Unison Vineyard – Terry Horn – June 2018

Yet another great tasting from a Hawkes Bay winemaker. The night was cold and wet but we were well pleased with the attendance.

Terry from Unison presented a selection of their wines which the committee felt were brilliant. Terry gave a very informative talk with a great pitch.

The wines presented were well received with good orders arising from the night. Terry enjoyed the evening as did the members attending.

The wines included:

  • 2016 Sauvignon Blanc
  • 2016 Reserve Chardonnay
  • 2017 Rose
  • 2015 Rocky Red
  • 2012 Reserve Merlot
  • 2013 Classic Red
  • 2013 Syrah

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Haythornthwaite Wines – March 2018

What a great evening with Mark and Susan. A nice blend of where they have come from and an outline of where the business is going now. Their business in Martinborough has taken an upturn with the introduction of platters at their tasting room. This has guided them into the tourism area and is looking very promising for them.

To recoup on the wines we started with the Rose 2017 as the quaffer. It is a dry style rose but with huge fruit sweetness and flavours of strawberries and raspberries. That was followed by the dry Pinot Gris and the two drier Gewurtztraminer’s. After a break we tasted the 2012 Pinot Noir, followed by the Reserve Pinot from 2013, which was a superb wine. It won a gold medal from the Air NZ Wine Awards. We then finished with the sweet Auslese Gewurztraminer 2013 (Pamela) that is a luscious wine.

Some good orders which was very pleasing for Susan and Mark. There were two things following from the evening. With harvest fast approaching there is often a need for pickers. If you are interested please let them know. Secondly, Haythornthwaite will give Club members a 10% discount at the tasting room. Give it a try, a trip to the Wairarapa, a platter and a tasting of some really nice wines. What more could you want?

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The year in retrospec

Our year

It is usual at this time to review our year. As ever we began with our summer BBQ at the end of January. The usual excellent occasion and thanks to Derek for making his premises available. It is an excellent facility. Our first tasting was the Rosė tasting presented by Will Brunel-Morven from Maison Vauron. Rosės are becoming increasingly popular, particularly as a summer wine.March was the time for Ata Rangi and was followed in April by our Quiz Night. An enjoyable and fun occasion. As usual, May was AGM time, June highlighted Giesen’s Wines and July was dinner at Bistro 52. August had us enjoying Seifried’s offerings and then in September the interesting and unique Aged Wines tasting. October was Stonecroft and last month was the festive tasting of Spanish wines. A great programme which will be nicely rounded off by our December Dinner.

Spanish tasting

It is interesting to note that EuroVintage had great orders from the Spanish tasting, and were blown away by the response. Well done everyone.

Cheers
Robin Semmens, Editor

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Giesen’s Wines – June 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.

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Through Rose Coloured glasses – February 2017

Maison Vauron owners, Scott Gray & Jean-Christophe Poizat
Maison Vauron owners, Scott Gray & Jean-Christophe Poizat

The committee felt that the tasting went well and it was a lovely, pleasant evening. A record number for a February tasting attended. Will Brunel-Morvan, Maison Vauron, was an entertaining presenter. He enjoyed the evening and is keen to present again with a more substantive range of French wines including cheese matches. The committee will look at this option for a future meeting.

As an aside, on arrival to prepare for the meeting it was found that the Community Centre had changed the locks to the hall without advising us. This led to some confusion but was sorted out quickly enough not to have impacted on the evening. The Centre have apologised for the oversight.

The tasting included an Introductory Quaffer: Fazi Corsica rosé 2015, followed by an Embruns Sable de Camargue rosé 2015; Miradou Cotes de Provence rosé 2015; Château de Fesles Anjou rosé 2015 and Prieuré de Montezargues Tavel 2015.

We compared these French Rosés with a couple of New Zealand offerings. The Hunters (pinot based) and Hawkes Bay Estate (merlot). Great variety in colour and style.

N.B. Anne reported that there were 2 wine glasses left behind which she now has. Can members please check that they have all their glasses.

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Hunter’s Marlborough – Jane Hunter – October 2016

Here are the delivered wines on my garage floor
Here are the delivered wines on my garage floor

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.

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Squawking Magpie – Gavin Yortt – September 2016

squawking-magpieA really good turnout for this meeting. A major problem, which led to some disappointment, was that Gavin was quite softly spoken and he did not use the sound system available. The result was that many members had difficulty in hearing much of what was being said. We will need to be more insistent that the sound system is used.

