2015 in review

Usually, I find this a time to reflect on what the year has offered. Following on from the regular BBQ in January we started off with a few hiccups in our arrangements. Nevertheless, tastings began on a high note in February with Ash Ridge from Hawkes Bay. March saw another late change, but an enjoyable evening was possible with club members presenting wines from our cellar. April allowed Ohau Wines to introduce us to some interesting local wines while May was, of course, our AGM.

Things really got rolling in June with Taylor Brown, who are the NZ agents for Brown Bros and Taylors from Australia. They presented mainly Taylors as we had quite recently shared an evening with Brown Bros. July took us to Bistro 52, WelTec’s training restaurant for our mid-year dinner while August showed the enjoyable wines of the well-established Wairarapa winery, Gladstone. September was a highlight with the iconic Hawkes Bay producer Craggy Range, followed in October with Man O’ War from Waiheke Island. The tasting year finished with festive wines presented by Macvine International.

Your committee are pleased with the programme and hope everyone found something to enjoy.

Only the dinner to go to complete a very successful year. We have had some great tastings in enjoyable company. Unlike Susan Devoy, I am happy to offer my best wishes for the Christmas season.

Cheers
Robin Semmens, Editor

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Craggy Range – Gladstone – From the Editor

Craggy Range

What a great tasting on offer. Miss it at your peril. You will note that the door cost is a little higher than usual. This is to ensure that members have the opportunity to taste great wines from a top producer. Enjoy.

derek-thompson-2015Gladstone

At the Gladstone tasting last month the winery set up a draw for any members purchasing case lots. On offer was a magnum of their 2009 Reserve Pinot Noir. This draw was won by Derek Thompson. Congratulations Derek.

Cheers
Robin Semmens, Editor

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Tasting review – Gladstone Vineyard

Being the first vineyard in Gladstone in 1986, Christine and David Kernohan took over the vineyard in 1996. Only 20km from Martinborough, GV soils exhibit similar properties probably due to its proximity to the old terrace riverbed of the Ruamahanga River.

With ideal soil conditions, free draining stony silt loam for growing vines, production has steadily stepped up over the past 20 years. Christine mentioned the wine growing area in Gladstone is in the process of identifying its own sub-region characteristics.

The wines from first impressions seemed to be a little flat. First impressions can be deceiving as they were in this case. The bouquet for most wines were on the light side but still clean and fresh.

The 2014 Viognier gave a hint on lemon peel and spice with a dry, ripe apricot finish. The GC Sauv. Blanc hinted at young pineapple and again a dry, crisp lingering (for more) finish. The Pinot Gris offered up fresh melons with off-dry ripe stonefruit to finish and the Rosé, made from Bordeaux-style grapes. strawberries and cream, beautiful and elegant.

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Into the reds. The tasting notes were not wrong. What they don’t mention is their elegant subtle perfume and rich long finish. 12.000 Pinot Noir offered hints of blackberry and liquorice with a savoury finish.

Despite a wet few months before picking, the 2011 GV Pinot Noir displayed a warmth from the extra time on the vine allowing the tannins to build. This would go perfectly with lamb or pork infused with Asian-inspired flavours; star anise, dark soy, sugar and salt.

The club appreciates Christine’s time and wonderfully crafted wines. Now looking forward to how 2014 Pinot’s stack up.

Cheers, Steve

Event details

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

Cost: Members $12, Guests $16

Presenter: Christine Kernohan – Chef winemaker, Gladstone Vineyard

gladstone_vineyardBackground:

Christine is the chief winemaker at Gladstone, involved in all stages of winemaking and manages the business. One of only three Scottish women winemakers in the world (not being a common career aspiration where or when she grew up). Christine ‘fell’ into the wine industry after a happenstance visit to Gladstone Vineyard with David one spring weekend in 1995.

She previously worked in the computer industry in business analysis and project management and was also involved in social research and agriculture industry research. She has an MBA from Massey University and farming experience from involvement in a goat, sheep and beef farm at Hunterville.

Gladstone Vineyard was the opportunity to run her own business, bring together the rural life with business, and apply her scientific bent from way back.

David Kernohan is owner/taster, architect and former Associate Professor at the School of Architecture at Wellington’s Victoria University. He has been operating his own research and building heritage consultancy, Architecture Diagnostics, from the vineyard for the past eight years.

He is the author of five books on architecture including Wairarapa Buildings published in 2003. David is a Deputy Environment Commissioner, was co-author of the Hunn Report on the weather tightness of buildings that precipitated the Building Act 2004, and is a former Director of Wellington Waterfront Limited.

