Alan Evans presenting – Sept 2020

Celebrating 40 years of tastings
Celebrating 40 years of tastings

Without a doubt, this would be one of the most prestigious tastings in the 40 years of the club’s existence.

And who better to present these wines, than one of our life members, Alan Evans.

Alan joined the club in 1987 and has held the roles of Editor [10 years] and President [8 years]. He was made a life member in 2010 and still attends our dinners and the occasional tasting.

He is also a Past President of the Magnum Society that was a Wellington-based wine group founded in 1972 and currently is the Cellar Master of the Tinakori branch of the international Beefsteak and Burgundy Club.

Alan’s love of wine was a natural progression, he says, from an interest in ciders in the 1960s to the wines of Henderson in the mid-1970s. He has an extensive temperature-controlled cellar and over the years has developed a love of European wines which he augments with premium NZ and Australian varietals.

2001 Penfolds 389
2001 Penfolds 389

The committee approached Alan to see if he would be prepared to present some of his premium cellared wines as one of our marquee events to celebrate our 40 years of tastings and he has not disappointed. The following list of wines is stunning.

  • 2016 Ogier Cote du Rhone White [Introductory wine]
  • 2016 Askerne Semillon
  • Loire Chenin Blanc
  • 2011 Penfolds 389 [from our own cellar]
  • 2001 Penfolds 389
  • 1991 Coleraine
  • 2017 Troplong Mondot [St Emilion Grand Cru]
1991 Te Mata Estate Coleraine
1991 Te Mata Estate Coleraine

The ’91 Coleraine was rated by a group of wine experts three years ago as the 5th best Coleraine ever made and is a personal favourite of John Buck, winemaker and Chairman of Te Mata Estate Winery. It was also rated by Geoff Kelly, alongside the 1987 Stonyridge Larose, as “one of the few great achievements in the first 26 years or so of cabernet and cabernet/merlot wine styles, in the modern phase of New Zealand viticulture”.

And if that isn’t enough to wet your taste buds, go and google our last wine.

As I said at the outset, this is a prestigious tasting of premium wines which I suspect, many of us have never tasted before. We are indeed lucky to have that opportunity this month.

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Celebratory activities, Important things, Maison Noire

Celebratory activities

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.

Important things

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A list of the two tasting groups can be found in your email from Robin.

Maison Noire

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.

Robin Semmens

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Air New Zealand’s reveals new wine list

air-new-zealands-reveals-new-wine-list579a9c159e2afWine experts have settled on a list of close to 50 wines, some costing more than $100 a bottle, for Air New Zealand to select from for its business class passengers.

Six of the nation’s leading independent wine experts have selected “The Fine Wines of New Zealand” – to serve in planes from September.

A selection panel comprising Masters of Wine Alastair Maling, Michael Brajkovich, Sam Harrop, Simon Nash and Steve Smith along with Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas has agreed on the list for 2016 which includes 47 wines representing seven varietals.

One of the key criteria was consistency, with a wine having had to have been produced to an ”exceptional standard” for a minimum of five consecutive years.

Air New Zealand chief operations officer Bruce Parton says the airline had been a longstanding supporter of New Zealand’s wine industry.

It spends about $6 million a year on wine for passengers throughout aircraft.

“We believe we can help further build awareness and appreciation of these world class wines with international travellers and propel leading New Zealand wineries to even greater commercial success,” Parton said.

The wines would be promoted through its inflight entertainment system, at offshore events and using contacts internationally to help open up key export markets for the wineries should they need this support.

The airline’s specialist inflight wine consultants, who are based in New Zealand, China and the United States, will select wines from the list for serving in business premier cabins. Not all on the list of 47 would make it on board as some do not react well to high altitudes or are available in sufficient quantities.

Parton said it was important that the wines were selected independently of its existing wine programme.

”We look forward to working closely with the wine masters in the coming years to compile this list annually.”

In 2014 Air New Zealand moved to a three-year deal with a single supplier, Villa Maria, in its economy section which upset some in the wine industry, but which the airline said had been part of simplifying the supply chain.

