Waitapu Estate 2012 and 2013 Reds from Northland

11-Jun-2014
The far north is one of the more challenging regions to grow wine in New Zealand, with rainfall and humidity increasing the threat of disease. The Waitapu Estate operation of Eric and Sandra Shackleton is the result of determination and perseverance with their 4.85 ha vineyard at Ahipara, near Kaitaia. The wines have been fulsome, robust and flavoursome, with Pinotage, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Tempranillo and Sangiovese promising very interesting wine. The most recent vintages have seen an increasing degree of elegance and a greater focus on the fruit expression as they become more familiar with the vines, vineyard and climate. Here I review three new releases from the recent 2013 vintage and the difficult 2012 harvest. My impression is that the wines in general look particularly attractive in their youth. With these new releases comes the implementation of more defined labelling: the ‘Puriri Ridge’ tier being the most affordable, the ‘Reef View’ as the estate range (replacing ‘Reef Point’ as a name), and the limited release ‘Intrepid’ tier. www.waitapuestate.co.nz

FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW

  • Waitapu Estate ‘Reef View’ Pinotage 2012
  • Waitapu Estate ‘Intrepid’ Pinotage/Tempranillo 2012
  • Waitapu Estate ‘Intrepid’ Syrah/Tempranillo 2013

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