Merry Christmas!


Christmas 2015

I wish a Merry Christmas to you all! May the season bring good tidings, fine wine, friends and family to your door.

Thanks for reading.

d d b

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What’s in the glass tonight December 20th – Pinot Noir


Rockburn PN 2010

From the Cellar: Rockburn Pinot Noir Central Otago 2010 – $$

A multi-award winner. 14%. Regular pinot ruby colour. Herby, spicy and floral. Fruity with notes of wild thyme. All typical qualities of a good Central Pinot. Starting to show some mustiness and forest floor aromas and matchbox, but still red-cherry dominant.

This was a very intriguing wine. It started off somewhat languid and light, and finished dense.

Light bright fruit flavours, the expected red cherries etc. Vanilla. Fine tannins. Then it got more interesting. Developed in the glass. Became more driven, elegant and minerally. A spicy finish began to kick in. Became very structured and finished surprisingly dense. Remarkable, and most unexpected off the first sip.

BTVG 4+

What’s in the glass tonight November 11th – Cab Merlot Malbec


Newton Forrest Cornerstone 2007

From the Cellar: Newton Forrest Cornerstone Cabernet Merlot Malbec Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay 2007 – $$$

This was a remarkable wine to retrieve from the Pool Room. The huge hit of vanilla on the nose was unlike anything I had smelled before. Hot at 14%. Dark bricking carmine in colour.

Continuing, the nose showed sweet and soft and strong, with powerful vanilla notes and licorice.

Very sweet to taste also, almost cloying. Sitting and savouring this wine in the evening dusk of my backyard, the ripe flavours drew all manner of small flies and midges to my glass. I had to retreat inside. Strong vanilla notes flowed through on palate, and was almost off-putting. Soft tannins. An odd and unique wine.

I went back to it two days later. The vanilla had backed off a little, and some of the underlying structure was showing through. The flavours were full, and there was no sign of oxidation or metallic standing taint.

An impressive and powerful wine.

BTVG 4+

 

What’s in the glass tonight November 8th – Merlot Cab Malbec


Church Road Merlot Cab Malbec 2013

Church Road Merlot Cabernet Malbec Hawkes Bay 2013 – $

Another value red ’13 that I haven’t yet had the chance to taste. Their ’13 Chardonnays were fab, and their ‘14’s even better. This should be better than ok.

Deep, dark carmine colour. 14.5% alc – a hot one for a New Zealand wine.

On the nose, soft gentle aromas of fallen red orchard stonefruit. Vanilla and jam. A touch of matchbox and graphite pencil. A complex nose for its age.

Melodious sweet ripe fruit to first taste, with flavours of black plums, and soft on the mid-palate. Medium-weighted tannins towards the rear. Cocoa and again, matchbox, at the death.

A good BBQ wine for the early summer evening Wellington chill. A bit too soft for me, I prefer a greater cabernet component for more tannins.

BTG 3+

What’s in the glass tonight December 3rd – Tempranillo


Hihi Temperanillo 2013

Hihi Tempranillo Gisborne 2013

It’s not often I drink a Gisborne wine, and even less often it’s a Tempranillo! And I just missed International Tempranillo Day as well.

This is an interesting boutique producer. They grow a bunch of non-standard (for NZ) grapes on their property – Semillon, Barbera, Nebbiolo, Albarino, as well as the usual Sav/Chard/Merlot/Syrah etc. I drank an Albarino of theirs a while back and loved it!

Deep carmine colour.  14% alc.

Dense nose, dark stone fruit, complex, lush, earthy, peppery. Opens out in the glass luvly.

Bright ripe fruit, good fruit weight. A fresh attack, brusque tannins follow, heat on the back palate. Long.

Very young, off young vines I expect. This could definitely do another 2-3 years sleeping-in, so the whole wine can integrate together. And another 10 years of vine age. This is a wine to watch.

VG 4

What’s in the glass tonight December 1st – Chardonnay


Hunters Chardonnay 2013

Hunter’s Jane Hunter Chardonnay Marlborough 2013

Jane Hunter, founder of Hunter’s Wines, has been described by the London Sunday Times as the First Lady of New Zealand wine and was awarded an OBE for service to the wine industry in 1993. Jane has an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Massey University, she received the inaugural Wine & Spirit Competition Women in Wine Award and in 2009 was awarded the Companion to the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM). Bob Campbell even credits her with starting the international story that is Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.

L and I have previously visited the vineyard and cellar door during one of our Graperide weekends. A lovely place with an attractive garden.

The wine: light gold colour. 13% alc.

Soft with a big golden stonefruit nose. Oaky, mealy. Lots of nutty characters – almonds and cashews, and a good dash of vanilla thrown in.

The nose does not carry through on palate. I saw a racy bright texture in the mouth, a strong line of citrus acidity and grapefruit flavour running through the wine, culminating in a mouth-watering finish. The style is lean and minerally. Yet there is prominent oak on the palate. Perhaps a bit too lean and over oaky for my preference? You can’t have it both ways. Long finish.

BTG 3+

Happy 80th Dad!


The Douglas

Off Topic: The Douglas

Last w/e, the kids, L and I drove up the island to celebrate my Dad’s 80th birthday, with Mum, his two sisters, S, and a whole lot of his friends in attendance. It was a top occasion.

He likes his whisky, so I bought a bottle, steamed off the label, and mocked-up this commemorative bottle in his honour.

Slàinte mhath Dad!

Spot the deliberate spelling mistake.

xx ddb