Sunday, 30 September 2012

Churton

Churton Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011 14%
N: A distinctive bouquet and one that could easily be missed you don't take the time to notice the mineral core and lees notes that give this wine personality and soul. Other aromas include white flowers, citrus, peach and sweet apple.
5 Stars

P: Dry with a distinctive texture that reflects what the nose was alluding to. High acidity leads to the flavours of mineral and citrus which journey to  peach and apple and a longish finish. A great choice for a by the glass program and with food; balanced and well made – delicious in fact!
5 Stars

Thornbury

Thornbury Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Marlborough 13%
N: Fresh, lively and packed with aromas of sweet apple, lemon and tropical fruits; white flowers and fresh herbs – especially basil and a lively edginess and power.
4.5 Stars

P: Equals the nose as described above – with a crisp, lush package of ripe fresh fruits balanced by zippy acidity. Medium+ to long finish – a lovely wine.
4.5 Stars

Thornbury

Thornbury 2011 Pinot Gris Waipara 30% 
N: Crisp apple and other tree fruit aromas, a light spice a soft silty undertone and juicy fruit suggestions.
3.5 Stars

P: Dry and crisp freshness. Tree and citrus fruit flavours with a little residual sugar and to the balance and texture. Medium weight, length and finish. A well-made wine with plenty of polish.
3.5 Stars

Ara

Ara Single Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Marlborough 13%
N: Sweet pear and apple juice aromas with sweet herbs and a tropical fruit core; fresh and inviting, familiar bouquet of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
3.5 Stars

P: Dry, crisp, producing acidity Apple, lemon, pineapple the other tree fruit flavours. Balanced, youthful and a crisp citrus finish with medium to medium+ length.
3.5 Stars

Ara

Ara Single Estate Pinot Gris 2012 Marlborough 13.5%
N: Floral and light with aromas of red and yellow apple, pear skin and a dash of citrus – mostly lemon.
3 Stars

P: Off-dry with a little residual sugar offsetting some crisp acidity. The residual sugar also adds length  and palate appeal with some generosity in the texture. A hint of skin spice adds to the texture as well and its flavour. Overall a balanced wine with simple complexity that will please many who have this with food. 
3 Stars

Brancott Estate

Brancott Estate New Zealand 'Flight' Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 9%
N: Herbaceous and fruity – all the hallmarks of a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. A very fruitful example on the nose - yet familiar all the same

P: No mistaking the residual sugar here – quite juicy with youthful 2012 acidity. A simple yet refreshing wine with lemonade, lemon and apple flavours. Drink through Christmas 2012 to mid 2013.
3 Stars

Brancott Estate

Brancott Estate New Zealand 'Flight' Pinot Gris Marlborough 2012 9%
N: A very fruity beginning - apple and pear juice, a hint of ripe quince and wet stone. Overall simple and lush.

P: This is definitely a wine for those who like a dollop of sweetness in their Gris - noticable RS and cheeky acidity keeps simple - yet refreshed. Tinned pear and sweet apple flavors. A short exacting finish with medium weight. Should be good with a wide range of spicy fare.

Gladstone Vineyard

Gladstone Vineyards 'Sophie's Choice' Reserve Barrel Fermented Sauvignon Blanc 2011 13%
N: Leesy, oaky, floral and a little different in an interesting way. Grapefruit and apple fruit aromas emerge after a few minutes in glass.
4 Stars

P: Dry with BF flavors - oak (nutty, firm, timber and vanillin), leesy and skin contact spice nuances then white fruits and a little sweat. Medium weight with medium to medium+ acidity and medium length. Balanced and well made.
4 Stars

Gladstone Vineyards

Gladstone Vineyards Rose 2012
N: Very light and delicate red fruit with red flowered suggestions: strawberry, melon and delicate rose petal.

P: The palate reflects the nose with the light and delicate red fruit flavours, medium+ acidity and a touch of RS. A very simple wine where gentle spicy food would be a great pairing.

Kingsmill

Kingsmill Bannockburn Central Otago 'Tippets Dam' Pinot Noir 2009 14%
N: A lot of ripe, fresh, juicy red fruit aromas – cherry ( red and black), raspberry then red apple skin  and a little plum. Definitely a fruit driven bouquet.
3.5 Stars

P: Dry then zesty with a concentration of red fruit flavours – raspberry and dark cherry, brambly notes with light thyme suggestions. Moderate tannins - easy on the palate, medium+ acidity – yet still firm and youthful. this wine is at a drink now stage and can be enjoyed with or without food and will  cellar for another 1 to 2 years.
3.5 Stars

Rockburn

Rockburn Central Otago 'The Art' Pinot Noir 2010 14.5%
N: A youthful and vibrant bouquet - STOP! there is something different about this wine. There are aromas that remind me of dried herbs, oak and a specific fruit ripeness and concentration - don't be fooled into thinking otherwise. The oak signature is specific with a nutty spice.
The fruits are full throttle with brambly black cherry and dark Plum skin. After several minutes in the glass a calmness comes to the wine revealing a complexity that might easily be missed. There is a slight medicinal note that disappears after the wine settles in to its new environment - a large glass.
5 Stars