Despite this, the wines presented were great and much enjoyed by those present. On the amusing side, we were getting a little worried about Gavin’s arrival as time moved on. A search of the Community Centre found him trying to get access to Peter Dunne’s electoral office where a local election meeting was being held. The arrival of a couple of cases of wine might well have held more joy than council election issues.

Wines tasted included: The Chatterer – Chardonnay 2015; The Chatterer – Syrah 2014, PINK – Rosé 2016; Counting Crows – Chardonnay 2015; The Gravels – Syrah 2014; The Nest – Merlot 2013; and the Stoned Crow – Syrah 2013.

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What your wine choice says about you

Laura Morelli – Stuff – 17 February 2016

wine-choice
Are you the life of the party or elegant and graceful?

From merlot to shiraz, we’ve got a list of wines that reveal the truth about your personality. Which one are you most suited to?

Shiraz

You’re the life of the party. You have no problem dancing on tables. You’re a true free spirit. You always seem to try new things because life’s too short.

Cabernet sauvignon

Always assertive and direct, you command discussion and want your voice to be heard. You enjoy the classics and have a thing for old-world affairs. Just like Brad Pitt, you only get better with age.

Merlot

The one known as “easy to drink,” just like you’re easy to get along with. You’re always a delightful partner for table conversation.

Pinot Noir

Fresh, elegant and graceful. You enjoy nothing better than the scent of sea breeze

Riesling

You’re sweet and nice. Despite being genuine, people sometimes have a hard time agreeing with you.

Sauvignon blanc

One word: sophistication. You’re always in control and you’re good at what you do. The perfect mix of herbal and a little smoky.

Pinot grigio

You enjoy travelling the world as you yearn to immerse yourself in new cultures in order to connect with the world.

Rosé

You’re bubbly and personable and people find you easy to be around and a pleasure to sip on.

Oversixty.co.nz

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Tasting review – Wines of Argentina

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Josefina Telleria from South2South introduced herself and the wines of her homeland Argentina with that endearing Argentinian accent and a great personality to match.

Josefina spoke with such passion and enthusiasm for the home of Malbec where half is exported to the US with the remaining wines scattered predominately throughout the UK, China, and a small amount to New Zealand.

Josefina spoke with such passion of the home of Malbec where half is exported to the US with the remaining wines scattered predominately throughout the UK, China, and a small amount to New Zealand.

Noted for the vineyards high altitude, crisp clean air and microclimates, extremely hot 50 degrees days, pure melted water from the Andes, the wines represent these elements outstandingly. The wines came from as far north as Famatina and Mendoza in the south.

The two Torrontes wines, only grown in Argentina, represent a cross between Sauv. Blanc, Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer but then nothing like any of them. They are distinctive to Argentina. Both have a clear crisp colour, slightly floral bouquet and an almost creamy texture on the front of the mouth with a long slightly acidic finish making it a refreshing and vibrant drink. 15/20.

If you’re into chardonnay like me, then this chardonnay was very different. After being in new American barrels for six months, the wine is purposefully produced with high acidity and woody oak notes. This was very dry but not mouth-puckering, with a rich acidic finish. 17/20.

20160309_205252Onto the Malbec’s. I’ve sampled Malbec’s from around the world and I now see why Argentina produces standout Malbec. The La Celia and Montechez are both deeply intense purple in colour with intense flavour and soft tannins that do not overpower the subtleness of the fruit.

The La Celia has a sweet & slight liquorice nose, very dry, and a much smoother finish than the Montechez. 18/20. The Montechez give an almost mushroom/ forest floor nose at first, grape sweetness with young plum fruit, and an extremely rich smooth finish. 17/20.

Finally, the Cabernet Franc for which Argentina is noted for completed the tasting. Given the terroir, this is a big bold complex wine developing a headier spicy nose, cedar and medium tannin to tempt the taste buds and a very rich finish. 19/20.

As a comparison, Argentina has more than 220,000 hectares under vine with New Zealand a meagre 36,000. Wanting to know more about Wines of Argentina?

Tasting – Wines of Argentina

Wed. 09 MAR, 2016 – 7:45 – 9:45 pm

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

Cost: Members $12, Guests $16

Presenter: Josefina Telleria

“From humble beginnings and a passion for everything the Argentine wine and food culture has to offer, South2South has now become a company with a clear mission to provide Kiwis with an opportunity to enjoy the unique flavours and memorable experiences Argentine wines bring to the palate. Our vision is to become New Zealand’s premier Argentine fine wine importer.”

