Oak Estate wines reviewed - Chardonnay, Rosé, Viognier, Merlot & Syrah

Oak Estate Rosé 2018 Hawkes Bay

From Pinot Noir fruit grown in the Mararkakaho area of Hawkes Bay - this wine offers a bouquet of sweet cherry and strawberry, ripe red apple and raspberry candy. Fruity, forward and obvious. On the palate - just dry and quite fruity with flavours that match the bouquet, refreshing acidity, light+ weight, balanced and well made, a nice wine. Drink now and through 2019 to early 2020 - with or without food.

88 Points

Oak Estate Pinot Gris 2018 Hawkes Bay

Varietal and familiar bouquet of Gris with ripe yellow apple and pear aromas, a touch of white pepper spice and loads of Asian pear. Fresh, creamy, moderately spiced and fruity on the palate. Flavours reflect the nose. Some warming alcohol takes me to Calvados - briefly then back home to the Bay. Plenty of weight with a satin texture and moderate finish. Drink now and through 2020.

87 Points

Oak Estate Home Block Chardonnay 2017 Hawkes Bay

No mistaking the aromas of Chardonnay with this example - creamy, vanilla and yellow stone fruits, some banana and tropical fruit moments, even a little butter and chew nut oak. Dry on the palate with more intensity than the nose suggests - bigger and richer flavours of oak and wood spice, more baked stone fruit flavours and baking spice. Creamy-ish texture and moderate+ length. Well made. drink now and through 2022.

89 Points

Oak Estate Viognier 2016 Hawkes Bay

Slightly tired bouquet of white wine with a touch of bruised apple before the white apricot and peach aromas of Viognier emerge. Dry on the palate with decent weight and acidity adding freshness and enhancing the flavours described above. Moderate length. Drink now and through 2019 - perhaps with naturally salty food such as capers and olive fettuccine.

80 Points

Oak Estate Merlot 2016 Hawkes Bay

Really nice varietal lift to the bouquet with plums and dark berries then baking spices, violets and wood tones, overall attractive and enticing. Dry, fruity and weighty on the palate with flavours of dark berries and spices, medium+ tannins and plenty of acidity. Nice wine with many food friendly attributes, stand alone drinkability and flavours that will please many Merlot fans. Well made. Drink now and through 2022.

89 Points

Oak Estate Syrah 2016 Hawkes Bay

Plenty of Hawkes Bay warm climate and meaty Syrah aromas in this example. Spicy aged meats, pepper and dark berries, dark cherry and black currant. The use of oak adds complexity and depth to the bouquet overall. Dry on the palate with contrasting fruit core, pepper and dark cherry, raspberry and meaty moments. Fine tannins and balanced acid line. Well made and drinking well now. Best enjoyed today and through 2022.

89 Points

Best to know that Oak Estate wines are not vegan friendly

Cameron Douglas
Peregrine Pinot Gris and Rose reviewed

Peregrine Pinot Gris 2018 Central Otago

What’s really nice about the bouquet of this wine is floral spice and fruit harmonies - I like all of them equally and at the same time. Jasmine and white rose, sweet red apple and bosc pear then a crush stone minerality. On the palate - just dry with a whisper of residual sweetness, satin texture, medium+ acidity and gentle white pepper spice layer. The flavours of spice, fruit and flowers all return on the palate with equal force. Lengthy finish, balanced and well made. Drink now and through 2021.

91 Points

Peregrine Pinot Noir Rosé 2018 Central Otago

Plush, fruity and quite floral with aromas and flavours of rose and [real] Turkish delight, Champagne cherries and white raspberry. Silky and just creamy feel on the palate with contrasting acidity fills the palate with texture and highlighting flavours of light red fruit. A very fine fruit tannin note and refreshing balanced finish. Lots to like, uber food friendly, and easy to enjoy. Drink now and through 2020. Vegan friendly.

89 Points

Cameron Douglas
Misha's Vineyard

Misha’s Vineyard Cantata Pinot Noir 2017 Central Otago

A captivating bouquet of Pinot with aromas of light red fruits, wild thyme, baking spices, mild toasty oak and with a distinctive energy. Youthful on the palate with acidity and fine tannins slightly ahead of the core of light of light red berry fruits, especially cherry then red apple and dried raspberry finishing with whispers of wild thyme and stony soil flavours. With a lengthy and dry finish and just medium weight this wine is perfect for lighter main course dishes or cheese. Decant for service through 2019 with best drinking 2020 through 2026.