P: Dry, spicy, herbal, oaky and fruity with a little pepper too. Remains complex, but a wine that will polarise Pinot Noir palates because it's youthful vibrancy can be misleading. I decided to have this wine with dinner tonight and will get back to you on how the wine progressed in glass so that I might offer a timeline for cellaring and enjoyment.
Okay - dinner was Oratia Market smoked salmon with roasted potatoes, garden spinach and a rocket salad. The wine had started to relax (3 hours after the first taste). As I suspect that the wine that will cellar for at least three years before it shows the right level of integration. If well cellared it should reward for 10 years.
5 Stars+

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Drumsara

Drumsara Central Otago Pinot Noir 2011 13.9%
N: A fragrant and pretty bouquet with raspberry and rose, apple skin and cherry. Moderate oak suggestions; youthful and earthy with a mineral core and sweet oak complexity.
4.5 Stars

P: Dry with an immediate textural impact from the mealy fine tannins balanced by raspberry, cherry and red apple skin fruit flavours. moderate+ oak still needs integration time, but overall well balanced alongside the other flavours. The palate harmony makes for an enjoyable wine experience. A softness on the finish adds to medium++ length. The tannins are fine in texture and size. Perfect drinking on its own or with food.
4.5 Stars

Brick Bay

Brick Bay Pharos 2010 Matakana
5 Stars
N: Complex, dark and sophisticated, not broody, but dark; Chocolate, brown spices, blackberry, blueberry and sweet plum; mocha.

P: Still youthfully firm, but releasing tendrils of temptation with chocolate and spice; mocha and nutty oak; A slowly unfurling complexity. Bordeaux-esque images come to mind, nose and palate - violets and an undercurrent of delicacy on the shoulders of firm tannins. Vine maturity has certainly favored this wine along with smart, clever wine making - bringing together a delightful example. Medium++ to long finish. A wine to cellar or enjoy for another 5 + years
5 stars

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Champagne Service

Master Sommelier Tim Gaiser recently blogged a piece on Champagne Service - well worth the read if you are heading down the Certified, Advanced or Master Sommelier credentials track - http://www.timgaiser.com/1/post/2012/09/champagne-service-a-primer.html

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Black Estate

Black Estate Riesling 2011, Omihi Waipara 11%
N: A light refreshing bouquet of citrus, apple and pear with soft chalk and limestone undertones, a silty soil suggestion, white rose on the nose is a feature.
3.5 Stars

P: Off-dry to begin with then moves on to a dry finish with the acidity driving this move. Sweet pear and apple flavours with a citrus edge; floral and soil notes return - quite mild. Overall a solid example with a moderate finish, medium weight and medium+ acidity.
3.5 Stars

Rippon

Rippon Riesling 2011 Lake Wanaka, Central Otago 12.5%
N: Sweet – Summer warmed tree fruits of Apple ( green, yellow, red) and pear skin. A definitive 'terroir' suggestion of rock (schist). A more gentle spice note suggests some use of older oak barrel. Spring Flowers add a feminine note.
5 Stars - 90 points

P: Crisp and citrusy with fresh lemon zest, crisp apple and a lively almost electric acid bite (are you salivating - I was). Apricot stone, almost schist like mineral flavour, white flowers in a light lime spice finish. Again -  perhaps neutral barrel. Long finish – a fabulous wine!
5 Stars (90 Points)

Seifried

Seifried Nelson Gruner Veltliner 2012 13%
N: Attractively scented bouquet with sweet white flowers, chalk like suggestions, pineapple (tinned) radish and snow pea. Yes! a different bouquet from some of the typical white wines some readers may be used to.
4 Stars

P:  Only just dry with medium+ acidity, a spicy white pepper note, very light tropical fruits – pineapple (tinned), Apple and pear. Lightly textured wine medium+ length, balanced and well made.
4 Stars

Seifried

Seifried Nelson Riesling 2012 12.5%
N: A salad of fresh fruits dominated by crisp green apple and sweet citrus – Lemon – plus a cooler ferment suggestion – pineapple.
4 Stars

P: Medium+ acidity with a touch of residual sugar balance; the citrus and tree fruit flavours remain a feature and quite concentrated. This wine is light and refreshing with a lime finish, slaty soil, wet stone and very light sherbet note. Balanced and well made.
4 Stars

Wild River

Wild River Riesling 2011 Waipara 13.5%
N: Varietal signatures for citrus tree fruits especially lemon, lemon peel, crisp red and green apple, a touch of lemonade and then wet stone and white flowers.
3 Stars

P: Off-dry with high acid balance. The palate flavours include lime and citrus peel with honeysuckle and wet stone. Balanced, refreshing and well made. A little texture from the phenolics adds to the overall enjoyment of this example.
3 Stars

Aotea

Aotea Gewurztraminer 2012 Nelson 13%
Produced and bottled by Seifried wines of Nelson
N: No mistaking this for any other wine or style: floral, fruity and spicy -  lychee, lavender, parfait amour and a galaxy of candy and talcum powder.
3.5 Stars