Chris Emmett and Josefina Telleria form South2South. Chris is a kiwi who has been converted to wine through his association with the wines of Argentina. Josefina was born and raised in Argentina and is the Argentine connection. She has a strong family connection to vines and wines in and around Mendoza. They are keen to introduce us to their passion for wines from the region.

Let’s enjoy. The wines on the night will be:

  • Introductory – La Consulta Reserva Torrontes or La Consulta Reserva Malbec
  • 2013 Montechez Reserva Chardonnay
  • 2013 Alta Vista Premium Torrontes
  • 2014 Serbal Malbec Rose
  • 2013 La Celia Pioneer Malbec
  • 2012 Montechez Reserva Malbec
  • 2012 Montechez Limited Edition Cabernet Franc

Don’t miss this one, it will be fun.

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Launching into 2016

2016

Here we go again, launching into 2016 with an interesting and unique tasting. Read about the philosophy of AWCO. The wines will include Rosé, Riesling and Pinot Gris with a mix of Pinot Noir from the different producers. Should be a great night.

We are going to Argentina in March and Pegasus Bay in April leading up to the AGM in May. There are also some interesting tastings in prospect for later in the year.

Another year, another wine (or two).

Cheers
Robin Semmens, Editor

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Hawke’s Bay Syrah takes top spot at 2015 Air NZ wine awards

A Hawke’s Bay Syrah has won the top prize at the 2015 Air New Zealand Wine Awards, presented last night at Nelson’s Saxton Stadium.

The Church Road McDonald Series Syrah 2013 won the prestigious Air New Zealand Champion Wine of the Show Trophy, as well as the Fruitfed Supplies Champion Syrah Trophy.

Chair of Judges and Master of Wine Michael Brajkovich said the Church Road McDonald Series Syrah 2013 was one of the fuller-bodied Syrahs in this year’s competition.

“It’s a wine with lovely ripe black fruit and floral Syrah characters, and very well-handled subtle oak influence,” said Mr Brajkovich. “The palate is full-bodied, with rich berry fruit and firm tannins to fill out the finish and ensure a long maturation potential.

“Syrah provided a quality class of wine, displaying a diversity of styles from fresh, vibrant peppery and herbal, to full-bodied rich and ripe black-fruit styles, with significant oak impact and earthy tannins.”

There were strong trophy contenders across the 16 classes, but the winners prevailed by having that “extra something special”, Mr Brajkovich said.

The second highest accolade of the evening, the O-I New Zealand Reserve Wine of the Show Trophy, went to the Lake Chalice The Raptor Chardonnay Marlborough 2014. This exceptional Chardonnay also won the Rabobank New Zealand Champion Chardonnay Trophy.

Air New Zealand Chief Operating Officer Bruce Parton said the airline was a longstanding partner of the New Zealand wine industry, which continued to produce some of the world’s best wines.

“We’ve been a proud sponsor of the awards for 29 years, and are passionate about promoting home-grown wines and showcasing New Zealand as a destination for wine tourism.”

“It’s been fantastic to see such a large number of entries in this year’s competition from wineries across the country. We wish to congratulate all medal and trophy winners.”

As well as the 18 trophies awarded, 36 Pure Elite Gold Medals and one Elite Gold Medal were announced at the dinner, which was emceed by TV3’s Hilary Barry and Mike McRoberts. This year’s competition saw 1,407 wines entered, 99 percent of which were accredited as being sustainably produced.

The Air New Zealand Wine Awards celebrate excellence in New Zealand winemaking and are widely considered to be the country’s most prestigious wine competition. New Zealand Winegrowers, the national organisation for the country’s 1,600 grape growers and winemakers, has owned and organised the competition for 40 years.

