We were finding that working too far ahead occasionally left us in trouble with late cancellations so your committee decided to arrange tastings a little closer to the time. This does not seem to be working out so well and we are in repair mode over the April tasting. Rest assured though that something will be arranged that will meet the usual high standard of our events.
Summer romance tasting
At the February summer romance tasting, I mentioned that the Lansdowne wines could be purchased. The offer was not taken up at the time but is still on the table. Lansdowne produces three wines and they are of a very high quality. There was some really good feedback on the Pinot Gris on the night. The wines have been bottle aged but will all cellar well. The Pinot Gris is $19.55 while their Pinot Noir and Syrah are more expensive at $38.25. These prices include a 15% but are only available through me. Let me know if you are interested.
Wine of Australia
Shows the value of reading the label fully. The Montana Wines mentioned will say “Wine of Australia” on the back. Clearly to be avoided if you want to be sure you are drinking NZ wines.
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.
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.
TROPHY: “Champion Sparkling Wine”, Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2017, NZ GOLD: Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2017, NZ
Variety: 50% Pinot Noir / 50% Chardonnay Vineyard: Seifried Cornfield and Brightwater Vineyards Sugar at Harvest: 19.4°Brix Date of Harvest: Early March 2011 Disgorgement Date: September 2016 T.A of Wine: 5.8g/L Residual Sugar: 1g/L (Brut) Alc.: 12.5% vol. Suitable for Vegetarians: Yes
In 1971 my father Hermann Seifried arrived in New Zealand with a dream of making great wines. He and my mother Agnes pioneered modern winemaking in the Nelson region, planting the first vines and in 1976 producing their first wines. Now, 40 years later we celebrate their vision and the arrival of the next generation, our children, who are growing up in the vineyard and winery. We hope that they too will share the passion for crafting fine wines.
Our Aotea Méthode Traditionnelle is a very special wine. Two parcels of fruit were hand picked at ideal ripeness for this classical Méthode Traditionnelle Cuvée. The Pinot Noir is from our Brightwater Vineyard while the Chardonnay comes from our Cornfield Vineyard. The blend is 50/50 Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
The grapes were hand harvested during the cool early hours of the day and brought to the winery quickly for processing. The free-run juice from the press was cold settled overnight before being racked, warmed and inoculated. A smooth ferment progressed to dryness, followed by malolactic fermentation. The young wine was then prepared for bottle fermentation and aged on lees for an extended period. In 2016 the wine was finished and released to celebrate our 40th vintage at Seifried’s. Chris Seifried.
The Cornfield Vineyard is situated on a wide river flat. The soil is gravelly sandy loam, which marks the sites of Maori kumara beds (sweet potato) prior to European settlement in the early 1800’s. The Maori transferred and spread fine gravel and sand over the land to provide suitable soils for their kumara pla
New Zealand’s wine export values continue to rise thanks to strong United States demand, reaching $1.66 billion for the year, up 6 per cent on the year before.
While the percentage increase is lower than the average yearly growth of 17 per cent for the last 20 years, the industry was still on track to reach $2b worth of exports by 2020, chairman of New Zealand Winegrowers Steve Green said.
The latest NZ Winegrowers annual report shows to the end of June this year, the US market is worth $517 million, up 12 per cent. New Zealand wine became the third most valuable wine import into the US, behind only France and Italy.
Green forecast next year’s export volumes would be “more muted” because of the smaller harvest of 396,000 tonnes, down 9 per cent on 2016, but wineries were confident quality would remain high.
While the US provided the best returns, more litres of wine (74 million) were exported to the United Kingdom for a much smaller return of $389m. Traditionally more bulk wine has been sent into the UK market. Behind the US and the UK came Australia, Canada, the Netherlands and China.
The most exported variety was sauvignon blanc, followed by pinot noir and chardonnay.
The recently passed Geographical Indications (Wine and Spirits) Registration Act would offer improved protection of New Zealand’s regional identities. The industry had also launched the sustainable winegrowing New Zealand continuous improvement extension programme to enhance the reputation of wines.
Of a total growing area of 37,129 hectares, sauvignon dominates at 22,085 ha, an increase of 685 ha from the year before. The second most popular variety was pinot noir, with 5653 ha, followed by chardonnay at 3203 ha and pinot gris (2469 ha).
Marlborough is overwhelmingly the largest region with 25,135 ha planted in vines, followed by Hawke’s Bay (4694 ha), Central Otago (1896 ha) and Canterbury/Waipara (1425 ha).
The number of wineries was 677; they reached a peak of 703 in 2012.
New Zealanders drank 40 million litres of imported wine during the past year, most of it Australian (29m litres), with the next two most popular French and Chilean.
The November Kaikoura earthquake damaged an estimated 20 per cent of Marlborough’s tank capacity, but by harvest time all of the lost capacity had been restored or replaced.
Green said the industry consulted with members on possible changes to export tasting requirements, with responses suggesting a rethink of export requirements was needed.
“We continue to believe more needs to be done in our export legislation to ensure that the same standards apply to every bottle of New Zealand wine, no matter where it is bottled,” Green said.
