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Featured Reviews

Spade Oak ‘Voysey’ Le Champ and 2017 Chardonnay, and 2016 ‘HOG’ St Laurent and Tempranillo, and 2016 ‘The Prospect’ Chardonnay

04 January,2018

Steve Voysey is a Gisborne winemaker who likes to get down to the fine detail to ensure that Voysey family Spade Oak wines are subtly complex, but balanced to show the style and characteristics he thinks are ideal for drinking. A lot of thought into consistent and sustained vineyard sources to complement the Voysey’s home site is just as important as the vinification techniques and blending that Steve is renowned for. His approach with two 2016 ‘ has earned him a multitude of accolades for the wines he has made in the past, and this continues with Spade Oak. Here, I review two new ‘Voysey’ range releases, along with two 2016 ‘Heart of Gold’ reds, plus the new 2016 ‘The Prospect’ Chardonnay made in conjunction with Indevin, where Steve consults. Steve notes that 2016 is a better vintage than 2017, but reckons the Gisborne region fared well in the latter year due to a very good start resulting in good ripeness.


Spade Oak ‘Voysey’ ‘Le Champ NV

Sparkling Wine from New Zealand - North Island


Even straw-yellow colour with some depth and slight golden hues, the bubbles very fine and moderately persistent. The nose is fresh with good volume of white stonefruits and white florals, along with very finely expressed bready-yeasty autolysis. This is clear and clean with lovely finesse. Dryish to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has a rich and positive core of white stonefruits and white florals entwined with fresh and clear yeasty-bready autolysis. The mouthfeel is crisp and refreshing with thirst-quenching, lacy acidity. The wine flows with good tension and energy along a very fine line, leading to a refined and precise, delicately nuanced finish. This is a refined method traditionnelle with white stonefruit and floral flavours on a palate with clarity, precision and refined autolysis. Serve as an aperitif over the next 2-3 years. as the The second bottling, identifiable by the back label with "Chardonnay and a touch of Muscat”. A blend of 92% Chardonnay, Gisborne fruit from the 2016 vintage, with 8% white Muscat as reserve wine added at dosage, bottle fermented to 12.0% alc., the base wine undergoing MLF and aged one year on lees, dosage to 15 g/L RS. Labelled as ‘New Zealand’ wine and ‘NV’ to represent the style rather than region or vintage. 18.5-/20 Jan 2018 RRP $19.95

Golden yellow colour with some depth and slight orange hues, lighter on the rim. The bubbles are very fine and moderately persistent. The bouquet is softly full with good depth and concentration of citrus and yellow stonefruit aromas complexed by a layering of nutty, aldehyde and oxidative elements in an amalgam of yeasty lees. Off-dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is soft-textured with a light creaminess from the effervescence which carries a soft core of yellow stonefruits and citrus fruits, entwined with nutty and yeasty notes, and subtle aldehyde elements. The palate flows along a soft and fine-textured line with gentle acidity providing a fresh mouthfeel. The wine carries to a gentle finish of citrus fruits and nuts. This is a complex sparkling wine with flavours of yellow stonefruits, nuts and yeast, and nuances of aldehyde on a creamy, soft-textured palate. Serve with canapes, tapas and antipasto over the next 2-3 years. A blend of 46% Chardonnay, 39% Pinot Noir, 12% Muscat and 3% Pinot Meunier, the fruit 85% from Gisborne and the remainder from Hawke’s Bay, all of the fruit from 2014. Undergoing the Charmat method, to 12.0% alc. and 10 g/L RS, 88% undergoing MLF (not the Muscat), the wine spending 6 months on lees with a tirage of 30 days. 17.5+/20 Apr 2017 RRP $19.95

Disclaimer: This wine is distributed by ‘Wine2Trade’, the company under which ‘Raymond Chan Wine Reviews’ operates

Spade Oak ‘Voysey’ Gisborne Chardonnay 2017

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Gisborne


Bright straw-yellow colour with light golden hues, a little paler on edge. The nose is moderately full with fresh, deep aromas of white and yellow stonefruits with savoury stonefruit pith at the core along with a subtle layering of lifted and nutty oak notes unfolding with breadth. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has vibrantly rich flavours of yellow stonefruits, citrus fruits and harmoniously melded sweetly fragrant and nutty oak notes that grow in depth and breadth. The mouthfeel is fresh and bright, with balanced, lacy acidity and the wine blossoms as it flows along a fine, crisp line, leading to a lingering finish. This is a vibrant and rich stonefruited and nutty Chardonnay with a bright and fresh mouthfeel, blossoming as it flows. Match with seafood, poultry and pork over the next 3+ years. Indevin sourced fruit, 38% clone 548 from Ormond, 25% clone 15 from an ex-‘Saints’ vineyard, 10% Muscat clone 809, blended with mixed clones Mendoza, 95 and 6, and 10% indigenous yeast barrel-fermented Viognier from the ‘Spade Oak’ vineyard. The wine 85% tank-fermented and 15% in seasoned oak to 13.0% alc., the wine given 4 months oak contact equivalent to 25% new, with 8 months aging on lees and 70% MLF. 17.5+/20 Jan 2018 RRP $19.95

