Negociants present Yalumba Wines – Cenna Lloyd – October 2018

This was a very enjoyable tasting. Cenna was a very knowledgeable presenter with a great relaxed style. She admitted to a few nerves to start with but was soon interacting nicely with the members. The wines presented were great wines at a good value for money. The tasting was a good night.

Whilst we haven’t used Negociants before, the fact that we are now licensed means we can deal with this type of operation in the future. We will keep it in mind to pencil Negociants in for another tasting soon, as they have a really good provider base.

To reiterate, the wines tasted were the:

  • 2017/2018 Sangiovese Rosé
  • 2017 Organic Chardonnay
  • 2014 Eden Valley Roussanne
  • 2017 Eden Valley Viognier
  • 2017 Old Bush Vine Grenache
  • 2015 Paradox Shiraz
  • 2014 The Signature Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz

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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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What your wine choice says about you

Laura Morelli – Stuff – 17 February 2016

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?


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.


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


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.


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

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Taylor Brown – Looking Back


The general consensus was that the June tasting was excellent. Although the evening was mainly a red night most people enjoyed the presentation. We were a little disappointed that the number attending, 31 people, was lower than expected. Dan Baldock was pleased with the orders received. The club has thanked him for the presentation.
As Dan is a company representative without stocks of wine, the wine had to be purchased from a third party – in this case, Moore Wilsons. This was a slightly different approach to the usual purchase procedure, but the purchasing of the wine via an order form from Moore Wilsons worked well. To recap, the wines presented were:

  • Taylors Estate Riesling
  • Taylors Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Taylor’s Estate Shiraz
  • Taylors Jaraman Shiraz
  • Taylors Jaraman Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Taylors St Andrews Shiraz

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Jacob’s Creek double barrel release – From the Editor – July 2015


jacobs-creek-boublebarrel-shirazWinter is clearly upon us, some snow on the lawn when we woke yesterday morning. Why have we not organised a holiday in a warm climate, I ask? Can’t even resort to wine as Patricia and I are doing the Dry July thing, but we will be buying a “Pass” for the Dinner. Never mind, it will soon be spring.

From time to time members send me little items of interest, and where possible I am happy to include them. I would encourage members if they find items of wine interest to let me know. It is always helpful. The item below attracted Evelyn Dawson’s attention.

Bernard Hickin, chief winemaker for Jacob’s Creek, talks about the company’s newest double barrel release.

“Having worked with Jacob’s Creek since its official launch in 1976, chief winemaker Bernard Hickin knows a thing or two about good grapes. And this year, he is taking the Australian company to new heights with the release of a special new wine range into the Antipodean markets: Double Barrel, a collection of premium red wines finished in aged whisky barrels. “The double barrel technique … imparts additional layers of complexity, beautifully integrated tannins and an incredibly smooth mouthfeel,” says Hickin of the Jacob’s Creek Double Barrel Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 and Jacob’s Creek Double Barrel Barossa Shiraz 2012.”

Robin Semmens, Editor

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June tasting – Taylors, Dan Baldock

Tasting review

taylors2It is always great to have Dan back to present. He never lets us down on the quality of the wines so this time it was the turn of Taylors Wines from Clare Valley, South Aussie.

Dan has moved on since he last presented at the club and is now the NZ Area Manager for Taylor Brown.

Dan starts to tell us the story of how TB started and it goes something like this. Ross Brown and Bill Taylor got together over a very long lunch. After considerable food, wine and debate, TB was the result. A collaboration of two families working together to promote their wines here in New Zealand only. Both are also the part of Aussies famous, ‘First Families of Wine‘. Much like our ‘Family of Twelve‘.


Back to the tasting.

Click image to view the gallery

Not to be outdone the quaffer wine was a very sweet number from Brown Brothers, a 2014 Moscato/Sauvignon Blanc. A little fizz with a delightful rosehip and tropical perfume. I’d recommend serving it ice cold on a hot day.

