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Raymond Chan Wine Reviews

http://www.raymondchanwinereviews.co.nz/

The Askerne Vineyard on the Hawke’s Bay coast near Havelock North was established by John and Kathryn Loughlin in 1993. Initially planting 11 ha of white varieties, they expanded with 9 ha of reds in 2000. A steady flow of good wine has resulted since, but I see the Askene label has gone up a notch in quality over the past couple of years. This is due to improvements in the vineyard and winery and the arrival of Ant Mackenzie as winemaker in 2013, as well as Hayden Penny and Ash Hallam coming on board from 2015. The Loughlins, and the vineyard and winemaking team aim to make wine styles that suit what the vineyard provides, and this empathy can be seen in the resulting wines. Here, I review the 2016 Rosé and Pinot Gris, and 2015 Viognier and Cabernet Franc. www.askerne.co.nz

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2017 4 Stars

Bright, light golden-yellow colour with some depth, paler edged. The nose is softly full with moderately deep aromas of yellow stonefruits entwined with notes of flinty, minerally lees and some sweet, nutty oak. Creamy barrel-ferment and savoury mealy layers unfold to add richness. Medium-bodied, the palate is rich and rounded with plush flavours of savoury yellow stonefruits along with mealy notes, subtle creamy barrel-ferment and nutty oak. The flavours are balanced and integrated and show good mouthfeel and presence. Light acidity provides freshness and tension as the wine flows to a soft finish. This is a rich and plush, integrated Chardonnay with stonefruit, nutty and mineral notes with good mouthfeel and weight. Match with roasted pork over the next 4 years. Clones Mendoza, 15, 95 and 6, fully barrel-fermented, partially with indigenous yeasts to 13.0% alc., the wine aged approx. 10 months in 35% new oak, undergoing 100% MLF. 18.0-/20 Jun 2018 RRP $22.90

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Gewurztraminer 2016 5 Stars

Full, even, light golden-hued yellow colour. The nose is softly full and voluminous, with ripe, opulent aromas of tropical fruits along with rose-petals and Turkish Delight, unfolding savoury musk notes, exotic florals and a little root ginger adding interest. Medium in sweetness and medium-full bodied, the palate has deeply rich, opulent and decadent flavours of savoury tropical fruit, musk, wild honey, entwined with rose-petals and Turkish Delight, and a complexing thread of root ginger. The mouthfeel has suggestions of unctuousness and the fruit is underlined by a little alcoholic power. The acidity is soft and enhances the fruit opulence and luscious textures. The fruit carries to a very long, lush finish. This is a rich, lusciously opulent medium Gewurztraminer with ripe tropical fruit, musk and Turkish Delight flavours with notes of honey. Match with mildly spicy Middle Eastern fare over the next 3-4 years. A blend predominantly of clone 1106 and 456 fruit, a late-picked portion of clone 456 indigenous yeast barrel-fermented, the fruit fermented to 14.0% alc. and 11 g/L RS. 19.0-/20 Jun 2018 RRP $22.90

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Gewurztraminer 2015 5 Stars

Bright straw-yellow colour with lemon-gold hues. The nose is fresh and taut with a fine and firm core of exotic florals, rose-petals, citrus fruit, suggestions of herbs and nuts, and a steely edge with mineral nuances. Medium in sweetness and medium-full bodied, the palate has elegantly concentrated and fine heart with soft-textures, showing flavours of rose-petals, exotic florals and citrus fruit, along with refreshing and steely notes of herbs and minerals. The palate possesses richness and a degree of lusciousness, the core unveiling spices and an array of florals. The wine flows smoothly with linearity along a fine-textured line with soft acidity, leading to a lingering finish. This is an elegantly concentrated, rich, medium Gewurztraminer with taut flavours of rose-petals, exotic florals, citrus fruit, herbs and minerals forming a sleek mouthfeel and line. Serve with Asian fare over the next 4 years. Fruit fermented in tank with 15% in barrel to 14.0% alc. and 11 g/L RS. 18.5-/20 Jun 2018 RRP $22.90

Askerne Hawkes Bay Pinot Noir 2017 3 Stars

Garnet-red colour with some depth, lighter on the rim. The nose is soft with gently packed and integrated aromas of savoury berry fruit along with a layering of earth and dried and dark herbs, along with an amalgam of red florals and undergrowth elements. Medium-full bodied, the palate has soft, savoury red berry fruit and dark-red floral lifted fruit harmoniously interwoven with dark and dried herbs, a little earth, some game and nuances of cedar adding detail. The fruit forms a softly concentrated core with good integrated acidity and light, supple tannin extraction. The wine carries to a light finish. This is a soft and harmonious Pinot Noir with savoury red berry and floral fruit with notes of herbs and earth on a supple palate. Match with antipasto and tapas over the next 3 years. Predominantly clones 667 and 777, with Abel, 5 and 10/5, destemmed and indigenous yeast fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 30% new French oak. 16.5/20 Jun 2018 RRP $22.90.

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Pinot Noir 2016 4 Stars

Dark, deep, ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the edge. The nose is fresh and firm with very good depth and concentration of ripe dark-red cherry and berry fruit along with notes of black plums and spices, unfolding some fresh, piquant dark herbs. Some game notes unfold with aeration. Medium-full bodied, the palate has rich and sweet, juicy and vibrant fruit flavours of red berry fruit, dark plums and subtle notes of savoury dark herbs and earth, unfolding spice nuances. The palate is bright and the mouthfeel has good vitality and energy. The fruit is supported by fine-grained tannin extraction with light, lacy acidity providing freshness and energy. The wine carries to a soft, lingering finish. This is a bright and juicy, ripe Pinot Noir with cherry, berry and plum fruit flavours along with dark herbs and earth unfolding floral and spices on a fine-textured palate. Match with lamb, beef and venison over the next 5 years. Predominantly clones 667 and 777, with Abel, 5 and 10/5, destemmed and indigenous yeast fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 30% new French oak. 17.5+/20 Jun 2018 RRP $22.90

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Rose 2017  4 Stars

Bright, peach-pink colour with some depth, lighter on the edge. The nose is softly full with good depth of savoury yellow stonefruits along with quince and cranberry notes and red florals, with suggestions of thirst-quenching minerals. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has bright and vibrant flavours of savoury stonefruits and quince, with cranberries and mineral elements. The fruit has sweetness and juiciness, and the palate flows with good acidity and liveliness along a soft line, leading to a dry finish. This is a dry, savoury stonefruit and quince flavoured Rose, with a fresh, mouthwatering palate. Match with canapes and antipasto over the next 2 years. A blend of 47.5% of tank-fermented Syrah and 47.5% Pinot Noir indigenous yeast fermented in seasoned oak, with 5% saigneed Cabernet Franc, at 13.0% alc. and 5 g/L RS. RRP $22.90