  • ‘Quaffing wine’ – 12,000 Miles Sauvignon Blanc 2014
    Move over Marlborough… try the ‘more grown up’, easy drinking summer Wairarapa SB. The wine shows excellent fruit purity and finishes long and attractive. At its best: now to 2017.” 4.5 Stars, Wine Orbit, Jan 2015
  • Gladstone Vineyard Viognier 2014
    White peach and mandarin on the nose, echoed by orange blossom and subtle clove spice. An elegant, cool climate Viognier. 5 Stars 93/100. Wine Orbit; 4 Stars” Cameron Douglas MS
  • Gladstone Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2013
    More serious, wonderful food wine. Careful batch selection and winemaking produce this textural elegant Sauvignon Blanc. Silver Medals, San Francisco and Canada, 91/100 Sam Kim.
  • 12,000 Miles Pinot Gris 2014
    A lovely bouquet of yellow peach, loquat and nectarine opens up to a musky floral and cinnamon spice nose. The palate is rich and rounded with a soft, mealy character from the extended lees contact. Silver Medal NZ International Wine Show 2014
  • Gladstone Vineyard Rose 2014
    THINK PINK! A perfect ‘all year round’ rose. The nose is all summery desserts with strawberry, raspberry and pannacotta with hints of spice. Creamy and generous entry with a juicy fruit core and a clean finish. Made from Cabernet Franc and Merlot grapes.
  • 12,000 Miles Pinot Noir 2013
    New release, dark berry flavours are balanced with subtle spice, chocolate, earth and savoury characteristics that enhance and lengthen the palate. Pure Gold Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2014, Gold Melbourne International Wine Competition 2014
  • Gladstone Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011
    “Light ruby-red with purple hues, fresh and fragrant with lifted red cherry and berry fruit aromas and a little savoury interest. Attractively elegant”. Silver Medal International Wine Challenge 2013, & Decanter World Wine Awards 2013, International Wine Challenge 2013

Note: Every case purchased goes into the draw to win a magnum of Gladstone Vineyard Reserve Pinot Noir 09.

Gladstone Vineyard – August 2015 – Looking Forward

gladstone-cellar

gladstone_vineyardGladstone Vineyard is a family business with an international reputation for distinctive, high-quality wines of finesse and complexity. Established on the old riverbed of the Ruamahanga River at Gladstone, their focus is simply to craft beautiful wine that expresses the exceptional characteristics of the soil, the climate and the region.

At Gladstone Vineyard, they are committed to growing vines and producing wine in a thoughtful and environmentally responsible manner. They like to call this “intelligent winegrowing”. It means making smart, considered decisions about everything they do, with the interests of the land, the vines and the wine top of mind.

Their principal varieties are the internationally acclaimed Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris. They also make a Viognier, a Rosé, a dry Riesling, and the “Auld Alliance” their premier Bordeaux-style wine. Christine Kernohan is Owner/Winemaker and I assume she will do the presentation. More about the tasting and the wines next month.

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Looking Forward: Aug 2013

September 2013 – An Evening of Aromatics

2015-06-17-5580e272d2fbcEstablished in 1999, Macvine International is an importer and distributor of top quality, specialist wine from New Zealand and around the world. They also import and distribute Spiegelau Glassware – one of the world’s top specialist producers of glassware designed for wine lovers. They include Bridge Pa, Forrest (including the John Forrest Collection and Newton Forrest), Clark Estate, Gladstone, and others among their New Zealand clients.

David Hughes will represent Macvine for an evening that will concentrate on aromatics. More next newsletter.

In the News: May 2013

Some internal Club “News” this month.

Our President and Secretary, (with a nominated driver, ie Mr Secretary) embarked on a journey fraught with danger over the recent holiday weekend. The following is Anne’s account of the trip. I don’t know how they coped.

Easter in Hawke’s Bay, or……..The Intrepid Trios’ Travels

Mission

To experience as many wineries (and other delights), in the Hawke’s Bay area as possible in 4 ½ days over the Easter period.

Participants

The manager – Jenny Jebson
The driver – Richard Jebson
The navigator – Anne Megget

March 28th

The trio set out from Grenada Village in the morning, following State highway 1 over the Rimutaka Hill. A slight detour to Parkvale mushrooms and then the first stop – Gladstone, where a sticky was purchased to be consumed with Hot cross buns.

Arrived safely in Napier, found the information center, supermarket and accommodation and settled in; had a lovely meal at an Italian restaurant, and an early night.

March 29th

Good Friday – Slight hitch – most of the Christian world was shut for today. We have a good cooked breakfast, just in case we can’t find anywhere open, and go for a drive anyway, to find Unison Winery open for lunch but not tastings. Discovered they have a very nice sparkling rose, and a most substantial platter. Drove to the top of Te Mata Peak, saw from there that Craggy Range was open so dropped in.

March 30th

Slight deviation from wine-ing to visit a Book Fair, as Richard has managed to leave all his reading material at home and has already finished one of Anne’s chick lit books. Went to Crab Farm, Esk Valley, Eskdale, had tastings and a lovely lunch at Linden Estate, Visited Mission Estate for a look around, Church Road. Wonderful dinner at Mission Estate.

March 31st

Easter Day – Hastings Farmers Market, fruit, olive oil, sausages, all very good; Vidals, The Beach House, tiny place, very rustic, very nice riesling, and late harvest riesling, Te Awanga, Elephant Hill, lovely statue, restaurant very up market, but not much appealed in the wine department . Lunch at Clearview table in the vineyard, exceptional afternoon, good, good food, good wine, a perfect lazy Sunday afternoon among the vines.

April 1st

April Fools Day – not that any of us remembered ! Off to the Gimlet Gravels – went to Unison vineyard for a tasting this time, Te Awa Farm, Sileni – wonderful merlot infused chocolate, Abbey Cellars, Alpha Domus, Trinity Hill was closed – for the whole of Easter, lunch at Ash Ridge, wine and olive oil tasting at Salvare Estate, and way out on the Taihape Road, De La Terre

April 2nd

Up bright and early (ok it was about 8.30am), and engaged in a combined house cleaning and car packing exercise; then off to Havelock North. Called into Advintage and said hello to ‘Mac’ and then went Te Mata and Black Barn and then headed home.