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 Thomas and Esther Smith of Maison Noire - Feb 2020
Guillaume Thomas and Esther Smith of Maison Noire – Feb 2020

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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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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What age can do for/to wine? – September 2017

The late Richard Gooch
The late Richard Gooch

Well our tasting for September was certainly different and a great learning experience. It’s not often you get to taste 11 wines from the period 1974 to 1996. And to help judge these wines, Wayne had organised a novel rating system that required each table to come up with a ratings that were [4] Superb -aged perfectly, [3] Still enjoyable or has interest, [2] Drinkable but dying, [1] Dead – nothing to commend it to lastly, [0] In decay – not even going to taste this.

He had also arranged for John Saker to attend the tasting and he proved to be a valuable contributor to our discussions, using his knowledge and wine judging skills to highlight things that many of us might not have considered. He particularly liked the Aussie 1990 McWilliams Mount Pleasant Elizabeth Semillon which still had some structure, fruit flavour and mouth feel.

However, it was on the decline from its probable peak 7 or 8 years ago. But still, it did show how a white wine such as a great Hunter Valley Semillon could last. Of the other 10 wines tasted, there were two 1994 wines that attracted the most support, a Leconfield Coonawara Cabernet Merlot Cabernet Franc blend and a French Cordier Sauternes. Sadly 4 of the wines were rated as a 1 or zero. Whilst the oldest of these was from 1975, there were others from the 1994-1996 period that did not measure up. The 1975 had suffered from a leaking cork and had oxidised badly whilst two of the others were white wines that in all honestly , should never had been cellared that long [because of their grape and style].

Wayne’s biggest disappointment of the night, however, was the wine that had been stored in a very large bottle dating back to 1893. The providence of this wine actually dated back to the period 1980 to 1995 and had been stored in this old bottle for later tasting. Wayne had tried to find out more about this wine from CJ Pask who was reputed to have taken it from a barrel and stored it in the bottle for Richard Gooch to taste at a later date, but Chris couldn’t recall the occasion. In any event, this wine was one to be rated a zero, having unfortunately deteriorated to such an extent that no one was prepared to suggest what it might have included, even if the suspicion was that it was once a Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and maybe some Cabernet Franc, all from young vines on the Gimblett Gravels.

In conclusion, whilst this evening may have lacked a standout wine that would make the tasting memorable, it did serve to be both educational and to serve as a warning. I think most members will have gone home and looked for those forgotten wines at the back of their cupboards or cellars in order to drink them before they start their inevitable decline into mediocrity.

A special thanks to Linda Caradus, partner to the late Richard Gooch. It was her wish to give the club these very old wines so that we could use them as a learning experience and they certainly did that. It was just a shame that overseas business prevented her attending the tasting and seeing the interest that the 11 wines provided.

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2017 Romeo Bragato Wine Awards

Wine industry recognises viticultural excellence at 2017 Romeo Bragato Wine Awards

A Cabernet Franc from Canterbury has come out on top at this year’s Bragato Wine Awards.

Grown by Lindsay Hill, in the Waipara West vineyard located in Canterbury, The Boneline Cabernet Franc 2016 won the coveted Bragato Trophy for Champion Wine of the Show.  The wine also picked up the O-I New Zealand Trophy for Champion Emerging Red Wine.

“This Cabernet Franc was a pleasure to judge, but equally an absolute joy to taste, savour and discuss,” said Chair of Judges Ben Glover. “This wine is certainly all about a single site… A real treat”.

Fourteen trophies in total were awarded and the geographical spread was diverse, with four going to Marlborough; three each going to Hawke’s Bay, Canterbury and Otago; and one going to Nelson.

The Bragato Wine Awards recognise the grower for viticultural excellence and acknowledges that growing excellent grapes is the foundation of making wines of true quality.  For the first time in the competition’s 23 year history, all wines entered in 2017 had to be single vineyard wines.

“By making the shift to a single vineyard show, we’re allowing our industry to express the Turangawaewae of their distinctive sites,” said Mr Glover.

The Bragato Wine Awards are held each year as part of the New Zealand Winegrowers Romeo Bragato National Conference.  The Champion Wine of the Show was announced at the Conference Dinner last night. For more information visit www.bragato.org.nz.

For further information please contact:

Rod Easthope
Panel Chair
Bragato Wine Awards
0274 666 0046
rodeasthope@windowslive.com

Or

Angela Willis
Manager – Global Events
New Zealand Winegrowers
021 552 071
angela@nzwine.com

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Tasting review – Wines of Argentina

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Josefina Telleria from South2South introduced herself and the wines of her homeland Argentina with that endearing Argentinian accent and a great personality to match.

