Paritua | Tasting Review | June 2019

Paritua wines are located in the Bridge Pa Triangle region of Hawkes Bay. The first vines were planted in 2003 and there are now 53 hectares planted. Seventy percent is in red varieties – Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec along with Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. The grapes are all estate grown and made on site at Paritua’s high tech winery.

With a strong presence in the export market, Paritua is probably not as well known locally as they should be so tonight’s tasting was a great way to acquaint everyone with the wines. Wine-maker Jason Stent  has been with Paritua since coming from Sacred Hill as their red wine maker. Jason discovered the joys of wine whilst in France carving out a career as a cyclist. Having the opportunity to try some 1961 Chateau Haut Brion (from magnum) was an epiphany and led him to train as a winemaker. Today at Paritua Jason keeps that memory of a great Bordeaux wine as his benchmark for crafting world class wines. On tonight’s tasting he is doing an excellent job.

Stone Paddock Chardonnay 2016

The Stone Paddock range of wines are all estate grown at Paritua and are designed to offer wines that are a little more accessible than the Paritua  range. This Chardonnay is gently oaked showing a yellow/gold colour. Tropical citrus, peach and creamy vanilla. Flavoursome and enjoyably easy drinking. A very popular style.

Stone Paddock Rose 2018

A pretty pale salmon pink colour, this is a blend of mainly Merlot and a splash Cabernet Franc. Clean easy fruit flavours and a slightly creamy texture. It is quite full on the palate reflecting the warmer vintage.

Stone Paddock Syrah 2016

A medium intensity, dark red colour. Flavours of boysenberry, woody spices and a hint of cocoa. Aged in older oak, this is about the fruit, but the upfront fruit juiciness is balanced by some drying tannins.

Stone Paddock Scarlet 2014

A classic Bordeaux variety blend – 56% Merlot gives plushness, 14% Cabernet Franc adds aromatic lift, 10% Malbec gives deep and richness and then 20% Cabernet Sauvignon adds backbone and structure. A dark colour this has plum, blackberry, spice, aromatic herb flavours. Exceptional value.

Paritua Chardonnay 2017

Now for the step up to the Paritua range. 2017 was quite a good vintage for Chardonnay in Hawkes Bay. Hand picked fruit was basket pressed and then barrel fermented around 30% was wild fermented and 60% went through full malo-lactic. The wine was aged for 12 months in 60% new oak. A big, balanced Chardonnay flavours of lemon barley, straw, citrus and creamy notes.

Paritua Red 2014

60% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon and 14% Cabernet Franc. This is a big dark wine with very ripe fruit flavour. On the palate it is dense and palate enveloping. At 15% alcohol it is no shrinking violet, yet it does have freshness and presence.

Paritua Red 2015

74% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Cabernet Franc, fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine aged 24 months in 40% new French oak. Quite a contrasting style and the room was divided as to a preference. The 2015 is more lifted in both structure and freshness with beautiful tannins. It is easy to see the Bordelais influence. Both these wines are excellent examples of what can be produced in the Hawkes Bay.

Paritua Platinum Cabernet Franc 2015

A ‘one off’, this wine was the result of Jason making a special release for the Hawkes Bay Wine Auction, where barrels get sold for charity. Two barrels were kept aside and bottled with addition of around 5% Cabernet Sauvignon which Jason felt made a more complete wine. Intense and dark, this has a bit of mystery and intrigue. A potent mix of scented dark florals and a hint of feral. It is rich and weighty on the palate yet has an almost electric energy.

Paritua ’21:12′ 2014

The flagship wine from Paritua. The intriguing name comes from the farm’s rapid number and thus identifies the wine‘s sense of place. A blend of 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot and 19% Cabernet Franc, fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine aged 20 months in 50% new French oak. Inky dark with all those dark fruit, dark chocolate, dusty spicy oak flavours you could ask for. Sensual, chewy, dense, this has power and class. This will drink over the next 15+ years.