Guillaume Thomas and Esther Smith – Maison Noire – Feb 2020

A great presentation from Guillaume with assistance from Esther. There was a good turnout of members and Maison Noire was more than happy with the level of the orders. A little glitch with getting some orders to members, but this is about sorted now.

Guillaume has concentrated on bringing out those aspects of the wine that were very reminiscent of France & presented:

  • 2018 Maison Noire Rosé
  • 2019 Maison Noire Arneis
  • 2015 Maison Noire Sauvignon Blanc
  • 2018 Maison Noire Chardonnay
  • 2015 Maison Noire Cabernet Franc
  • 2016 Maison Noire Cabernet Merlot
  • 2016 Maison Noire Syrah

An interesting aspect of the night was that members were able to pay directly to Maison Noire. The marvels of modern technology, particularly when it comes to taking your money from you.

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December 2019 Dinner, Cashmere Lounge

With 44 attending and the change in the table layout, there was more room in the restaurant this time. A little difficult for those against the wall to get out but nothing to worry about. It was a good dinner with nice food. It was noted that a couple of the meals were not quite the same as per the menu and this has been raised.

Another successful dinner and we thank Gayl for the organisation.

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Cellar Club BBQ – 26 January 2020

As ever we start our year with the BBQ at the usual place on 26 January.

We’ll send more information to members in mid-January. As always we give special thanks to Derek Thompson for making his excellent facilities available.

Quote – My first outdoor cooking memories are full of erratic British summers, Dad swearing at a barbecue that he couldn’t put together, and eventually eating charred sausages, feeling brilliant.  – Jamie Oliver

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South American Wine & Food Matchings, November 2019 – Cenna Lloyd – Negociants

Another great night with some lovely South American wines tasted. Must also say thank you to the committee members who prepared food matches. The combination of food with the wines gave the evening an interesting perspective.

The wines tasted with food matches are repeated below:

  • 2018 Vina Aquitina Rose (Chile)
  • 2018 Casa Marin Cartagena Sauvignon Blanc (Chile) – South American Ceviche
  • 2018 Tilia Mendoza Chardonnay (Argentina) – Brazilian Cinnamon ‘Raindrop’ Doughnuts
  • 2018 Alamos Malbec (Argentina) – Argentinian Fried Bread
  • 2015 Catena Alta Malbec (Argentina) – Red Wine Chorizo Bites
  • 2012 Queulat Cabernet Sauvignon (Chile) – Brazilian Beef Croquettes
  • 2014 Queulat Carménère (Chile) – Steak with a Chimichurri sauce

If anyone is interested in any of the recipes used on the night, let me or Wayne know. We can provide. May I just point out though, that if anyone believes it is only 5 minutes preparation time for the Argentinian Fried Bread, they are delusional.

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Rugby World Cup – Keith Tibble – Eurovintage, Oct 2019

The Rugby World Cup might not have panned out as we would have hoped but this did not include our October tasting.

It was great to have Keith Tibble presenting again. Keith has been a valuable contact for our club and has been responsible for a number of great tastings over the years.

I don’t have a list of the wines that were tasted but my information is that as usual Keith was easy to deal with and came up with a format for the evening that worked well. A Gin and Tonic was the quaffer to represent Ireland and England. Feedback received from one member indicated that it was the best tasting in years. It was lots of fun as attendees turned up in their rugby gear. Having a similar theme tasting for the Olympics in 2020 could be a great idea for the committee to consider.

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2 iconic Central Otago wineries presented by Cenna Lloyd, Negociants

The wines tasted:

  • 2018  Two Paddocks’ Single Vineyard Pinot Rose
  • 2017 Misha’s Cantata Pinot Noir
  • 2018 Two Paddocks’ Pinot Noir
  • 2017 Two Paddocks’ Riesling
  • 2015 Misha’s Limelight Riesling
  • 2019 Misha’s Dress Circle Pinot Gris
  • 2018 Misha’s The Cadenza Late Harvest Gewürztraminer

     

For the 19 members and 1 guest that attended, this was a great tasting as evidenced by the fact that 101 bottles were ordered, such was the quality and pricing.

The low turnout was a disappointment but upon reflection, there were 3 couples overseas and another 4 people that contacted us beforehand and apologised because of sickness. These were 10 people that almost always attend and that, coupled with other regulars I have since heard were either out of town or sick, probably explains the low turn out. It can happen sometimes.

Cenna began her tasting presentation explaining the locations of Two Paddocks and Misha vineyards and as luck would have it, the wines presented covered the 4 main Central Otago sub-regions of Alexandra, Bannockburn, Gibbston Valley and Bendigo, Not covered was the area around Pisa Moorings or Wanaka.

She went onto explain that the reason for tasting the 2 Pinot Noirs first was so that any residual sweetness in our mouth from the whites would not destroy the delicacy of the 2017 Misha ‘Cantata’ Pinot Noir. All 3 red wines were excellent reflections of their styles but I especially enjoyed the savoury notes each had as compared to the dominate cherry flavours that tend to be more evident in other Central Otago Pinot Noirs.

The surprising wine of the night was Misha’s 2015 ‘Limelight’ Riesling. 4 years on, it still had a bright fresh citrusy flavour, This was a medium style Riesling with 34 grams/litre of residual sugar and I especially liked its delightful lingering finish. It’s hardly surprising to find later that wine writers have given this wine 5 stars. And to the surprise of everyone present, Jenny joyfully announced that she had finally found a white that she liked.

