Another great night with some lovely South American wines tasted. Must also say thank you to the committee members who prepared food matches. The combination of food with the wines gave the evening an interesting perspective.
The wines tasted with food matches are repeated below:
2018 Vina Aquitina Rose (Chile)
2018 Casa Marin Cartagena Sauvignon Blanc (Chile) – South American Ceviche
2014 Queulat Carménère (Chile) – Steak with a Chimichurri sauce
If anyone is interested in any of the recipes used on the night, let me or Wayne know. We can provide. May I just point out though, that if anyone believes it is only 5 minutes preparation time for the Argentinian Fried Bread, they are delusional.
Quality and consistency have put Seifried Family Winemakers on the map with their 2019 Nelson Sauvignon Blanc releases – awarded a combined haul of seven gold medals and the “Best of Show” trophy.
The winery’s premium Aotea by the Seifried Family Sauvignon Blanc 2019 has been awarded three gold medals across New Zealand and international wine shows, including the title ‘Best of Show NZ White’ in the MUNDUS VINI 2019 in Germany. Their Seifried Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2019 has now achieved its fourth gold medal since release to market.
Both Sauvignon Blancs have just been awarded gold medals at the 2019 New Zealand Wine of the Year™ (the official NZ wine industry competition, replacing the Air New Zealand Wine Awards). Recognition at these awards is particularly huge, given the hundreds of entries. An accolade at this competition is about celebrating New Zealand winemaking excellence, and is a win that is proudly shared among the whole team at Seifried.
Seifried Estate says that although it is a small grape growing region, Nelson’s climate and talent for crafting world class wine is clear. “We’re so proud of the recognition for our team’s commitment and hard work to making great wines. We’re also very proud of Nelson / Tasman and our fellow growers and producers, many who, like us, started from humble beginnings.
Combining the famous creative artisan spirit with the soil and climate in this special place at the centre of New Zealand, Nelson is a region known for some of the finest food and beverage products in the world.
We’re incredibly proud to call this place home.” – Seifried Estate Sales and Marketing Manager, Anna Seifried.
Proven over time – a snapshot of achievements:
The accolades begin with New Zealand’s most awarded dessert wine, Seifried Winemakers Collection Sweet Agnes Riesling. Awards include ‘Champion Sweet Wine’ at the 2015 Air New Zealand Wine Awards, as well as ‘Best New Zealand Sweet’ at the UK Decanter World Wine Awards 2017 – to name a few.
Seifried Nelson Pinot Noir has had its share of recognition and was named as a “Rising Star” in the ‘2019 Great New Zealand Pinot Noir Classification’ which lists only the top quarter of New Zealand’s Pinot Noir producers.
It’s not always the garden varieties associated with Nelson or New Zealand either. Aotea by the Seifried Family Méthode Traditionnelle NV took out the ‘WineWorks Champion Sparkling Wine’ at the 2017 Air New Zealand Wine Awards.
The family is working hard with some lesser known varietals too, such as the Seifried Nelson Würzer, an aromatic white wine found only in very small quantities, even in its home country of Germany. Seifried Nelson Zweigelt, the Austrian classic, made with a Kiwi twist is another – “Great stuff for someone looking for something different. Real presence and grip.
Seifried Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2019 Gold – New Zealand Wine of the Year™ 2019, New Zealand Gold – The New Zealand International Wine Show 2019, New Zealand Gold – AWC Vienna 2019, Austria Gold – MUNDUS VINI 2019 Summer Tasting, Germany 93 Points – Cameron Douglas MS, The Shout, August 2019, New Zealand
List of recent awards
New Zealand Wine of the Year™ GOLD: Aotea by the Seifried Family Sauvignon Blanc 2019 GOLD: Seifried Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2019 Silver: Seifried Nelson Gewurztraminer 2019
25th Grand International Wine Award MUNDUS vini “Best of Show New Zealand white”: Aotea by the Seifried Family Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2019 GOLD: Aotea by the Seifried Family Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2019 GOLD: Seifried Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2019
AWC Vienna – International Wine Challenge GOLD: Aotea by the Seifried Family Sauvignon Blanc 2019 GOLD: Seifried Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2019 Silver: Old Coach Road Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2019
NZ International Wine Show GOLD: Seifried Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2019 GOLD: Seifried Winemakers Collection Nelson ‘Sweet Agnes’ Riesling 2019 Silver: Seifried Nelson Riesling 2019 Silver: Seifried Nelson Pinot Noir Rosé 2019
Contact SEIFRIED ESTATE Chris Seifried – Winemaker Email: chris Tel: +64 3 544 5599 Cell: +64 21 544 750 www.seifried.co.nz
September 25, 2019, marks 200 years since the first planting of grapevines in New Zealand. From the humble beginnings of a vine planted in Northland, the New Zealand wine industry has grown to become a $1.83 billion export earner, with an international reputation for premium, diverse and sustainable wines.
