Black Estate – Waipara Pinot Noir and Chardonnay


“If We Seem Friendly and Obliging, That’s the Wine Talking.”

Recently while at Pegasus Bay Wines I had the pleasure of meeting Penelope Naish from Black Estate, a family owned vineyard on a 16 hectare property, of which 8 hectares is vineyard. Planted in 1994, the vineyard rests on the warm sunny gentle slopes of Omihi in the Waipara Valley, with a northerly aspect and at an elevation of 80-100 metres above sea level. and since then I’ve also had the pleasure of tasting 3 of their wonderful Waipara wines.

4 hectares of Mendoza Chardonnay and 4 hectares of Pinot Noir vines’ ungrafted roots penetrate deep in to the clay and limestone soils in which they grow, producing intense wines completely expressive of this site. Since 2008 they have access to some locally grown grapes to indulge another of their passions “Riesling.”

Black Estate wines are hand crafted using artisan techniques and a dedication to creating exceptional Waipara Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling. Nicholas Brown – Winemaking & Viticulture Consultant has a gentle and guiding wine-making philosophy observing the vines throughout the seasons to see how they react to differing conditions. The results are very fine expressions of the Waipara wine region.

2010 Black Estate Omihi Series Chardonnay Waipara NZ
The chardonnay was bright pale golden in colour with a sweet floral nose of stone-fruit & pineapple and  hint of spice & toastiness, quite rich and textural on the palate, grapefruit citrus fruit / acid balance, subtle nutty oak, juicy mouth watering finish. I think this is drinking  quite nicely now but will develop well with a little more age. 85 pts

2010 Black Estate Pinot Noir Waipara NZ
Medium colored Raspberry / Garnet in the glass, soft berries, some earthiness and herbal notes on the nose, lovely integrated palate with nice red berry fruit and velvety tannins, still some fresh acidity, although I found the finish a little “dry” but persistent – perhaps opened too soon. Would love to see this Pinot Noir again in 2-3 years. 88 pts

2010 Black Estate Omihi Series Pinot Noir Waipara NZ
Medium / deep ruby hue with fruit, spice and a mineral earthiness on the nose. Dark plums and rich berry fruit on the palate, for me it still felt a little green acid predominant up front, but smooth the silky tannins and a great finish left me wanting another glass but as with the Waipara Pinot really needs more time to show it’s true potential. 89 pts

My thanks to Pen and the team for giving me the opportunity to experience these wines. To find out more about Black Estate and buy some wine, visit their website, like their Facebook Page or follow Pen Naish on Twitter.

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