Members were then treated to (my first equal wine of the night) a 2012 Taylors Estate Riesling. Straw yellow with a bready and intense lime bouquet. And as you’d expect from Clare Valley, bone dry, with a hint of sweetness reminiscent of dried apricots and a rich long finish. I give this 18/20. This was followed by five reds. The 80 Acres wines needed airing and was still tight after about 30 minutes.

Now we’re at the pointy end.

Ever noticed the icon design on Taylors wines labels? It has a Jaraman, an Aboriginal term for seahorse, found in the limestones when the vineyard was first being prepared and now an iconic style well-known for its character and quality. The Cab/Sauv and Shiraz didn’t disappoint. Strong fruit-driven flavours, rich intense mouthfeel with a lingering (for more) finish. I give these 16/20.

taylors-jaramanThe star of the night had to be the St. Andrews Shiraz. This is a classic wine – distinctive and high-quality. Not only for its rich deep purple hue, it’s smoky cedar and a dark 80% chocolate bouquet, and it’s stewed plum, coffee and oaky mouthfeel, but the finish leaves everything to the imagination – warm, sensual, and persistent. I give this 18/20.

The only regret of the night, and as Dan highlighted, us Kiwi’s don’t drink much chardonnay from outside NZ. Come on let’s change that because I for know the Aussies can produce fine quality chardy’s.

Dan did a great job in representing this range of wines and the club wishes Dan and TB all the success they deserve.

Cheers, Steve

Looking Back – Journey to the Cellar – March 2015

journeycellar… and a quiet night with friends

The evening was excellent and the presenters were superb. Well, we have to say that – don’t we?

Some committee, and club members, presented the wines for the evening which mainly came from the Cub’s cellar. Whilst numbers attending was a little disappointing, those who were there thought it was a quality evening.

The evening provided the following; the Quaffer was a Waimea Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (Wayne did a brief rundown on this wine before we proceeded with the rest of the tasting).

Following this we had the following selection; Esk Valley Chenin Blanc – (Michael Kuus presented); Esk Valley Verdelho – (Murray presented) These wines were selected on the basis that many members will probably not have tried them. We then enjoyed a Haythornthwaite Rose presented by Mark himself. After this Derek gave a brief outline of how he developed his cellar, and how the Cellar Club wine is kept.

After a short break we enjoyed a Shot in the Dark Cab Sav/Shiraz 2010, and followed this with a comparison of the Rufus Stone Heathcote Shiraz 2006, and an Alpha Domus Barnstormer Syrah 2012. The wines were presented by your editor who discussed the connection between Canadian interests and Quarisa Wines in NSW in the development of the “Shot in the Dark” label; the Australian use (or was it misuse) of South East Australia as a geographical indication (GI) for wine sales in Europe and the rising importance of Heathcote as an Australian wine region. Interesting feedback was that some thought the Rufus Stone was passed its best while others preferred it to the Barnstormer. A great night.

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Journey to the Cellar – March 2015

“The best laid schemes o’ mice and men gang aft agley” – Robert Burns

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

Cost: Members no charge, Guests $10

Presenter: No formal presentation


Indeed, as Robbie was well aware, the best laid plans often go astray and they have gone astray again for us this month. Unfortunately, because of changes at Auburn, they are unable to attend. Other options have been pursued but we have been unable to get a suitable replacement.

This does however give us an opportunity to use the Club’s cellar for the purpose it was designed. This Wednesday we samples some of our cellar stock including:

  • 2012 Waimea Sauvignon Blanc
  • Haythornthwaite Rose
  • 2010 Esk Valley Chenin Blanc
  • 2010 Esk Valley Verdelho
  • 2010 Shot in the Dark Cab Sav/Shiraz
  • 2006 Rufus Stone Heathcote Shiraz
  • 2012 Alpha Domus Barnstormer Syrah

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Glancing Back – May 2014

2015-06-28-558fb3065720bGlancing Back – Dan Blaydock, Treasury Wine Estates

Dan presented this Penfolds tasting and it was another great evening.