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2016 4 Stars

Dark, deep, ruby-red colour with slight purple hues, a little lighter edged and youthful in appearance. The nose is elegantly presented with fresh, fragrant aromas of dark raspberries and blackberries with notes of black pepper, a little spice and some violet floral elements, unfolding a hint of funky, savoury game. This has good depth and presented harmoniously. Medium-bodied, the palate has sweet, plush and luscious flavours of dark raspberries and blackberries along with black pepper, spices and some game elements. The fruit is underlined by supple, fine-grained tannins and softly fresh acidity lending a moderately fine line with some grip. The wine carries to a taut, lingering finish of blackberries, raspberries, earth and game. This is a sweet and plush Syrah with blackberry and raspberry fruit along with spice, floral and funky game suggestions on a fine palate with some grip, Serve with Mediterranean fare over the next 4+ years. 100% Syrah, fully destemmed, given a cold soak and indigenous yeast fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 18 months in 30% new French oak. 17.5/20 Jun 2018 RRP $22.90

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2015 4 Stars

Full, even, dark, deep ruby-red colour with slight purple hues, a little lighter on the edge. The nose is firm and tightly bound with a core of ripe blackberry fruit along with a complex amalgam of violet florals, black pepper, minerals and tar, along with complexing earthy and reductive elements. This is concentrated, intense and elegant. Medium-full bodied, the palate has a firm and well-bound, well-concentrated palate with flavours of ripe black berried fruits entwined with black pepper and minerals with a little tar and earth. The fruit forms an intensely deep, but elegantly proportioned heart which is supported by fine-grained, flowery tannin extraction with fine acid balance. This has richness, structure and linearity, and carries to a sustained finish of ripe black fruits and minerals. This is a taut and concentrated ripe Syrah with rich fruit, mineral and tar notes on a fine-grained, well-structured palate. Match with lamb, beef and venison over the next 6-8 years. 97.5% Syrah and 2.5% Viognier, hand-picked fruit, destemmed, given a cold soak and indigenous yeast co-fermented to13.0%, the wine aged 18 months in 30% new French oak. 18.0+/20 Jun 2018 RRP $22.90.

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Cabernet Franc 2016 4 Stars 

Dark, deep, even ruby-red colour with black hues at the heart, a little lighter edged. The nose is full and broad with well-packed aromas of savoury dark-red berry fruit and earthy notes along with subtle notes of black and redcurrants. This has depth and density. Medium-full bodied, the palate has a solid but rounded core with flavours of dark-red berry fruit entwined with a layering of soft dark and dried herbs, with earthy elements, unveiling some redcurrant and blackcurrant notes. The fruit sweetness grows as the wine flows. The palate is underlined by fine-grained tannin extraction lending good structure and grip, and the wine flows to a fulsome, broad, savoury finish. This is a well-packed, solid Cabernet Franc with savoury berryfruit melded with herbs and earth on a well-structured palate. Match with casseroles and slow-cooked game meats over the next 5-6 years. A blend of 93% Cabernet Franc and 7% Merlot, indigenous yeast fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 18 months in 38% new oak. 17.5/20RRP $22.90.

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Merlot/ Cabernet Sauvignon/ Cabernet Franc 2016 4 Stars

Dark, deep, ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is very elegant in proportion with intense and vibrant aromas of dark-red berry-fruit and black plums, along with blackcurrants, a little cassis with fresh mint and herb elements. This has fragrance and aromatic lift. Medium-full bodied, the palate is bright and fresh with lively and aromatic fruit flavours of ripe, dark-red berry fruit and black plums, along with notes of earth and blackcurrants, entwined with fresh and dark herbs. The fruit is sweet and lively and is enhanced by fresh lacy acidity and the wine flows along a fine-grained tannin line, leading to a long, lingering finish of sweet blackcurrants, black plums and aromatic herbs. This is a beautifully vibrant and lively Merlot/Cabernet/Franc blend with bright berry fruit and herb notes on a fine-grained palate with freshness. A blend of 65.9% Merlot, 14.6% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12.2% Cabernet Franc and 7.3% Malbec, fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 18 months in approx. 40% new oak. 18.0+/20 Jun 2018 RRP $22.90.

Askerne ‘Reserve’ Hawke’s Bay Merlot/ Cabernet Franc/ Cabernet Sauvignon/ Malbec 2016 5 Stars

Full, even, dark, black-hued ruby-red colour with some purple tints. The nose is deep with concentrated aromas of ripe, dark-red and black-berried fruit along with black plums intermixed with savoury berry fruits, earthy elements and a subtle layering of dark herbs. Full-bodied, the palate has rich and ripe, densely packed flavours of black plums and black berried fruit with a layering of dark herbs and earth. The fruit has sweetness and vitality and is supported by fine-grained tannin extraction lending balanced structure and grip. Fresh acidity lends energy and tension, and the concentrated flavours carry to a sweet, lingering blackcurrant and plum-fruited finish. This is a rich and densely-packed, vibrant Merlot/Franc/Cabernet blend with black fruits and earth on a sweet palate with excellent structure and life. Match with roasted and grilled game meat dishes and semi-hard cheeses over the next 6-8+ years. A blend of 42.8% Merlot, 28.6% Cabernet Franc, and 14.3% each Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec, fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 18 months in 50% new oak. 18.5/20 Jun 2018 RRP $31.90.

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Pinot Gris 2017 4 Stars

Bright pale straw-yellow colour, lighter on the rim. The nose is softly concentrated with aromas of white and yellow stonefruits with subtle notes of yellow florals, hints of honeysuckle and mineral notes. Medium-dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate has elegantly concentrated flavours of white and yellow stonefruits with white florals and honeysuckle, and subtle mineral elements. The mouthfeel features a soft-textured core, with balanced, integrated acidity that carries the wine to a refreshing, light-nuanced finish. This is an elegant, off-dry Pinot Gris with a soft core of yellow stonefruits, florals and honeysuckle on a well-balanced palate. Match with poultry and pork dishes over the next 3 years. Pinot Gris from the Askerne vineyard hand-picked and fermented to 13.5% alc. RRP $22.90

