History in the bubbles: 105 and still loving her bubbly| Joelle Thomson – 16/12/19
(This item is something of a prelude to our proposed June tasting. It relates to Dawn Ibbotson who is the matriarch of the Ibbotson family who operates Saint Clair)
This month marks the 105th birthday of the woman who inspired one of New Zealand’s best bubblies made using the French traditional method, the same way that champagne is created.
The woman and the wine are called Dawn. The first vintage of Dawn was made from the 2012 vintage to mark its namesake’s 100th birthday in December 2014. Now, Dawn Ibbotson has turned 105 and her family says she enjoys a daily glass of the bubbly they made in her honour.
It’s a top bubbly in taste too, as our instore experts pick it as one of their favourites, year-round.
The wine is made from hand-harvested, whole bunch pressed grapes, which were fermented in a combination of stainless steel (the Chardonnay) and seasoned French oak barriques (the Pinot Noir). The two still wine components were then blended and bottle-fermented for three months to allow the carbon dioxide from the second fermentation to dissolve into the wine, creating its fine bubbles. It was then left on tirage (lees) for thirty-nine months until disgorgement.
Story of the name Saint Clair…bubb
The Ibbotson family who founded Saint Clair Winery named it after the original landowners of their Marlborough vineyards, the Sinclair family. Saint Clair is also the name of a suburb in Dunedin, hometown to the Ibbotson’s and to Dawn.
Dawn is made from…
Vines are grown on stone and sandy alluvial soils on Rapaura Road, Marlborough; overlooked by Saint Clair Vineyard Kitchen. It contains 6 grams of residual sugar per litre; off-dry, but only just, in other words. This wine tastes dry from the first sip to the last, lingering sparkling drop.
Thank you to the volunteers, who took the wine glasses home last year and washed them.
We need volunteers once again for the 2020 glasses roster. Once a year you will take the wine glasses home after the meeting, wash them and return them to the next month’s meeting. The meetings months this year are February, April to June and August to October and December
Please let Jenny Jebson if you want to volunteer with an indication of your preferred month.
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.
2020 is a very special year for our club. We will celebrate 40 years of activity and tastings as the year progresses. Because of special events being organised, you will note that this newsletter has a slightly different approach in that we are setting out activities for the first three months rather than one month at a time. I am sure that for many of you this is your favourite read but don’t be alarmed, so much is happening that we will continue to come at you monthly.
Thousands of “forgotten corners” in Marlborough vineyards could be planted with native species, enriching the region’s biodiversity. That might require a change in mindset for growers who like their rows straight and their fence lines sprayed, says Marlborough District Council environmental scientist Matt Oliver.
But it would help mitigate the monoculture of Marlborough, he adds. “We have imposed our will on nature across the Wairau and Awatere Plains. The very least you can do is give up a bit of control in these little pockets of land.”
He describes forgotten corners as “the annoying space that every vineyard manager has in their vineyard, whether it’s a funny shaped piece that is not big enough for vines or a few sheep or a drain that you have to spray twice a year”.
Planting those areas in native grasses, flax and kowhai would cost a few hundred dollars. They will require a bit of weeding initially but this could be done in the time operators would have otherwise have spent backing the tractor in to spray, he says. “In a few years’ time, you might have tui in the kowhai and giant kokopu in the drain. You’ll find you’ve saved a bit of money and done something good. It might even make a good photo for your marketing.” Wine Marlborough advocacy manager Vance Kerslake says the organisation fully supports industry front-footing biodiversity projects.
“We sponsor the Cawthron Marlborough Environment Awards and love to see and promote the work being done by growers and wine companies to mitigate monoculture,” he says. “Industry members are increasingly seeing how important that is for the environment, primarily, but also how it adds richness to the story of individual companies, as well as the reputation of brand Marlborough.” MDC biodiversity coordinator Mike Aviss, who runs the Significant Natural Areas project, as well as Tui to Town, says the plains have lost 99 per cent of their natural cover since Europeans settled here. “All the drainable wetlands have virtually been drained, along with the kahikatea and swamp forest. This was once a huge wetland system.”
With every change in land use there’s loss of native land cover, he says. That is certainly true of vineyard conversions, which typically run in straight lines, putting creeks and trees at risk. “It really depends on how focused the developer is on wanting to get the most out of the land,” says Mike. “Whether they are driven by converting every inch to grapes, or see themselves as part of the landscape, and can see the value in keeping areas of natural habitat.”
Some companies already have biodiversity targets that include small pockets of new plantings or large expanses of restored natives, including Pernod Ricard’s Kaituna wetland, Wither Hills‘ nationally significant Rarangi wetland, and Spy Valley‘s Hillocks Rd restoration. “There are some pretty neat forgotten corners out there,” says Matt. “But there are so many more to develop.” The Forgotten Corners is not a council policy, but Council can assist with funding through the Tui to Town project and other funding to assist landowners. In the meantime, Matt and Mike hope vineyard owners will spring the $2.50 for a native grass or $3.50 for a kowhai and do their bit for biodiversity.
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
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
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.
Well, December already team. It has been a strange year with a few downs to go along with the ups for some of us on a personal level.
That is not to say that it has been a bad year for our Cellar Club, quite the contrary in fact. Let’s review our year. By a long-established tradition, we began with our summer BBQ at the end of January. The usual excellent occasion and we continue to appreciate that Derek makes his premises available. February saw us heading to Askerne Estate in Hawkes Bay. The Hawkes Bay wineries never let you down. March was with the very well established Villa Maria presenting. While the winery originated in Auckland, the company has expanded over the years and produces wines from most of the major regions in New Zealand.