Reverend Samuel Marsden, Chaplain to New South Wales (1765-1838), records September 25, 1819, as the day he planted a vine in the rich grounds of the Stone Store, Kerikeri in the Bay of Islands. These pioneering vines were the very first to be planted into New Zealand soils, with New Zealand being one of very few countries in the world where the exact date of the planting of the first vines is known, making our story unique on the world stage.
Throughout the 19th and early 20th century, a significant number of European immigrants came to New Zealand and set up vineyards in different regions. They each contributed to the early establishment of the diverse wine regions of New Zealand. The New Zealand wine industry today consists of over 700 wineries and more than 600 grape growers, with the growing success of this industry depending strongly on the commitment and passion of the people behind it.
Since the 1990s, there has been an evolution in the grape varieties that we see planted throughout our regions. Sauvignon Blanc is now the most widely planted variety, accounting for 76% of total production, followed by Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
As we raise a toast to the past, we also look ahead to the future. The New Zealand wine industry is dedicated to ensuring that we celebrate another 200 years, through a commitment to sustainability and innovation that will protect the places that make our famous wines. Over 98% of New Zealand’s vineyard producing area is now Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand (SWNZ) certified – and this is unmatched by any voluntary scheme around the world.
New Zealand Winegrowers will be marking the 200 year anniversary with an industry event in Northland, including a ceremonial re-planting at the historic Stone Store, followed by a regional wine tasting and dinner on the Waitangi Treaty Grounds.
In his diary, Marsden prophesied, “New Zealand promises to be very favourable to the vine, as far as I can judge at present of the nature of the soil and climate. Should the vine succeed, it will prove of vast importance in this part of the globe.” His prediction has been brilliantly fulfilled.
For further information contact: Amber Silvester Communications Manager, New Zealand Winegrowers 021 794 381
The first recorded wine was from James Busby in 1830s. Busby, the Crown’s Resident in New Zealand lived in what is now called the Treaty House at the Treaty Grounds in Waitangi. James Busby was the architect of the Treaty of Waitangi and is regarded as the first winemaker in New Zealand.
In 1840, naval officer and explorer Jules Dumont D’Urville visited and was disappointed to find Busby not in residence, but tasted a wine made by Busby. Onboard his ship, Astrolabe, Dumont D’Urville wrote the first New Zealand wine review in his journal, “with great pleasure I agreed to taste the product of the vineyard that I had just seen. I was given a light white wine, very sparkling, and delicious to taste, which I enjoyed very much”.
International demand for New Zealand wine shows no sign of slowing, with total export value reaching a record $1.83 billion according to the 2019 Annual Report of New Zealand Winegrowers.
Export value has risen by 6% in June year-end 2019, and at a retail level, this translates to over $7 billion dollars of New Zealand wine sold around the world annually. The UK and USA led the growth, with the USA continuing to be New Zealand wine’s largest market with over $550 million in exports.
The premium reputation of New Zealand wine has translated to real value in its major markets where the country remains either the highest or second-highest priced wine category in the USA, UK, Canada, and China. “This year’s export results again reflect the New Zealand wine industry’s strengths, and reinforce our international reputation for premium, diverse and sustainable wines.” said John Clarke, Chair of New Zealand Winegrowers.
