An A to Z of Marlborough Cellar Doors – a brief guide to whose got what and where.

A great list here. I’m keen to check out the Villa Maria, Seresin and Saint Clair sites when I am next down in Marlborough for Graperide..

Belindaljackson's Blog

 SAMSUNG  Auntsfield has a great one at the end of Paynters Road offering top quality Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, while paying homage to David Herd who established Marlborough’s first vineyard. Allan Scott’s on Jackson’s Road has a popular restaurant as well as an extensive range of wines including their Central Otago label ‘Scott Base’ and six Methode Traditionnelle bubbles. Bladen, Conders Bend Road in Renwick is small but perfectly formed and offers a warm welcome while you taste the delicious aromatics while Bouldevines at The Vines Village sits between a cafe and a quilter’s barn and offers wines from its Dog Point Road vineyard. The contemporary and elevated Brancott Heritage Centre offers awe-inspiring views, great food and a wide range of Brancott Estate wine while the kiwi/French Clos Henri has a romantic spot in the form of a beautifully restored, wooden country church and you can taste…

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What’s in the glass tonight Aug 25th

Kumeu Villages Chardonnay 2010

Kumeu Village Chardonnay 2010 – $

Earlier in the year I went to a tasting of Kumeu River chardonnays. It was fantastic. I bought a bottle of their single vineyard 2010 Coddington Chardonnay on the strength of it. My general takeaway was that production was way down due to an early frost event, but the season ended well and it delivered quality product in short supply.

This wine didn’t appear at the tasting. It’s the entry-level offering. Still hand- harvested, but I think the wine saw less of the new French oak barrels.

Pale gold colour. Fresh and zesty citrus nose, and long legged. For $15 it’s showing pretty good balance and flintiness to drink. There is fruitiness and acid crunch and a touch of mealiness. The age of this is spot-on.

Funny tho, a bottle I split with L last week was a deal more austere. 3.5


Straight to the Pool Room – Aug 2013

Pool Room Aug 2013

Another recommendation from GK, and two recommended by my slim bank balance:

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2010 – $$ – drink 2015-2017

Kumeu Village Chardonnay 2010 – $ – drink 2014

Dashwood Marlborough Chardonnay 2012 – $ – drink 2015

What’s in the glass tonight Aug 20th

Julicher Martinborough PN 2007

From the cellar: Julicher Martinborough Pinot Noir 2007 – $$$

Hmmm, this is an odd one to taste. I opened the bottle at dinner, poured a bit into the xl5, paired it with some slow cooked beef, and recorded my impressions (alongside cajoling LG into eating some of her dinner, and talking to the olds on the phone).

I then did some volunteer work for my childcare service. I put LG to bed, folded some laundry, and started a powerpoint presentation for my company. That led to me idly surfing the net, so then I thought, hey, better blog on that wine, and so I poured another serve into the xl5. It seemed not the same wine at all…

…it is dark carmine in colour, no doubt after the 4-5 day maceration. First off it was quite fruity on the nose, with toffee and dried fruit. Nothing ethereal or elegant about this punchy pinot. It was strong and full in the mouth, fruit-packed, black currants and marzipan. There was a good level of complexity. It went well with the beef. So far so great…

..On the second go round, I smelt more of the forest floor funk, and boiled potatoes. Is that second thing a good thing? Not sure. I’ll give it the benefit for now. Then I swear I taste more pencil shavings (again!) or am I confusing this with that odd ‘soapy’ taste I get at the death? I have seen this with some pinots before. Don’t know if it is a fault with this bottle, lack of fruit ripeness, bad cellaring, the age, or the presentation in the glass.

It is not poison, but at this point I am leaning towards FAIL. On account of it being pricey and hand-made. 2

..Not that I’ll tip it out just yet. I’ll see if the wine mellows overnight and then recalibrate.

Aug 21st: A fellow blogger suggested that my wine went through a rapid aging process after opening, due to it being under a screw cap. Interesting.  After trying the wine again today I see it has settled down a lot. It’s smoother, less affected with the soap, more of the fruit is showing through around the edges, but it is still kind of weird. Makes me think I may be keeping some of my pinots a bit too long. But then, the 2005 Palliser I had with L a while back was superb…I’ll relent and give it 2.5

What’s in the glass tonight Aug 10th

TerraVin PN 2004

From the cellar: TerraVin Hillside Selection Marlborough Pinot Noir 2004 – $$$

After enjoying a stunning sav blanc from this producer a while ago, I had high hopes for this pinot. I paid a lot of money for it, largely on the recommendation of a legendary Wellington wine retailer – Ben Rumble. He was often dismissive of NZ wines, and mostly pimped european wines in his shop, He would make exception for some kiwi wines that he thought reached his standards, and this was one of those. A rent increase made him to close his shop a year or so back. Too bad. I used to like browsing in there and talking about his wares with him.

The fruit is sourced from north-facing hillside sites in the Omaka Valley in Marlborough.The grapes are grown organically, with some bio-dynamic processes, producing low-yields, then hand picked and whole bunch pressed, and fermented with wild yeasts.

The wine is browning pinot ruby, and leggy around the glass. A beautiful bouquet – shroomy, lifted florals, violets. To drink – red fruits, aniseed, some intrusive bitterness at the back of the palate. Medium weight, fine drying tannins.

This could have slept longer. 4.5

What’s in the glass tonight – No. 100


This is my hundredth WITGT blog post since I wrote the first one on Jan 2nd this year.

Cue the confetti. I was going write a big thing about it, etc etc. But I called bullshit on that.

This wine writing game is a funny thing. It’s like navel gazing with a buzz on. It’s thinking of different ways to describe the same red or white colour of a wine, or deciding what matching-coloured fruit it reminds me of. It’s trying to pin down that elusive scent. It’s remembering not to use the phrases ‘on the nose’, or ‘in the mouth’ too often. Sigh.

It’s also about enjoying life in the company of friends and family, visiting beautiful parts of the country, and meeting people who love what they do – making and marketing wine. It shouldn’t be about pretention, or ‘collecting’, or spending the grocery money on that tempting must-have expensive bottle…

It’s fun. I never spit it out, and every now and then I think I write a good review.

Drink New Zealand wine! Kia ora, and thanks for reading.

d d b

What’s in the glass tonight August 3rd

Corbans Select MerCabSav 1998

From back in the day: Corbans Select Marlborough/Hawkes Bay Merlot Cab Sauvignon 1998

I bought a half-case of this at auction this week for $30. If it wasn’t palatable, I’d be looking at cooking loads of beef bourguignon to use it up!

The signs were positive: the wine won a silver medal at a wine comp in 2000, a contemporary review gave it 88 points, the bottle closures looked in good shape, and the ullage were all at ok levels.

The cork from the first bottle pulled clean, and looked and smelled fine…

Colour is deep carmine, tending to brick.

It is tawny and funky on the nose, with suggestion of warm leather. To drink, the wine still has lashings of fruit. It is surprisingly fresh and vigorous – must be the merlot. I taste blackberries and cocoa. The tannins are firm and a little coarse.

I wouldn’t know that this wine was 15 years old without the label telling me. It must have been well kept. I am glad I have another 5 bottles left.

And costing $5 each doesn’t hurt much either. Quite nice. 3.5