Featured Reviews




Pask Gimblett Gravels and ‘Declaration’ Chardonnay, Syrah and Bordeaux Variety Releases

03 November,2017
Pask is one of Hawke’s Bay’s significant wine producers, with Chris Pask the pioneer planting vines in the Gimblett Gravels in 1981, releasing the first Pask wines from the 1985 vintage. Pask has grown considerably and now has 60 ha of vines producing the classical Hawke’s Bay styles with Chardonnay, the Bordeaux varieties and Syrah, as well of a strong selection of other varieties. The premium ‘Gimblett Gravels; tier has the flagship ‘Declaration’ releases, and a number of ‘Small Batch’ limited release wines in support, as well as the secondary ‘Kate Radburnd’ brand. The ‘Declaration’ wines have proven to be very successful, winning many top awards both in New Zealand and internationally.

There have been some recent changes at Pask. Kate Radburnd, a director and chief winemaker for over 25 years left earlier this year to pursue her own label. This is as a number of other high profile Hawke’s Bay winemakers have done. And there has been a formalising of the Pask collaboration with that of Jackson Estate in Marlborough in a merger. With Wellington financier John Benton having majority ownership in Pask and full ownership of Jackson Estate, they now both come under the Benton Family Wine Group. The very experienced winemaker Jeff Clarke has been appointed as the Group’s head winemaker. Here, I review the new ‘Gimblett Gravels’ and ‘Declaration’ release of Chardonnay, Syrah and Bordeaux-varieties. www.pask.co.nz

FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW



Pask Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2015

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

18.5/20
Full, bright golden-yellow colour with some depth, lighter on the edge. The nose is fresh with vibrant fruit aromas of ripe yellow stonefruits and citrus fruit harmoniously melded with mealy notes, creamy barrel-ferment and spicy, nutty oak, the aromatics building to show good depth and growing in richness. Medium-bodied, the palate has good depth and well-concentrated flavours of ripe white and yellow stonefruits and citrus fruit, with soft mealy notes, light creamy barrel-ferment and nutty oak, balanced by fresh, lacy acidity. The palate has plenty of energy and flows along a fine, smooth-textured line, leading to a lingering finish of citrus fruit, nutty lees and oak. This is a vibrant and rich, stonefruit and citrus fruited Chardonnay with light barrel-ferment creaminess and nutty oak on a fresh, fine-flowing palate. Match with seafood, poultry and pork dishes over the next 4 years. Fruit predominantly from the ‘Settlement 1’ vineyard, fully barrel-fermented to 12.5% alc., the wine aged 10 months in seasoned French oak barrels and puncheons. 125 dozen made. 18.5/20 Nov 2017 RRP $22.00

Pask Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2016

Syrah from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

17+/20
Even dark ruby-red colour with youthful purple hues, lighter on the rim. The nose is elegant and aromatic with good depth of ripe blackberry and dark raspberry fruit entwined with white and black pepper, violet florals and subtle notes of dark herbs. Medium-bodied, the palate is bright and vibrant with flavours of dark raspberries intermixed with dark herbs, white and black pepper, and nuances of red florals. The mouthfeel is lively and refreshing with fresh acidity along with fine, grainy tannin structure, lending supple textures. The flavours carry with good linearity to a lingering finish of raspberries, herbs and pepper. This is a bright, lively dark raspberry and herb-fruited Syrah with pepper and floral notes of a refreshing, acid driven palate with supple tannin grip. Match with Middle Eastern and Mediterranean fare over the next 3 years. Fruit from the Gimblett Road vineyard, fermented to 12.5% alc., the wine aged 12 months in seasoned French oak. 400 dozen made. 17.0+/20 Nov 2017 RRP $22.00

Pask Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Cabernet/Merlot/Malbec 2014