NZ Winegrowers were concerned at the Ministry for Primary Industries’ plan to take part of New Zealand Winegrowers’ wine export certification service contract in-house.
“We fought hard to retain the status quo, which has served our members well, and are disappointed with the level of industry consultation in MPI’s decision making process. If the service changes, we will be seeking guarantees from the government that the current speedy issuance of export eligibility statements will be protected, at no additional cost to members,” Green said.
In June the New Zealand Grape Growers Council and the Wine Institute of New Zealand finished as entities, replaced by a unified New Zealand Winegrowers.
New Zealand is now the only major wine producing nation with a single industry body, representing and advocating for the interests of its entire grape and wine industry.
The industry and the Government are working through a Primary Growth Partnership on research into lighter wine production and marketing. Last year retail sales reached $33.5m. The programme runs through to 2021, by which time $16.97m would have been spent on the partnership.
Organic wine production continues to flourish with more than 60 New Zealand wineries now making fully certified organic wines, and more still in the organic conversion process.
Anna Seifried gave a presentation about the history of her family and the vineyard, where the wines were not the focus of the tasting, leaving the wines to speak for themselves. It was an enjoyable, fascinating presentation which was well received by those who attended the meeting. Anna was a confident and polished speaker and the presentation was well supported by a slide show. She intends to use the presentation in the near future on a planned overseas trip to potential markets. The weather was not the best on the night and a number of people were away due to sickness and other reasons.
24 people attended the tasting which was slightly lower than we had hoped for but despite these orders were good and Anna was pleased with how the meeting had gone.
Just to recap, the wines tasted included; the Old Coach Road Sauvignon Blanc 2017 (pre-release) as a quaffer and was followed with;
Glengarry’s Sunday ramblings of all things vinous, grain and glorious. A tour of Italy – Part 1 comes from The Sunday Sediment Issue 5.
Veneto is home to the glorious sinking city of Venice and the romantic jewel that is Verona. Here, you’ll find great value Soave, Valpolicella and Bardolino wines. Less than half of the wine produced in Veneto is able to be labelled with the Italian quality mark of DOC, with large quantities of IGT (table wine) produced there, making it an important region for quantity. It is also home to the superstar Amarone, and to the sparkling Prosecco wines made in Conegliano-Valdobbiadene. Read more in the Glengarry Wineletter – #232 August 2017.
Piemonte produces some of Italy’s most long-lived wines. A treasure trove of culinary delights, it is home to Barolo, Barbaresco, truffles and hazelnuts. The predominant red grapes are the indigenous Nebbiolo, Barbera and Dolcetto, the whites, Arneis and Moscato. The wines are distinctly regional and oozing with flair. Lovers of Pinot Noir will feel right at home with Nebbiolo, which is bottled in its own right as well as being the variety behind the famed Barolo wines. Read more in the Glengarry Wineletter – #232 August 2017.
A long with Piemonte, Toscana (Tuscany) has the highest percentage of top-tier DOCG wines, and is home to the scarlet giants Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. It is here that the new meets the old head-on, giving rise to the so-called Super Tuscans. The main variety in Tuscany is Sangiovese, used to make Chianti, with the variety’s greatest expression derived from the legendary Brunello clone developed by Montalcino’s Biondi-Santi family.
Read more in the Glengarry Wineletter – #232 August 2017.
June is always a challenging month for arranging a wine tasting as the weather can be adverse and once we get home, often means that we can be reluctant to leave again. Last month’s tasting was like that with a really unpleasant Wellington day.
Still, 28 hearty souls made it to our tasting that night and were rewarded with an excellent presentation from Richard Macdonald. Richard’s knowledge of Giesen and their product was insightful as he led us through 3 whites, 3 reds and a Rose.
This Rose was delightful, even on a cold wintery night with good fruit and a soft lingering taste. Interestingly it was also the wine most ordered on the night. Other wines enjoyed, if the orders are anything to go by, were the 2014 Brothers Gewürztraminer and 2013 Brothers Pinot Noir. This latter wine also provided a reminder that Marlborough vineyards with a touch of age are now beginning to provide pinots that a real value for money as their quality begins to match their cousins from Martinborough and Central Otago.
Another wine to surprise on the night was the Organic Sauvignon Blanc that was used as our meet and greet wine. This had great fruit flavour without that aggressive grassy nose that many other SBs from this region often have, well to me anyway, and consequently, I very much enjoyed it as our starter for the evening.
The whites ended with the much celebrated 2014 Fuder Clayvin Chardonnay. Fuder, refers to the type of barrel used. It’s much larger than what we normally see in NZ and its purpose to evolve the texture of the wine without overpowering it with oak. It certainly did this for me and with its full body and slightly citrus notes, it was a wine that I had been really looking forward to tasting, given it had won Elite Gold at the 2016 Air NZ Wine Awards. The only disappointment was that I could not afford the $50 order form cost, despite its discounted value, as I decided to purchase the 2012 Eight Songs Shiraz instead.
