What’s in the glass tonight Jan 13th– Riesling

Fromm Spatlese 2015

Fromm Riesling Spätlese Marlborough 2016 – $$

Joelle Thomson of Regional Wines writes of this wine:

Light and low and naturally so… this super concentrated Riesling is a wine of beauty from Marlborough’s warm days, cool nights and long growing season. Its low alcohol shows that winemaker Hatsch Kalberer intentionally stopped the fermentation well before the wine reached anything near to dryness, so it is a sweet style but, thanks to the high acidity of the Riesling grape, this wine finishes on a crisp, fresh and intensely floral note… its long succulent finish is juicy and delicious.””

8% alc. Pale green straw.

I thought it was stunning at the instore tasting so I brought a bottle home. Juicy and sweet, with such a lovely acid backbone. So so lovely. Such an Empress of wines, Riesling.

Highly Recommended 93 points

What’s in the glass tonight June 28th

Fromm Brancott Pinot Noir 2009

From the Cellar: Fromm Brancott Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009 – $$$

I bought this at the winery on a visit after the Graperide in 2013. The native Wine Label Weevil has since had a good go at the label front and back. Weird, that hasn’t happened before…

Dark carmine. 14%.

Beautifully aromatic with forward, elegant florality. Dense fruit character, red cherries, and hints of oak and vanilla and spice.

On palate; red cherries, very smooth mouthfeel, fine tannins, well integrated with balance and dense fruit weight. A long finish with that typical Pinot ‘burr’. Abso superb.

FYI James Suckling gave this a 95.


Wilde said, it is better to be talked about than not talked about


Pleasing to see that a NZ pinot from Marlborough graces the front row of the front cover in this months Decanter. Well done!

The winemakers are pretty chuffed about it too, “We are excited to be featured on the cover of Decanter, one of the world’s leading wine magazines. It is an amazing achievement to be chosen as one of the Top 50 Wines of the Year, especially when our Fromm Pinot Noir Clayvin Vineyard is produced in such small quantities.”

I must get a bottle (if there are any left)…

What’s in the glass tonight Sept 6th

Cloudy Bay Te Koko Sav Blanc 2009

Cloudy Bay Te Koko Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 – $$$

I expect that this wine is as close as we generally get to a premier cru for this varietal in New Zealand.

There are other benchmark wines that sit alongside it, but as this producer was in the vanguard of exporting Marlborough sauvignon blanc to the world, its nose is in front. In the subjective wine world, first impressions count…

A few weeks back I won a supermarket competition, and I received a few grocery vouchers. Rather than fold them into the weekly food shop, I thought I would apportion the vouchers over a few ‘feast’ nights, where I would buy more expensive ingredients than usual, and cook something nice for my closest and dearest. This was one of those nights.

L brought this bottle over to share, and pair with my grilled marmalade salmon fillets, yoghurt dill and mustard sauce, boiled new potatoes and mesclun salad. Joining us were her boys, her new au-pair, and my LG. We had a good time.

And the wine was wonderful: 14%. Gorgeous gold. Aromatic, warm and rich. A nose of oak and vanilla. Only a hint of Marlborough varietal character.

This is a matured wine, issued for sale by Cloudy Bay after three years of aging. It is made from the best grapes, with minimal handling and wild yeast fermentation.

L called it the sav for chardonnay drinkers. I agree. It has the complexity and mouthfeel of a chardonnay. Absolutely delicious, the vanilla comes through in the mouth, with smooth fruit, honey, vanilla, and creamy texture. Perfect with the salmon. 5

Then we had wildberry danish’s with fig and honey ice cream for dessert. L brought along a sticky to pair with it:

 Fromm Late Harvest Gewurtz 2010

Fromm Marlborough Late Harvest Gewurtztraminer 2010

12.5%. It was richly aromatic and sweet, with honey and spice and golden syrup. Delish. 4

Lucky me in so many ways…

Straight to the Pool Room – April 2013

Pool Room April 2013

Vintage is underway in Marlborough. All weekend the roads have been filled with mechanical harvesters driving from site to site. Grape boxes have been stacked up at the end of the rows. Trucks filled with fruit have been driving slowly to the wineries. This summer has been a pearler, and every indication is that this year’s vintage will be a great one, all over the country. Buy up in 2014/2015!

So, L and I visited a couple of Marlborough wineries on our way back to the Cook Strait ferry after the Graperide. I recommend visiting them.

We were given a very warm welcome at Fromm. We worked our way through a tasting of their sav, chardy, syrah, malbec, a couple of pinot noirs and a dessert gewurtz. The chardonnay was very stylish but I picked up a bottle of a wonderfully fragrant pinot. James Suckling awarded 95 points to this:

Fromm Brancott Marlborough Pinot Noir 2009 – $$$ – drink now – 2014

Then we moseyed over to Cloudy Bay. The company’s success at introducing the world to fresh Marlborough sauvignon blancs has been invested into building a spacious and stylish cellar door complex, with many enthusiastic staff to take us through the tasting process. It was particularly endearing seeing a bunch of little kids, in matching Cloudy Bay black T-shirts, running around the barrel room. Apparently it was ‘take your children to vintage day’.

What did we have? Their eponymous sav, riesling, chardonnay, Te wahi pinot noir, pinot gris, late harvest riesling, and this true NZ classic oaked sauvignon blanc, another 95-pointer:

Cloudy Bay Te Koko 2009 – $$$ – drink 2014-2017

And for completing the Graperide last year, Dr John Forrest gave all riders a bottle of:

Forrest Estate 100 Virgins Pinot Noir 2012 – drink 2015-2016