Sunday, 30 September 2018

Wall to wall quality from the Southern Hemisphere

Late September and the seasons are now obviously changing from the hot, hot summer to the mellow days of Autumn. Sunshine still but that nip in the air as soon as the sun starts to fall.  The September meeting is the last of the year's usual meetings of The Wine Club and what better way than to see and taste wines where for the Summer is about to start,  New Zealand.  Most are familiar with the wines of this country but then mostly that would be Sauvignon Blanc, so this evenings talk '...Anything but Sauvignon Blanc...' was always going one to be looked forward to.

As has become the norm with the Blog I would like start by thanking our speakers, the husband and wife team of Bob and Wendy.

This is not the first time they have spoken to us, on the last occasion the subject was the wines of Southern Spain. That was a great selection of wines that have become favourites in the Bob and Wendy household because of time spent in the country, so it was with the New Zealand wines, wines tasted and enjoyed while visiting South Island.

Bob and Wendy, many thanks, a great talk and great wines:

Before speaking of  the wines, just a note about the overall impression.  Its almost bound to be the case that some people don't care for certain grapes, the infamous ABC people (Anything But Chardonnay), those don't care for Syrah, far too peppery for the me thank you or even Rose´, not proper wines etc.  But here is the thing, all the NZ wines where, without  exception of first class quality.  So even those with aversions to wine types were happy.

One of the issues of buying the wines of such quality is getting hold of them. The supplies are small and the demand tight. So the wine talk's title  was not able to be adhered to, The first wine was a Sauvignon Blanc as the wine types wanted was so limited that the SB needed to be included.  What a good job that was.

I guess we all are aware that NZ Savvy Blanc is often very often available with a high citrus level, fine in the summer in the sun but this grape can be used to produce much more amenable wines with great depth of flavour and with good length without the need wind up the acidity levels.

The first wine of the evening then was the Sauvignon Blanc 2016 from Nelson and available from Laithwaites at £15.99

Then followed the Bete Noire of grape types Chardonnay, oh yes this was lovely classic Chardonnay  taste, nose and length good.  A very impressive wine for the Chardonnay lover or not!

Hunters vineyard from Marlborough at £17.99 at Laithwaites

A surprising wine as this us made from Pinot Gris grape. Bob was able to tell us that this grape is the same as Pinot Grigio but that the terroir is the thing that makes the difference. You may be thinking that is just a load of nonsense, no such thing  anyway as terroir, well one only has to taste the Sauvignon Blanc from the New Zealand vineyards with high acidity levels compared  with a Loire wine made with  the same grape to know that terroir is alive and well and making its presence felt.

So of this wine, yes a lighter wine but very lovely and a pleasant and high quality wine to enjoy with friends as an apero perhaps. That is if you can find it.

Little Angel Pinot Gris 2016
at Hard To Find Wines.

And a great label!

So much for the wine wines and now a Rose´, always a little contentious, as many feel these wines lacks the body of a red and and is too bland for a white. Well, whatever, as they say this was not bland and had depth, maybe a little on the sweet side but all in all a very good Rose´.

Allan Scott Family Winemakers. Marlborough 2106 at £11.99 form Dylans Wine Merchants

If any red wine is a signature wine from New Zealand it has become that of Pinot Noir, given the very high price of Burgandy Pinot this wine is the one that bears comparison. A very good Pinot indeed. Soft, subtle, great length and all the good qualities that this grape can bring to the taste.  To have with suitable food this wine would be a winner for sure.

Walpara Hills Piont Noir 2016
Central Otago and available from The mInistry of Wines, @ £11.99.

And now, sadly the last wine, The La Starda Syrah, not Shiraz you may say, well there we are, all down to the Terroir it seems, and this was not too peppery, in fact a very well behaved wine with strength yes but not overwhelming.

Great wines, great quiz, did I mention the quiz, no I didn't well a very good quiz that kept us all on our toes.

A very good evening

Date of next meeting

November 30th. Further details in your inbox shortly.


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