Sophie Trigger | The Marlborough Express, 4 Mar 2020
Every time Marlborough cellist Elgee Leung drinks a gran reserva or gran arzuaga he gets to thinking about a Spanish cellist composer’s music, Cassado, and he will literally play the music in his head when he drinks the wine from his favourite winery in Spain. Music and wine is purely an artistic connection.”Sometimes when I drink a bottle of wine I think of a particular piece of music,” Leung said.
At a concert titled ‘Die Innere Stimme‘, which translates to ‘the inner voice’, he will feature three traditional German musical works performed by a cello and piano duo, with a wine tasting from Clark Estate served in the intermission. Leung will play the cello alongside world-class pianist Dr Michael Tsalka, who has 23 CD records and tours the world as a solo musician.
He said Clark Estate winemaker Simon Clark had chosen a selection of wines from the reserve range that captured the “tension” of the three German pieces of music being played. They hoped the concert would spark the same love of music and wine that Leung and Clark both share.
“I am from a musical background and Simon’s been an amateur trumpeter, and now he plays the french horn in my orchestra. We met because of music and we developed our friendship because of wine and music. “People will love the connection between wine and music so they can enjoy both sides of this event.” Elgee Leung conducts the Marlborough Civic Orchestra and works at Clark Estate.
The first vintage produced by The Crater Rim was from a small hillside vineyard, high above the town of Akaroa on the Banks Peninsula – and so the brand ‘The Crater Rim’ was born.
The Banks Peninsula has a far-reaching effect on the climate of the whole Canterbury province, and so we have carried The Crater Rim brand to encompass all the wines we produce from the Canterbury sub-regions of Waipara, Omihi and Banks Peninsula and from Central Otago.
The winery produces in three ranges:
This is going to maintain the high standard of tastings for 2020. Don’t miss it.
Lyn is a Sales Rep who works independently and has represented The Crater Rim for just over 3 years. She says “They are a wonderful family and team to work with and I have grown their brand extensively in the Top of the South Island and the Lower North Island. My background is in retail, sales and marketing and I thoroughly enjoy my job (and their wine!)”
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.
It’s the first of our celebratory activities for the year this month. The day trip to the Wairarapa promises to be a real highlight. A great deal of work has been put into the organisation of the day and I know we would all like to thank those on the committee who have been deeply involved.
A list of the two tasting groups can be found in your email from Robin.
There has been a bit of fun over the Maison Noire deliveries. When they arrived at my place, in numbered cartons, there was a notable omission in that carton No.1 was missing. No message or contact from the courier about this so I contacted Esther at Maison Noire. With some difficulty, she was finally able to ascertain that some breakage had occurred in this carton. The carton contained mainly Chenin Blanc. Unfortunately, the order had exhausted their reserves of the 2019 vintage and they will be replacing these orders with 2020 wine. Very poor service from the courier PBT.
This is a full-day excursion, leaving Wellington Railway Station at 9.55 am and arriving back at 6.30 pm.
Details of train and bus connections, and any costs that that might entail, are included below. The day begins with tastings from the above three wineries. “grava” and Alana shares a cellar door. Not too much I can say about this, but see below for the timetable and expectations for the day, and tasting notes. A day full of fine wine and camaraderie. What more could you ask for?
40th Anniversary Trip to Martinborough, 21st March 2020
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.