Reviews our current releases

We enjoy reading Raymond Chan Wine Reviews by Candice Chow. Candice has extensive wine knowledge through her many years of working in the hospitality industry. She beautifully grasps the complimentary interaction between wine and food in a wonderfully creative way.

Candice’s reviews will entice you to be adventurous and send your tastebuds on a quest to discover something new. Her ability to describe the wine is to the point and food matching suggestions (hmmm 💭, haven’t thought of this pairing) are sometimes thought-provoking. Hopefully, you find reading Candice’s reviews as appealing as our wines - Salut.

Here is a link to all of reviews Candice Chow.

Hawkshead Wine Range

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.

750ml Sold out - but we do have four limited edition 2019 First Vines Magnums, donated by HAWKSHEAD to the NZ Nature Fund available. Labeled with a Huia drawing and signed by Hannah Shand. Details on our website or contact for more details. 

Hawkshead Central Otago Pinot Noir 2020
19/20 pts (95 pts) Gold Medal, Perfect to Outstanding

Deep ruby-red with a black core, moderate transparency, slightly lighter edged. The nose is softly full, with deep aromas of forest floor, entwined with wild thyme built on cherries, blackberries and mushroom, barrel spices unfold. Medium-full bodied, cherries and blackberries have a bright core, enriched by wild thyme, forest floor and mushroom savouriness, unveiling black pepper and nutmeg spices lend a long finish.

The mouthfeel is silky; fine-grained tannin extraction provides a light grip, smooth flowing, lacy acidity harmonised the savoury elements. This is a harmonious Pinot Noir with elegance, strength and savoury features. Match with roasted duck and pork roast over the next 5-7 years. Fruit sourced from Gibbston 40%, Alexandra 60%. Handpicked, fermented with 30% whole bunch to 13% alc, post-ferment maceration for 26 days, aged in French oak barriques for 10 months, 15% new oak. 

Hawkshead Pinot Noir Rosé 2021, Gibbston Single Vineyard 
18.5/20 pts (93 pts) Gold Medal, Perfect to Outstanding

Bright, berry red colour with depth, even colour throughout. The nose is full and savoury, greeted with pine, thyme flower, a pepper dusting, underlying redcurrant, cherry and blood orange. Medium-bodied, the wine has a broody, mealy tone, dry to taste; aromas of red cherry, red currant, blood orange melded with a fine dusting of black pepper, unveiling pine, thyme flower and rose. Vibrant acidity provides good energy and freshness. Savoury phenolics contribute to a light grip, add a mealy desire.

This is a savoury Rosé with vibrant acidity, succulent fruit and a herbaceous, mealy palate. Match with beef carpaccio and lamb's fry with red wine sauce over the next 3-4 years. 100% Pinot Noir fruit from Gibbston, handpicked, destemmed, 3 days on skins, indigenous yeast fermentation, 13% alc, 2 g/l RS, rested on lees for 4 months in 15% older French oak barriques and 85% stainless steel.

Hawkshead Pinot Rosé

Hawkshead Pinot Gris 2021, Central Otago 
18.5/20 pts (93 pts) Gold Medal, Perfect to Outstanding 

Bright, even pale yellow. The wine possesses clean and pure, soft aromas of lemon balm, Nashi pear, opening up to quince paste and honeysuckle. Medium-bodied, dry to taste, good concentration and weight on the palate, very crisp fruit aromas of Nashi pear, lemon balm and quince melded with ginger and verbena, lily and honeysuckle linger and growing in depth.

Balance and gentle acidity is integrated, unfolding a hint of grapefruit pith. The flavours are harmonious with richness and depth. Match with pulled pork and gyoza over the next 3-5 years. Fruit from 45% Gibbston 55% Cromwell Basin, fermented with 80% indigenous yeast and 20% inoculated to 13.5% alc, 1 g/l RS. Rested on lees for 4 months, 20% older French oak barrique & 80% stainless steel.

Hawkshead Pinot Blanc 2021, Central Otago 
18.5+/20 pts (94 pts) Gold Medal, Perfect to Outstanding 

Bright, even, pale yellow. The wine has soft aromas with richness and spice, nuances of bee pollen carried by lemon, lemon zest and pear, honeysuckle and a hint of white pepper. The aromas are slowly growing in volume. Medium-full bodied, dry-ish to taste, a citrus core of lemon, grapefruit zest melded with pear and honeysuckle, bee pollen enriched the palate, subtle lifting of white pepper linger on the closing. The wine has focus and concentration, integrated harmoniously.

The feature of the wine is its texture; delicate, fine-textured phenolics provide a light grip, appear almost unctuous; citrus and pollen persist, endure an enticing, thirst-quenching lemon honey tea aftertaste. This is a textural Pinot Blanc with a citrus core, pollen and white spice, harmonious and lingering. Match with pan-fried whole sole and macaroni & cheese over the next 6+ years. Fruit from Cromwell Basin, whole bunch pressed, wild-fermented in stainless steel to 13%, 8 g/l RS., rested on lees for 4 months. Vegan friendly. 

Hawkshead Riesling 2021, Central Otago
19/20 pts (95 pts) Gold Medal, Perfect to Outstanding

Bright, even, pale yellow, youthful. The soft is gently full with a depth of aromas; honey nuance melded with white floral, underlying stonefruit, melon, lemon and a hint of mandarine zest. Medium-bodied, dry-ish to taste, concentrated aromas of stonefruit, honeydew melon, entwined with lemon and pith, honey and an amalgam of white blossom. The flavours are harmonious and well-proportioned, elegantly concentrated.

Very fine-textured phenolics coated the palate in silk; a zesty acid line balanced and drew a lengthy finish. This is a smooth, harmonious flavoured Riesling with charm and a fine-textured mouthfeel, perfectly in balance. Match with clams in miso butter and lemon & herb sausages over the next 8 years. Fruit from Cromwell Basin, whole bunch pressed, wild-fermented cool in stainless steel to 12% alc, 7 g/l RS, rested on lees for 4 months. Vegan friendly. 

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