Part of the tasting was a vertical tasting of some of the Penfolds Bin wines from our own cellar and wine from Penfolds. The committee felt that this was an excellent meeting and there was a great turnout. Murray reports are that Dan enjoyed presenting to the meeting. It was suggested we do a similar tasting in about 4 years.

Naturally a red evening however the Club did provide a Trinity Hill Chardonnay/Viognier 2008 as a quaffer to start.

The quaffer was followed by a Bin 9 Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, then 2000 and 2012 Bin 128 Coonawarra Shiraz, 2003 and 2012 Bin 138 Barossa GMS, and rounded off with 2002 and 2011 Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz.

Dan was very complimentary about the way we have cellared our wines (thanks to Derek of course) with the 2002 Bin 389 having kept exceptionally well, and still developing.

Penfolds Bin release: April 2014

Date: Wednesday 9 April, 2014

Time: 7.45 for 8 pm start

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

Cost: Members: $14, Guests: $18

Presenter: Dan Baldock, TWE Global


Treasury Wine Estates are distributors for Penfolds. They are a unique global wine company with a leading international portfolio of new world wines. From the establishment of Australia’s Penfolds in the mid 1840s to the 1876 founding of Beringer Vineyards, a winemaking legacy has been created. Our five foundation brands form the base of our passion for wine and are some of the most recognised and awarded wines in the world: Beringer Vineyards, Lindeman’s, Penfolds, Rosemount Estate and Wolf Blass.

Dan works with Treasury and presented to the Club the last time we had a Penfolds tasting. Your Club has had the forethought to cellar some of the Penfolds Bin Range and this allows us to have a comparative tasting with current wines and some that have been cellared for at least 10 years. The wines included:

  • Quaffer – Trinity Hill Chardonnay/Viognier 2008
  • Bin 9 Cabernet Sauvignon (2012)
  • Bin 128 Coonawarra Shiraz (2000 and 2012)
  • Bin 138 Barossa GMS (2003 and 2012)
  • Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz (2002 and 2011)

May be a different year for the current range but sit back and enjoy, this will be a great evening but we concede it is primarily for those who enjoy good reds. Looking forward to a good turnout.

About Penfolds Bin release

In the wineries 170th year, Penfolds is proud to release the 2014 Bin Series. Featuring 12 expressions, the Bin Series displays the benefits of the multi-regional blending and stylised winemaking philosophy, which Penfolds has upheld since 1844. Released annually, this year’s collection celebrates the anniversary releases for two coveted Bins, together with the debut of an inaugural release – 2012 Bin 9 Cabernet Sauvignon, which displays ripe, bold flavours and highlights the art of multi-regional blending.

“The continued evolution of our Bin Series wines are a credit to the craftsmanship of the winemaking and viticulture teams,” says Chief Winemaker, Peter Gago.

“The climatic conditions prevailing across the three vintages of this release, 2011/2012/2013 couldn’t be any more different, and yet the Penfolds approach has delivered this offer of traditional Bins that are true to both style and expectation.”


Glancing Back: Grant Burge Wines

grant-burgeThe presentation was arranged by Eurovintage and what an evening it was.

The wines were great and the presentation lively and informative.

Great attendance with 36 members and 7 guests.

Keith thoroughly enjoyed the evening and was very pleased with the orders he received.

The selection included:

  • 2007 Te Mata Sauvignon Blanc
  • 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

It’s amazing how well it works when we can get iconic NZ or Australian producers.

Presenting Grant Burge

grant-burgeDate: Wednesday 9 October, 2013

Time: 7.45 pm for 8.00 pm start

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

Charge: Members $12 Guests $16

“I am a romantic, and I have a real sense of my family history, of my father and grandfather, and what they achieved.” Grant Burge

Tonight Keith presented 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 included:

  • 2007 Te Mata Sauvignon Blanc
  • 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

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