The Fine Wines of New Zealand for 2016:

Felton Road Dry Riesling 2014
Felton Road Block 1 Riesling 2015
Framingham F series Riesling Kabinett 2015
Johanneshof Cellars Gewürztraminer 2014
Stonecroft Gewürztraminer 2015
Te Whare Ra Toru SV5182 2014
Millton Vineyards Clos de Ste Anne Chenin Blanc 2014
Prophet’s Rock Pinot Gris 2014
Dry River Pinot Gris 2014

Pinot Noir
Felton Road Block 3 2013
Burn Cottage 2014
Valli Bannockburn 2014
Rippon Vineyards Tinkers Field 2012
Bell Hill 2012
Ata Rangi 2013
Dry River 2013
Craggy Range Aroha 2013
Kusuda 2013

Bordeaux style
Te Mata Coleraine 2014
Craggy Range Sophia 2013
Villa Maria Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2013
Esk Valley The Terraces 2013
Stonyridge Vineyard Larose 2014
Church Road Tom 2013

Sauvignon Blanc
Cloudy Bay Te Koko 2011
Astrolabe Province 2015
Dog Point 2015
Greywacke 2015
Saint Clair Reserve Wairau 2015
Vavasour 2015

Kumeu River Mate’s Vineyard 2014
Neudorf Moutere 2011
Sacred Hill Riflemans 2014
Dog Point 2013
Felton Road Block 2 2010
Villa Maria Keltern Vineyard 2014

Nautilus NV
Akarua Vintage Brut 2010
Deutz Blanc de Blanc Vintage 2011
Quartz Reef Vintage 2010

Dessert wines
Forrest Wines Botrytised Riesling 2012
Framingham Wines Noble Riesling 2013
Framingham Wines ‘F’ Gewürztraminer 2014

Craggy Range Le Sol 2013
Trinity Hill Homage 2013
Bilancia La Collina 2013
Te Mata Bullnose 2014

6:30 AM Friday Jul 29, 2016 | Read more by Grant BradleyNZ Herald

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Looking Back – Journey to the Cellar – March 2015

journeycellar… and a quiet night with friends

The evening was excellent and the presenters were superb. Well, we have to say that – don’t we?

Some committee, and club members, presented the wines for the evening which mainly came from the Cub’s cellar. Whilst numbers attending was a little disappointing, those who were there thought it was a quality evening.

The evening provided the following; the Quaffer was a Waimea Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (Wayne did a brief rundown on this wine before we proceeded with the rest of the tasting).

Following this we had the following selection; Esk Valley Chenin Blanc – (Michael Kuus presented); Esk Valley Verdelho – (Murray presented) These wines were selected on the basis that many members will probably not have tried them. We then enjoyed a Haythornthwaite Rose presented by Mark himself. After this Derek gave a brief outline of how he developed his cellar, and how the Cellar Club wine is kept.

After a short break we enjoyed a Shot in the Dark Cab Sav/Shiraz 2010, and followed this with a comparison of the Rufus Stone Heathcote Shiraz 2006, and an Alpha Domus Barnstormer Syrah 2012. The wines were presented by your editor who discussed the connection between Canadian interests and Quarisa Wines in NSW in the development of the “Shot in the Dark” label; the Australian use (or was it misuse) of South East Australia as a geographical indication (GI) for wine sales in Europe and the rising importance of Heathcote as an Australian wine region. Interesting feedback was that some thought the Rufus Stone was passed its best while others preferred it to the Barnstormer. A great night.

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Journey to the Cellar – March 2015

“The best laid schemes o’ mice and men gang aft agley” – Robert Burns

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

Cost: Members no charge, Guests $10

Presenter: No formal presentation


Indeed, as Robbie was well aware, the best laid plans often go astray and they have gone astray again for us this month. Unfortunately, because of changes at Auburn, they are unable to attend. Other options have been pursued but we have been unable to get a suitable replacement.