92 Points

Cameron Douglas
The Hay Paddock

The Hay Paddock chardonnay 2015 New Zealand

A fruity bouquet at first with yellow peach and nectarine aromas followed by a calm scent of vanilla and lees. A very light nutty quality comes next. On the palate the wine is dry, fruity, creamy and soft. Medium acidity and fairly weighty creamy texture. Balanced, simple and well made. Drink now and through 2020.

85 Points

Cameron Douglas
NEW! Villa Maria Platinum selection Tasted

Villa Maria Platinum Sauvignon Blanc Sur Lie 2018 Marlborough

Softer more complex bouquet of Sauvignon Blanc with aromas of ripe yellow fruits, sweet red apple, a white flower moment and gentle aged on lees derived apple pie suggestion. Tasty, textured, crisp and just dry on the palate. Flavours of lemon and grapefruit emerge alongside some red apple, peach and dried pineapple. Plenty of acidity, some spice and generous weight equal a very desirable flavour and texture profile. Totally drinkable today and through 2022.

92 Points

Villa Maria Platinum Selection Pinot Gris Sur Lie 2018 Marlborough

Creamy, soft and gentle bouquet of Gris with aromas of fresh and poached pear, some apple and white peach. A touch of spice adds depth and complexity. There’s no mistaking the full, rich and spicy layers on the palate. Lush and just dry, warm and generous - dare I say it - quite Alsace like in flavour, richness and and texture. Lovely lengthy finish, persistent and flavoursome Drink now and through 2021.

92 Points

Villa Maria Platinum Selection Chardonnay Sur Lie 2017 Hawkes Bay

rather nice bouquet of Chardonnay with scents of vanilla and wood spice, ripe apple and yellow stone fruits, baked cashew and baking spice. Dry, nutty, spicy and fruity on the palate with flavours that reflect the nose, medium+ body with silky almost creamy texture. Plenty of acidity and freshness. A charming and immediately enjoyable example. Drink now and through 2022.

90 Points

Villa Maria Platinum Selection Organic Pinot Noir Rosé 2018 Marlborough

Fresh, plush and fruity bouquet with aromas of red apple and strawberry, whispers of peach and red plum, some light red cherry. A suggestion of clay pot earthiness adds depth and intrigue. Dry on the palate with a core of fruitiness, a little spice and warmth then red fruit flavours, very fine fruit tannins and balanced finish. Nice wine and worthy of your attention. Drink now and through 2020.

89 Points

Villa Maria Platinum Selection Organic Pinot Noir 2017 Marlborough

Ripe light red fruit aromas deliver freshness, ripeness and power on the nose. Suggestions of raspberry and red currant, cherry and red apple. Some gentle wood spices emerge as the wine relaxes in glass - with a moderate toasty signature . Dry on the palate with plenty of fruit at the core. The youthful fresh and vibrant side of the wine shows with vibrant yet fine tannins, some toasty wood and brown spice moments, gently warming alcohol and fruit-led finish. Balanced and well made. Lots to like and enjoy. Drink now and through 2024.

92 Points

Cameron Douglas
Catalina Sounds

Catalina Sounds ‘Sound of White’ Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2017 Marlborough

Plush, fruity and alluring bouquet of fresh peach, apple and tropical fruits, a layer of sweet grapefruit and lemon grass. Dry on the palate with a silky texture and core of fruit flavours to reflect the bouquet plus a layer of herbaceousness and white spice. Well made, lengthy and immediately enjoyable example. Drink now and through 2021.

91 Points

Cameron Douglas
Yealands Estate

Yealands Estate M2 Organic Single Block Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Wairau Valley Marlborough

Plush, fruity and vibrant varietal bouquet showing off aromas of sweet hay and grass, green bell-pepper and grapefruit, peach and apple. Equally fresh and fruity on the palate with a distinctive and vibrant texture, no mistaking the acidity and core of fruit to match. Dried herb, herbal, citrus and vegetal flavours add depth and contrast. Dry finish, balanced and well made. Drink today and through 2022.