Giesens are also the NZ agent for a small range of Peter Lehman reds. Richard ended our tasting with two of these, the 2014 Hills & Valley Shiraz and the 2012 Eight Songs Shiraz. The latter, if I’m not wrong, was probably the most expensive Shiraz the club has tasted, although last year’s 2013 Elderton Neil Ashmead Grand Tourer Shiraz did come close.
The 2012 Eight Songs was named after one of Peter Lehman’s favourite vocal ensemble musical works, loved for its soft harmonies. Apparently, this inspired Peter Lehman to emulate that artistry in a wine and it has resulted in a very soft stylish wine that is quite foreboding with its very black core, yet elegant with its lovely integration of mocha chocolate and dark plum characteristics. A great tasting from Richard Macdonald and one that I think many would be sad that they missed.
Despite a last-minute hitch over the presenter for this tasting (a family bereavement intervened), we were able to arrange for Keith Tibble, Eurovintage, to present, at very short notice, what transpired to be a wonderful tasting.
The wines presented were great wines and Keith has said that he would be available to present other tastings. It is very useful to have someone like Keith who can step in at comparatively short notice. On this occasion, we were lucky enough to have the Ata Rangi wines on hand. Great effort from him and from Murray who was organising the tasting.
Hundreds of wine growers, buyers, and aficionados from around the world have descended on Wellington for a three-day celebration of New Zealand pinot noir.
Wine exports in New Zealand are a billion-and-a-half dollar industry and since 2008, the amount of pinot noir New Zealand has exported has more than doubled from just under 6 million litres to just over 12 million.
To consolidate that increase, Wine New Zealand hosts an annual pinot noir celebration, consisting of meetings and taste-tests.
These allow local wineries to rub shoulders with international buyers and connoisseurs, make connections, and explain their offerings.
Roger Jones is a Michelin-starred chef and wine conisseur who runs the Harrow restaurant in Little Bedwyn – one of the UK’s top restaurants.
He said the explanation for the pinot renaissance was simple.
“Food has got much lighter, less cream, and New Zealand delivers amazing – and very light – food. That’s what people are after nowadays, so equally, wines change.
“10 years ago everyone in Britain was drinking big, heavy shirazes – boxing matches in your mouth – and we were eating food to go with it. Now, food has changed.”
Misha Wilkinson, who owns Misha’s Vineyard on the shores of Lake Dunstan, said the grapes’ thin skin made them very disease-prone, and notoriously hard to cultivate.
However, she said Central Otago’s unique climate lends itself to the task perfectly.
“It is the only region in New Zealand that [has a] continental climate. We’re between these mountain ranges, so this continental climate gives us some unique features: hot days and cool nights.
“[Those] diurnal differences… are something that pinot loves.”
Because of the difficulties in producing it, pinot noir will likely never surpass sauvignon blanc as New Zealand’s main viticultural product.
But the boutique crop is highly valued by wine connisseurs, and that brings big profits – if your name carries enough weight.
Mr Jones said among those in the know in the UK, Kiwi pinots enjoyed an unrivalled reputation.
“In the UK, if people want a pinot noir, they think of New Zealand – and first of all, Central Otago. It works. It’s a prestige wine.”
But what actually makes a wine good?
Emma Jenkins is a wine expert and journalist who has been writing – and imbibing – for nearly twenty years.
While the wine community is sometimes accused of pretentiousness, she said it was like reading a great work of literature: appreciation takes time, and knowledge.
“This is where events like this are really great, because you get to taste the wine along side the winemaker: what was that winemaker doing? What’s their sense of time and place that’s being communicated through that glass there? You can understand where they were coming from, and why that wine tastes that way.”
Ata Rangi, meaning “dawn sky” or “new beginning” is a small New Zealand winery with a big reputation for serious Pinot Noir. Located at the southern end of the North Island, it is owned and managed by a family trio – Clive Paton, his wife Phyll and his sister Alison.
Clive planted his first vines on a small, stony sheep paddock at the edge of the Martinborough village in 1980 as one of a handful of people who pioneered winegrowing in the area. Ata Rangi Pinot Noir is undoubtedly the flagship wine, and in 2010 was honoured with the inaugural Tipuranga Teitei o Aotearoa or “Grand Cru of New Zealand”.
With a skilled team in place, including dynamic winemaker Helen Masters, Clive now has more time to focus on his commitment to conservation and to the Ata Rangi alliance with Project Crimson. More event details early next month.
The evening went very well and what a great turnout.
Jane Hunter presented well and at the right level for the club. The turnout included some members from Western Hills Wine Club, and it was lovely to be their hosts for the evening. The wines were good and at a good price resulting in a very high number of orders. Jane enjoyed the evening and commented that next time she would present bubbles and a Gewürztraminer as part of the programme. Feedback from members indicated that they enjoyed the evening and it was a great tasting. It was useful that although a bit reluctant, and there was an issue of the batteries having flattened, Jane used the microphone headset and we were all able to hear what was being said.
The wines presented on the night included; Hunters Pinot Gris – 2016 (quaffer), Hunters Riesling 2012, Hunters Chardonnay 2015, Hunters Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Hunters Rose 2016, Hunters Pinot Noir 2014, and the Hukapapa Dessert Wine 2014.
Wine 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:
Aromatics 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
Chardonnay 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