe blackberries, blackcurrants and plums. This has a deep heart that unfolds notes of dark herbs, hints of cassis and oak. The rich flavours are balanced by plenty of fine-grained tannin extraction and grip. The mouthfeel is fresh and vibrant and the wine flows with good acid energy to a long and sustained, concentrated finish of ripe black fruits. This is a powerful, well-structured and concentrated Bordeaux-varietal blend with ripe black fruits , cassis and herbs, with plenty of vitality. Match with lamb, beef, venison and semi-hard cheeses over the next 9-12 years. A blend of 47% Merlot, 37% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet Franc and 2% Malbec, fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine aged 18 months in 50% new French oak barrique. 18.5+/20 Jul 2017 RRP $44.99

Paritua ’21.12’ Hawke’s Bay 2013

Blended Red from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

Impenetrable black-red colour with purple hues, youthful in appearance. The nose is rich with near opulently ripe, firm and deeply concentrated aromas of blackberry and blackcurrant fruit with black plums and spicy, pencilly oak. This has density with finesse and youthful vitality. Full-bodied, the palate possesses very rich and vibrant , lusciously ripe fruit flavours of blackberries entwined with soft notes of blackcurrants and black plums with nuances of cassis liqueur, The fruit is vigorous and near robust, and enlivened by fresh acidity, and supported by considerable fine-grained tannin extraction and structure. This has great drive and power with some alcohol warmth just noticeable. The palate has textural balance, the fruit prevailing, carrying with great energy to a rich, long, sustained finish of sweetly ripe black fruits and exotic oak. This is a rich, ripe, fulsome and vigorous Cabernet Sauvignon blend with sweet black fruit of a fully structured palate with underlying power, that retains a degree of finesse. Match with game meat dishes over the next10-15 years. The Paritua flagship wine. A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, fermented to 15.0% alc., the wine aged up to 20 month in 50% new French oak barriques. 19.0/20 Jul 2017 RRP $119.99
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