Clearview Estate 2019 | Tasting Review
Tim Turvey purchased 20 ha of land at Te Awanga on the Hawkes Bay coast in 1986 for $76,000 and set about establishing a vineyard, winery and restaurant along with partner Helma van den Berg. Tim started with plenty of enthusiasm and a good kiwi number 8 wire, do it yourself approach, including teaching himself winemaking. The first vintages yielded around 3 tonnes of fruit. A bit like topsy it has grown. The wines, led by the Chardonnays, have become favourites and the restaurant is also a favourite Hawkes Bay destination. It still retains plenty of rustic charm.
Today the winery and vineyards have expanded and Tim told us the 2019 vintage was their largest ever with 300 tonnes. Whist the Chardonnays are best known, the Clearview range of wines is quite large (around 13 varieties and 25+ wines). The reds are probably the ‘hidden treasures’ and with previous winemaker Barry Riwai and now Matt Kirby there have been big strides in the quality of the Clearview reds. Tonight Tim included a few treats – the 2015 Trophy winning Reserve Chardonnay and 2013 Enigma from his cellar as well as a couple of pre-release reds.
As always Tim was an enthusiastic and colourful presenter. Tim is a ‘character’ full of passion and tales.
Clearview Coastal Pinot Gris 2019
Even better than the Trophy winning 2018? As Tim says, this wine just goes “Boom!”. Full of flavour – pear and spice – in a ripe fruited, drier textural style.
Clearview Beachhead Chardonnay 2018
The Clearview vineyard lies on an ancient uplifted beach, hence the name. Tim reckons that it is the mix of soils that gives Clearview Chardonnays that something extra. This fills all the expectations of a classic Hawkes Bay Chardonnay – creamy, caramel, vanilla spiced, cashew nut, nectarine flavours.
Clearview Reserve Chardonnay 2017
One of Hawkes Bays iconic Chardonnays. From the original 33 year old Mendoza vines. Using only the purest first free run juice, wild fermented and aged in puncheons. There’s just a tiny hint of ‘funk’, but this has loads of fruit, oak complexity, creaminess on a harmonious full bodied palate.
As a comparison Tim showed the 2015 Reserve Chardonnay.
This wine won the “Champion Wine of the Show’ at the NZIWS 2016. A superb Chardonnay drinking really well and if you have some in your cellar, be very happy to know it still has many years of life ahead.
Clearview Cape Kidnappers Merlot 2018
Predominately Merlot with a small amount of Malbec. Dark, ripe fruited wine that has juicy plum with a touch of chocolate. Softly textured and easy.
Clearview Cape Kidnappers Syrah 2018
A youthful purple colour in the glass and the fruit aromas just jump from the glass. Like the Merlot this is also made to enjoy as a young wine with mulberry, warm spice, and a delicious juicy approachability.
Clearview Reserve Syrah 2018
A noticeable step up here. Hand picked fruit, foot trodden with 100% whole bunch fermentation. Along with the plush fruit there is a savouriness with fine oak and a liveliness that adds to the palate weight.
Clearview Enigma 2018
Merlot dominant with Malbec and some Cabernet Franc. Obviously younger tasting than the 2013 with more dark fruit flavours. The wine also has a savoury olive tapenade character with soft yet solid tannins. A very good wine. This is due for release in a month or so.
Tim also brought along the 2013 from his cellar to show…
Developing nicely, with olde worlde, olive/umami savoury characters emerging.
Clearview Basket Press Red 2016
The Basket Press is only made in good Cabernet Sauvignon vintages and is the pinnacle of Clearview reds (This is just the 8th release in 33 years). A Bordeaux variety blend – 41% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc. Inky black in colour this indicates the power and density of the wine. The intense fruit is soaked into the very good, 100% new oak. There’s wild blackberry, doris plum, graphite with a gritty character through the wine. Superb. Tim describes this as ‘deep, dark and grooving’.
Clearview Sea Red
This is one of very few New Zealand Dessert red wines, developed by Tim around 20 years ago. Late harvested fruit is lightly fortified and aged. It has a sweetness of 140gms/rs, but balanced. A non-vintage blend. A perfect foil for chocolate based desserts and Tim reckons it is perfect with chocolate and blue cheese wontons.
The name for this wine was inspired by the Split Enz track “I See Red” combined with the belief that having drunk the wine, one can walk on water! (“Think Red Sea”).