Featured Reviews

Petane Station 2017 Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Viognier and Chardonnay, and 2015 Merlot

26 March,2018

Philip and Sarah Barber established Petane Station to produce premium single vineyard wines in Hawke’s Bay, releasing their first wines in 2011. Purchasing established Eskdale vineyards, they have extended the plantings so that there are 8 ha of vines over 5 blocks. Pinot Gris is the variety most planted along with smaller amounts of Gewurztraminer, Viognier and Chardonnay. To make red wines, the Barbers source fruit from other districts. The Barbers tend to the viticulture, and have had Ant Mackenzie as their consultant winemaker using the Askerne facilities for vinification, and the Unison winery for bottling. Hayden Penny will be assuming the main winemaking role from the 2018 vintage. To date the wines have been received very positively, with a number of top awards. It’d a trend I see increasing. Here, I review the new 2017 Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Viognier and Chardonnay, and the 2015 Merlot. www.petanestation.co.nz


Petane Station Esk Valley Hawke’s Bay Pinot Gris 2017

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Bright golden-yellow colour with some depth, a little lighter on the edge. The nose is softly fresh with gentle depth and concentration of ripe yellow stonefruits along with nuances of nuts, unfolding floral elements. Dryish to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has a gently rich heart of ripe yellow stonefruits entwined with honied notes and hints of musk, along with a floral and nutty amalgam. The mouthfeel is smooth with some unctuousness and fine, balanced acidity. This has good drive and linearity and carries to a lingering stonefruited finish. This is a gently rich and concentrated dryish Pinot Gris with ripe stonefruit flavours with honied elements on a smooth-flowing palate. Match with Asian fare over the next 3-4 years. Hand-picked fruit over two tries, with 2-3% botrytis, WBP and two-thirds tank-fermented with one-third in barrel, partially by indigenous yeasts to 12.76% alc. and 6.0 g/L RS. 18.0+/20 Mar 2018 RRP $27.00

Petane Station Esk Valley Hawke’s Bay Gewurztraminer 2017

Gewurztraminer from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Bright, even, light golden-yellow colour, a little paler on the rim. The nose has full, voluminous and up-front aromas of rose-petals and Turkish Delight along with subtle spice and honied notes. The aromatics build to form a firm heart unfolding nuances of steely minerals. Off-dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate has open and accessible flavours of tropical fruits and Turkish Delight, exotic florals, along with nuances of honey, spice and musk. The flavours blossom to become mouthfilling and lie on a soft-textured palate with gentle acidity. This has an elegant core that carries to a long and sustained finish. This is an openly accessible dryish Gewurztraminer with Turkish Delight, rose-petal and honied flavours on a mouthfilling palate. Match with Middle Eastern fare over the next 3+ years. Hand-picked fruit with approx. 10% botrytis, fermented in stainless-steel to 13.73% alc. and 5.95 g/L RS. 18.5/20 Mar 2018 RRP $36.00

Petane Station Esk Valley Hawke’s Bay Viognier 2017

Viognier from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Bright, light straw-yellow colour with slight lemon-green hues, pale edged. The nose is elegantly concentrated with well-proportioned aromas and good depth of exotic white and yellow stonefruits melded with creamy barrel-ferment, and nutty, spicy oak, unfolding floral, citrus blossom and apricot elements. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has an amalgam of exotic stonefruits and apricots along with tropical fruits, entwined with nutty, creamy and spicy oak. The mouthfeel is rounded and deep with concentration, and the wine flows smoothly. The crisp acidity providing energy, leading to an elegant finish of exotic fruits oand spicy oak. This medium-bodied Viognier has exotic fruit and apricot flavours melded with spicy, creamy and nutty oak on a smooth-textured palate. Serve with mildly spicy foods over the next 3+ years. Hand-picked fruit, WBP and fully barrel-fermented with full solids to 13.26% alc. and 1.03 g/L RS, the wine aged 8 months in 50% new oak with some batonnage. 18.0+/20 Mar 2018 RRP $32.00

Petane Station Esk Valley Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2017

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Bright straw-yellow colour with some depth, lighter on the rim. This has a finely presented nose with tightly bound aromas of white and yellow stonefruit melded with complex nutty oak and subtle creamy barrel-ferment elements, and some oxidative detail adding interest. The nose unveils spicy oak and shows with a fresh, firm and youthful steeliness. Medium-bodied, the palate is tightly concentrated with flavours of white stonefruits intermingling with creamy barrel-ferment and nutty oak, with hints of oxidative complexities. The fruit forms a good core and flows along a very fine-textured line with balanced acid freshness, carrying to a light, nuanced finish. This is a tightly bound Chardonnay with complex flavours of stonefruits, nutty oak and oxidative detail on a fine-textured palate. Match with grilled and roasted pork over the next 4+ years. Equal proportions of clones 548 and 95, the wine fully barrel-fermented to 13.15% alc., the wine aged 8 months in 20% new oak, the wine undergoing batonnage and partial MLF. 18.0/20 Mar 2018 RRP $30.00

Petane Station Esk Valley Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2015

Merlot from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Dark, deep ruby-red colour with black hues, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is elegant in proportion, and soft and refined in presentation with a finely concentrated core of ripe, dark-red berry and black plum fruit along with dark-red floral fragrances, and a subtle line of blackcurrants and herbs. A little nutty oak unfolds with aeration. Medium-full bodied, the palate has stylishly restrained flavours of dark-red and black berried fruits, along with spiced plums and fragrant oak, unveiling hints of blackcurrants. The fruit grows in sweetness and richness, and is enlivened by lacy acidity with supporting fine-grained tannin structure. The wine has linearity and leads to a fresh, bright finish. This is an elegant, gently sweet and rich fruited Merlot with fragrant and lively dark-red berry and black plum fruit with currant notes on a fine-structured palate. Match with lamb, beef and venison dishes over the next 6 years. A blend of 88% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Sauvignon from the ‘Lyons’ vineyard, Bridge Pa, hand-picked and fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine aged 18 months in 30% new French oak. 18.0/20 Mar 2018 RRP $30.00

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