P: The flavours on the palate reflect what the nose suggests with plenty of spicy fruit – both tree and stone, white and yellow. A little residual sugar with medium to medium+ acidity. Keen to try this wine with juicy pork belly or succulent duck breast and applesauce. Balanced with medium length.
3.5 Stars

Matawhero

Matawhero Church House barrel fermented Chardonnay 2011 Gisborne 12.5%
N: Perfumed, floral with sweet scented fruits – citrus peel especially orange then as the wine opens up there is apple, peach and suggestions of brulee and mild scented oak – very cool!
4 Stars

P: The lees and barrel notes now reveal themselves with texture and light vanillin flavours. The citrus – orange, and now lemon edge emerge. Medium to medium+ acidity, feminine in nature overall. Balanced, dry finish, medium length. I like this wine and am keen to taste it again in 12 months.
4 Stars

Wild River

Wild River Waipara Sauvignon Blanc 2011 14%
N: A mix of tropical and citrus fruits with apple and white flower notes. Alluvial stony soil suggestions make for an interesting and lightly complex bouquet
4 Stars

P: I like the shape and style of this wine –the mix of soil, stony notes along with the citrus then tropical flavours make a good by the glass option and will work well with food. Medium+ acidity, medium+ think, balanced and well made.
4 Stars

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Villa Maria

Villa Maria Private Bin Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 13%
N: Vibrant, lush, fruity and all Sauvignon Blanc. Tropical and herbaceous layers with a sweet hay edge. Powerful aromas with simple complexity.
4 Stars

P: Reflects the nose well with gooseberry, sweet golden kiwi, mango and red apple flavors. The herbaceous edge only adds excitement and zippyness (is that a word?). Medium+ acidity and a little RS add to the length and finish. A lovely wine to finish my tasting day with.
4 Stars

Matawhero

Matawhero Pinot Gris 2011 Gisborne 12.8%
N: Lush, floral and fruity aromas centering on white fleshed fruits and then a hint of sweet lemon.
3.5 Stars

P: Off-dry with medium acidity and weight. The flavors of the white fruits carry this wine into a medium finish. Light complexity, balanced and well made with a gentle lemon lift on the finish.
3.5 Stars

Wild River

Wild River Dry Pinot Gris 2011 Waipara Valley 14%
N: Varietal and inviting with a mild complexity - spiced pear and apple skin, wet stone and white floral notes.
3 Stars

P:  Dry - as the label suggests - with plenty of tree fruit flavors to entice the taste buds. Medium+ acidity and a light phenolic texture adds appeal. Balanced with medium length and finish. I like the slightly warm finish to offset the fruit power.
3 Stars

THE Terrace Heights Estate

Terrace Heights Estate Marlborough Viognier 2011 13.5%
N: Aromas of white flowers, tropical fruits and even a little sweet herb preceed a soft peach and apricot then apple fruits bouquet. A light lemon note too.

P: Fruity and fresh with medium+ acidity, medium in weight (body); Floral notes that reflect the nose. A sound drinking wine with many attributes to complement food.
2 Stars

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

New Zealand Wine Trends for the Future

This is a copy of my Slide Show Presentation at TexSom 2012
It is co-authored by fellow Master Sommelier Andrew McNamara
There are 2 video clips that are unlikely to play when you look at this show - they are posted below separately.

Comments welcome:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/105074410/TexSom-2012

Paul Pujot Video Link from Slide Show above
video

Michael Eaton Video Link from Slide Show above
video



The Wine List Slide Show

Created to assist junior Sommeliers in bringing together a wine list that generates a decent, but not greedy profit

http://www.scribd.com/doc/105073851/Wine-Lists-a-Huge-Profit-Opportunity-2012

Service Excellence Slide Show

A general presentation. Comments welcome.

Clink on the link below or paste the link below into a new URL please

http://www.scribd.com/doc/105072818/Service-Excellence




Terrace Heights Estate

THE Terrace Heights Estate Marlborough Pinto Gris 2011
N: Lush and ripe - pears, apples, sweet Asian pear and white fleshed nectarine. An air of sweetness. Simple and forward with an edge of juiciness.
3.5 Stars

P: Reflects the nose well with an emphasis on the lush and juicy. A definitive white pepper note enhanced by some phenolic texture. Medium+ acidity leads to palate into a dry finish ( a little RS noted at the begining).
Balanced - with the RS and lush fruit favours the medium+ alcohol brings the wine together nicely.
3.5 Stars

Squawking Magpie

Squawking Magpie Gimblett Gravels Hawke's Bay 'SQM Platinum' Syrah 2007
N: From the moment you nose this wine you know it's going to be seriously worthwhile drinking. Give it time though - a complex layered matrix of barrel and dark fruit aromas, roasted field mushroom, gravel soils and dark knight spices.

5 Stars (90 points)

P: Reflects the nose with dark spices and black fruits; mushroom, date, and nutty oak layers. Medium+ in body with tannins to match - fine to still youthfully course. A wine of complexity, masculinity and aggressive charm. A long finish. A wine that demands cellaring for another 3-5 years - if you can!
5 Stars (90 Points)