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Featured Reviews

te Pa 2016 Chardonnay and Pa Road 2015 Pinot Noir

12 June,2017
te Pa and Pa Road are the premium and secondary brands of the MacDonald family who are based on the Wairau Bar of Marlborough. The family has over 150 ha of vines there and has vines in other districts of Marlborough. The MacDonalds have been assertive and bold in their marketing of the wines which have seen an increased presence and availability for the consumer. The marketing has been backed up with wine quality, and both the te Pa and Pa Road wines have achieved success on the show circuit and in judgings. This is an indication of the focus of winemaker Sam Bennett and the experience of Liam McElhinney who oversees the production, as well as the fruit quality. I’ve found the wines true to variety, and that sophisticated inputs are employed in the more serious bottlings. The MacDonald family are going places. Here, I review the new release 2016 te Pa Chardonnay and 2015 Pa Road Pinot Noir.


te Pa Marlborough Chardonnay 2016

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Marlborough

Bright, even straw-yellow colour with pale green-gold hues, lighter on the edge. The nose is very finely concentrated with aromas of ripe white and yellow stonefruits with citrus fruit entwined with gunflinty mineral reduction, nuances of herbs, soft creamy barrel-ferment elements and nutty, toasty oak. Medium-full bodied, the palate has an elegantly concentrated core of sweetly ripe and lush white stonefruits and citrus fruits, melded with a layer of complexing gunflint reduction. The palate is enriched by creamy barrel-ferment and nutty oak notes. The flavours show good intensity and depth, with fresh, lacy acidity balancing the fruit richness. The wine flows along a fine-textured phenolic line, leading to a long, zesty, citrussy finish. This is an elegantly concentrated, intensely flavoured Chardonnay with stonefruit and citrus fruit flavours complexed by flint and nutty notes on a fresh palate. Match with grilled seafood, poultry and pork dishes over the next 4 years. Clone 15 fruit from Brancott Road in the Southern Valleys, hand-picked and WBP, and fully indigenous yeast barrel-fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 11 months on lees in 30% new French oak, with approx. 50% MLF. 18.5/20 Jun 2017 RRP $29.99

Pa Road Marlborough Pinot Noir 2015

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Marlborough

Ruby-red colour with some depth and lighter garnet hues on the rim. The nose is soft and gently full with a rounded core of savoury dark-red berry fruit harmoniously entwined with notes of dark herbs, a little liquorice and earthy detail. Medium-full bodied, the palate is sweet and juicy with flavours of dark-red berry and cherry fruit with some savoury nutty and dark herb detail adding interest. The mouthfeel is fresh with good acidity and the fruit is underlined by light, grainy tannin extraction and structure. The wine carries with soft energy and drive, unfolding subtle earthy notes, leading to a soft, sustained finish of savoury red fruits and herbs. This is a juicy and sweet-fruited Pinot Noir with savoury cherry and berry fruit with subtle herb and earthy notes on a fresh, grainy structured palate. Serve with wild duck and pork dishes over the next 4 years. Clones 10/5, 115 and 667 from Omaka North, Southern Valleys, indigenous yeast fermented with approx. 5% whole bunches to 14.0% alc., the wine spending 2 weeks on skins post ferment and aged in a mix of French oak and stainless-steel barrels. 17.5/20 Jun 2017 RRP $19.99
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