April saw something of a coup for the club with Joelle Thomson presenting. Joelle is a well-recognised personality in the New Zealand wine world as an author, wine writer and tutor. Another great tasting. May is the inevitable AGM then in June Simon Bell from Colab Wine Merchants took us on a tour of Europe. Simon brought along some large wine glasses and some time was spent on discussing the virtues and differences that wine glasses can make to your wine experience. On to July for the mid-year dinner at the Trade Kitchen.
Off to Nelson for the August tasting with Waimea Estate. Over the years Waimea has gathered 150+ Gold Medals and 26 Trophies across nine different wine styles. Nelson producers are right up there as a wine region. Cenna Lloyd for Negociants presented in September. She presented wines from two wineries, Misha’s Vineyard and Two Paddocks, both from Central Otago. Much enjoyed by those who attended and really great orders from a smaller group attending.
In October we celebrated the Rugby World Cup with a selection of wines from countries competing in the Cup. Keith Tibble was the presenter. November saw the very early return of Cenna Lloyd for the South American wine and food match evening outlined below. Cenna had been to South American after presenting in September and was keen to share her experience.
It only remains to anticipate yet another December Dinner. We have been to Cashmere Lounge before and we are sure you will not be disappointed.
Quality and consistency have put Seifried Family Winemakers on the map with their 2019 Nelson Sauvignon Blanc releases – awarded a combined haul of seven gold medals and the “Best of Show” trophy.
The winery’s premium Aotea by the Seifried Family Sauvignon Blanc 2019 has been awarded three gold medals across New Zealand and international wine shows, including the title ‘Best of Show NZ White’ in the MUNDUS VINI 2019 in Germany. Their Seifried Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2019 has now achieved its fourth gold medal since release to market.
Both Sauvignon Blancs have just been awarded gold medals at the 2019 New Zealand Wine of the Year™ (the official NZ wine industry competition, replacing the Air New Zealand Wine Awards). Recognition at these awards is particularly huge, given the hundreds of entries. An accolade at this competition is about celebrating New Zealand winemaking excellence, and is a win that is proudly shared among the whole team at Seifried.
Seifried Estate says that although it is a small grape growing region, Nelson’s climate and talent for crafting world class wine is clear. “We’re so proud of the recognition for our team’s commitment and hard work to making great wines. We’re also very proud of Nelson / Tasman and our fellow growers and producers, many who, like us, started from humble beginnings.
Combining the famous creative artisan spirit with the soil and climate in this special place at the centre of New Zealand, Nelson is a region known for some of the finest food and beverage products in the world.
We’re incredibly proud to call this place home.” – Seifried Estate Sales and Marketing Manager, Anna Seifried.
Proven over time – a snapshot of achievements:
The accolades begin with New Zealand’s most awarded dessert wine, Seifried Winemakers Collection Sweet Agnes Riesling. Awards include ‘Champion Sweet Wine’ at the 2015 Air New Zealand Wine Awards, as well as ‘Best New Zealand Sweet’ at the UK Decanter World Wine Awards 2017 – to name a few.
Seifried Nelson Pinot Noir has had its share of recognition and was named as a “Rising Star” in the ‘2019 Great New Zealand Pinot Noir Classification’ which lists only the top quarter of New Zealand’s Pinot Noir producers.
It’s not always the garden varieties associated with Nelson or New Zealand either. Aotea by the Seifried Family Méthode Traditionnelle NV took out the ‘WineWorks Champion Sparkling Wine’ at the 2017 Air New Zealand Wine Awards.
The family is working hard with some lesser known varietals too, such as the Seifried Nelson Würzer, an aromatic white wine found only in very small quantities, even in its home country of Germany. Seifried Nelson Zweigelt, the Austrian classic, made with a Kiwi twist is another – “Great stuff for someone looking for something different. Real presence and grip.
Seifried Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2019 Gold – New Zealand Wine of the Year™ 2019, New Zealand Gold – The New Zealand International Wine Show 2019, New Zealand Gold – AWC Vienna 2019, Austria Gold – MUNDUS VINI 2019 Summer Tasting, Germany 93 Points – Cameron Douglas MS, The Shout, August 2019, New Zealand
List of recent awards
New Zealand Wine of the Year™ GOLD: Aotea by the Seifried Family Sauvignon Blanc 2019 GOLD: Seifried Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2019 Silver: Seifried Nelson Gewurztraminer 2019
25th Grand International Wine Award MUNDUS vini “Best of Show New Zealand white”: Aotea by the Seifried Family Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2019 GOLD: Aotea by the Seifried Family Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2019 GOLD: Seifried Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2019
AWC Vienna – International Wine Challenge GOLD: Aotea by the Seifried Family Sauvignon Blanc 2019 GOLD: Seifried Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2019 Silver: Old Coach Road Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2019
NZ International Wine Show GOLD: Seifried Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2019 GOLD: Seifried Winemakers Collection Nelson ‘Sweet Agnes’ Riesling 2019 Silver: Seifried Nelson Riesling 2019 Silver: Seifried Nelson Pinot Noir Rosé 2019
Contact SEIFRIED ESTATE Chris Seifried – Winemaker Email: chris Tel: +64 3 544 5599 Cell: +64 21 544 750 www.seifried.co.nz