JACKSON ESTATE WINES : handcrafted expressions. 2 February 2024.

In 1855 Adam Jackson bought his first blocks of land in the heart of the Marlborough region, along with what was to become known as Jacksons’ Road. The infamous gum tree known as the ‘Grey Ghost’ was planted shortly after in 1867 on the land now known as the Homestead vineyard.
In 1987 - *(5th generation Jackson) John Stichbury planted the first vines on the homestead block, with their first wines released in 1991 under the Jackson Estate label. This is Jackson Estates oldest vineyard, planted with Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Noir. Jackson Estate looks to showcase the best of Marlborough, and the essence of handcrafted wine.
The Benton family bought Jackson Estate Winery back in 2013 and in 2016 they started building the Pinot Noir specific winery and cellar door that opened in 2017. This has ensured that they can refine and further develop their Pinot Noir program with quality handcrafted wines that can be shared on the world stage.
Head Winemaker : Matt Patterson-Green has been guiding the winemaking for Benton Family Wines for nearly 20 years. With the aim of expressing the true nature of their vineyards, creating regionally varietal, dynamic and enjoyable wines. So under the Benton Family Wine Group - Matt works simultaneously with a small, hands-on team, managing both the Jackson Estate and Pask wineries.

I recently tasted a selection of wines from Jackson Estate : and decided to highlight the following available wines.

Jackson Estate ‘Shelter Belt’ Chardonnay 2020 : 4 Stars ★★★★
Grape Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
Growing Region: Marlborough - NZ
Head Winemaker: Matt Patterson-Green

This wine is a single clone and single site expression. Intensive hands-on viticulture along with hand-picking from their Homestead vineyard in late March. The fruit was whole bunch pressed, with 75% of the juice going into barrel with a high proportion of solids and 25% into stainless tanks. The barrel portion had 25% new oak and 2-5 year old barrels. After fermentation the wine aged for 12 months and then blended with the tank portion and bottled in late April 2021.
A vibrant summer straw yellow and lime hue fills your glass. On the relaxed nose you are greeted by aromas of fresh peaches, apples and a biscotti note. The palate is both elegant and generous showcasing firm white peaches, ripe apples, a splash of apricot and a butterscotch nuance due to the 12 months in oak. And all nicely balanced by uplifting natural fruit acidity that leads you to a classic dry finish.

• Chill gently & serve between 8°- 10°C : 13.5% Alc. : Classic dry style : Cellar 1 - 2 years : *NZ$30.00

Jackson Estate ‘Homestead’ Pinot Noir 2021 : 4 Stars ★★★★
Grape Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
Growing Region: Marlborough - NZ
Head Winemaker: Matt Patterson-Green

Named after the original Homestead vineyard on Jackson’s Road which was planted in 1988. The fruit was destemmed into small open top fermenters, while retaining a proportion of whole berries. It was left to cold soak of 2 days, then a warm and rapid fermentation with all batches gently hand plunged, then pressed to a mix of stainless-steel tank and older French oak barrels for maturation. Then it was time for blending, filtration and bottling in December 2021.
In the glass a classic rich cherry red colour with shining hue. On the nose you are greeted by red cherries, plums, wild herbs and a note of dried flowers. The wines foot print on the palate has a light-to-medium weight engagement. The wine casually but with charming confidence showcases those cherries, red plums and dried herbs. It has an early drinking appeal, due to its soft acidity, infused tannins and smooth texture from diligent use of oak.

• Mild decanting & serve between 16°- 17°C : 13.5% Alc. : Classic dry style : Cellar 2 - 3 years : *NZ$27.00

PASK WINES : terroir focused. 2 February 2024.

In 1981, Chris Pask planted the first vines in the Ngaruroro riverbed, founding Hawke's Bay's renowned Gimblett Gravels wine district. A prized 1985 Cabernet Sauvignon marked their first vintage and from this modest beginning, the world-renowned Gimblett Gravels wine-growing district was established, and the Pask brand family label was established. 60 hectares of vineyards to estate bottling at their Hawke’s Bay winery, a great deal of hands-on care throughout the entire winemaking process. 40 years later, the Pask winemaking team remain as passionate as ever about creating wines worth sharing. John Benton has been a director at Pask Winery since 2001, and in July 2017 become the majority shareholder. Working alongside him is Jeff Hart : who heads the Benton Family Wine Group, as well as a diverse portfolio of businesses within the Benton Group.
The ‘SMALL BATCH’ range of wines allow the team to experiment with different winemaking techniques as well as varietal and vineyard expressions, so these wines will reflect vintage variations.
The ‘DECLARATION’ range of wines are confident, though with a controlled elegance, the team proudly declare theses as their best expression from selected years, as only made in exceptional vintages.

I recently tasted a selection of PASK wines from their : ‘Small Batch’ & ‘Declaration’ range and decided to highlight the following.

PASK ‘Small Batch’ Viognier 2020 : 4 Stars ★★★★
Grape Varietal: 100% Viognier
Growing Region: Gimblett Gravels, Hawke’s Bay - NZ
Head Winemaker: Matt Patterson-Green

This Viognier was fermented in a mix of stainless steel tanks and French oak barriques. It was kept at cool temperatures, with the aim of retaining fruit freshness and varietal expression. The wine was then transferred to oak puncheons at the completion of fermentation and kept in contact with its yeast lees, with regular stirring of the lees to enhance palate texture and viscosity. Only 450 cases were made of this estate bottled wine, so don’t miss out.
In the glass a pale golden glow with a shining hue. On the inviting nose you have aromas of white flowers, honeysuckle, pineapple skin, melon, nashi pear and a note of citrus. These tropical flavours all carry through onto the lush palate and with its delicate texture and soft acidity makes for an appealing encounter. This wine is perfectly balanced from start to its memorable lingering finish.

• Chill gently & serve between 8°- 10°C : 13% Alc. : A classic dry style : Cellar 1 - 2 years : *NZ$26.00

PASK ‘Declaration’ Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2021 : 5 Stars ★★★★★
Grape Varietal: 100% Syrah
Growing Region: Gimblett Gravels, Hawke’s Bay - NZ
Head Winemaker: Matt Patterson-Green

The selected fruit for this wine came off the Gimblett Gravels and was harvested in mid-March 2021. Initially the wine was tank fermented with gentle pumping-over for the extraction of colour, varietal flavours and fruit tannins. Once Matt and the team were happy the wine was transferred to a mix of new and seasoned French oak barrels for 13 months maturation, with regular racking for clarification and after a light filtration was estate bottled in November 2022.
In the glass a deep plum colour and shing hue. On the hypnotic nose, you have aromas of violets, dried herbs, white pepper, plums and a hint of smoky vanilla essence. The lavish medium-to-full palate is filled with wild berries, fleshy dark plums, an earthy-tobacco-leaf nuance and wrapped in confident tannins and nicely supported by balanced vanilla oak. The wine is kept energised by good fruit acidity and signs off assertively with a lingering dry finish.

• Good decanting & serve between 16°- 18°C : 13.5% Alc. : Classic dry style : Cellar 4 - 5 years : *NZ$50.00

These handcrafted wines are available from Fine Wine Retailers • Restaurants • Wine Bars & Winery Website.
*(prices, vintages & availability will vary by outlet & country)

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