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Semillon 2016 4 Stars

Bright yellow colour with slight lemon-gold hues, paler edged. The nose is gently up-front with good depth of ripe green stonefruit aromas with herbal notes and nuanced of creamy barrel-ferment elements and spicy, nutty oak adding interest. The aromatics are fresh and build in intensity with aeration. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has a finely concentrated heart of green stonefruits and fresh herbs, hints of lanolin and creamy barrel-ferment, along with spicy and nutty oak elements. The palate flows along a fine-textured line, leading to a crisp, clean, stonefruit and herb nuanced finish. This is an elegant Semillon with green stonefruit and herb flavours and subtle creamy, nutty oak notes, with lanolin hints on a fresh palate. Serve with herb-marinated white meat dishes over the next 3 years. Clone 14 Semillon fruit from the upper terrace of the Askerne vineyard, hand-picked and WBP, 55% tank fermented and 45% indigenous yeast fermented in seasoned oak to 12.5% alc., the wine aged 10 months on lees. RRP $22.90

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2016 4 Stars

Bright, light golden-hued straw-yellow colour with some depth, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is moderately full with good depth of ripe yellow stonefruits along with savoury nutty barrel-ferment and oak notes and mealy lees notes. Medium-full bodied, the palate has moderately rich flavours of savoury yellow stonefruits intermingling with nutty oak and mealy lees elements. The mouthfeel is lively with fresh, lacy acidity and the flavours flow with good energy along a light-textured line, leading to a soft finish of savoury fruits and nutty oak. This is a moderately rich and sweet fruited Chardonnay with savoury stonefruit, nutty oak and mealy notes on a lively palate. Match with poultry and pork, and Mediterranean fare over the next 4 years. Clones Mendoza, 15, 95 and 6 from the lower terrace of the Askerne vineyard, barrel-fermented partially with indigenous yeasts to 13.5% alc. The wine is aged 9 months in 25% new French and Hungarian oak with 50% undergoing MLF. RRP $22.90

Askerne Reserve Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2016 5 Stars

Brilliant straw-yellow colour with lemon hues and some depth, lighter edged. The nose is rich and ripe with sweet aromas of yellow stonefruits and citrus fruit melded with creamy barrel-ferment notes and nutty oak, integrated with lemon-curd and buttery MLF nuances, unfolding oak spice. Medium-full bodied, the palate has piquant flavours of yellow stonefruits and citrus fruit, entwined with creamy and nutty oak and buttery MLF complexities. The fruit is rich and enlivened by fresh, lacy acidity lending a bright mouthfeel, and the wine flows along a fine-textured line, leading to a lingering finish of stonefruits and spicy, nutty oak. This is a vibrant and rich stonefruit and citrus fruited Chardonnay with creamy and nutty oak, and MLF complexities on a fresh, fine palate. Match with creamy seafood, poultry and pork dishes over the next 4+ years. A blend of 43% Mendoza, 43% clone 15 and 14% clone 95 fruit from the Askerne lower terrace site, hand-picked, WBP and barrel-fermented partially by indigenous yeasts to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 9 months on lees in 57% new French oak, with 50% undergoing MLF. RRP $31.90

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2014 3 Stars

Dark ruby-red colour with some depth, a little lighter on the edge. The nose is softly full with brackish aromas of dark-red berry fruit entwined with fresh and dark herbs, hints of black pepper intermingling with stalk and earthy notes and a little minerally reduction. The aromatics show with depth and grow in intensity in the glass. Medium-bodied, the palate is elegantly concentrated with flavours of dark-red and black berried fruits along with black pepper and an amalgam of herbs and earth with minerally reduction notes. The fruit sweetness is enhanced by fresh acidity and underlined by fine-grained tannin extraction and grip. The wine carries with good linearity to a lingering, light finish of spices and minerals. This is an elegant Syrah with moderately rich dark-red and black berried fruit, along with pepper, herb, spice and reductive nuances on a lively, fine-textured palate. Serve with Mediterranean and Middle Eastern lamb dishes over the next 4-5 years. Fruit 50% from the lower terrace of the Askerne vineyard and 50% from Bridge Pa, indigenous yeast fermented to 12.5% alc., the wine aged 20 months in 20% new French oak barriques. RRP $22.90

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Noble Semillon 2016 4 Stars

Light golden-yellow colour with some depth, pale on the rim. The nose is softly full with deeply packed aromas of ripe tropical fruits with notes of apricots, honey and marmalade, with nectar elements, unveiling lifted yellow florals and nuances of savoury, nutty oak. Very sweet to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is soft and rich, quite unctuous in texture with a rounded core of ripe tropical fruits, apricots and subtle layers of marmalade and honey. The flavours are a little restrained in expression. The mouthfeel is opulent and smooth, the richness enhanced by soft, low acidity. The wine flows gently to a soft finish. This is a soft, rich and unctuous Noble Semillon with restrained flavours of tropical fruits, apricots marmalade and honey. Serve with baked desserts, and creame caramel over the next 3-4+ years.  A blend of 85% Semillon and 15% Viognier from the Askerne upper terrace vineyard, bunches selected for heavy botrytis infection , hand-picked, foot-stomped and fermented to 11.5% alc. and 126 g/L RS, the wine aged 9 months in 20% new French oak. RRP $31.90

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Dessert Cabernet 2015 4 Stars

Very dark, impenetrable black-red colour with youthful purple hues on the rim. The nose is full, rounded and well-concentrated with deep and dense aromas of ripe blackcurrants and cassis liqueur, dark herbs, and blackberry fruit nuances, harmoniously melded with earthy and black minerals. Sweet to taste and full-bodied, the palate features a deeply concentrated, but rounded heart of ripe blackcurrants, cassis , black plums and blackberries, dark herbs and mineral elements. The mouthfeel is near unctuous, but balanced by clean spirit cut lending power and drive. The tannins are light and finely extracted, and carry the wine to a fine, firm finish of blackcurrants and cassis. Serve with chocolate desserts over the next 4-5 years. Cabernet Sauvignon from the lower terrace of the Askerne vineyard, hand-picked and fermented until the addition of alcohol spirit to reach 16.5% alc. and 70 g/L RS, the wine aged 24 months in seasoned French oak barriques. RRP $22.90

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Reserve Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Franc Malbec 5 Stars

