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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History in the bubbles

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)

NB. It was with some sadness that I noted that Dawn passed away on 10 Jan after I
had copied this item. Still, 105 is a great knock and enjoying a nice wine right up to the
end can’t have been bad. Rest in Peace Dawn.

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.

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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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Celebrating 200 Years of New Zealand Wine

September 25, 2019, marks 200 years since the first planting of grapevines in New Zealand. From the humble beginnings of a vine planted in Northland, the New Zealand wine industry has grown to become a $1.83 billion export earner, with an international reputation for premium, diverse and sustainable wines.

Reverend Samuel Marsden, Chaplain to New South Wales (1765-1838), records September 25, 1819, as
the day he planted a vine in the rich grounds of the Stone Store, Kerikeri in the Bay of Islands. These
pioneering vines were the very first to be planted into New Zealand soils, with New Zealand being one
of very few countries in the world where the exact date of the planting of the first vines is known,
making our story unique on the world stage.

Throughout the 19th and early 20th century, a significant number of European immigrants came to New
Zealand and set up vineyards in different regions. They each contributed to the early establishment of
the diverse wine regions of New Zealand. The New Zealand wine industry today consists of over 700
wineries and more than 600 grape growers, with the growing success of this industry depending
strongly on the commitment and passion of the people behind it.

Since the 1990s, there has been an evolution in the grape varieties that we see planted throughout our
regions. Sauvignon Blanc is now the most widely planted variety, accounting for 76% of total production,
followed by Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

As we raise a toast to the past, we also look ahead to the future. The New Zealand wine industry is
dedicated to ensuring that we celebrate another 200 years, through a commitment to sustainability and
innovation that will protect the places that make our famous wines. Over 98% of New Zealand’s
vineyard producing area is now Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand (SWNZ) certified – and this is
unmatched by any voluntary scheme around the world.

New Zealand Winegrowers will be marking the 200 year anniversary with an industry event in
Northland, including a ceremonial re-planting at the historic Stone Store, followed by a regional wine
tasting and dinner on the Waitangi Treaty Grounds.

In his diary, Marsden prophesied, “New Zealand promises to be very favourable to the vine, as far as I
can judge at present of the nature of the soil and climate. Should the vine succeed, it will prove of vast
importance in this part of the globe.” His prediction has been brilliantly fulfilled.

For further information contact:
Amber Silvester
Communications Manager, New Zealand Winegrowers
021 794 381

Editors notes:

  • The first recorded wine was from James Busby in 1830s. Busby, the Crown’s Resident in New
    Zealand lived in what is now called the Treaty House at the Treaty Grounds in Waitangi. James
    Busby was the architect of the Treaty of Waitangi and is regarded as the first winemaker in New
    Zealand.
  • In 1840, naval officer and explorer Jules Dumont D’Urville visited and was disappointed to find
    Busby not in residence, but tasted a wine made by Busby. Onboard his ship, Astrolabe, Dumont
    D’Urville wrote the first New Zealand wine review in his journal, “with great pleasure I agreed to
    taste the product of the vineyard that I had just seen. I was given a light white wine, very
    sparkling, and delicious to taste, which I enjoyed very much”.

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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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European wines presented by Simon Bell, Colab Wine Merchants Limited

Members may recognise Simon’s name. He presented to the club back in April 2018 but has recently moved to a new company in wine and spirit wholesaling, Colab Wine Merchants Limited.

This company is interesting in that its 2 principal shareholders are 2 well-known wineries:

But of equal importance to us, Colab also handles 3 South Australian brands:

As you can see, all 3 of these areas are in the state of South Australia which is one of the iconic new world wine regions and so we are really looking forward to tasting some great wines from this area.

More details next month.

News just in

CoLab is now presenting a range of European wines from their portfolio. The wines to be presented include:

  • 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

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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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Negociants present Yalumba Wines – Cenna Lloyd – October 2018

This was a very enjoyable tasting. Cenna was a very knowledgeable presenter with a great relaxed style. She admitted to a few nerves to start with but was soon interacting nicely with the members. The wines presented were great wines at a good value for money. The tasting was a good night.

Whilst we haven’t used Negociants before, the fact that we are now licensed means we can deal with this type of operation in the future. We will keep it in mind to pencil Negociants in for another tasting soon, as they have a really good provider base.