Blended Red from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

17/20
Even, dark ruby-red colour with youthful purple hues, lighter on the edge, youthful in appearance. The nose is fresh and lively with aromas of blackcurrant fruit intermingling with dark herbs and cassis liqueur, along with leafy notes and dark-red florals. Medium-bodied, the palate has intense and well-concentrated flavours of blackcurrants and cassis, along with mint herb and leafy elements. The flavours form a good core with linearity, and the mouthfeel has bright acidity enlivening the fruit and palate, with grainy tannins in support. The fruit has drive, leading to a long, lingering finish of blackcurrants, dark herbs and leafy notes. This is a bright and lively Cabernet/Merlot-based blend with fresh blackcurrant, herb and leafy flavours on a bright palate with acid energy and a grainy tannin structure. Match with herb-marinated lamb and beef dishes over the next 5+ years. A blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot and 6% Malbec, fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 14 months in seasoned French oak. 1,050 dozen made. 17.0/20 Nov 2017 RRP $22.00

Pask ‘Declaration’ Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2015

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

19/20
Bright golden-yellow colour with some depth, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is full and deeply concentrated with well-packed and integrated aromas of ripe yellow stonefruits and citrus fruits, creamy barrel-ferment, and layers of spicy and nutty oak, with smoke, providing complexing detail. The aromatics are harmoniously presented, but still appears brooding. Medium-full bodied, the palate has rich, deep and well-concentrated flavours of ripe citrus fruit and stonefruits, harmoniously entwined with mealy notes, creamy barrel-ferment, nutty lees and aromatic oak complexities. The flavours unfold in layers to fill the mouth, the palate possessing fresh acidity lending balance and drive. The wine carries along a fine-textured line, leading to a very long and sustained finish of citrus fruit, nuts and oak. This is a rich, concentrated, mouthfilling and complex-layered Chardonnay with citrus fruits, creamy and nutty oak, on a fine-textured palate. Match with rich and creamy seafood, poultry and roast pork over the next 5+ years. Mendoza clone fruit from the ‘Settlement 1’ vineyard, indigenous yeast fermented in French oak puncheons to 12.5% alc., the wine aged 11 months on lees in 78% new puncheons, undergoing batonnage. 19.0/20 Nov 2017 RRP $40.00

Pask ‘Declaration’ Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2014

Syrah from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

19-/20
Full, very dark, deep, black and purple-hued ruby red colour, youthful in appearance. The nose is powerful and deeply concentrated with aromas of ripe, black-berried fruit entwined with a layer of iron-earth minerals, unfolding nuances of Asian spices, black pepper, dark-red and violet floral nuances. Medium-full bodied, the palate has deep and well-concentrated rich fruit flavours of ripe blackberries melded with iron-earth notes, along with a subtle layer of black pepper, spices and minerals. The palate is fulsome with considerable weight, presence and power, and the fruit is framed fine-grained, flowery tannin structure. The wine has good drive, carrying to a long finish with black fruits and earthy elements. This is a powerful and deeply concentrated Syrah with black fruits, iron-earth and mineral flavours and a fine-grained structure. Match with slow-cooked game meat dishes and casseroles over the next 7-9 years. Fruit from the ‘Watercourse’ and ‘Settlement 2’ blocks, fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine spending approx. 2 weeks on skins poste ferment, and aged 16 months in 80% new French oak. 240 dozen made. 19.0-/20 Nov 2017 RRP $50.00

Pask ‘Declaration’ Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2013

Merlot from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

18.5/20
Very dark, deep, black-hued ruby-red colour with youthful purple hues, a little lighter on the rim. The bouquet is soft and subtly voluminous, the aromatics somewhat restrained in expression, but with good vinous presence. Ripe aromas of black plums and blackberry fruit unfold with richness, along with spicy oak notes and complexing iron-earth detail. Medium-full bodied, the palate has lively and vibrantly sweet flavours of black plums, blackberries and redcurrants, forming an elegantly concentrated core. The palate features plenty of fine-grained tannin extraction and grip, with soft, ripe acidity lending good energy and drive. The flavours are soft in expression, gently filling the palate, carrying to an elegant finish. This is a rich and lively Merlot with flavours of ripe black plums, blackberries and redcurrants on a well-structured palate. Serve with lamb, beef and venison, and with semi-hard cheeses over the next 8-10+ years. Gimblett Gravels fruit fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 18 months in approx. 80% new French oak. 236 dozen made. 18.5/20 Nov 2017 RRP $50.00
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