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Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Sep 24, 2014
Vino Fino

Vidal with Hugh Crichton

Hugh has been head wine-maker at Vidal since 2006. Tonights tasting visit was not only to show off his winemaking creations but also to launch the new-look Vidal labels that are due for release. Part of the Villa Maria group, Vidal has kept its own identity producing some stunning wines in recent years. However image is a big part of marketing and the Vidal team felt it timely to try and take the label away from the old "sherry maker" image and more reflect the outstanding quality of their wines.
Hugh spent quite a bit of time doing vintages in Europe and this has had quite an influence on the style of wine he makes. The wines are 'quieter' than many from Hawkes Bay. Hugh would rather the wines be described by texture rather than flavour descriptors. 

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Hugh has been head wine-maker at Vidal since 2006. Tonights tasting visit was not only to show off his winemaking creations but also to launch the new-look Vidal labels that are due for release. Part of the Villa Maria group, Vidal has kept its own identity producing some stunning wines in recent years. However image is a big part of marketing and the Vidal team felt it timely to try and take the label away from the old "sherry maker" image and more reflect the outstanding quality of their wines.
Hugh spent quite a bit of time doing vintages in Europe and this has had quite an influence on the style of wine he makes. The wines are 'quieter' than many from Hawkes Bay. Hugh would rather the wines be described by texture rather than flavour descriptors. 

Wines Tasted:
Reserve Organic Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blancs fly under the radar a bit, but when they are as good as this you shouldn't ignore them. Made in the "alternate'" style with plenty of lees battonage and ageing in oak, this is from the Organic Soler vineyard. Weighty and flavoursome without overt Sauvignon characters. Softly textured with ripe fruit flavours   
Retail $22.99` Special $17.99

Reserve Chardonnay 2013

Mainly fruit from various Hawkes Bay vineyards, this barrel fermented (19% new oak) Chardonnay has white peach, rockmelon fruit flavours all subtley in balance. 
Retail  $22.99 Special $17.99

Legacy Chardonnay 2010

This ramps up the power and flavour intensity. Quite a controversial wine, that has many admirers (Cuisine #1, 5 Golds and 5 stars from most critics) and as many criticising it for its reductive funk. Savouriness dominates, with nutty creaminess.  Of the 2 available Legacy Chardonnays tasted (2010 & 2011) this was the preferred by the tasters.
Retail  $54.99 Special $49.99

Legacy Chardonnay 2011

The 2011 is much more restrained. As Hugh said, this has as much to do with the vintage conditions as wine-making. There is some funk here but not nearly as much as the 2010, but also ripe fruit coming through. Impressive wine.
Retail  $54.99 Special  $49.99

Barrel Sample Chardonnay 2014

Hugh doesn't encourage any malo-lactic fermentation with the Legacy Chardonnays, believing lees stirring and age add to the weight and complexity. These bottles were from 'selected' barrel samples and not necessarily the final blend, but shows the potential of a great Hawkes Bay Chardonnay vintage. 

Reserve Syrah 2012
The low yielding Gimblett gravels vines were able to get good ripeness in 2012 in spite of the cooler year and this wine again highlights how well Syrah can do in Hawkes Bay, even in those cooler years. Juicily ripe berry flavours make their presence known first, but then more savoury elements emerge. 
Retail  $29.99 Special $25.99

Legacy Syrah 2009
A deserving winner of 4 Trophies, this is as Paul's tasting note says .."Bloody good." Silken, rich, dense texture with enough acidity to give it life. This is a wine that keeps on giving - great flavour and length. 
Retail  $74.99 Special $65.99

Reserve Merlot Cabernet 2012

With no Legacy wines made in 2012 (or 2011) this is fully representative of the Vidal fruit. Whilst Merlot dominates the blend. the Cabernet makes its preseccnce felt on the palate. The wine shows good density and weight and is fabulous value. 
Retail  $22.99 Special $17.99

Legacy Cabernet Merlot 2009

76% Cabernet, 24% Merlot from the Gimblett Gravels. This is a wine that shows the very best the region can do. Incredible concentration and the balance between ripe Cabernet and classical Cabernet flavours is perfect. A world class red.
Retail  $64.99 Special $56.99‚Äč