Tom McDonald (1907-1987) devoted his lifetime to producing outstanding New Zealand wines at the site of the current Church Road Winery in Hawke’s Bay. This dedication to creating fine wines saw him forge both a remarkable legacy and enviable future for the Hawke’s Bay region and Church Road wines today.
Celebrating Tom McDonald's vision and entrpreneurial spirit, McDonald Series wines are complex, textural and full of character.
The wine displays the powerful palate structure typical of the variety, with a complex mix of aromas including rich berry fruit, black olives, dark chocolate and a graphite-like complexity lifted by hints of cedar and lavender.
This wine is our most elegant expression of the variety and explores a style of wine that is highly complex and interesting without relying heavily on new wood. Wild fermentation of unclarified juices and the use of mostly older oak barrels, has produced a wine that is fragrant and fruit forward, but complemented by a complexity of gunflint, hazelnut and nougat. The oak is present but plays a supporting role only, helping to round out the palate and add subtle aromatic interest.
For this new series we have explored a varietally-pure Merlot, rather than the blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon that Church Road is traditionally known for. We fermented the fruit in open-top French oak cuves to deliver wine with a more harmonious palate structure and greater aromatic expression. Winemaking intervention is minimal and the wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Fruit from our best-ever Syrah vintage was fermented in French oak cuves to give a fragrant and subtly complex wine with supple, well-integrated tannins. Subsequent barrel maturation has further enhanced the wines textural attributes and provided a subtle oak complexity. It displays all the fragrance and ripeness of our Reserve wines but with a soft and gentle palate texture making it more approachable as a young wine.
With this wine we have aimed to explore a lush Alsace-style wine which relies on late harvesting to provide an aromatic, full-bodied and hedonistic expression of the variety. The key to this wine is leaving the fruit to ripen longer on the vines, allowing it to shrivel slightly before harvest. As well as increasing the concentration of the wine, this accentuates the expressive floral and spice notes of the variety. To balance the alcohol in the wine, the ferment is stopped and the wine retains a medium level of sweetness, balanced by fine acidity and a firm structure to produce a wine that is opulent without being cloying.
Church Road Winery first planted this variety in 1995. In Hawke’s Bay the variety produces ripe, medium weight and aromatic red wines with great colour, supple texture and an element of rusticity that works well with food.
This Sauvignon Blanc sits between the very fruit-driven, fresh Church Road wine and the fuller-bodied barrel fermented Church Road Reserve wine - and explores a more complex style of Sauvignon Blanc without relying on new oak.
This innaugral McDonald Series Sauvignon Gris delivers a wonderful aromatic intensity on the nose that is very reminiscent of Sauvignon Blanc, but fuller and more textural in the mouth. Tank fermentation at cool temperatures has produced a fresh, lively and aromatic wine unencumbered by oak or other winemaking artefacts.