Confidant Wines August 2020 tasting

We are meeting as usual on 12 August at the Johnsonville Community Hall, Ground Floor for an 8 pm starts with Confidant Wines, a small (boutique) local importer of Portuguese wines in Wellington distributing the well-regarded Casa Santos Lima winery and a range of notable NZ wineries that are available in selected retail outlets and a number of Wellington restaurants.

Victor Kattenbelt has been around the Wellington wine scene for a number of years and travels to Europe every year (even early 2020), for wine trade expos in France, Netherlands and Germany, and to visit his suppliers in Portugal.

Victor’s Portuguese portfolio is extensive, and some of his wines this time round are new to his portfolio and we have decided to expand the tasting to 8 wines for the tasting to do justice to his wide range and to celebrate our European tasting country of the year.

If you are interested in doing more reading see Casa Santos Lima winery. The wines for the evening are:

  • A Portuguese bubble – Casa Santos Bruto [NV] to begin the evening
  • 2018 Galodoro Rose
  • 2016 VK Gewurztraminer (NZ)
  • 2018 Linden Estate Chardonnay (NZ)
  • Then an array of 4 unique Portuguese reds:
    • 2017 Bons Ventos
    • 2017 Confidencial Red
    • 2018 Valcatrina
    • and to finish a superb Alicante Bouschet premium red

The member door price will be $15 and guest price $18.

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Crater Rim Tasting Review Jun 2020

From the Ashes Range
Premium Range
Icon Range

39 members attended for the evening and orders for the wine & 5 cookbooks exceeded $3K which is one of our more successful orders.

An interesting note from our orders is that the 2019 Wairarapa Viognier was the preferred wine, with 2018 From the Ashes Riesling second. The Viognier also illustrates how they grow grapes and bottle wine from various areas around NZ, even though they are based in North Canterbury.

The list of wines we sampled during the evening for your recollection is below:

  • 2017 Waipara Sauvignon Blanc
  • 2018 From the Ashes Riesling
  • 2019 From the Ashes Pinot Gris
  • 2019 Waipara Viognier
  • 2018 Waipara Chardonnay
  • 2019 Waipara Rosé
  • 2019 From the Ashes Pinot Noir
  • 2015 Banks “Rata” Pinot Noir

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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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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.
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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