Misha’s 2019 ‘Dress Circle’ Pinot Gris was another of their whites to find great support from members. It had flavours of pear, citrus and spice, This is a very pleasing aromatic wine that will go well with Asian cuisine, which is hardly surprising, given that the owners worked in Asia for 16 years and set out to develop wines that would suit Asian as well as Western foods.

Of the two wineries, my personal favourite was Misha Vineyards with their theatrical named wines. So it was only fitting that the finale for the night was their 2018 ‘The Cadenza’ Late Harvest Gewurztraminer. This medium-sweet wine had aromas of apricot making it an
excellent match with fruit-driven desserts or with soft cheeses. As I said earlier, a great tasting.

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Trade Kitchen – Mid Year Dinner

Your committee found the Trade Kitchen staff to be very accommodating, making the organisation of this dinner easy. The venue worked reasonably well although the noise level in the bigger room made it hard to hear some conversations. The dinner was very enjoyable and the bubbles worked well with the dinner.

It was a good night and people seemed to enjoy it. The committee has received some good feedback about the dinner from attendees. The message seems to be that members like the higher level of the restaurant in town and close to public transport.

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A Colab view of Europe – Review June 2019

Simon Bell, the Representative for Colab Wine Merchants, presented a taste of Europe. There was a good turnout of 33 members and 3 guests. Everyone enjoyed the evening. It was a different style of meeting with lots of member interaction. Simon gave out larger glasses to demonstrate the difference using a large glass versus a small glass. It was an interesting evening with the tasting aimed for the layperson. There were 14 orders with a total of 96 bottles. Simon was pleased with the meeting and is keen to do another meeting. To revisit the wines included:q

Alpha Domus Collection Sauvignon Blanc (NZ)
Vivanco White Rioja (Spain)
Guerrieri Rizzardi Pinot Grigio IGP Veneto (Italy)
Domaine Dupre Bourgogne Chardonnay (France)
Vivanco Rioja Crianza (Spain)
Vivanco Rioja Reserva (Spain)
Chateau Mauciol Cotes du Rhone Villages Red (France)

One of the prospects he discussed, and would be happy to run, would be a non-threatening “Wine Options” evening. Your committee will consider this.

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AGM – Looking back on May

The AGM went well. The supper was well received and having bubbles at the supper was a hit. Good feedback was received about the supper and the wine. Your committee was returned unopposed and unchanged. I am sure that this means you are happy with the way that club activities are running. Just remember, we always welcome feedback and/or suggestions from members, so let us know what you are thinking.

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Top Drops under $25 – April 2019

Presenter: Joelle Thomson – Writer, author, etc

Our April tasting was a great success and certainly slightly different from other tastings, given the perspective of our presenter and her knowledge of wines in the current market.

Having someone of Joelle’s experience was certainly a coup for the club and we would like to acknowledge Regional Wines contribution in making this event happen.

The committee will be approaching Regional to see if we can re-establish some permanent benefits for club members and we will advise further if and when this is finalised.

As for the wines themselves, I have already said earlier that I really enjoyed the Montepulciano. But given the number and cross-section of orders that Joelle took away with her, it’s clear that all the wines were greatly appreciated.

Thank you, Joelle, for a very interesting tasting. Hopefully, we can arrange another tasting sometime in the future.

Wines tasted:

  • 2009 Forrest The Valleys Riesling
  • Valformosa Cava Classic Brut NV
  • 2015 Main Divide Waipara Riesling
  • 2015 Ulisse Montepulciano, Italy
  • 2015 Crater Rim Waipara Pinot Noir
  • 2016 Alary Gerbaude Cotes du Rhone
  • 2017 San Marzano Il Pumo Primitivo

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Villa Maria – March 2019

Yet another excellent tasting with Marc Udy from Villa Maria, ably assisted by Kirsty Warbrick,  presenting a range of great wines including some from their Platinum Range. Marc is one of the winemakers from Marlborough.  He was a good speaker and the consensus is that the winery has been really easy to deal with.

To reiterate the tasting included the Cellar Selection Rose 2018; Reserve Wairua Sauvignon 2018;  Single Vineyard Seddon Pinot Gris 2018; Reserve Marlborough Chardonnay 2016; Platinum Selection Pinot Noir 2018; Cellar Selection Grenache 2017, rounded off with the Cellar Selection Late Harvest Riesling 2015.  An enjoyable night.

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Askerne Wines – February 2019

Another great evening with nice wines and an informative presenter. John Loughlin was a pleasure to deal with and kept the meeting running to time. A good level of orders resulted. But that all our tastings were as easy to organize as this one was. John says he would be more than happy to come back and has some interesting wines that we haven’t yet tried. We will keep this in mind.

The wines tasted included; Askerne Sauv Blanc / Sauv Gris / Semillon 2018 as the quaffer; followed by; Askerne Reserve Chardonnay 2016; Askerne Viognier 2018; Askerne Gewürztraminer 2016; Askerne Syrah 2015; Askerne Merlot Cab Franc Cab Sauv Malbec 2015; Askerne 2016 Cabernet Franc; rounded off with the Askerne Dessert Cabernet 2018.

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