Year in review

Well, December already team. It has been a strange year with a few downs to go along with the ups for some of us on a personal level.


That is not to say that it has been a bad year for our Cellar Club, quite the contrary in fact. Let’s review our year. By a long-established tradition, we began with our summer BBQ at the end of January. The usual excellent occasion and we continue to appreciate that Derek makes his premises available. February saw us heading to Askerne Estate in Hawkes Bay. The Hawkes Bay wineries never let you down. March was with the very well established Villa Maria presenting. While the winery originated in Auckland, the company has expanded over the years and produces wines from most of the major regions in New Zealand.

April saw something of a coup for the club with Joelle Thomson presenting. Joelle is a well-recognised personality in the New Zealand wine world as an author, wine writer and tutor. Another great tasting. May is the inevitable AGM then in June Simon Bell from Colab Wine Merchants took us on a tour of Europe. Simon brought along some large wine glasses and some time was spent on discussing the virtues and differences that wine glasses can make to your wine experience. On to July for the mid-year dinner at the Trade Kitchen.

Off to Nelson for the August tasting with Waimea Estate. Over the years Waimea has gathered 150+ Gold Medals and 26 Trophies across nine different wine styles. Nelson producers are right up there as a wine region. Cenna Lloyd for Negociants presented in September. She presented wines from two wineries, Misha’s Vineyard and Two Paddocks, both from Central Otago. Much enjoyed by those who attended and really great orders from a smaller group attending.

In October we celebrated the Rugby World Cup with a selection of wines from countries competing in the Cup. Keith Tibble was the presenter. November saw the very early return of Cenna Lloyd for the South American wine and food match evening outlined below. Cenna had been to South American after presenting in September and was keen to share her experience.

It only remains to anticipate yet another December Dinner. We have been to Cashmere Lounge before and we are sure you will not be disappointed.

Best wishes for the festive season.

Robin Semmens

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Rugby World Cup – Keith Tibble – Eurovintage, Oct 2019

The Rugby World Cup might not have panned out as we would have hoped but this did not include our October tasting.

It was great to have Keith Tibble presenting again. Keith has been a valuable contact for our club and has been responsible for a number of great tastings over the years.

I don’t have a list of the wines that were tasted but my information is that as usual Keith was easy to deal with and came up with a format for the evening that worked well. A Gin and Tonic was the quaffer to represent Ireland and England. Feedback received from one member indicated that it was the best tasting in years. It was lots of fun as attendees turned up in their rugby gear. Having a similar theme tasting for the Olympics in 2020 could be a great idea for the committee to consider.

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Looking back on 2016

As ever, I find this a time to reflect on what the year has offered. We had a great day for the BBQ in January. Always a pleasant afternoon for those attending. February saw a tasting with Roberta Montero presenting for the Artisan Winegrowers of Central Otago. An interesting and somewhat different approach to winemaking from this group. March was a very successful tasting of Argentinian wines presented by Josefina Telleria from South2South. In April we had Edward Donaldson presenting for Pegasus Bay. The AGM in May passed quickly and members enjoyed some wines from the Club’s cellar before we moved on to June where Foxes Island and  held centre stage. This was a very professional presentation.

Things really got rolling in July with the mid-year dinner at Logan Brown. Some issues around service but otherwise an excellent evening. August was time for Keith Tibble to present an Australian evening, mainly Elderton from the Barossa Valley but included offerings from McLaren Vale and Clare Valley. September was with Gavin Yortt and Squawking Magpie from Hawkes Bay. October was a highlight with Jane Hunter presenting from Marlborough. It was great to get an icon of the NZ wine industry for this event. November completed a somewhat international year with Cangrande doing Italian wines for our festive tasting. Dinner at Muse this month completes our year.

Your committee have been very pleased with the programme and hope everyone found something to enjoy. Have a great Christmas and then we will look to developing 2017 events to match those of the past year.

Robin Semmens, Editor

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Elderton and the Barossa – Keith Tibble – Eurovintage – August 2016

condolences-dinner-elderton-wines577e19462ed7cWe (your committee that is) felt that this was a good evening but the turnout was disappointing. The possible reasons for this low turnout of 23 members and one guest, were that it was predominantly a “red (wine) night”, and we were tasting a lesser known label from the Barossa. There is the added issue that it was a cool evening and we can strike a lower turn-out at during the winter months when the weather is not the best.

Keith was an excellent speaker and his talk about the Barossa and the winery was interesting and insightful. Keith is very knowledgeable about the Barossa and he knows how to pitch to the club. The wines presented were very nice.

Elderton Wines – August 2016

condolences-dinner-elderton-wines577e19462ed7cWe were expecting Peter Lehmann but don’t you hate it when work gets in the way of a good tasting. Sadly our presenter for August has been summoned to attend an out of town company conference and so we have had to come up with a Plan B.

We are staying with an Australian theme, with the focus on the Barossa and Elderton Wines in particular. Whilst maybe not as high profile as Peter Lehmann, Elderton have some of the oldest wines in the Barossa and seeing what age can do to well-made Aussie reds is, I’m sure, going to provide us with some delightful surprises. Presenter for this evening will be Keith Tibble, a long-time friend of the club, and he will begin the tasting with a couple of Barossa whites to appease those club members who have a preference for those styles of wine. Here are some milestones for Elderton Wines

  • 1894 Vineyard planted on banks of North Para River, Scholz Family
  • 1979 Ashmead family purchased property and began vineyard restoration
  • 2000 World’s Best Shiraz Trophy, International Wine & Spirits Competition
  • 2005 Elderton named in Top 100 Wineries in the World, Wine & Spirits Magazine
  • 2015 Silver for Cellar Doors, South Australian Tourism Awards

As for that Lehmann tasting, we will try and see if we can reschedule it for 2017.

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October with Grant Burge

grant-burgeWednesday 9 September 2013, 7.45 for 8 pm start.

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

Members: $12, Guests: $16

Presenter: Keith Tibble, Eurovintage Account Manager, Wellington

Not even Hawaii will keep me from this tasting. The presentation is arranged by Eurovintage. Independent and privately owned, they have been in the wine distribution business for over 20 years, and are extremely proud of their premium portfolio which includes some of the most exciting brands and estates from New Zealand and around the world. Keith Tibble is not unknown to the Cellar Club having presented in the past, albeit not recently. He has been in the Liquor Industry for over 25 years having worked for Penfolds New Zealand, New Zealand Wines & Spirits, Hancocks, Burleigh Trading, Vintage Wines and Spirits and now EuroVintage since its inception in 2010.

Tonight Keith will be presenting some of the iconic Grant Burge brand wines and a port. Over five generations Grant Burge Wines have brought together the finest vineyards and hands-on techniques with modern winemaking to express the classic Barossa Valley. Share their passion for great wine. A Grant Burge label is your guarantee of quality and integrity. An all red night but what reds.

The selection will include:

  • Quaffer – something light and elegant arranged by Eurovintage
  • 2012 Grant Burge Benchmark Shiraz
  • 2010 Grant Burge Miamba Shiraz
  • 2011 Grant Burge Filsell (Shiraz)
  • 2010 Grant Burge Cameron Vale (Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • 2010 Grant Burge The Holy Trinity G.S.M (Grenache, Shiraz, Mourvedre)
  • Grant Burge Aged Tawny