Disclaimer: This wine is distributed by ‘Wine2Trade’, the company under which ‘Raymond Chan Wine Reviews’ operates

Spade Oak ‘Heart of Gold’ Gisborne St Laurent 2016

Other Red from New Zealand – Gisborne


Moderately deep, dark ruby-red colour with slight purple hues, a little lighter on the rim and youthful in appearance. The nose is softly full and gently concentrated with savoury aromas of ripe dark-red berry fruit with a layering if dark herbs, earth, game and spices providing complexing detail. Medium-bodied, the palate is softly full with rich, savoury flavours of ripe, dark-red and black berry fruits with game, dark herbs and earthy notes. The flavours show a good degree of complexing interest. The mouthfeel features the luscious fruit with fine-grained tannin extraction and fine structure, along with acid freshness and liveliness. The wine carries to a sweet and savoury flavoured finish. This is a rich and lush St Laurent with dark-red and black berried fruits with complexing savouriness on a fine-textured, lively palate. Match with Middle Eastern and Mediterranean fare over the next 4+ years. 94% St Laurent fruit from the ‘Spade Oak’ vineyard with 6% Wairarapa Pinot Noir, fully destemmed and indigenous yeast fermented to 12.5% alc., the wine aged 10 months and 25% new French oak puncheons with oak inserts equivalent to 50% new oak. 17.5+/20 Jan 2018 RRP $24.95

Disclaimer: This wine is distributed by ‘Wine2Trade’, the company under which ‘Raymond Chan Wine Reviews’ operates

Spade Oak ‘Heart of Gold’ Gisborne Tempranillo 2016

Tempranillo from New Zealand – Gisborne


Full, even, dark ruby-red colour with slight garnet hues. The nose is fragrant with bright, aromatic dark raspberry and dark-red cherry fruit along with a fine amalgam of red florals melded with earthy notes, unfolding spice nuances. Medium-bodied, the palate has bright and lively vibrantly aromatic fruit flavours of dark-red berry and cherry fruit along with suggestions of raspberries, lifted red florals and subtle nutty oak. The mouthfeel is elegantly poised and finely concentrated with supple tannin extraction and lively acidity. The wine has good energy and freshness, and carries to a bright, juicy finish. This is a bright, juicy and vibrant Tempranillo with red cherry, berry and raspberry fruit with lifted florals on a supple, lively palate. Serve with antipasto and tapas over the next 4 years. 90% Tempranillo with 10% Syrah from the ‘Spade Oak’ vineyard, indigenous yeast fermented to 12.5% alc., the wine aged 10 months seasoned oak with oak insert equivalent to 50% new oak. 18.0-/20 Jan 2018 RRP $24.95

Disclaimer: This wine is distributed by ‘Wine2Trade’, the company under which ‘Raymond Chan Wine Reviews’ operates

The Prospect Ormond Gisborne Chardonnay 2016

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Gisborne


Full, light golden-yellow colour with some depth, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is elegantly concentrated with aromas of ripe yellow stonefruits, peaches and citrus fruits harmoniously integrated with creamy barrel-ferment, and nutty lees and oak detail, unveiling a little lemon-curd and butterscotch MLF. This has lovely richness and depth. Medium-full bodied, the palate has intensely deep and well-concentrated flavours of ripe yellow stonefruits, peaches and melons, and citrus fruits, along with tropical fruit nuances. The fruit is melded with a layering of creamy barrel-ferment and nutty oak, and buttery MLF. The flavours carry with good energy and drive with some underlying power along a very fine-textured line enlivened by fresh acidity, to a sustained citrussy and nutty finish. This is a rich, deep Chardonnay with up-front stonefruit and citrus fruit flavours along with creamy and nutty oak and an integrated layering of MLF. Match with roasted pork and veal dishes over the next+ years. Hand-picked Mendoza and clone 95 fruit from ‘Ashwood Estate’, vines 10 y.o. on average, WBP and 50% indigenous yeast fermented with full solids to 13.5% alc., the wine aged11 months in 25% new French oak and 60% MLF. 18.5+/20 Jan 2018 RRP $27.00

Disclaimer: This wine is distributed by ‘Wine2Trade’, the company under which ‘Raymond Chan Wine Reviews’ operates

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