Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Oct 19, 2016
Vino Fino

From the Tastings: Huia

with Claire Allan

Huia was established in 1996 by Mike and Claire Allan on their Rapaura Road vineyard in Marlborough. After working at various Marlborough wineries - Claire at Corbans, Lawson's Dry Hills and Taittinger and Mike at Cloudy Bay and Veuve Clicquot Mike and Claire set about clearing and planting what is now the home vineyard. Three vineyards now provide the fruit for the Estate wines  - The Shipley block in Rapuara road; the Winsome block East of Blenheim in the Southern Valleys as well as the Home Block. All are organically and bio-dynamically farmed. Huia is very much family owned with the emphasis on wine quality and sustainability. Most of the wine (around 90%) is exported, hence Huia wines are relatively unknown here in New Zealand. They don't enter wine shows here and their profile is relatively quiet. They are quite the "Hidden Gem" of Marlborough. All the wines have a very 'grown-up' textural element and the word 'harmonious' easily comes to mind. They are quite the "Hidden Gem" of Marlborough. Read More

with Claire Allan

Huia was established in 1996 by Mike and Claire Allan on their Rapaura Road vineyard in Marlborough. After working at various Marlborough wineries - Claire at Corbans, Lawson's Dry Hills and Taittinger and Mike at Cloudy Bay and Veuve Clicquot Mike and Claire set about clearing and planting what is now the home vineyard. Three vineyards now provide the fruit for the Estate wines  - The Shipley block in Rapuara road; the Winsome block East of Blenheim in the Southern Valleys as well as the Home Block. All are organically and bio-dynamically farmed. Huia is very much family owned with the emphasis on wine quality and sustainability. Most of the wine (around 90%) is exported, hence Huia wines are relatively unknown here in New Zealand. They don't enter wine shows here and their profile is relatively quiet. They are quite the "Hidden Gem" of Marlborough. All the wines have a very 'grown-up' textural element and the word 'harmonious' easily comes to mind. They are quite the "Hidden Gem" of Marlborough.

Vino Fino
Huia Blanc de Blanc 2010             
A brand new release from 100% Chardonnay aged in older oak for 12 months before bottling for the secondary fermentation. This was traditionally hand-riddled then disgorged mid-August 2016 after 65 months on lees. This has a fine, elegant mouth feel with brioche, mineral lime pith flavours. There is a fine drive through the palate. On the drier end of the scale at around 6gms. This is an absolutely gorgeous bubbly that would rival top vintage Champagne.
Retail $39.99       Special $32.99
 
Huia Brut 2009  
The 2009 is 58% Chardonnay and 42% Pinot Noir, disgorged about 18 months ago. This time has given it more toasted brioche, slightly nutty characters. Quite rich and broad.
Retail $37.99       Special $29.99
 
Huia Sauvignon Blanc 2016          
This is a very sophisticated Sauvignon Blanc. From two vineyards – one on the clay soils of the southern side of the valley and the other, the stony home vineyard.  30% of the wine is wild fermented in neutral oak and left on lees for 5-6 months. There is a combination  of elderflower, blackcurrant leaf, greengauge, citrus fruit flavours. Claire describes this wine as being “unplugged” – artisanal and natural as possible. This is quite a gentle wine, with very ripe acidity that makes it salivating.
Retail $26.99       Special $21.99
 
Huia Pinot Gris 2016       
A dry style, naturally fermented this shows floral characters, peach, a gorgeous texture with a hint of white pepper. 
Retail $31.99       Special $25.99
 
Huia Gewurztraminer 2015         
This is not an ‘in-yer-face’ kind of Gewurztraminer. Made in a dry style (only 2gms rs) this has freshness yet a full rich palate. Flavours of dried tropical fruits, there is no mistaking the variety, but it doesn't overpower the palate. An excellent Gewurztaminer. 
Retail $28.99       Special $25.99
 
Huia Gewurztraminer 2008 
At 6 years old this is still quite fresh tasting. A bit more oily in texture and not as complex as the 2015, but still very good.    
  
