Michael Cooper Wine Reviews

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Reserve Gewurztraminer 2018

Already lovely, the 2018 vintage (5*) is a medium style (15.4 grams/litre residual sugar), handled without oak. Bright, light lemon/green, it is weighty, rich, ripe and rounded, with substantial body, concentrated, peachy, slightly spicy, vaguely gingery flavours, showing excellent delicacy and harmony, and a soft, long finish. Drink now or cellar.

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Reserve Chardonnay 2018

The powerful young 2018 vintage (4.5*) was fermented in French oak barrels (35 per cent new oak), with a strong, softening malolactic fermentation influence. Bright, light yellow/green, it is mouthfilling, sweet-fruited and smooth, with rich, peachy, slightly toasty flavours, showing very good complexity, balanced acidity and obvious cellaring potential; best drinking 2021+.

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Late Harvest Gewurztraminer 2017

Ready to roll, the highly expressive 2017 vintage (4.5*) is a gold/amber wine, handled without oak. It has a honeyed, gently spicy bouquet, leading into a rich wine with concentrated peach, apricot and honey flavours, a slightly oily texture and a sweet (122 grams/litre residual sugar), finely balanced finish. Fine value.

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Viognier 2018

The 2018 vintage (4.5*) is a great buy. Fully barrel-fermented, it is a fragrant, generous, strongly varietal wine, with substantial body. Sweet-fruited and finely textured, it has ripe, stonefruit flavours, gently seasoned with toasty oak, fresh acidity, and a smooth, dryish (5 grams/litre residual sugar), well-rounded finish.

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Gewurztraminer 2018

Bargain-priced, the 2018 vintage (4.5*) is a weighty, medium style (17.5 grams/litre of residual sugar), handled without oak. Bright, light lemon/green, it is a perfumed, softly mouthfilling wine with rich stonefruit and spice flavours, slightly gingery notes, gentle acidity and loads of drink-young appeal.

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2018

Offering good value, the 2018 vintage (4*) was estate-grown and fermented and matured in predominantly French oak barrels (28 per cent new). Bright, light yellow/green, it is a full-bodied, generous, creamy-textured wine, with strong, ripe stonefruit flavours, showing considerable complexity, and a harmonious, well-rounded finish.