I hooned down to RW to check out the JF Collection, mostly for the promise of tasting the Syrah.
However, I was blown away by the quality of all the other wines on offer at this instore tasting. The good Doctor was in attendance, and he shared some interesting stories from his many years in the wine-making game. One story was that he was offered first pick of the very first parcel of land in what was to become the Gimblett Gravels in Hawkes Bay, land that he still farms today…
I started off with the John Forrest Collection The White 2009 – A multi varietal white blend. Dr John didn’t divulge what grape varieties were in it, alas. It was aromatic, elegant, with good fruit concentration, complexity and acidity. Citrus, golden stonefruit. Dry with minerality. Very intriguing. 90 points
I also tried the John Forrest Collection Cabernet Sauvignon Hawkes Bay 2013 – A bold textured bouquet, layered, gorgeous. Ripe with great blackberry fruit flavours, fine tannins, heaps of depth and purity. A stunningly good Bordeaux-style red. 93 points
The came the John Forrest Collection Pinot Noir Bannockburn 2012 – Floral and herbaceous, dense, ripe and fine. 90 points
I bought a bottle of this for dinner – John Forrest Collection Chardonnay Wairau Valley 2011 – Pale straw, 13%. Minerals, soft and refined with citrus and golden fruits. Mealy notes on palate also, and cucumber. 90 points
I bought a bottle of this for another dinner – John Forrest Collection Pinot Noir Waitaki Valley 2011 – I liked the florality and expression a lot more than the Bannockburn. This vineyard is one of the Doctor’s passion projects, and it shows. Dark carmine, tending brick. 13.5%. Black cherries, soap, lightly oaked on nose. Light fruit, soft tannins, a herbal lift. Plum to taste, blackberries, a chalky finish. Complex and very rewarding. 95 points
Photo Credit: the top photo featuring Dr Forrest and guests – courtesy Regional Wines and Spirits website