90 Point

Cameron Douglas
Mahi

Mahi Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Marlborough

Vibrant, intense, spicy, fruity and complex attack with aromas of lemon and sweet hay, fresh bell-pepper, a creamy barrel ferment layer, golden kiwi and gooseberry. All these ideas turn into flavours on the palate emphasised by acidity, barrel spice, warming alcohol and a core of varietal lusciousness. Lengthy finish, great balance and immediate appeal. Drink now and through 2023.

94 Points

Cameron Douglas
Pegasus Bay

Pegasus Bay ‘Virtuoso’ Chardonnay 2016 Waipara North Canterbury

Bold, complex and alluring bouquet with strong statements of oak, toasty wood spices , cashew and brazil nut, baked yellow stone fruits, burnt butter and heirloom grapefruit. Complex, youthful and rich. On the palate - dry and packed with flavours suggested by the nose - grapefruit, yellow stone-fruits, nut and a whisper of banana. Full-bodies, lengthy and persistent finish. Youthful with plenty of acidity and some wood tannins. Lots to like with this example, decant for service with best drinking from today and through 2026.

95 Points

Cameron Douglas
Catalina Sounds

Catalina Sounds ‘Sound of White SV Chardonnay 2017 Marlborough

Attractive familiar bouquet of an oaked Chardonnay with aromas of nutty cashew and vanilla wood scents then apple, peach and ripe grapefruit. enticing complexity. Dry on the palate with flavours that reflect the nose showing a youthful tension and bite from medium+ acidity and toasty, nutty wood tones. Some very fine wood tannins add to the structure and finish which is ultimately youthful and calm, smooth and lengthy. Well made, best drinking from mid 2019 through 2025.

91 Points

Cameron Douglas
Gimblett Gravels 2016 Annual Vintage Selection

Released for tasting late November 2018

Five wines under Screwtop, One under Diam and  six under Natural Cork

Craggy Range SV Syrah 2016 GG Hawkes Bay

Dark ruby and crimson hues. Sweet and ripe dark cherry then raspberry, dry stone mineral core, some suggestions of violets and sweet flowers, varietal, distinctive and enticing bouquet overall. Youthful textures on the palate with an abundance of fine dusty tannins, some chalky moments, plenty of acidity too – all contrasted by the core of red berry fruit flavours, clove and vanilla spiced oak and a lengthy persistent finish. Moderate+ weight, drinkable today – perhaps best from late 2020 through 2028.

95 Points

 

Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Syrah 2016 GG Hawkes Bay

Very dark ruby and purple core with a crimson and pink rim. Complex and alluring bouquet with a tense, poised and fruity core. There’s no mistaking the attention to detail with the bouquet showing off layers of spice, cherry, red apple, raspberry, dusty clove and vanilla. Dry on the palate with there’s a lot of youthful tension with a definitive impact of tannin and acidity, but contrasted by the flavours of red berry fruits, pepper and sweet oak. Opened too soon this wine needs more cellar time to harmonise the various elements and collective attributes. Long detailed finish, a wine that will reward those who can wait. Best drinking from 2022 through 2032.

97 Points

 

Vidal Legacy Syrah 2016 GG Hawkes Bay

Purple and ruby with a purple, crimson and pink rim. Distinctive, complex and youthful bouquet with quite urgent and competing aromas of raspberries and plums, blackcurrants and blue fruits. There’s also plenty of new(ish) oak scents with fresh toasty spices, but also a distinctive varietal peppery frame. Vibrant, textured, youthful and fruity core on the palate. Flavours do reflect the nose, firm tannins and higher acidity need time to settle in and when they do this wine will be incredible. A lengthy and complex and detailed wine with flavours that reflect the nose. Best from 2022 through 2032.

96 Points

 


 Sacred Hill Deer Stalkers Syrah 2016 GG Hawkes Bay

Very dark ruby and purple core with a ruby rim. Aromas of dark berries and pepper spices, vanilla and sweet clove. Additional aromas of blue fruits and a hint of new leather, baking spices and violets. Dry, nice core of fruit, lots of energy and texture on the palate with chalky tannins and plenty of acidity. Flavours reflect the nose. Complex, steely and haunting finish. A wine destined to age well. Best drinking 2022 through 2030.