The report highlights the completion of the 2018 PwC Strategic Review, the first within the industry since 2011, which provided a wealth of usable insights into the state of the New Zealand wine sector, challenges and opportunities. “The Strategic Review report noted the continued steady growth of the industry, and identified a range of challenges and risks that need to be addressed to maintain that trajectory and ensure all members have the opportunity to benefit” said Mr Clarke.
Mr Clarke noted the Strategic Review underscored how important all aspects of sustainability were in order to maintain the New Zealand wine industry’s social license to operate. “As an industry, we need to ensure our key focus is on enhancing sustainability initiatives. Sustainability is a cornerstone of the reputation of New Zealand wine, and is vital to the ongoing success of our industry.”
Highlights over the last year include the completion of the first phase of the Bragato Research Institute’s climate change programme, the commencement of a new research winery facility, and the International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration, which saw over 100 international wine producers, experts and key influencers visit Marlborough to experience New Zealand’s diverse Sauvignon Blanc offerings.
Waimea Estates is one of Nelson’s larger producers with over 140 hectares of their own vineyards. The cool climate and alluvial soils of Nelson’s Waimea plains combined with the highest sunshine hours in New Zealand allow vibrant, fruit-focused wines to be made.
Waimea’s export varieties are based on highly awarded Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir, and over the years Waimea has gathered 150+ Gold Medals and 26 Trophies across nine different wine styles – proving the versatility Waimea and the Nelson region provides. More next month.
Simon Bell, the Representative for Colab Wine Merchants, presented a taste of Europe. There was a good turnout of 33 members and 3 guests. Everyone enjoyed the evening. It was a different style of meeting with lots of member interaction. Simon gave out larger glasses to demonstrate the difference using a large glass versus a small glass. It was an interesting evening with the tasting aimed for the layperson. There were 14 orders with a total of 96 bottles. Simon was pleased with the meeting and is keen to do another meeting. To revisit the wines included:q
Alpha Domus Collection Sauvignon Blanc (NZ) Vivanco White Rioja (Spain) Guerrieri Rizzardi Pinot Grigio IGP Veneto (Italy) Domaine Dupre Bourgogne Chardonnay (France) Vivanco Rioja Crianza (Spain) Vivanco Rioja Reserva (Spain) Chateau Mauciol Cotes du Rhone Villages Red (France)
One of the prospects he discussed, and would be happy to run, would be a non-threatening “Wine Options” evening. Your committee will consider this.
I never thought I would have to confess to anything along these lines, but while visiting our daughter in Sydney last week we actually drank a wine that she had only paid $1 for the bottle. To put as rosy a picture on this as is possible, it was an Australian dollar. Our daughter works for Woolworths and they have a staff store at their head office, so it was a staff discount, but still…….
As I wrote the last paragraph I thought to myself, what on earth’s name is the internet for, so I looked. The wine was a Cape Mentelle (Margaret River) Sauvignon / Semillon blend so I visited their website. It is advertised there for A$26. What a bargain, should have got a dozen.
Visit from Mel
Some of those who joined us more recently may not remember Mel Ingalls. Mel was a member of the Club for some time and a committee member with a number of those still on the committee now. He left to return to his native America. It was, therefore, quite an occasion that he was able to join us at the June tasting while he is spending a few weeks back in New Zealand. You are welcome Mel as always.
See you on Wednesday, with a lovely evening in prospect.
Yet another excellent tasting with Marc Udy from Villa Maria, ably assisted by Kirsty Warbrick, presenting a range of great wines including some from their Platinum Range. Marc is one of the winemakers from Marlborough. He was a good speaker and the consensus is that the winery has been really easy to deal with.
To reiterate the tasting included the Cellar Selection Rose 2018; Reserve Wairua Sauvignon 2018; Single Vineyard Seddon Pinot Gris 2018; Reserve Marlborough Chardonnay 2016; Platinum Selection Pinot Noir 2018; Cellar Selection Grenache 2017, rounded off with the Cellar Selection Late Harvest Riesling 2015. An enjoyable night.
Another great evening with nice wines and an informative presenter. John Loughlin was a pleasure to deal with and kept the meeting running to time. A good level of orders resulted. But that all our tastings were as easy to organize as this one was. John says he would be more than happy to come back and has some interesting wines that we haven’t yet tried. We will keep this in mind.
