What’s in the glass tonight April 30th – The John Forrest Collection


Forrest tasting 2016

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

Forrest Collection Chardonnay 2011

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

Forrest Collection Pinot Noir 2011

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

What’s in the glass tonight October 27th


John Forrest Chardonnay 2011

John Forrest Collection Chardonnay Waitaki Valley 2011

A North Otago Waitaki Chardonnay – my first.

12.5% alc. Pale gold colour.

White peach, vanilla, mealy notes. Suppressed fruit. Distinctive bouquet.

In the glass this is expressing minerality over fruit. Pip fruit flavours. Somewhat flat and soft. A European style of Chardonnay. Some tertiary flavours developing. A dry finish.

VG 4

What’s in the glass tonight October 28th


Ostler PN 2011a

Ostler Pinot Noir Waitaki 2011

I’m in Twizel in the South Island on business. Just had a delicious meal of pork belly washed down with a great glass of 8-Wired IPA beer (3+) and then a glass of Mysterious Diggings Pinot Noir Central Otago. (3+)

Back at the hotel room now with a nightcap of Ostler Pinot Noir Waitaki 2011. Smells stalky and thin. Lean fruit in the mouth. Too acidic, grasping, vegetal. Not good. 2

Spinyback PN 2012

Spinyback Waimea Pinot Noir Nelson 2012

13.5%.I had a bit better luck with this one while at Chch airport waiting to fly home the next day. Lightly aromatic. Soft ripe fruit. Not much tannin grip. Ok. 3