Josefina spoke with such passion and enthusiasm for the home of Malbec where half is exported to the US with the remaining wines scattered predominately throughout the UK, China, and a small amount to New Zealand.

Josefina spoke with such passion of the home of Malbec where half is exported to the US with the remaining wines scattered predominately throughout the UK, China, and a small amount to New Zealand.

Noted for the vineyards high altitude, crisp clean air and microclimates, extremely hot 50 degrees days, pure melted water from the Andes, the wines represent these elements outstandingly. The wines came from as far north as Famatina and Mendoza in the south.

The two Torrontes wines, only grown in Argentina, represent a cross between Sauv. Blanc, Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer but then nothing like any of them. They are distinctive to Argentina. Both have a clear crisp colour, slightly floral bouquet and an almost creamy texture on the front of the mouth with a long slightly acidic finish making it a refreshing and vibrant drink. 15/20.

If you’re into chardonnay like me, then this chardonnay was very different. After being in new American barrels for six months, the wine is purposefully produced with high acidity and woody oak notes. This was very dry but not mouth-puckering, with a rich acidic finish. 17/20.

20160309_205252Onto the Malbec’s. I’ve sampled Malbec’s from around the world and I now see why Argentina produces standout Malbec. The La Celia and Montechez are both deeply intense purple in colour with intense flavour and soft tannins that do not overpower the subtleness of the fruit.

The La Celia has a sweet & slight liquorice nose, very dry, and a much smoother finish than the Montechez. 18/20. The Montechez give an almost mushroom/ forest floor nose at first, grape sweetness with young plum fruit, and an extremely rich smooth finish. 17/20.

Finally, the Cabernet Franc for which Argentina is noted for completed the tasting. Given the terroir, this is a big bold complex wine developing a headier spicy nose, cedar and medium tannin to tempt the taste buds and a very rich finish. 19/20.

As a comparison, Argentina has more than 220,000 hectares under vine with New Zealand a meagre 36,000. Wanting to know more about Wines of Argentina?

Tasting – Wines of Argentina

Wed. 09 MAR, 2016 – 7:45 – 9:45 pm

Venue: Johnsonville Community Centre Hall, 30 Moorefield Rd, Johnsonville, Wellington 6037 –Directions.

Cost: Members $12, Guests $16

Presenter: Josefina Telleria

“From humble beginnings and a passion for everything the Argentine wine and food culture has to offer, South2South has now become a company with a clear mission to provide Kiwis with an opportunity to enjoy the unique flavours and memorable experiences Argentine wines bring to the palate. Our vision is to become New Zealand’s premier Argentine fine wine importer.”

Chris Emmett and Josefina Telleria form South2South. Chris is a kiwi who has been converted to wine through his association with the wines of Argentina. Josefina was born and raised in Argentina and is the Argentine connection. She has a strong family connection to vines and wines in and around Mendoza. They are keen to introduce us to their passion for wines from the region.

Let’s enjoy. The wines on the night will be:

  • Introductory – La Consulta Reserva Torrontes or La Consulta Reserva Malbec
  • 2013 Montechez Reserva Chardonnay
  • 2013 Alta Vista Premium Torrontes
  • 2014 Serbal Malbec Rose
  • 2013 La Celia Pioneer Malbec
  • 2012 Montechez Reserva Malbec
  • 2012 Montechez Limited Edition Cabernet Franc

Don’t miss this one, it will be fun.

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Looking Forward: Feb 2014

March 2014 – Alpha Domus

Alpha Domus winery was established by two generations of the Ham family. The vision began in 1990 with the purchase of bare land and planting began in 1991. Their commitment is to produce premium quality wines that are true to varietal character and are a reflection of their unique terrior.

The vineyard lies in the renowned Bridge Pa Triangle Wine District of Hawkes Bay. From these soils, Alpha Domus winery produces world-class wines from a wide range of varietals including Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Chardonnay, Viognier and Syrah.

Alpha Domus wines are single vineyard, estate grown, and vinted at the on site winery.

The name Alpha Domus was inspired by the first initial of each of the family’s first names from the father through to the youngest brother; Anthonius, Leonarda, Paulus, Henrikus and Anthonius (ALPHA); Domus is Latin for house. Some really good wines, we look forward to what is offered.