The wines tasted included; Askerne Sauv Blanc / Sauv Gris / Semillon 2018 as the quaffer; followed by; Askerne Reserve Chardonnay 2016; Askerne Viognier 2018; Askerne Gewürztraminer 2016; Askerne Syrah 2015; Askerne Merlot Cab Franc Cab Sauv Malbec 2015; Askerne 2016 Cabernet Franc; rounded off with the Askerne Dessert Cabernet 2018.
The ‘who’s who’ of the wine world descended on Marlborough for a three-day International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration kicking off on Monday 28 January.
“We have over 100 international wine producers, experts and key influencers visiting, giving us an exceptional opportunity to shine the spotlight on our diverse Sauvignon Blanc offerings,” said Sauvignon 2019 Chair, Patrick Materman. The event boasted a world-class line-up of speakers who are experts in the fields of science, research, journalism and gastronomy.
Internationally acclaimed wine writer Matt Kramer returned to New Zealand to explore Sauvignon Blanc’s place in the world of wine and speak on the future of Sauvignon Blanc. Nine Masters of Wine from all over the globe were among the speakers, including Debra Meiburg, founding Director of Meiburg Wine Media, and Sarah Heller, Asia Pacific’s youngest MW at 30 years of age, from Hong Kong. From the UK came Justin Howard-Sneyd, buyer and consultant for over 20 years with some of the UK’s leading distributors, and David Allen, originally from the UK and Director of WineSearcher. Dirceu Vianna Junior was the first South American male to obtain the title of Master of Wine and joined from Brazil, and Tim Hanni hailing from the US, where he is Managing Director of eCode.me and HanniCo LLC. Completing the exemplary line up were New Zealanders Emma Jenkins, Sam Harrop and Steve Smith.
Over 350 guests were expected to attend the celebration, which took attendees on a journey exploring the complexity of Sauvignon Blanc, emerging styles, vineyard practices, winemaking influences and future trends. The International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration is built around three themes; Place, Purity and Pursuit. Day one was themed Place and drew on Tūrangawaewae, the geographical places we feel empowered and connected to. Day two, with the theme of Purity, explored topics such as climate, sustainability and flavour. Finally, Day three dealt with what we should pursue domestically and globally, outlining future challenges and opportunities for the New Zealand wine industry.
The spectacular evening entertainment was also a highlight, with the sold-out gala event ‘Blanc’, a dinner-en-blanc theme, hosting 480 guests at Brancott Vineyard on the second evening of the 2019 celebration. Celebrity chef Martin Bosley was the culinary director of the gourmet feast that was matched with older vintages from the cellars of our wineries. The International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration brought this diverse, expressive and sought-after variety to centre stage for three action-packed days in Marlborough.
These words were uttered by the French-born English wine merchant and author André Simon in 1964 when tasting Hawke’s Bay winery Te Mata’s 1912 red blend. More than half a century after it was first made – the same year as the sinking of the Titanic – the red wine was still very much alive, so why has New Zealand not developed a reputation for making age worthy wines?
Two words: Sauvignon Blanc.
The New Zealand wine industry is dominated by a grape variety that is typically fermented and put into bottle within months – or even weeks – of being harvested. ‘Picked, pressed and pissed before Christmas’ is the life cycle of Sauvignon Blanc in some winemakers’ view. Why wait for Christmas when you can drink the wine before Easter? Moana Park winery has released a Sauvignon Blanc on April 1 and that was no April Fools. If the previous vintage has been small and stocks are running low, a few blocks might be picked early to produce a wine to bridge the gap between vintages, such as Villa Maria’s Early Release Sauvignon Blanc.
However, there are a growing number of smaller, quality focused producers that are holding back their Sauvignon Blancs before releasing, giving them time on lees and time in bottle. Having tasted some of Marlborough’s finest Sauvignon Blancs at seven or eight years old, drinkers need not be in such a hurry. Putting the brakes on wineries releasing wines doesn’t help their cash flow and with grape growers to pay and bank repayments due, accountants can overrule winemakers, putting the onus on drinkers to put the wines in their usually non-existent cellars.