95 Points

 

Saint Clair Family Estate Cabernet Merlot Malbec 2016 GG Hawkes Bay

Dark purple and ruby core with a pinkish rim. Aromas of toasty smoky oak then dark red berry fruits, some floral highlights then blackberry, sweet dark plum, sweet tobacco and bell-pepper. Dry, mealy, toasty and fruity on the palate. Fine tannins and medium+ acidity. A totally enjoyable wine with both immediate drinkability and cellar time available. Lengthy finish with a core of fruit then oak and toasty wood layers. Best from early 2020 through 2028.

94 Points

 

Vidal Legacy Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2016 GG Hawkes Bay

Ruby and purple core with pink and purple highlights. Distinct, ripe and masculine core with an herbaceous, dark berries and plum drive. As the wine opens up  sweet oak spices, vanilla and violets begin to emerge. Complex, youthful and powerful on the palate with an abundance of tannins and acidity, contrasting ripe fruit flavours and textures. A very lengthy and fine finish. A wine that will age significantly and reward those who can wait. Best drinking from 2024 through 2034.

97 Points

 

Babich Irongate Cabernet Merlot franc 2016 GG Hawkes Bay

Dark ruby core with bright purple and ruby rim. Lovely bouquet lifted aromatics highlighting violets and sweet red berry fruits, plums, soft tobacco, hay, a hint of leather and sweet red bell-pepper. Textured firm(ish) and dry on the palate with flavours that match the nose, firm tannins and plenty of acidity, quite complex and lengthy on the finish. A complete wine with some cellar time ahead. Decant for service with best drinking from 2022 through 2030.

94 Points

 

Babich The Patriarch Merlot Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 GG Hawkes Bay

Dark purple core, pink, purple and ruby rime, very bright. Complex, fruity and alluring bouquet with aromas of plum and blackberry fruits, an abundance of new toasty wood showing of clove and vanilla spices, some bacon and oak sweetness. Noticeably dry on the palate, but with a core of fruit, high acidity and firm youthful tannins it is easy to see how this wine will settle ang age well for some time. Flavours are bold and expressive, earthy, woody, toasty, fruity and textured. Lengthy finish. Best from 2023 through 2033.

96 Points

 

Sacred Hill Helmsman Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc 2016 GG Hawkes Bay

Dark purple and ruby core with a ruby pink rim. Complex and beguiling bouquet with aromas of sweet blackberry fruits, olive and baked bell-pepper; violets and sweet wood. Calm yet persistent bouquet. Dry, firm and complex on the palate. Very youthful with firm tannins, high acidity and punchy fruit flavours with tobacco, wood and a sweet vegetal note. Very long finish, youthful and cellar time required. Best from 2024 through 2034.

97 Points

 

Stonecroft Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 GG Hawkes Bay

Dark purple and ruby core through to the rim where it turns pink. Very youthful and fruity bouquet with aromas of blackberry and marmite, Doris plum jam and an abundance of wood smells – cloves, vanilla and other baking spices. Firm, dry, bold and concentrated on the palate with loads of dark berry flavours, plums and dark cherry. No mistaking the impact of oak, tannins and acidity. A wine that needs a lot more cellar time to integrate and meld. Lovely lengthy and promising finish, complex and delicious. Best from 2024 through 2034.

96 Points

 

Mission Estate Jewelstone Antoine Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot 2016 GG Hawkes Bay

A very enticing and attractive bouquet with layers of dark red berry fruits, sweet oak and oak spices, tobacco, dark rose and violets. Complex and tasty on the palate with fine mealy tannins and youthful acid line, some warming alcohol highlights ripe berry fruit flavours reflective of the nose. Long and flavourful finish ticking all the boxes of complexity, youthfulness, flavour and promise. Still requires some cellar time. Best from 2023 through 2030.

95 Points

 

Craggy Range Sophia Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Fran 2016 GG Hawkes Bay

Dark purple then dark ruby core, ruby at the rim. Complex, floral, fruity, toasty and oaky. A bold bouquet with enticing aromas of plums and blackberries, fresh new oak, raw brown sugar, crushed roses and violets. Dry and firm on the palate, but also fruity with flavours that reflect the nose. Chalky fruit tannins, firm toasty oak tannins, medium+ acidity with additional flavours of olive and hay. Long finish. Very young still so hide at the back of the cellar please. Best from 2024 through 2034.

