Raymond Chan Wine Reviews by Candice Chow

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.

Hawkshead First Vines Pinot Noir 2019, Central Otago
19.5/20 pts (98 pts) Gold Medal, Perfect to Outstanding

Bright, moderate ruby-red, slightly lighter edged. The bouquet is soft with intensity and layers, fragrant nuances of rosehips, thyme melded with red berries, cherries, along with spice, forest floor and subtle earth. Medium-light bodied, very elegantly presented, red berries and cherries are vibrant, enlivened by well-proportioned layers of spices, herbs and earth to linearity. The wine has poise and structure, silky tannin and creamy palate extended a fine-textured mouthfeel; delicate spices adorn and enliven senses, along with lacy acidity provides a vibrant drive and vitality. This is an elegant ballet dancer with delicate details and poised structure, possesses a multi-layer of finesse. Will benefit from further ageing, match with foie gras stuffed pigeon and black truffle risotto over the next 8-10+ years. Fruit sourced from Gibbston, clones 114 (62%), Abel (25%) and 667 (12.5%), handpicked, fermented with 38% whole bunches, 26 days skin contact, early MLF, 13% alc. Then aged in French oak barrels for 10 months (50% new oak), no fining.

Sold out - but we do have a 2013 First Vines Pinot Noir available 

Hawkshead Private Blend 2019, Central Otago
18.5/20 pts (93 pts) Gold Medal, Perfect to Outstanding

Moderate ruby-red, youthful, lighter on the rim. The nose is soft and fragranced, slowly penetrating nuances of rich floral, sweet red cherries, pomegranate, intermix earth, subtle spices and a hint of game. Medium-light bodied, a very delicate and creamy mouthfeel filled with aromas of red cherries, pomegranate persists with dusty cinnamon and pepper; subtle earth and a hint of game enriched the palate. Supple and ethereal silky tannin gilded through the palate with mouthwatering acidity, linger to an elegant, spice-filled closing. This is a youthful, sleek Pinot Noir with red fruit and delicate details, will benefit from short term ageing in the bottle. Match with pork belly and tuna steak over the next 5-7 years. Fruit sourced from 52% Gibbston, 26% Cromwell Basin, 22% Alexandra; clones 114 (2%), Abel (50%) and 667 (48%), handpicked, 26 days skin contact, early MLF, 12.5% alc. Then aged in French oak barrels for 10 months (15.5% new oak), no fining.  Apr 2021

Try today at : Umu Restaurant, Wellington 

Hawkshead Rosé 2020, Central Otago
18.5/20 pts (92 pts) Gold Medal, Perfect to Outstanding

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.

Sold out - but our NV Rosé is still available

Try today at : Searchlight Brewery, Queenstown

Hawkshead Pinot Gris 2020, Central Otago - Top 6 Pinot Gris 2020
19/20 pts (95 pts) Gold Medal, Perfect to Outstanding 

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.

Try today at : Rascals Wine Bar, Christchurch

Hawkshead Pinot Blanc 2020, Central Otago 
18.5/20 pts (94 pts) Gold Medal, Perfect to Outstanding 

Bright, pale yellow, even colour throughout. The nose is elegantly presented, aromas of peaches and apricots underlined citrus melded with subtle floral and minerals. Medium-bodied, dry-ish to taste, aromas of lemon, peach, apricot has crunchy freshness, interweave subtle white blossoms. Sweetness on the wine is well-balanced to the lively acidity and integrated. The fruit has purity, supported by lacy acidity; the palate has a fine-textured mineral flow and creamy lees details, carries the purity of fruit and subtle nutty nuances to an elegantly fresh finish to linearity. Match with prawn & pork summer rolls and Chawanmushi over the next 4-5 years. Handpicked Pinot Blanc from Gibbston 64% and Cromwell Basin 36%, whole bunch pressed, fermented in stainless steel and older French oak barriques (17.5%) to 13% alc, 8 g/l RS. Rested on its lees for 4 months. Dec 2020 

Try today at : The Winery, Queenstown

Hawkshead Riesling 2020, Central Otago
18.5/20 pts (92 pts) Gold Medal, Perfect to Outstanding

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.

Try today at : Eichardts Bar, Queenstown 

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