                     
Huia Chardonnay 2014  
This is from the home block vines planted in 1995. These old vines produce what Claire called "Sunshine Chardonnay grapes". A long slow, wild yeast ferment in French oak followed by malo-lactic in most barrels. The flavours are of buttered popcorn, peach and mineral, citrus and a lightly leesy/mealy character. Although quite youthful, this is developing some creamy/buttery flavours and texture.   
Retail $39.99       Special $32.99
 
Huia Pinot Noir 2011- not available
As befitting the year, this is quite light in colour with a slight tawny hue, but the wine still packs quite a flavour punch in the savoury, sweet spice spectrum. The palate is of moderate intensity with fine tannins to finish. Loads of Pinot Noir character. 
                          
Huia Pinot Noir 2013      
This is quite a different style to the 2011; darker, richer and quite brawny with plum and dark fruit flavours on a supple silky palate. A real crowd pleasing style. Gold New York Wine Show 2016.   
Retail $40.99       Special $33.99
 
Huia Botrytis Riesling 2011 375ml             
From a selected parcel of dry-botrytised fruit off the Winsome vineyard. Not overtly sweet for this style of wine at 103 gms rs, this has a lovely balance of mandarin, caramel, dried apricot flavours.  
Retail $29.99       Special $24.99


Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Oct 12, 2016
Vino Fino

From The Tastings: Pegasus Bay

 Read More

 with Mat Donaldson

Pegasus Bay doesn't need any introduction, its place as Canterbury's leading winery is well established. A lot of the success of the Waipara region can be attributed to the pioneering success of Pegasus Bay. After 25+ years the Donaldson family's Pegasus Bay wines are still recognised as leaders in their styles. The theme of the tasting could have well been, as Mat's T shirt described, "Well Hung", referencing how Pegasus Bay like to have their fruit well ripened picking late in the season. This is a style Mat enjoys with not only the sweeter wines but also the drier wines such as the Bel Canto Riesling and Sauvignon Semillon and the grapes are always amongst the very last to be harvest in the Waipara Valley. With a number of wines that we tasted from the 2014 vintage where there was rain late in the ripening season. The faith that Mat and the team had that things would 'come right' and they would be rewarded with lovely botrytis fruit paid off. The 2014 wines - Rieslings, and even the dry Sauvignon Semillon are very good indeed. 

Tonight Mat showed us a mix of current, and future releases including the special aged cellar release 2006 Riesling. As always with Pegasus Bay expectations of high quality wines was met. 

 with Mat Donaldson

Pegasus Bay doesn't need any introduction, its place as Canterbury's leading winery is well established. A lot of the success of the Waipara region can be attributed to the pioneering success of Pegasus Bay. After 25+ years the Donaldson family's Pegasus Bay wines are still recognised as leaders in their styles. The theme of the tasting could have well been, as Mat's T shirt described, "Well Hung", referencing how Pegasus Bay like to have their fruit well ripened picking late in the season. This is a style Mat enjoys with not only the sweeter wines but also the drier wines such as the Bel Canto Riesling and Sauvignon Semillon and the grapes are always amongst the very last to be harvest in the Waipara Valley. With a number of wines that we tasted from the 2014 vintage where there was rain late in the ripening season. The faith that Mat and the team had that things would 'come right' and they would be rewarded with lovely botrytis fruit paid off. The 2014 wines - Rieslings, and even the dry Sauvignon Semillon are very good indeed. 

Tonight Mat showed us a mix of current, and future releases including the special aged cellar release 2006 Riesling. As always with Pegasus Bay expectations of high quality wines was met. 

Vino Fino
Pegasus Bay Sauvignon Semillon 2014         
This is always a distinctive wine, partially barrel fermented and aged and made to emulate the Bordeaux dry white style. This 2014 is much richer than previous vintages due to the addition of some botrytis affected Semillon that has been fermented to dryness. In the glass it has a yellowish colour, with tropical fruits and meadow hay flavours. Quite rich, mouthfilling and concentrated and finishing with a nice zesty herbal finish. Just released (stock due Friday 14th) 
Retail $32.99  Special $28.99

Pegasus Bay Riesling 2014            
The Riesling grape is the Pegasus Bay speciality. This 2014 shows strong marmalade, spicy orange zest, mandarin, runny honey flavours. There is noticeable sweetness with the botrytis character coming through. Very moorish and yum. 
Retail $31.99   Special $27.99

Pegasus Bay Riesling 2006 Limited  Cellar Release          
Starting with this Riesling, Pegasus Bay have decided to hold back a small quantity of wine for an aged release 10 years on. This 10 year old Riesling is developing nicely. The sweetness has dried out a little and the flavours are becoming like toast and marmalade.
Retail  $44.99   Special $39.99 - limited availability