Dark, deep, black-hued ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the rim, youthful in appearance. The nose is softly full and voluminous with well-packed, fragrant aromas of ripe dark-red and black plum fruit, entwined with a harmonious amalgam of blackberries, cassis and spices, unveiling a suggestion of funky game nuances adding to the interest. Medium-full bodied, the palate has sweetly rich and ripe flavours of black plums, blackberries and spices, with liquorice elements. The flavours ae mouthfilling and form a concentrated heart with fine-grained tannin structure. The wine has good energy and linearity, with balanced acidity. The wine carries to a long, fine-textured finish with sweet and spicy black fruit. This is a sweetly rich and ripe Merlot/Cabernet-based blend with flavours of black plums, blackberries, liquorice and spices on a mouthfilling, fine-structured palate. Match with roasted and grilled game meat dishes over the next 7-10 years. A blend of 50% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 12.5% each of Cabernet Franc and Malbec from the lower terrace of the ‘Askerne’ vineyard, fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 14 months in 50% new French oak barriques. 18.5/20 Jul 2017 RRP $30.00

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Viognier 2016 4 Stars

Bright, light golden-hued yellow colour, a little lighter on the edge. This has a gently rich and full nose of ripe apricot fruit along with subtle exotic yellow stonefruit notes, entwined with savoury creamy barrel-ferment and nutty oak notes. Dryish to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate is up-front with sweetly ripe apricot and savoury yellow stonefruit flavours, along with creamy barrel-ferment richness and nutty oak elements. The fruit flavours form a rounded, but concentrated core, underlined by some alcoholic power. The acidity is integrated and the wine carries with freshness and linearity to a long, rich, luscious apricotty and nutty finish. This is an up-front, dryish Viognier with ripe and savoury apricot, stonefruit and creamy, nutty flavours on a rounded core with some alcoholic drive. Match with Asian and Middle Eastern fare over the next 3+ years. Fruit from the lower terraces of the ‘Askerne’ vineyard, hand-picked, WBP and fully barrel-fermented, partially by indigenous yeasts to 14.0% alc. and 5 g/L RS, the wine aged 10 months in 20% new French oak, the majority going through MLF. 17.5+/20 Jul 2017 RRP $22.00

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Rosé 2016 4 Stars

Bright, red cherry-pink colour with some depth, lighter on the rim with some purple hues. The nose is fresh and bright with finely concentrated aromas of redcurrants and cranberries along with subtle notes of red floral and nuances of lifted confectionary elements. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate features gently rich and luscious flavours of redcurrants, cranberries and pomegranate, along with red floral ad raspberry confectionary notes. The mouthfeel is juicy with building mouth-watering acidity. The wine flows with good energy along a very soft, fine-textured line, leading to a moderately fruity and lush, thirst-quenching finish. This is a gently rich-fruited, mouth-watering dry rosé with redcurrant and cranberry flavours. Serve as an aperitif, with antipasto and tapas over the next 2 years. A blend of 73% Syrah and 27% Pinot Noir from the ‘Askerne’ vineyard, the fruit hand-picked and 40% fermented with indigenous yeasts in seasoned oak to 13.0% alc. and 5 g/L RS. 18.0+/20 Jan 2017 RRP $20.00

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Pinot Gris 2016 4 Stars

Bright, even, straw-yellow colour with pale golden hues. The nose is elegantly concentrated with subtly entwined aromas of white and yellow stonefruits, along with exotic yellow florals, nuances of honey and suggestions of mouthwatering minerals. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate is well proportioned and finely presented with stylishly restrained flavours of white and yellow stonefruit intermingling with florals and honeysuckle. The fruit is gently rich but concentrated and unfolds layers of floral detail. The palate has balancing, ripe acidity and the wine carries along a smooth-textured line leading to a lingering finish of stonefruits, florals and honeysuckle. This is a stylish and finely proportioned dry Pinot Gris with subtly rich flavours of stonefruits and honeysuckle, and a smooth flowing palate. Match with poultry and pork dishes over the next 4 years. Fruit from the lower terraces of the ‘Askerne’ vineyard, hand-picked and WBP, fermented primarily in tank to 14.0% alc. and 4 g/L RS. 18.0+/20 Jan 2017 RRP $22.00

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Viognier 2015 5 Stars

Brilliant straw-yellow colour with pale lemon-gold hues, lighter on the rim. The bouquet is full and broad with rich, ripe and deep aromas of apricots, exotic yellow stonefruits and tropical fruits, melded with apricot kernels, and a creamy, nutty barrel-ferment underlay. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate is soft and fulsome with mouthfilling flavours of ripe apricots, yellow stonefruits and tropical fruit, entwined with musk, honey and creamy, nutty oak. Soft acidity adds to the rounded mouthfeel and palate presence, and the softly concentrated core carries seamlessly driven by a little alcohol drive to a long, full finish. This is a rich, mouthfilling Viognier with ripe apricot and exotic fruit flavours melded with creamy barrel ferment notes and textures. Match with Middle Eastern and Asian fare over the next 3-4 years. Low-yield fruit from the ‘Askerne’ lower terraces, hand-picked and WBP, fully barrel-fermented by indigenous yeasts to 14.0% alc. and <1.0 g/L RS, the wine spending 12 months in 20% new French oak. 18.5/20 Jan 2017 RRP $22.00

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Cabernet Franc 2015 4 Stars

Dark ruby-red colour with youthful purple hues. This has a very firm and tightly bound, well-concentrated nose with penetrating aromas of ripe blackcurrant and blackberry fruit entwined with notes of redcurrants, fresh dark herbs a hints of leaf. Medium-full bodied, the palate features a firmly concentrated core of sweet and vibrantly bright blackcurrant and blackberry fruit, along with an amalgam of fresh dark herbs and redcurrants, and leaf elements. The fruit is carried by youthfully firm, but fine-grained tannin extraction and structure, with fresh, lacy, underlying acidity lends energy and drive. The palate has very good linearity, carrying the flavours to a sustained, sweet and aromatic fruit finish with herb nuances emerging. This is a fresh, vibrant, fine and firmly concentrated and structured Cabernet Franc with blackcurrant, blackberry, redcurrant and herb flavours. Match with herb-marinated lamb and beef dishes over the next 6-8 years. 100% Cabernet Franc from the ‘Askerne’ vineyard, indigenous yeast fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 14 months in 15% new French oak. 8 barrels made. 18.0/20 Jan 2017 RRP $22.00

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2014  4 Stars

Bright straw-yellow colour with lemon-gold hues.  This has a fresh and elegant nose featuring yellow stonefruit and citrus fruit aromas, expressed with a steely edge.  Subtle layers of complexity unfold, revealing creamy barrel-ferment and nutty oak notes, harmoniously melded with flinty reduction and butterscotch MLF.  Medium-full bodied, the citrus and stonefruit flavours are restrained, but build in richness forming a concentrated core.  The mouthfeel is fresh and lively with crisp, steely acidity balancing the creamy oak and buttery MLF flavours and textures.  The palate is underlined by good alcohol drive, carrying the flavours to a fine, dry-textured finish with gunflint, oak and butterscotch nuances.  This is a refreshing, stylish Chardonnay with complexing flint and buttery flavours.  Serve with poultry and pork dishes over the next 4+ years.  A blend of Mendoza and clones 15 and 95 fruit from the lower terrace of the ‘Askerne’ vineyard, hand-picked and barrel-fermented to 14.0% alc. and 3.34 g/L RS., the wine aged 9 months in 1-3 y.o. French and Hungarian oak, the wine undergoing batonnage and 100% MLF.  18.0/20  Jan 2015  RRP $22.00

