We reached Church Road winery via a lovely, easy, flat, dedicated bike trail from Napier which hugs the coast, initially going past the harbour full of commercial logs ready for export to China. It then goes via the wetlands created when the ground rose by over 6 feet during the devastating earthquake of 1931, it was initially the harbour. Church Road has a long history dating back to 1897 when a former member of the Mission founded Taradale Vineyards on a 2 hectare site. Tom McDonald who worked since age 14 on the vines and in charge of property aged only 19. It later became McDonald wines. Tom pioneered some of New Zealand’s earliest wines receiving an OBE in 1976. Now owned by Pernod Ricard the range is diverse including unusual varietals such as Marzemino and Sauvugnon Gris. The Grand Reserve and flagship TOM are only made in the best years.
Church Road Pinot Gris Gwen 2019
Smooth textured sl tropical fruit guava
Church Road 1 Chardonnay 2018
Smoky flinty Chardonnay Juliette said smells of twiglets I think reflecting the lees ageing smoky savoury texture
Church Road Gwen Rose 2019
Merlot 92% Tempranillo 7% Malbec 1% more subtle Provence style Rose
Church Road Rose 2019
Californian style, red cherry raspberry fruit forward
Church Road Marzemino 2018 (grape from Trento Alto Adige, Italy)
Nice soft tannin dry good acid back bone
Church Road Tempranillo 2017
3 other growers of Tempranillo in Hawkes bay, blue fruits hint mocha
Church Road Grand réserve Syrah 2017
Lighter elegant style Syrah floral red fruit, as a few people have commented this is our Hawke’s Bay pinot.
Church Road Tom Syrah 2015
Flagship Syrah named after Tom McDonald. black fruits but tasted Slightly Porty ?oxidised
Church Road TOM Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2015
Grand Reserve Cabernet from Bridge Pa site 66% Merlot 23% from Gimblett Gravels TOM +++ best wine yet of Hawke’s Bay tastings but $220 per bottle! Only at cellar door or duty free.
Brilliant…Just after telling Aaron these super premium wines are wines not worth it I took a swirl of this in my mout and told him I take back everything I just said!. Amazingly concentrated long complex plum black cherry violet cedar vanilla with beautifully integrated fine grained ripe tannins fruit oak and intensity, long long on palate one to age for a long time