Thanks to the Fresh Choice Nelson wine expert, Neil Hodgson for sharing his favourite red wine picks from Hawke’s Bay in this week’s blog.
Along with Waiheke Island, Hawke’s Bay is one of the few regions in New Zealand where heavier styles of red wine, develop beautiful rich flavours. In fact, much of the red wine produced in Hawke’s Bay is more aligned with French red wines than Australian reds.
In Australia, premium versions of wines like Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot tend to be so intense they can almost be jam-like, while, the same wine varieties produced in Hawke’s Bay tend to be refined and elegant, yet still packed with flavour.
On top of that, the Hawke’s Bay region has been blessed with some excellent vintages in recent years, with 2013 being an absolute standout vintage.
Some producers have retained some of the 2013 vintage wines, releasing them only recently, they are drinking superbly! One such wine is produced by a winery not very well known in New Zealand, Paritua. Paritua produces a range of excellent, hand-crafted wines, primarily for export.
I visited the Paritua winery a couple of years ago and was immensely impressed by the work they do to make premium wines. Even their second-tier Stone Paddock brand wines are wonderful. The grapes get the same attention in the vineyard and winery as those for the premium label do. The final blending decides which wines will be bottled under which label.
All of this means that Stone Paddock The Scarlett 2013 blended red is very good value at its regular price, but becomes exceptional value at $19.99 a bottle on special. Packed with rich blackberry and dark plum flavours, this wine is at its best right now.
Of course, there are many other great wines made in Hawke’s Bay, and Fresh Choice Nelson has a large range for you to choose from. Wines from Te Mata, Villa Maria, Esk Valley, Vidal’s and Clearview are all worth checking out.