Happy New Year!
I hope 2017 was a good year for you.
You might have noticed that towards the end of last year I dropped out of sight as far as this blog is concerned. I stopped blogging.
All my time outside of my job and family commitments has been spent launching a new and small side-hustle venture: importing and selling online organic fine black teas under the brand “The Wellington Black Tea Company”. My website is here:
I love tea, and I particularly love tea from Assam in India. It has been a dream of mine to bring some into the country and try to sell it online.
But it’s been hard going. The online market is fairly mature in NZ, with plenty of competition. My teas are delicious, but sales are slow. Not many affordable opportunities to differentiate yourself to consumers apart from building a distinctive brand personality, and promoting it across social media. Which takes time and effort. And Google and FB ads are SO EXPENSIVE. But that’s another story.
I had to set up a stall at a weekly market to shift stock and boost my profile. It has been hard work standing up on my feet all day selling, but it’s been a wonderful learning opportunity (as this all has been), so that’s all good. I have learned that my customers like my tea, and that is most gratifying.
But I have still been drinking wine, to unwind(!), and recording my thoughts. I hope to upload some backdated posts here on the site over the next few weeks, and achieve a better work/life/tea/wineblog balance!
In the meantime, tau hou tau hou. May this year bring health and happiness to you and yours. Thanks for reading, and for all your comments this year.
Nga mea pai katoa ki a koe.
d d b
Grove Mill Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016 – $
The weather is turning warmer, and sunnier, and my palate cravings are in turn turning towards cool, crisp, craven Kiwi savs. To every season, turn, turn, etc.
This one should be a good’un – rated 96 points in a recent review in Decanter.
Pale straw colour. 12% alc.
Crisp apple and lemons on the nose. Green grass and crushed tomato leaf aromas, but not overbearing. Smells cool and clean.
Crisp and acidic on palate. Lively, intense zesty limes and gooseberries Lengthy, big, mouthwatering. This is a new benchmark for a value Sav. I have to agree with Decanter.
Outstanding 95 points
A couple of wines liberated from Sydney Airport Duty-Free, and a golden drop from FNQ.
Guigal Côte-Rôtie Northern Rhône 2007 – $$$+ – drink now-2022. This should be a generous and delicious Rhône rouge.
Louis Jadot Meursault Côte-d’Or 2012 – $$$+ – drink now -2019. I still recall the profound impact a glass of Meursault had on my palate when I ate lunch at Ramsay’s Hospital Road restaurant with my sister. I hope this lives up to that.
Golden Drop Mango Wine Semi-Dry – $$ – drink now – 2022. Tasted and bought at the winery on the drive from Mossman to the Atherton Tablelands. A novel and fun sticky for later!
L and I took the family on a short campervan holiday to Far North Queensland. We flew into Cairns and headed up to Cape Tribulation for a rainforest stay, then drove around the Atherton Tablelands before spending a couple of night on the coast at Ellis Beach. One of our memorable activities was swimming at Josephine Falls pictured above. Just lovely…
There wasn’t time or $$ to traverse the whole of the Australian wine styles on offer, but I thought to try a number of examples that I wouldn’t get to taste at home from the local Bottle-O.
Evans & Tate Metricup Road Chardonnay Margaret River 2016 – $$
We have liked their Big&Buttery Chardonnay in the past. This is pale brilliantine straw colour. 13% alc. Lovely acidity and oiliness. Light and lean fruit. Crisp. Apples and melons on nose.
Langmeil Blockbuster Shiraz Barossa 2015 – $$
I really enjoyed wines from this producer from a showcase tasting a few years back. This is meaty and rich. Cacao. Cardboard box. Fine tannins. Expansive. Licorice and spice. Delicious.
Mount Pleasant Singing in the Rain Rose Hunter Valley 2016 – $$
Bitter mandarine nose. Phenols. Sweet entry. Thin. Grassy note.
Devil’s Corner Pinot Noir Tasmania 2016 – $$
Lightly scented herby and savoury notes. Good fruit weight. Fine tannins. Drying. Simple and straightforward. Not a patch on a NZ Pinot, alas.
Leeuvin Estate Art Series Riesling Margaret River 2016 – $$$
Fresh crisp and clean aromas of citrus and apples. Dry and lean and flinty. Flavours of citrus and grapes. Elegant. Short. Mouthwatering acid finish. A great wine to end our holiday
We could’t escape a good clean Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc. This was enjoyed with fresh prawns and Moreton Bay bugs on the Antonia, moored wharfside as the Prawn Star Cafe in the Cairns Marina. A magic meal!
Off Topic: Perrier-Jouet Grand Brut NV Epernay- $$$+
Light straw colour. 12% alc.
A treat before we got on the plane to fly to Cairns the next day
A zesty and dense and weighty Champagne. Fresh mousse, largish bubbles. Zesty acidity. Brioche on nose and palate. Long, yummy
Highly Recommended 89 points
Off Topic: Yann Chave Hermitage Rhone 2003- $$$+
Deep ruby crimson colour. 14 % alc.
Smokey on the nose, funky, soapy, dusty, redolent of wooden-floored halls and dry grass. So much going on! It continued opening up gloriously in the glass – all tertiary character, developed dark fruit, dried blackcurrant, pink roses, lavender and pencil lead. Such exotic gorgeousness!
Opens with still primary fruit in the mouth, flavours of dark cherries, and lovely acid balance. Fine tannins. Huge length. Fat, rich and opulent, and a pure, mimeral seam throughout. A profound Rhone, just amazing.
Exceptional 98 points
Wow. 700 posts to whatsintheglasstonight.com.
That came around real quick.
It takes a village to raise a wine blogger. As always, thanks very much for reading.
Hei konei ra.
d d b
Ohau Woven Stone Pinot Noir Martinborough 2014- $$
A gorgeous colour – bright clear ruby. 13.5% alc.
Showing nice development, with savoury and leafy characters, red cherries, dustiness and fustiness, and spice. Enveloping and engaging.
Sweet at first taste, quickly opens to fine, drying tannins and lean red fruits. Piquant acid, crunchy. Licorice and white pepper flavours. Long, grassy.
Recommended 88 points
Bishops Head Reserve Riesling Waipara 2007- $$$
An aged Riesling from Wineseeker. Tasted instore; bottle bought to take up to the ski club for our last ski weekend and the Club Championships.
12% alc. Gold green straw colour.
Developed volitiles, lifted ripe apples, some grapey-ness and kero notes.
Sharp and acidic entry. Lean and brisk fruit, tart, with green apple flavours. A layer of secondary development. Bitter finish.
Recommended 88 points
Not my trophies, alas. I trailed the field in both the Slalom and GS races.
Te Mata Coleraine 1998 makes the back page of Decanter.
Well done John, Peter, Nick, et al!