Monday, 10 March 2014


Poppy and Shayne Hammond are the proprietors of 'Poppies' wine brand and 'Poppies' a Wedding, Events and drop-in tasting venue in Martinborough (Puruatanga Road) - not far from Haythornthwaite, Ata Rangi and Schubert wineries if you know the area.

Both Hammond's have carved some of their wine careers out in the vineyards and winery at Dry River Wines so they are well known throughout New Zealand and the world for quality wine.

Unbeknown to some Shayne is an excellent chef so when the opportunity to start Poppies tasting room and wedding venue his culinary skills came in handy with food design and what would work well with the wines on offer.

Poppies is the only place to try and buy their wines - there is nothing available to the trade, but I am hoping that will change in the future especially for Poppy's Riesling - see below.

Poppies Rose 2013 - 100% Pinot Noir 
Classic, full on fruity with red melon, strawberry, raspberry and cherry fruits aromas that translate to the palate with ease; a dry wine which is great for food and plenty of crisp acidity to add charm and freshness; there's a light savory note at the heart of the wine; overall a smart example, balanced with medium length.

Poppies Sauvignon Blanc 2013
A very particular bouquet with a clever wine making hand in action here - sweet angelica then some classic gooseberry, white peach and a little apple; On the palate - dry, varietal and quite specific with some austere fruit flavors and then a little fresh, a mineral coolness, medium++ acidity and long finish make for a very worthwhile taste, if not different, wine experience. 

Poppies Chardonnay 2013 (Mendoza clone)
California peaches are at the core of the fruit with other fresh stone fruits, red apple and the crisp aromas of oak and its vanilla scents; clean fresh palate, fruity with mild+ oak flavors and a sweet vanilla note. Overall a simple yet tasty dry wine; I expect many event guests and wine tasters at the cellar door will adore or just enjoy this style of Chardonnay.

Poppies Pinot Noir 2012
This wine had the best bouquet of the lot with plum toned light red fruits, medium to dark cherry and plenty of enticing oak spices and hints of sweetness; palate confirms this with long fine tannin complexity and medium+ acidity adding a taut and youthful aspect to the wine; a lovely medium+ finish. A must try!

Poppies Pinot Gris 
Actually very nice (I am hard to please when it comes to Gris) with lifted white fruit aromatics, hints of spices and revealing just a little charm; the palate does show a sweet sour attack that some will like, sadly I do not; that said it has really good phenolics - balanced - with medium+ acid nicely off-setting the fruit core; well made and a smartly made crowd pleaser.

Poppies Late Harvest Riesling 2013 (40 gpl rs)
Well I thought the Pinot Noir had the best bouquet and then I nosed this Riesling - wow!
Concentrated with poached orange fruits, sweet mandarin and citrus flowers and minerality; the palate is equally impressive with a youthful, taut and almost poised very high acidity (pH2.89); long and delicious finish - more please!

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