Air NZ wine awards 2015 – Trophy winners

Air New Zealand Champion Wine of the Show
Church Road McDonald Series Syrah 2013

O-I New Zealand Reserve Wine of the Show
Lake Chalice The Raptor Chardonnay Marlborough 2014

JF Hillebrand New Zealand Champion Pinot Noir
Brightwater Vineyards Pinot Noir Nelson 2014

Label and Litho Ltd Champion Sauvignon Blanc
Delta Hatters Hill Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2014

Rabobank New Zealand Champion Chardonnay
Lake Chalice The Raptor Chardonnay Marlborough 2014

Bite Magazine Champion Sweet Wine
Seifried Winemakers Collection Sweet Agnes Riesling Nelson 2015

Coast FM Champion Merlot, Cabernet and Blends
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 17 Plateau Merlot Hawke’s Bay 2014

Fruitfed Supplies Champion Syrah
Church Road McDonald Series Syrah 2013

Guala Closures New Zealand Ltd Champion Pinot Gris
Yealands Estate Single Vineyard Pinot Gris Awatere Valley, Marlborough 2015

Liquorland Champion Open Red Wine
Spy Valley Pinot Noir Marlborough 2013

New World Champion Open White Wine
Rapaura Springs Reserve Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015

New Zealand Winegrowers Champion Gewürztraminer
Johanneshof Cellars Gewürztraminer Marlborough 2014

Plant & Food Research Champion Riesling
Peter Yealands Riesling Marlborough 2015

Port Nelson Limited Champion Other White Styles
Waimea Family Estate Albariño Nelson 2015

Toast by Liquorland Champion Rosé
Aspiring Flats Rosé Central Otago 2015

WineWorks Limited Champion Sparkling Wine
Nautilus Cuvée Marlborough Brut NV

Rangitikei Chicken Champion Exhibition White or Sparkling Wine
Mission Estate Jewelstone Chardonnay Hawke’s Bay 2014

Nelson Airport Limited & Nelson Tasman Tourism Champion Exhibition Red Wine
Beach House Syrah Hawke’s Bay 2014

Number of trophies by region:

Marlborough: 9
Hawke’s Bay: 5
Nelson: 3
Otago: 1

Pure Elite Gold Medals

Sparkling
Nautilus Cuvée Marlborough Brut NV

Gewürztraminer
Johanneshof Cellars Gewürztraminer Marlborough 2014
Lawson’s Dry Hills Gewürztraminer Marlborough 2014

Pinot Gris
Greystone Pinot Gris Waipara Valley 2015
Isabel Pinot Gris Marlborough 2015
Saint Clair Premium Pinot Gris Marlborough 2014
Yealands Estate Single Vineyard Pinot Gris Awatere Valley, Marlborough 2015

Riesling
Ceres Black Rabbit Vineyard Riesling Central Otago 2015
Peter Yealands Riesling Marlborough 2015
Spy Valley Envoy Riesling Marlborough 2010

Sauvignon Blanc
Delta Hatters Hill Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2014
Rapaura Springs Reserve Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015
Saint Clair Premium Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015
The Ned Waihopai River Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015
Vidal Estate Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015

Chardonnay
Church Road Grand Reserve Chardonnay 2013
Lake Chalice The Raptor Chardonnay Marlborough 2014
Mission Estate Jewelstone Chardonnay Hawke’s Bay 2014
Nautilus Chardonnay Marlborough 2014
Villa Maria Library Release Chardonnay Hawke’s Bay 2010
Villa Maria Reserve Chardonnay Hawke’s Bay 2014
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Taylors Pass Chardonnay Marlborough 2014

Sweet Wine
Giesen The Brothers Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2014
Seifried Winemakers Collection Sweet Agnes Riesling Nelson 2015

Rosé
Aspiring Flats Rosé Central Otago 2015

Pinot Noir
Akitu A2 Pinot Noir Central Otago 2014
Brightwater Vineyards Pinot Noir Nelson 2014
Coal Pit Tiwha Pinot Noir Central Otago 2014
Giesen Single Vineyard Selection Ridge Block Pinot Noir Marlborough 2013
Kuru Kuru Pinot Noir Central Otago 2014
Spy Valley Pinot Noir Marlborough 2013

Merlot, Cabernet and Blends
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 17 Plateau Merlot Hawke’s Bay 2014
Vidal Reserve Hawke’s Bay Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Syrah
Church Road McDonald Series Syrah 2013
Matua Single Vineyard Syrah Hawke’s Bay 2014

Other Varieties – Single
Waimea Family Estate Albariño Nelson 2015

Elite Gold Medals

Sparkling
Daniel Le Brun Méthode Traditionnelle Blanc De Blancs Marlborough 2009

Number of pure elite gold medals by region

Marlborough: 19
Hawke’s Bay: 8
Central Otago: 5
Nelson: 3
Waipara Valley: 1

Elite gold medal by region

Marlborough: 1

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