Wines of Elephant Hill, Hawke’s Bay

These tasting notes accompany our feature on Hawke’s Bay as part of our New Zealand 2020 series


White Wines

(2020) Salinity, flint and creamy minerality to spare in this lovely Chardonnay, smokiness and a little mint humbug buttery quality. The palate is beautiful, ripe pear and apple, a big thrust of lime and tangerine acidity into a long, balanced finish.
(2020) Majority of the Chardonnay grapes came from the Te Awanga vineyard, with 17% from Bridge Pa. Matured in French oak, 34% new. A little more toastiness and buttery/oatmeally quality than the Reserve, a little Jack Daniels note, there is a fat lemony fruit and acid quality, and the phenolic grip and acid gives it fine presence and length, finishing with spice and nuttiness.
(2020) Inspired by the coastal vineyards of Te Awanga, 50% was fermented in 500-litre oak puncheons and 50% in stainless steel. Peaches and stone fruits, passion fruit and star fruit, talcumy notes and then a big blast of orange and pink grapefruit on the palate with mouth-filling, ripe acidity. Price and stockist quoted are for the previous vintage at time of review.

Red Wines

(2020) Stone, represents the Gimblet Gravels, the source of the fruit for this Syrah, which has a lovely bold and plush appeal, ripe blackcurrant fruit with great juiciness, a hint of floral and peppery lift. Fruit is rich, tannins are silky, and the acidity balanced. Price and stockist quoted are for the previous vintage at time of review.
(2020) From a great vintage, this is 99% Syrah with 1% Viognier, fruit coming from Gimblet Gravels and the coastal Te Awanga vineyards. Creamy ripe black fruit on the nose, though plenty of pepper and spice, a crack of black pepper. The silkiness of the tannins and plush fruit gives a smooth, dense mouthfeel and great presence. Price quoted is for the 2015 vintage at time of review.
(2020) In 2017 this is all Gimblet Gravels fruit, though still with 1% Viognier in the blend. This was a bottled, but pre-release tasting of this vintage. Lifted violet and florals, more than the 2013 in this very young wine, such an intense kirsch-like fruit. On the palate it still has that cherry and red plum succulence, but there is cocoa and smokiness and good balancing acid. Price quoted is for the 2015 vintage at time of review.


Back to Elephant Hill profile in our feature on Hawke’s Bay

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