97 Points

Cameron Douglas
Moss Wood

Moss Wood Wilyabrup Amy’s Cabernet/Merlot/Malbec/Petit Verdot 2017 Margaret River

Lovely bouquet, quite calm. Aromas of violets and dark cherry, blackberry and sweet olive, some plum and milk chocolate. Fresh, fruity, youthful and dry on the palate with flavours reflective of the nose, fine to firm tannins and equalising acidity. Balanced and well made. Can continue to cellar for a while with best drinking from now and through 2026.

92 Points

Cameron Douglas
Moss Wood

Moss Wood Wilyabrup Ribbon Vale Merlot 2016 Margaret River

An enticing almost sweet bouquet of red berry fruits and plums, darkish toasty oak spices and woody core. Overall an harmonious and inviting nose of red wine. As the wine opens up it becomes more floral and elegant. Dry on the palate with a very youthful core emphasised by abundant acidity and tannin. Fruit and oak flavours reflect the nose with and overall medium+ complexity. Lengthy finish. Decant for service with best drinking from 2022 through 2032.

93 Points

Cameron Douglas
Soma Cellars

Soma Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 Napa Valley, California

Deep ruby core of colour with a crimson, ruby and pink(ish) rim. Aromas are distinctive, concentrated and forward with suggestions of blackberry and Doris plum, clove and baking spices, smoky bacon oak layer and soft brown sugar sweetness. On the palate - youthful, firm and dry with flavours of dark berries and plums, toasty smoky oak, firm tannins, medium acidity and warming alcohol. All working in harmony and leading to a lengthy finish. Youthful still so if you have some in cellar - leave it there. Looking best from 2022 through 2032.

95 Points

Cameron Douglas
Craft Farm

Craft Farm Syrah 2016 Hawkes Bay

by Ant MacKenzie Wines - A bouquet loaded with aromas of sun-warmed raspberries and plum, blackcurrant and blue fruits. The pepper signature of Syrah is noticed though not strong showing off some aromas of violets and clove. Dry, warm and textured on the palate with firm tannins and plenty of acidity, flavours reflect cherry and raspberry the most. Again - a mild pepperyness and floral layer. Well made, drinkable today and through 2022.

92 Points

Cameron Douglas
Craft farm

Craft Farm Pinot Noir 2017 Martinborough

by Ant MacKenzie Wines - Aromas and flavours of Pinot Noir with cherry and apple, strawberry and baking spices. Dry on the palate with medium tannins - offering youthful chalky textures, plenty of fruit and acidity adding structure, texture and tension. Overall a lovely wine, still young and needing food or cellar time (or both). Best from late 2020 through 2026.

94 Points

Cameron Douglas
Craft Farm

Craft Farm Chardonnay 2017 Hawkes Bay

by Ant MacKenzie Wines - there’s no mistaking the power and impact of oak and fruit in the bouquet with aromas of vanilla and baked custard, sweet peach and oak. Dry, youthfully firm with mild tannin and acid impact - both will settle over the next 1-2 years. Flavours of stone fruits and citrus , a lengthy finish and well made. Quite young still so some cellar time a good idea. Best from mid 2020 through 2026.

92 Points

Cameron Douglas
Theory & Practice

Theory & Practice Pinot Gris 2018 Hawkes Bay

Distinctive and attractive bouquet of Gris with aromas of wild flowers and quince, ripe bosc pear and apple, some baked. A light spice layer adding complexity. Lush, rounded palate texture with medium acidity, flavours of orchard fruits and spice, some citrus peel and palate tension adding poise ans charm. Balanced and well made. drink now and through 2021.

94 Points

Cameron Douglas
O:TU

O:TU Chardonnay 2018 Hawkes Bay

A very familiar bouquet of chardonnay with aromas of apple and custard, banana and vanilla, peach and a simple woody/oak layer. Just dry on the palate with a creamy texture and flavours of vanilla and tropical fruit, peach and apple. Balanced and well made, ready to enjoy. Drink now and through 2020.

86 Points

Cameron Douglas
O:TU

O:TU Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Marlborough

Pungent, fruity, herbaceous and high volume aromas. Crisp, dry, fruity and powerful with loads of zesty almost spicy fruit and fresh herb flavours, grassy and crisp. Ready to enjoy from today and through 2020.

90 Points

Cameron Douglas