Writing in honour, tasting to serve...
The fantastic wine reviews of Raymond Chan live on under the hand and guidance of Queenstown based Candice Chow.
Brilliant, bright straw-yellow with some depth and slight lime hue, even colour throughout. The nose is soft and pretty, slowly growing in volume, nuances of green apple, pear entwine honeysuckle and subtle warming spices. Medium-bodied, dry to taste, the palate is unctuous and bright, flavours of green apple, pear accompanied by sun-dried apricot. Pretty fragrances of honeysuckle interweave delicate spices, leaves a tingle sensation on the palate. The fruit ripeness is just right with brilliant concentration underlined lacy acidity, provide freshness, carry mineral crunch through the palate, lifted spices linger on a long and elegant closing. This is an elegant, dry Pinot Gris with superb balance, showing aromas of apricots and tree fruit, subtle honeysuckle and warming spices on an unctuous mouthfeel. Match with pulled pork and siu mai over the next 3-5 years. Fruit from 36% Gibbston and 64% Lowburn. Handpicked, whole bunch pressed, fermented 90% in stainless steel and 10% in older barrels to 13.5% alc, 2 g/l RS. Aged on lees for 4 months.
19/20 pts (95 pots) Oct 2020 RRP $32
Hawkshead Riesling 2020, Central Otago
Bright, straw-yellow with some depth, lighter edged. The nose is presented elegantly, bright with gentle nuances of white floral and citrus, underlying honey, beeswax and stonefruit. Medium-bodied, dry-ish to taste, a taut core of lemon, lime, tangerine with its zest; intermix with lime flower and honey. Subtle white pepper and minerals unfold as it lingers to a crisp, citrus-fruited finish. Some residual sugar sweetness rounds the mouthfeel, balances the taut, mouthwatering acid. Citrus zest and a light phenolic grip bound stony minerals and crunchy acidity to a lengthy, dry finish. This is a citrusy Riesling with charming details and tension, presented with a rounded mouthfeel and dry, lengthy finish. Match with seafood and chicken katsu over the next 3-5 years. Fruit from Lowburn, handpicked, whole bunch pressed, 12 hours on skins. Fermented 97% in stainless steel, 3% in older oak barrels to 13% alc, 7 g/l RS. Rested on lees for 3 months.
18.5/20 pts (93 pts) Oct 2020 RRP $32
Hawkshead Rosé 2020, Central Otago
Bright, coral-pink with some depth, lighter edged. The bouquet is bright, fresh aromas of raspberries, watermelon melded with rosemary and spice. Medium-bodied, dry to taste, succulent raspberries and lime are mouthwateringly fresh, along with watermelon, mingle with rosemary and spice. The palate possesses a chewy, fine-textured phenolic grip, underlines lively acidity flow with vibrancy and vitality. This is a vibrant Pinot Noir rosé with succulent flavours of raspberries, watermelon, rosemary herb and spice with a dry, crisp finish. Match with venison salami and beef tataki over the next 2-3 year. Handpicked 100% Pinot Noir, destemmed, on skins for 2 days. Fermented in 80% stainless steel tanks, 20% older French oak barrels to 13% alc, 2 g/l RS. Rested on lees for 4 months.
18.5-/20 pts (92 pts) Oct 2020 RRP $32
Hawkshead Pinot Noir 2019, Central Otago
Deep, medium luminous ruby-red, faintly lighter on the rim. The nose is elegant and charming with fragrances of red florals, red cherries, red currants, melded with herbaceous wild thyme, forest floor and a red liquorice undertone. Medium-bodied, aromas of red cherries, red currants and violet, interweaved thyme, forest floor and savoury charm. The fruit is with concentration, ripe and lush with plenty of acidities to provide freshness and longevity. The mouthfeel is velvety and elegant, on a fine-grained tannin texture line and lacy acidity drive, lingering to a sustained finish. This is a charming and elegant Pinot Noir with the Gibbston sub-region subtleties, assembled by aromas of red fruit, florals, herbaceous and forest floor details. Match with game fowls and mushrooms over the next 4-6 years. 100% fruit from Gibbston. Fermented to 12.5% alc, 20% whole bunches. Aged in French oak barrels for 10 months, 15.5% new. 668 cases produced.
19/20 pts Aug 2020 RRP $44
Hawkshead First Vines Pinot Noir 2018, Central Otago
Deep, ruby-red with a black hue, youthful, lighter on edge. The nose is gently full with aromas of red cherries, raspberries, violet, along with dark herbs, wet leaves and a hint of gamey note. Medium-full bodied, dry, nuances of violet slightly dried, dark herbs, wet leaves melded with black cherries, black raspberries, unfolding liquorice roots and subtle spices as it aerated. The fruit is dense with richness, enlivened by the dark herbs and wet leaves complexing characters. Velvety, fine-grained tannin extraction very elegant in weight and framed an excellent structure for this opulent Pinot Noir with elegance and complexity. Match with game and wild boar over the next 6-8 years. 100% fruit from Gibbston. Fermented to 13.5% alc, 55% whole-bunches. Aged in French oak barrels for 8 months, 27.5% new. 188 cases produced.
19/20 pts Aug 2020 RRP$65