It is partly a matter of wine culture: New Zealand does not have a long-standing tradition of making and drinking wine. Having rejected Prohibition in 1919, the country continued to operate under a cloud of abstemiousness, promoted by restrictive licensing laws. Until 1961, New Zealanders couldn’t enjoy a glass of wine with a meal in a restaurant. The 1960s brought licensing change with more and more restaurant licences granted, a rise in the number of wine shops while a rise in tax on beer and spirits in the 1958 ‘Black Budget’ gave wine an encouraging bump.
The 1950s witnessed the birth of aspirational winemakers and pioneers seeking to move away from fortified wine and hybrids to quality table wine made from vitis vinifera, which gained increasing momentum, culminating in legislation outlawing a sugar and water culture and a state-sponsored vine pull in the 1980s. In the 1970s, regular wine columns had appeared in several newspapers, catering for an educated population who had done their ‘OE’ (overseas experience), travelling around Europe, experiencing wine and food culture. From just 174ml of wine per capita in the early 1960s, wine consumption increased to 5.3 litres by the end of the 1970s. In 2016, the figure stood at 20.2 litres but has remained stagnant for a decade. (Come on team, get drinking, we have to lift this again – Ed)
Red wines in New Zealand, like whites, are all too often released early and consumed early, meaning there are few older vintages available to purchase and enjoy. There are relatively few wine collectors and fine dining restaurants with cellars and mature stocks of New Zealand wine and thus some wineries are starting to take responsibility for ageing their wines until they approach their drinking window. Judy Fowler, owner of Puriri Hills Vineyard in Clevedon, Auckland, which specialises in Bordeaux blends, has a Brunello di Montalcino approach to releasing her reds. “My late release policy is based on the fact that we attempt to produce Bordeaux-blended wines made in the longstanding traditions of Bordeaux. The great Bordeaux generally benefit from ageing five to 10 years or longer. Our wines are built to age well. However, we are a small, newer vineyard [established 1998] with perhaps another 300 years to earn the reputation for quality that the grands crus of Bordeaux have. As such, we do not expect our customers all to want to wait for five or more years to taste our wines at their best, so we do the ageing here at the vineyard before release.” While Fowler is not alone, most wineries don’t apply the release-when-ready-to-drink policy across the entire range, as it can leave suppliers wine-less and raise the prospect of delisting.
It is difficult to judge the ageability of New Zealand wines with so little precedent. In the past decade, young vines have matured, viticulture has evolved, winemaking has become more refined: a Pinot Noir produced 10 years ago from young vines by winemakers that were still getting to know their site will be quite different today than a current vintage opened in a decade’s time. When asked to provide drinking windows for a recent Central Otago Pinot Noir or Hawke’s Bay Cabernet Sauvignon, it is a case of pinning the tail on the donkey.
However, there’s no doubting the country’s best wines have the components to age gracefully: intensity of fruit, richness of ripe tannins, acidity (and pH), alcohol and magic all play their part in the development of a red wine. In whites, high levels of acidity and flavour precursors elongate their shelf life.
There’s also a small matter of the closure: screwcaps are omnipotent in New Zealand. Although a small but significant number of producers continue to seal their top Bordeaux blends under cork (while putting the rest of their range under screwcap), it is likely that the wines will age more slowly, because of the lower rate of oxygen ingress compared with a natural cork.
What is clear, is that far too many New Zealand wines are being consumed before they are out of nappies. It’s time to let them grow up.
We would be grateful if you could give Anne an indication as to whether or not you are likely to be attending the tasting. This will ensure that we can share out the very nice cheeses as evenly as possible. You wouldn’t want to miss out now, would you? Anne’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local beer over NZ wine
As I prepare this newsletter our President is also trying for some balmy weather, though in Bali rather than France. What he will not be doing though is matching the warmth with some good New Zealand wine. He reports that at a restaurant a bottle of Matua Sauvignon Blanc (generally available for about $13 a bottle on our supermarket shelves) was on offer for the NZ equivalent of $80.00 phew. He and Dinah have been reduced to drinking the local beer.
We will be visiting the wines of France, Australia and Portugal over the latter part of the year. Much to be enjoyed.