What’s in the glass tonight November 17th – Chardonnay


Julicher Chardonnay Wairarapa 2012

Every year Medical Assurance, L’s insurer, hosts a family Christmas movie night for members and their families at the Embassy Theatre in Wellington. We always go. This year we got to see Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. It was fantastic! Moving and emotive, it explored themes about love,  racial tolerance, showing kindness, and the protection of animals. There were even real wizards in the audience….

While waiting for the show to start, we unwound with this lovely wine:

Reductive and funky, with interesting dried apricot citrus characters.

Rich ripe fruit attach, sweet mid palate, nice citrus line, shows the same reduction on palate. Engaging character.

89 points

What’s in the glass tonight May 7th – Pinot Noir.


Julicher Estate 99 Rows Pinot Noir Martinborough 2012 – $$.

Bright dark carmine. 13.5% alc.

A Te Muna Road native, and showing the class of its terroir. The second wine of Julicher Estate.

Opened previous night after the Catch Pinot tasting, and one glass taken. Showing so well now the next day, in the sunshine, outside our unit at Peppers Parehua in Martinborough.

99 Rows PN 2012

Floral and red cherries and lifted aromas. Sweet red fruits in the mouth. Luscious and savoury. Some brambly characters. Spicy on the finish. Hot and long. Very fine for a second wine. I like this wine a lot. And it’s at a great price.  92 points

What’s in the glass tonight May 6th – Catch Pinot

Catch Pinot

Catch Pinot Martinborough Tasting with Joelle Thompson at RW

I rocked up at Regional Wines for a free instore tasting of Martinborough Pinot Noirs hosted by the very engaging and knowledgeable Joelle Thompson, wine writer and journalist.

Catch Pinot is a month-long harvest celebration of red Pinots from Martinborough, Gladstone and Masterton in the Wairarapa. 25 wineries are offering their wines through 47 of Wellington’s best eateries, with menus that match the wines. Several local bottlestores are also in on the deal, and the whole shebang culminates in a big Pinot Celebration dinner at Te Papa on May 28.

There was much anticipate at the tasting. I saw my mate GN standing around the barrel, and what with chatting to him, and talking to Joelle, and having a laugh, I didn’t make too many notes. It’s a hard road to a perfect wine review, but someone’s gotta do it!

Escarpment The Edge Pinot Noir Martinborough 2015 – bright, ripe, one-note

Julicher Estate 99 Rows Pinot Noir Martinborough 2012 – This has the ‘stuffing’ I am looking for, slightly vegetal, floral

Cambridge Road Hillside Project Pinot Noir Martinborough 2015 – luscious, floral & young; an innovative bottle and label!

Palliser Estate Pinot Noir Martinborough 2013 –  serene &  classy in this company

Johner Gladstone Pinot Noir 2014 – Lovely, savoury, peppery

Urlar Pinot Noir Martinborough 2013 – poise, density and grace. Best wine of the flight!

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 May 20th

99Rows Pinot Noir 2008

From the cellar: 99 Rows Te Muna Rd Martinborough Pinot Noir 2008 – $$$

Hoorayday, payday! This wine matches my mood…

It’s cherry red in colour; light and fragrant. There’s ripe cherries and particularly strawberries in this second label from the Julicher Estate on the Te Muna Rd river terrace just outside of Martinborough.

I see ypical pinot savouriness and spice here that I like, and oak, but the fruit is slightly backward from being held perhaps a year too long. Just look at the label…

Good with the Shepherd’s Pie dinner tonight.

3.5 out of 5