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Gewurztraminer 2013  4 Stars

Bright, pale straw-yellow colour with slight green hues on rim.  This has a gentle nose that builds in volume showing harmoniously entwined, detailed aromas of rose-petal florals, musk, herbs and honeysuckle.  The depth, density and concentration grows with aeration.  Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate features a deep and softly concentrated core of rose-petals, Turkish Delight, musk and honey.  Soft acidity enhances the rounded mouthfeel and presence.  Some phenolics are evident, combining with the alcohol to provide good drive, carrying the wine to a strong, near-oily and unctuous finish.  This is a full, concentrated dry Gewurztraminer with some power and drive.  Match with paté and rillettes, and Mediterranean fare over the next 4+ years.  Hand-picked fruit, 5 clones from the ‘Askerne’ vineyard, given partial skin contact and tank-fermented with 15% in seasoned French oak barriques to 14.5% alc. and 5 g/L RS.  18.0+/20  Dec 2014  RRP $22.00

Askerne ‘Reserve’ Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2013  4 Stars

Fruit from the ‘Askerne’ vineyard, 52% Mendoza, 26% clone 15 and 22% clone 95, hand-picked, WBP and barrel-fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine aged 9 months in 50% new French oak barriques, undergoing batonnage and 70% MLF.   Brilliant straw-yellow colour with lemon-green hues.  The nose is tightly bound with intense and concentrated aromas of citrus and yellow stonefruit infused with lemon-curd like MLF notes.  The aromatics are fresh and steely, showing powerful creamy barrel-ferment and toasty oak layers.  Medium-bodied, tightly concentrated flavours of citrus fruit are melded with butterscotch and lemon-curd MLF and strong, positive toasty oak.  The fruit is supported by lacy and lively acidity lending tension, resulting in a slippery flow.  The wine follows a creamy-textured line that leads to a dry finish with citrus and toasty notes.  This is a tightly concentrated, lively Chardonnay with citrussy fruit, buttery elements and toasty oak.  Serve with grilled seafood, poultry and pork over the next 4+ years.  17.5/20  Dec 2014  RRP $30.00

Askerne ‘Reserve’ Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2013  4 Stars

Hand-picked fruit from the ‘Askerne’ vineyard, destemmed and fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 14 months in 50% new French oak barriques.  Dark, purple-hued black-red colour, youthful in appearance.  The nose is harmonious with integrated and evenly presented aromas of ripe dark red and black berry fruits melded with black pepper, subtle Asian spice notes and violetty florals, unfolding nuances of game meat and toasty oak.  Medium-bodied and elegant on palate, this has a core of ripe black fruits with spice, herb and meaty detail, the fruit showing richness and sweetness.  Fine, ripe acidity enlivens and lifts the fruit aromatics and the palate is balanced by soft, supple tannins.  The wine is well-proportioned, carrying to a soft, dry finish.  This is an elegant, fresh Syrah with sweetly integrated flavours and supple mouthfeel.  Match with wild duck and pork, and with casseroles over the next 5-6 years.  17.5/20  Dec 2014  RRP $30.00

Askerne ‘Reserve’ Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc/Malbec 2013  4 Stars

44% Merlot, 39%Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc and 5% Malbec from the ‘Askerne’ vineyard, hand-picked and fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 14 months in French oak barriques.  Dark, deep, purple-hued ruby-red colour.  The nose is elegant and softly concentrated with vibrant aromas of black berried fruits, earthy plums and redcurrants, along with subtle herb notes and lifted oak elements.  Medium-full bodied and well-proportioned, sweet, juicy and lively flavours of blackcurrants, redcurrants and plums are complexed by hints of florals, spices and herbs.  The fruit is supported by very fine-grained tannins, and the vitality of the mouthfeel is enlivened by lacy acidity, which carries the wine to an elegant, long-lingering finish with oak spice.  This is an elegant, vibrant and sweet-fruited Bordeaux-varietal blend with supple tannins.  Match with roast lamb and beef, and with semi-hard cheeses over the next 5-6+ years.  18.0+/20  Dec 2014  RRP $30.00

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2013  4 Stars

Full, near impenetrable black-red colour with youthful purple hues.  This has a very fresh nose with concentrated and intense aromas of black berried fruits intermixed with a herbal thread along with pepper, sweet oak and spice elements, the fruit in the cooler spectrum.  Medium-bodied and elegant in proportion, concentrated flavours of black fruits, pepper, herbs, florals and spices form a good core.  The palate is fresh and lively with plenty of acid tension and the wine flows along a fine-grained line of tannin.  The acidity drives the wine, carrying the flavours to a light, lingering finish of pepper and spices.  This is an elegant, peppery Syrah with fine textures, carried by lively acidity.  Serve with lamb and Middle Eastern fare over the next 4 years.  Fruit from the Gimblett Gravels, fermented to 12.5% alc., the wine aged 15 months in 15% new French oak barriques.  17.0+/20  Dec 2014  RRP $25.00

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Viognier 2014  5 stars

Brilliant, light golden-yellow colour with some depth, lighter straw on edge.  The nose is elegantly proportioned and well-concentrated with rich aromas of ripe exotic tropical fruits and apricots melded with complexing layers of creamy, nutty barrel ferment, reductive solids and flinty lees and smoky, toasty oak.  Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate is packed with soft and rich flavours of ripe apricots and tropical fruits, infused with gunflint reduction, nuts and toasty oak.  The mouthfeel is creamy in texture and the wine is fulsome in presence, power and structure.  Layers of complexing detail unfold and carry through to a long, soft and densely concentrated finish.  This is a rich, ripe Viognier with considerable winemaker complexity that blossoms in the glass.  Match with pasta, risotto and most white meat dishes over the next 3-4 years.  Hand-picked fruit from the lower terraces of the ‘Askerne’ vineyard, fully barrel-fermented in 10% new American oak and 90% French, American and Hungarian oak, 1-3 y.o.  to 14.0% alc. and <1 g/L RS  18.5/20  Jan 2015  RRP $22.00

Cameron Douglas Master Sommelier Wine And Beverage Reviews

Askerne Viognier 2016 Hawkes Bay 92 Points

Aromatic, varietal and very engaging bouquet with aromas and flavours of apricots and peaches laced with citrus peel and flowers; a cereal-like mineral flavour adding depth and complexity. Medium+ acidity and alcohol add warmth, weight and generosity. Quite a lengthy finish, balanced and well made. Drink now and through 2021.

