Te Kano, Maori for seed, celebrates the lone surviving Kowhai tree affectionately known as ‘Old Man Kowhai’ on the Northburn slopes above Lake Dunstan — on land Te Kano Estate calls home.
Proprietor Rhonda Lloyd fell in love with the land and lifestyle of Central Otago. Invested three vineyards in the region, all under the careful guidance of Estate Manager Nick Hunter - 'Jerome' Vineyard located in Paterson Road, Bannockburn, 'Eliza' Vineyard located in Felton Road, Bannockburn, both named after beloved family members. The Northburn site was purchased in 2015, planted in 2015-2019. Dave Sutton is a fun character, who manages their winemaking and is also the General Manager.
In a short period of time, they have established themselves to produce sublime quality wines. Here, I review their current releases.
FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW
Te Kano Pinot Gris 2019, Central OtagoPinot Gris from New Zealand - OtagoReview Date : 10-Jul-2020Bright, even, light yellow with a golden hue. The nose is youthful and fresh, with aromas of pear and apple, citrus, melded with white florals, light honey and fine dusty pollen. Medium-bodied, dry to taste, the palate is delicate and elegant with Nashi pear, apple, citrus notes of lemons and grapefruit; enlivened by vibrant white florals, subtle ginger and a light honey tone. The fruit on the palate is just ripe and fresh, pure with lightness; balanced by refreshing acidity. The slightly oily texture flows along smoothly, carries the aromas of white floral, honey and ginger to an elegant finish. This is a gently plush Pinot Gris with juicy and refreshing fruit flavours, combined with delicate florals, ginger and honey on an oily textural palate. Match with chicken with light curry and meaty whitefish over the next 3-4 years. Handpicked, whole bunch pressed to stainless steel tanks, fermented to 13.5% alc, 6.2 g/l RS. A short period of lees contact. 18.5/20 pts July 2020 RRP $27
Te Kano Blanc de Noir 2019, Central OtagoRosé from New Zealand - OtagoReview Date : 10-Jul-2020Bright, light rose-gold, even colour throughout. The nose is youthful and radiant with aromas of rose petals, fresh strawberries, white peaches and a subtle note of white pepper. Light-bodied, dry to taste, the palate has an elegant core fragrance of white florals, melded with citrus flavours of grapefruit, lemon and zest, raspberries, strawberries, along with white pepper and crunchy minerals. The acidity is lively and focused, flows along with crunchy minerals; the texture is soft, carries a light note of yoghurt, contributed to the mid-palate. The fruit is fresh and fragranced with concentration and depth; lightweight on the palate brighten by the acidity, leaves a refreshing finish. This is a refreshing and vibrant dry white made from Pinot Noir, with flavours of fragrant petals detail melded with an amalgam of citrus fruit and white pepper. Match with poached shellfish over the next 3 years. 100% Pinot Noir, a mix of clone Able, 115 and 5. Handpicked, whole bunch pressed. Fermented in stainless steel to 14% alc, 2.1 g/l RS. A period of time on light lees. 18/20 pts July 2020 RRP $27
Te Kano Rosé 2019, Central OtagoRosé from New Zealand - OtagoReview Date : 10-Jul-2020Bright, light salmon pink, even throughout. The nose is fresh and poises with aromas of watermelon, citrus fruit, raspberries, along with delicate florals. Medium-light bodied, dry to taste, flavours of watermelon, raspberries, melded with pink grapefruit and zest, weaved with prickly white and black pepper. The palate is smooth-flowing; fresh, lacy acidity with good drive and energy. The fruit is fresh and vibrant carries the wine to a dry finish. This is an elegant dry rosé with flavours of watermelon, pink grapefruit, raspberries and pepper spices on a smooth-flowing palate with lacy acidity. Match with cured dry meat, antipasto platter over the next 2 years. 100% Pinot Noir, a mix of clone Abel, 5, 6 and 113. Handpicked, whole bunch pressed. Fermented in stainless steel to 14% alc, 3.8 g/l RS. 17.5/20 pts July 2020 RRP $27
Te Kano Chardonnay 2018, Central OtagoChardonnay from New Zealand - OtagoReview Date : 10-Jul-2020Bright, even, medium yellow with depth and a golden hue. The nose is gently full with aromas of apricots, peaches and citrus, along with the richness of toasty oak, baking spices and shortbread. Medium-full bodied, with flavours of stonefruit, citrus; entwined with butterscotch, shortbread, toasty oak and subtle ginger. The flavours are voluminous with good concentration; ripened fruit aromas and lively acidity balanced by clever use of oak added body, spices and richness; lingers to a sustained dry finish. This is a harmonious, rich flavoured Chardonnay carries ripened fruit aromas, butterscotch richness with balanced, lively acidity, enlivened by oak spices and toastiness. Match with roasted chicken and pork terrine over the next 3-5 years. 100% Mendoza clone Chardonnay from Jerome Vineyard. Handpicked, whole bunch pressed, fermented in French oak barrels to 14% alc, further aged in barrels for 10 months. Partial MLF. 18.5/20 pt July 2020 RRP $35
Te Kano Pinot Noir 2018, Central OtagoPinot Noir from New Zealand - OtagoReview Date : 10-Jul-2020Bright, light ruby-red colour with depth, slightly lighter on the rim. The nose is elegant with fragrances of lifted florals, red cherries, red berries, along with savoury, earth and iodine. Medium-bodied, the palate is focused with a strong presence of herbs, thyme and spearmint, red fruit of cherries, berries, entwined with savoury, earth and perfume. There is a concentration of fruit weight on the palate, interweaved powdery fine-grained tannins. The acidity is smooth and well-balanced, carries the herbs and fragrance with elegance, flows with delicate spices to linearity. This is an elegantly fragrant Pinot Noir with flavours of red berries and cherries, along with herbs and powdery, fine-grained tannin structure. Match with duck and lamb over the next 5-8 years. 100% Pinot Noir, clones Abel, 115, 777, 667, 943, 6. Handpicked, destemmed, 15% whole bunch. Fermented to 14% alc. Aged 12 months in new and older French oak barriques. 18.5+/20 pts July 2020 RRP $49