To reiterate, the wines tasted were the:

  • 2017/2018 Sangiovese Rosé
  • 2017 Organic Chardonnay
  • 2014 Eden Valley Roussanne
  • 2017 Eden Valley Viognier
  • 2017 Old Bush Vine Grenache
  • 2015 Paradox Shiraz
  • 2014 The Signature Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz

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Clearview Estate – August 2018

Established in 1989, Clearview Estate Winery, Hawke’s Bay and its iconic ‘red shed’ restaurant enjoys an established, leafy coastal vineyard setting near the historic landscape of Cape Kidnappers.

Sit, under the blue umbrellas or amongst the vines, while you explore the comprehensive seasonal menu from the winery restaurant featuring fresh and creative dishes making innovative use of Hawke’s Bay produce.

Besides grapes, the estate also grows avocados, olives and citrus trees along with a culinary herb garden to supply the restaurant’s kitchen. Enjoy our estate grown, award-winning wines including the iconic Reserve Chardonnay or our Cabernet-Merlot blends – Old Olive Block & Enigma.

More fabulous Hawkes Bay wines to enjoy. You would be silly to miss this one. More detail next month.

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Unison Vineyard – Terry Horn – June 2018

Yet another great tasting from a Hawkes Bay winemaker. The night was cold and wet but we were well pleased with the attendance.

Terry from Unison presented a selection of their wines which the committee felt were brilliant. Terry gave a very informative talk with a great pitch.

The wines presented were well received with good orders arising from the night. Terry enjoyed the evening as did the members attending.

The wines included:

  • 2016 Sauvignon Blanc
  • 2016 Reserve Chardonnay
  • 2017 Rose
  • 2015 Rocky Red
  • 2012 Reserve Merlot
  • 2013 Classic Red
  • 2013 Syrah

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Chilled red wines and warmer white wines have more flavour

Wine is a complicated beast, but best rules to follow are: chill your reds lightly and let your whites warm a little.
Wine is a complicated beast, but best rules to follow are: chill your reds lightly and let your whites warm a little.

Thomas Heaton | January 25 2018

Kiwis are drinking their red wines too warm and our whites too cold, according to expert sommeliers.

Refrigeration leaves white too cold, and chances are red is too warm in the current summer weather.

Wellington wine bar Noblerot served its wines at a range of temperatures according to the varietal; the prime range for red wine was between 18 and 22 degrees.

Noblerot Chef Joshua Dodd with co-owner and sommelier Maciej Zimny

Co-owner and sommelier Maciej Zimny said lighter, fruitier reds, such as pinot noir, lent themselves to being chilled to the bottom of that range.

During warmer summer weather, Zimny recommended chilling red wine from up to 10 minutes before serving, which would reduce the temperature by between three and five degrees.

“When you taste the wine, at a lower temperature it seems complete,” he said.

“Even when it’s slightly colder that it should be it will provide much more pleasure.”

That’s because of the alcoholic smell was exaggerated when it was warm, which was unappetising, according sommelier at Auckland’s French Cafe, Stephanie Guth.

She said. however, the sight of a chilled red wine was odd for customers.

“You want to do it justice but it’s such a weird thing for people to see, red wine in an ice bucket, even though you know it might benefit from it,” Guth said.

Twenty minutes in an ice-bucket before opening and drinking might help to boost the flavour in a pinot noir.

“The more complex the wine you have, the warmer it should be served,” Zimny said, referring to rich red wines such as merlot or Bordeaux varietals.

Conversely white wine should be served chilled, however complex oaky chardonnays should be served slightly warmer than other whites.

So chardonnay’s flavours lent better to slightly warmer temperatures than sauvignon blanc, about 14 degrees as opposed to 10 degrees, because it was important to make sure oak flavours were prominent.

Pinot noir and chardonnay hailed from the Burgundy region of France, and both were classically stored in the same cellar under the same conditions. He said wines have either been served too warm or too cold since the invention of refrigerators.

Cellar temperature was perceived as something quite different to what was initially intended, room temperature, Guth said.

Leaving white wine to warm up slightly released flavours hidden by colder temperatures.

“It doesn’t harm the wine but you tend to get a little more out of the aromas.”

The only reason one should drink a bottle straight out of the fridge was “if you don’t want to taste your wine”, she said.

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