Askerne Pinot Gris 2017 Hawkes Bay 88 Points

Ripe, fresh and engaging core of fruit with aromas and flavours of spiced white nectarine, baked pear and fresh apple; a light citrus peel note adds depth. Fresh and lively with medium+ acidity, warming alcohol and some residual sweetness adding weight and richness. Drink now and through 2020.

Askerne Gewurztraminer 2016 Hawkes Bay 90 Points

Very fragrant and rich in aromas with an abundantly fresh and lively fruitiness. Flavours of white fleshed fruits, lavender and exotic spices coat the palate; medium acidity, medium+ body, a some residual sweetness and a core of energy. A great example to enjoy from now and through 2021.

Askerne Reserve Chardonnay 2016, Hawkes Bay 89 Points

Distinctive and individual bouquet of Chardonnay with aromas and flavours creamy peach and apple custard, clay soils, vanilla butter and soft spicy wood tones. A calm, balanced, dry and approachable style. Has a layer of intrigue and mystery, decent acidity and length. Best drinking from now and through 2022.

Askerne Rosé 2017 Hawkes Bay 92 Points

Auckland Rose and Salmon core colour. Pinot Noir, Syrah and Cabernet Franc based with aromas and flavours of ripe cherry and apricot, red apple skin and black currant leaf. Bright, crisp and refreshingly dry with juicy light red fruit flavours, a hint of tannin, dried herb and loads of acidity. Best drinking from now and through 2019.

Askerne Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2016 89 Points

Ripe, fruity, layered and engaging bouquet led by spicy oak and stone fruits – baked peach and apricot, some grapefruit and brown spices. On the palate – youthful, crisp, fresh, fruity and dry. Some light botanical notes then back to citrus and stone fruit flavours, moderate creamy texture and dry moderately lengthy finish. Overall balanced and well made. Drink now and through 2023.     

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Gewürztraminer 2015 86 Points

Fruity developing bouquet with crushed rose and apricot then stewed apple and ginger then a layer of spices and baked orchard fruits. On the palate – fruity and spicy with a firm texture and just dry finish; flavours of orchard fruits and spice with a warm and generous texture; overall balanced and well made.

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2015 90 Points

Dark and ripe red berry fruits, quite toasty and smoky with clove and vanilla, dark cherry, red currant, raspberry and plum. Dry, dusty chalky tannins, medium+ acidity then flavours of red berrys, currants and toasty oak. Youthful needing some cellar time. Decant for service, best from 2019 through 2024.

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2016 93 Points

Developing, varietal and alluring bouquet with raspberry, plum and black currant aromas intertwined with soft smoky oak, violet and a touch of leather. Dry, rich in flavours and textures, firm youthful tannins, plenty of oak flavours, medium+ acidity and a core of fruit to carry all these attributes. Nice drinking wine. Best from 2019 through 2025.

Askerne Hawkes Bay Noble Semillon 2016 88 Points

Fleshy, juicy and very fruity with flavours of sweet poached pear, apple and apricot. Honey and a little butterscotch. Balanced acidity and lengthy finish. Lush silky texture, nicely balanced sweetness. Drink now and through 2021.

Askerne Hawkes Bay’s Syrah 2014 – 88 points

Very fruity and floral bouquet with sweet black currants, plums and violets, sweet vanilla oak and toasty spice moments, white pepper and a medium complexity, an enticing bouquet with plenty of promise. On the palate juicy, fleshy and ripe with flavours that reflect the nose, a sweet fruit layer, medium oak, moderate tannins and plenty of acidity. A balanced and well-made wine in a drink now style, but will also mature through 2020.

http://camerondouglasms.blogspot.co.nz/

Askerne Gewürztraminer 2013 Hawke’s Bay 5 Stars

Very fragrant and rich with a bouquet filled with pear, rose, quince, apple and apricotfruit suggestions. On the palate – dry, warm, rich and crisp. A wine loaded with personality and texture, lots of spice and weight and a long finish. Delicious!

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Reserve Chardonnay 2013 4 Stars

A quiet and unassuming bouquet at first then a burst of fruit and oak energy as the wine opens up; a mix of citrus and stone fruit suggestions wrapped in a blanket of youthful oak and wine making complexity. On the palate – dry, spicy and very firmly youthful with oak and fruit fighting for attention. A wine that needs decanting or at least another 12 months in cellar.

Askerne Hawke’s Bay ‘Reserve’ Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Franc Malbec 2013 4.5 Stars

Youthful and vibrant bouquet of red and black berry fruits including blackcurrant with a chocolate dried herb quality from the Franc; toasty oak and medium+ complexity overall. On the palate – dry, firm and fruity with all the fruits described above bright, fresh and vibrant on the palate. Medium+ acidity and tannins add to a bold structure.

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2013 5 Stars

Bold, rich, peppery and masculine bouquet: black and red fruits sit firmly alongsidesome big toasty vanilla oak, black pepper and very mild dried herbs and meat. Asbold and rich as the nose suggests on the palate with lots of flavour, oak, tannin,acidity and pepper laced black fruit. A lovely wine with a long finish; decant forservice ahead of time.

Wine Orbit Reviews

http://www.wineorbit.co.nz/

Askerne 2016 Gewurztraminer  93/100 5 Stars

A highly enjoyable wine; the bouquet is instantly appealing with mango, pineapple, Turkish Delight and jasmine aromas, leading to a succulent palate that is fleshy and creamy. The wine offers fabulous fruit purity and intensity together with attractive spicy complexity, finishing long and juicy. At its best: now to 2020. RRP $22.90

Askerne 2015 Gewurztraminer 91/100 4.5 Stars

Plump and fleshy, this tasty gewurz shows golden peach, baked apple, mango and Turkish Delight aromas on the nose, leading to a beautifully weighted palate that is fleshy and smooth. The wine offers generous fruit intensity and spicy complexity, leading to a lengthy velvety finish. At its best: now to 2019. $22.90.

Askerne 2017 Chardonnay 91/100 4.5 Stars

It is beautifully lifted on the nose showing apple custard, stone fruit, lemon peel, vanilla and cedar aromas, followed by a succulent palate that is creamy and refreshing at the same time. The wine offers generous fruit intensity and rounded mouthfeel, finishing long and smooth. At its best: now to 2021. $22.90.