This does however give us an opportunity to use the Club’s cellar for the purpose it was designed. This Wednesday we samples some of our cellar stock including:

  • 2012 Waimea Sauvignon Blanc
  • Haythornthwaite Rose
  • 2010 Esk Valley Chenin Blanc
  • 2010 Esk Valley Verdelho
  • 2010 Shot in the Dark Cab Sav/Shiraz
  • 2006 Rufus Stone Heathcote Shiraz
  • 2012 Alpha Domus Barnstormer Syrah

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Glancing Back – October 2014 – Villa Maria

villamariaThis meeting was excellent with Jonathan (Jono) Hamlet being an interesting and enthusiastic speaker concentrating on the organic viticulture rather than the wine. It was a very informative balanced presentation, leading to a good level of orders. A good follow up with the newspaper item included in the newsletter.

To recap, the wines presented included; a Gerwurtz quaffer, then two wines from the Private Bin range, two Cellar Selections and two single vineyard wines, all organic offerings. In order to show some more ‘interesting’ varieties, Jono arranged for some barrel samples of wines produced from grapes from their organic vineyards ie Chenin Blanc.

A good tasting, could be interesting to follow up at a later date to follow the development of organic wines.

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Looking Forward – Oct 2014 – Villa Maria

villamariaThe presenter for this Villa Maria tasting will be Jonathan (Jono) Hamlet of the Joseph Solar Vineyard (manager and viticulturist) in Hawkes Bay – he manages the organics programme for V M nationwide, and this tasting will concentrate on their organic portfolio. Amongst other achievements, Jono is the vice president of the NZ Organic Winegrowers Association. More detail next month.

On offer will be a Gewürztraminer quaffer, then two wines from the Private Bin range, two Cellar Selections and two single vineyard wines, all organic offerings. In order to show some more ‘interesting’ varieties, Villa Maria will arrange for some barrel samples of wines produced from grapes from their organic vineyards i.e. Chenin Blanc. They have over 15 varieties planted in their Hawkes Bay organic vineyard alone so this shouldn’t be a problem!

View Jono’s profile.


Related news

Glancing Back: Sept 2013, MacVine, Aromatics

2015-06-17-5580e272d2fbcAn awful night weather wise which was something of a shame as the attendance was not as good as your committee had hoped. Despite this it was an interesting night with some really good wines, much enjoyed by those who attended. David Hughes was an informative and interesting presenter and he thoroughly enjoyed the evening despite the low attendance.

As intended, the evening concentrated on aromatics including:

  • 2011 Clark Estate Sauvignon Blanc
  • 2012 Forrest Chenin Blanc
  • 2011 Alpha Zeta Pinot Grigio
  • 2012 Forrest Pinot Gris
  • 2012 West Brook Gewurztraminer
  • 2011 Kerpen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett
  • 2011 Clark Estate Noble Pinot Gris

South African Wines with Richard Gooch – September 2012

Theme – South African Wines – has there been a change since Nelson got out? – Richard Gooch

The answer is there certainly has been, with 40% of vineyards having been replanted since apartheid and many new ones starting up. Our tasting is your chance to find out about this renaissance as NZ prepares to play its traditional foe, South Africa, on the rugby field in Dunedin on the 15th September.

This evening promises to be very entertaining with accomplished presenter Richard Gooch reviewing 7 wines in total. His delivery is always informative and humorous, even a little irreverent at times, and the wines he will cover include:

  • a sparkling wine to start with
  • Chenin Blanc
  • Riesling
  • a semi sweet white that is great with curries
  • Pinotage
  • Shiraz
  • Cabernet Sauvignon

These wines comes from a variety of labels across South Africa and include both old names and those of newer wine makers. Because these same styles are also available throughout Australasia, then you should indeed be able to assess for yourselves what progress South African wine making has made since Nelson Mandela was released in
February 1990.

One final comment, watch out for the Pinotage! Its maker claims it to be the best in the world. Come along to our tasting next week and you can decide for yourself.