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New Zealand tasting notes

text and photographs © 2007 Tom Cannavan

These notes accompany our in-depth feature on New Zealand's North Island.


Mission Estate, Ghiti Road Hawke's Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2005
Very attractive nose, with passionfruit and nicely developed tropical aromas, some lychee and touches of green, quite grassy notes. Quite ripe fruit o the palate, and plenty of citrussy verve.

Mission Estate, Jewelstone Chardonnay 2004
Very fine, Burgundian, slightly cabbagy nose, with butter and plenty of green fig and ripe apple and pear fruit. Whole bunches, with 50% all French oak. Very fine, mouthfilling qualities. Lovely fruit sweetness, and a nice mealy texture through the mid palate. Good citrus acidity, very lemon zesty.

Mission Estate, Jewelstone Chardonnay 2002
Fine nose, but aromas are slightly danker. On the palate the fruit is good - clean and fresh on the palate, with plenty of juicy nectarine, fleshy peach fruit, with the oak better integrated. Fine quality. And drinks very well.

Mission Estate, Jewelstone Syrah 2004
60% new oak. Lovely spicy, clove-scented nose, with mulberry fruit, and a fine cherry character. Lovely fruit on the palate too, with plenty of vibrant cherry and sweet blackcurrant fruit. The oak is heavy on the mid-palate. With lovely quality, but perhaps only just over oaked. Still beautiful fruit and beautiful quality here.

Mission Estate, Jewelstone Gimblett Gravels 2004
A little touch green, with some asparagus, but cherry and black cherry. On the palate a charming quality of softening, ripe strawberry and black currant fruit. Very nice balance wit nice ripe tannins and good acids. Finishes better than it starts.

Mission Estate, Reserve Merlot 2002
From the same block as the Jewelstone Chardonnay. A touch reduced at first. But really slaty, mineral, schisty qualities. The palate has a fine quality of cherry and quite charming red plum and liquorice fruit. Some spice and clove comes through to support, but the integration and the acidity is good, giving a lot of charm.

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