Askerne 2016 Chardonnay 90/100 4.5 Stars

Attractively fruited and fragrant, the bouquet shows ripe apple, mango, grapefruit and toasted hazelnut characters with subtle spice complexity. The palate delivers juicy fruit intensity and silky texture, beautifully supported by elegant oak infusion, finishing persistent and succulent. At its best: now to 2020. $22.90.

Askerne 2017 Pinot Noir 87/100 4 Stars

Attractively fragrant and spicy, the bouquet shows dark berry, black olive, game and toasted nutcharacters, leading to a juicy palate that is smooth and rounded. The wine offers appealing savourycomplexity backed by sweet berry notes, finishing long and silky. At its best: now to 2020. $22.90.

Askerne 2016 Pinot Noir 88/100 4 Stars

It is brightly fruited on the nose showing dark plum, spiced cherry, game, leather and almond characters. The palate is juicy and supple, delivering vibrant fruit flavours and fine texture, nicely framed by fine, delicately drying tannins, finishing lingering and slightly firm. At its best: now to 2019. $22.90.

Askerne 2016 Cabernet Franc 91/100 4.5 Stars

A lovely expression of the variety, the beautifully lifted bouquet shows dark fruit, game, warm spice, cigar and toasted almond notes, leading to a palate that is bright and succulent. The wine offers attractive fruit flavours together with silky texture and chalky tannins, finishing lingering and juicy. At its best: now to 2021. $22.90.

Askerne 2016 Syrah 91/100 4.5 Stars

Beautifully fruited and fragrant, the bouquet shows dark plum, raspberry, floral and mixed spice characters, followed by a succulent palate that is supple and silky. The wine offers lovely fruit purity and intensity, backed by fine texture and polished tannins. Flavoursome and harmonious for lovely drinking. At its best: now to 2020. $22.90.

Askerne 2015 Syrah 93/100 5 Stars

This is impressively fruited on the nose showing dark plum, blackberry, black pepper, anise and toasted nut aromas with hints of olive and game. The palate is concentrated and wonderfully weighted, delivering gorgeous fruit flavours together with seductive savoury/spicy nuances, finishing superbly long and silky. At its best: now to 2021. $22.90.

Askerne 2016 Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc 93/100 5 Stars

Wonderfully ripe and beautifully fragrant, the instantly appealing bouquet shows blackcurrant,
plum, cedar, cigar and vanilla characters, leading to a concentrated palate that is supple and
succulent. The wine displays excellent fruit intensity and vibrancy, beautifully framed by fine,
chalky tannins. At its best: now to 2022. $22.90.

Askerne 2016 Reserve Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec 94/100 5 Stars

This is richly fruited and complex on the nose showing cassis, dark plum, vanilla, dried herb and
cedar characters, followed by a concentrated palate that is plump and multi-layered. It is generous
and flavoursome, wonderfully framed by silky texture and fine, chalky tannins. Stylish and
delectable. At its best: now to 2022. $31.90

Askerne 2015 Dessert Cabernet 93/100 5 Stars

Wonderfully fruited and immensely appealing, this is lightly fortified to 16.5% alcohol. Fragrant aromas of creame de cassis, mixed berry compote, dried cherry and cocoa lead to a sumptuous palate that is richly expressed and delectably sweet. It is generous and powerful, made in a vintage port style, while remaining firmly structured and balanced. At its best: now to 2023. RRP $22.90

Askerne Hawke’s Bay 2016 Noble Semillon 93/100 5 Stars

Ripe, fragrant and inviting, the attractive bouquet shows black/blueberry, plum jelly, game, tar and floral characters, leading to a succulent palate that is beautifully rounded and fleshy. The wine is flavoursome, while remaining balanced and elegant, offering lovely drinking. At its best: now to 2020. RRP $22.90

Askerne Hawke’s Bay 2014 Syrah 90/100 4.5 Stars

Ripe, fragrant and inviting, the attractive bouquet shows black/blueberry, plum jelly, game, tar and floral characters, leading to a succulent palate that is beautifully rounded and fleshy. The wine is flavoursome, while remaining balanced and elegant, offering lovely drinking. At its best: now to 2020. RRP $22.90.

Askerne Hawke’s Bay 2016 Semillon 90/100 4.5 Stars

This is beautifully ripe and elegantly lifted on the nose showing grapefruit, rockmelon, lime zest and jasmine characters, leading to a vibrant palate that is finely textured and linear. The wine is well poised and harmonious, offering delightful fruit flavours backed by refreshing acidity. At its best now to 2020. RRP $22.90

Askerne Hawke’s Bay 2016 Reserve Chardonnay 94/100 5 Stars

It is richly fruited and gorgeously expressed, displaying yellow stone fruit, mango, vanilla and butterscotch characters with hints of spicy oak and nougat. The palate delivers excellent fruit concentration and fleshy mouthfeel, wonderfully enhanced by creamy texture and opulent fruit flavours. The wine is powerful and delectable, while remaining balanced and structured. At its best now to 2020. RRP $31.90

Askerne Hawke’s Bay 2016 Viognier 93/100 5 Stars

A fabulous rendition of the variety, the perfumed bouquet shows apricot, candied ginger, exotic spice and floral characters, followed by a succulent palate that is beautifully weighted and richly textured. It is powerful and plush, and delivers silky mouthfeel and loads of tasty fruit flavours. At its best: now to 2020. $22.90

Askerne Hawke’s Bay 2017 Pinot Gris 86/100 4 Stars

This is generously fruited and nicely lifted on the nose showing baked apple, tropical fruit, potpourri and fragrant spice characters. The palate is succulent and rounded, and delivers attractive fruit intensity with a touch of sweetness, well balanced by juicy acidity. At its best: now to 2019. RRP $22.90

Askerne Hawke’s Bay 2017 Rose 87/100 4 Stars

It is elegantly lifted on the nose showing red apple, watermelon, citrus and floral aromas, followed by a vibrant palate that is juicy and lively. The wine offers delicate fruit intensity and lightness, well supported by smooth texture and crisp acidity, finishing lingering and mouth-watering. At its best: now to 2019. RRP $19.90.

Askerne Hawke’s Bay 2015 Reserve Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec 5 Stars 94/100

A magnificent Bordeaux-style red from an outstanding vintage, the gloriously expressed bouquet shows blackcurrant, spiced cherry, smoked game, cedar and cigar characters. The palate is concentrated and powerful, delivering layers of silky texture and delectable fruit flavours, wonderfully complemented by velvety mouthfeel and supple tannins. The wine offers beautiful harmony and complexity. At its best: now to 2025. RRP $31.90.

Askerne Hawke’s Bay 2016 Pinot Gris 5 Stars

This delectable pinot gris is beautifully ripe and fragrant on the nose showing peach, mango, poached pear and floral characters with a hint of spice complexity. The palate is concentrated and succulent, and offers rounded mouthfeel and silky texture, wonderfully enhanced by refreshing acidity. Generous and flavoursome, and hugely appealing. At its best: now to 2019. $22.00

Askerne Hawke’s Bay 2016 Rose 4.5 Stars  91/100

It is immediately appealing on the nose showing nectarine, rockmelon, citrus and watermelon characters. The palate delivers lovely fruit intensity and vibrancy, together with juicy mouthfeel and refreshing acidity, finishing long and comforting. At its best: now to 2018. $20.00. www.askerne.co.nz. Jan 2017

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Cabernet Franc 4 Stars 88/100

Youthful and beautifully lifted, the fragrant bouquet shows dark plum, blueberry, tobacco, cedar and vanilla characters. The palate offers bright fruit intensity and silky texture with rounded mouthfeel and fine tannins. The wine delivers pristine fruit flavours together with elegant oak infusion. At its best: now to 2019. $22.00. www.askerne.co.nz. Jan 2017.

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Gewurztraminer 2013 4.5 Stars

Classic perfumed aromas of stone fruit, lychee, spice and floral lead to a full-bodied palate that delivers excellent fruit intensity and generosity. The wine is powerful and flavoursome while remaining beautifully balanced and structured. At its best: now to 2018. $22.00.

Yvonne Lorkin

http://yvonnelorkin.com/

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2013 $25

I love the super-pretty, dark magenta and crimson colour of this wine – it just looks glorious in the glass and – bonus, it tastes darn lovely too. With earthy, deliciously dusty, smoky, peppery plum and dark berry aromas, ripe fruit, warming spices and long, stretchy tannins – this is a new favourite for me.

Joelle Thomson

http://www.joellethomson.com/

Peachy, fleshy, full bodied and flavoursome, this wine is rich in taste and has a lusciousness and lingering finish, thanks the the Bay’s climate proving to be so suitable to the French Viognier grape.

Viva

RICH WHITES

Askerne Hawkes Bay Viognier 2014 $22
You don’t have to forgo whites in winter, just opt for more voluptuously textured varieties such as viognier, which with its weight and richness is something of a red wine drinker’s white. Askerne’s is a wonderfully mouth-filling example with ripe peach fruit and hints of honey, white pepper and florals, balanced by a fresh lift on its finish. From Primo Vino, Centre City Wines & Spirits, El Borracho Wine Shop, Glengarry Victoria, Matakana Liquor Centre.

https://www.viva.co.nz/article/food-drink/wines-for-winter/

Michael Cooper – Power Wines For Winter Seasonal Selection

Askerne Hawke’s Bay 2017 Pinot Gris 4.5 Stars

Ripely scented, this is an Alsace-style Pinot Gris, made in a full-bodied, medium-dry style. Rich and smooth, with good concentration of stonefruit, pear and spice flavours, a hint of ginger, and gentle acidity, it’s already drinking well. $22.90.

Dish Magazine – Top Of The Tasting Wines

Askerne Reserve Hawke’s Bay 2016 Merlot Cabernet Franc Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec 4.5 Stars

An incredibly complex, exotic smorgasboard of spices and red berry and cherry Characters. “It’s vibrant and full-bodied and shows lovely earthiness and warmth yet it is also very supple and layered,” noted Jane, while James agreed it was deftly made and balanced, “with fine tannin structure showing sensitive wine making”

Winestate Magazine Reviews

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Cabernet Franc 2016 4½ stars
Priced sharply, this characterful red was matured for 18 months in oak barrels (38% new). Promisingly deep in colour, it is mouthfilling and vibrantly fruity, with strong, ripe berry, plum and spice flavours, finely integrated oak, gentle tannins and good complexity. Well worth cellaring. $22.90

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2017 4 stars
Worth cellaring, this well-priced wine was fermented and matured for 10 months in barrels (35% new). Light lemon/green, it is full-bodied, fresh and dry, with balanced acidity and ripe, peachy, toasty flavours, showing very good complexity and depth. $22.90

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Gewürztraminer 2016 4½ stars
Full of personality, this is a weighty, medium-dry style, fermented in tanks and old oak barrels (15%). Bright, light yellow/green, it is full-bodied, with fresh, strong, peachy, spicy, slightly gingery flavours, showing excellent ripeness and complexity. Drink now or cellar. $22.90

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc 2016 3½ stars
This youthful blend (two-thirds merlot) was matured for 18 months in barrels (40% new). Full-coloured, it is mouthfilling, with fresh plum, spice and herb flavours, savoury notes adding complexity, smooth tannins and very good depth. $22.90

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Pinot Gris 2017 4½ stars
This Alsace-style pinot gris is delicious young. Ripely scented, it is full-bodied, rich and smooth, with a gentle splash of sweetness and concentrated peach, pear, ginger and spice flavours. $22.90

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Pinot Noir 2016 3½ stars
This is a full-bodied, sweet-fruited pinot noir. Barrel-aged for 10 months, it is bright ruby, with a slightly earthy bouquet, strong cherry, plum and spice flavours and a well-rounded finish. Drink now or cellar. $22.90

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Pinot Noir 2017 3 stars
Light ruby, with a hint of development, this is a moderately concentrated, savoury, supple pinot noir, showing considerable complexity. Drink now-2020. $22.90

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2016 4 stars
Delivering excellent value, this refined young red was matured for 18 months in barrels (30% new). Full-coloured, it is mouthfilling, with good density of plummy, peppery flavour and a long, spicy finish. Best drinking 2020+. $22.90

Askerne Reserve Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2016 5 stars
Offering fine value, this very stylish young wine was fermented in French oak barrels (40% new). Light lemon/green, it is mouthfilling, fresh and lively, with strong, citrusy, peachy, slightly smoky and nutty flavours, and lovely delicacy and length. Best drinking 2020+. $31.90

Askerne Reserve Hawke’s Bay Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon/Malbec 2016 4½ stars
Well worth cellaring, this estate-grown red was matured for 18 months in barrels (50% new). Deeply coloured, it is full-bodied, with fresh, deep, plummy, spicy flavours, ripe and savoury, and a finely textured, persistent finish. Best drinking 2020+. $31.90