Pegasus Bay Bel Canto Dry Riesling 2014                
This is basically the dry version of the sweet Aria Riesling. The grapes for both are picked at the same time, very late into the season. With the Bel Canto the juice is fermented to as dry as possible on solids to add some funk, texture and weight. There is richness again and the botrytis character comes through.  
Retail $35.99  Special $29.99


Main Divide TeHau Pinot Noir 2014          
The Main Divide label is usually designated for fruit not grown on the estate, however the 2014 could be called the second label of Pegasus Bay as this is basically a barrel selection of home vineyard wine originally destined for the Pegasus Bay 2014. So neither a Main Divide nor Pegasus Bay, but a 'special edition' that sits nicely between the two. Earthy dark fruits with a rounded mouthfeel. Quite approachable, but also has a 'brooding' feel. Excellent value buying. 
Retail $32.99   Special $28.99


‚ÄčPegasus Bay Pinot Noir 2013       
Another new release, this 2013 Pinot Noir is a 'real Star'. Softer and more floral than recent vintages. There is a flavour burst of sensual dark fruits, violet/floral and truffle notes on a palate that  could be described as 'silky and sauve.' This wine was rated as "outstanding 95/100' by UK's Decanter in a tasting of 172 NZ Pinot Noirs (September 2016) 
Retail $52.99   Special $44.99


Pegasus Bay Prima Donna Pinot Noir 2012  
2012 was a very cool vintage and the grapes were harvested later than any previous vintage at Pegasus Bay. This cool but fine, extended ripening period has given a wine of elegance, and brooding finesse. Not a high impact wine, this rather sneaks up and sooths the senses. Seamless and fine. This wine too attracted the attention of the Decanter wine panel when it was rated as "outstanding" in a lineup of Pinot Noirs chosen to represent the best from each Pinot Noir producing region outside Burgundy (April 2016).  
Retail $93.99   Special $84.99

Pegasus Bay Merlot Cabernet 2013          
Pegasus Bay remain one of only a handful of producers in the South Island who produce a Bordeaux variety red. The old 30 year+ Merlot and Cabernet vines have settled into their place and this is a wine to pleasantly surprise those who do not believe Canterbury can produce a decent Bordeaux style 'Claret'. Cassis and ripe blackcurrant flavours are underpinned by vanilla, some toasty oak, chocolate and spice. This is a very good vintage release. 
Retail $32.99  Special $28.99

Pegasus Bay Aria Late Harvest Riesling 2014         
The amount of botrytis in 2014 really suited a wine style such as this. Picked at a ripe 28 brix with 50% botrytised fruit. Simply put, this is golden and delicious. There is a nice line of acidity with a salivating, salty mineral finish. Chill and enjoy with or without food.  
Retail $40.99  Special $35.99

Pegasus Bay Finale Noble Sauvignon Semillon 2014 375 ml

And the last wine was fittingly the Finale Sauvignon Blanc Semillon. Likely100% Botrytis Sauvignon Blanc fruit this vintage. Slowly wild fermented in old oak and aged in barrel for around two years. Unctuous, lemon marmalade syrup with plenty of acidity to keep it in line. To be released in a few months.
Wednesday, October 05, 2016
Oct 05, 2016
Vino Fino

From the Tastings: Mt Difficulty

"Single Vineyard Pinot Noir Workshop" with Matt Dicey

Mt Difficulty emerged from the partnership of five Bannockburn  vineyards planted in the early 1990's. Today it is now operated as a company with six vineyards totaling around 40 hectares on the slopes of Bannockburn. Those original vineyards are now some of the oldest in the Bannockburn sub-region of Central Otago with its unique micro-climate and soils. The single vineyard wines are only produced in the best vintages and the best sites. Tonight winemaker Matt Dicey took us through a comparative tasting of three 2009 and three 2013 vintages - Long Gully, Target Gully and Pipeclay Terrace. Interesting to taste and compare how the wines are aging and the similarities and differences between the sites. We also tasted the relatively rare Inspiration Olympic Assemblage Pinot Noir.  The single vineyard wines are benchmark wines for Central Otago and obviously very cellar worthy.  Read More

"Single Vineyard Pinot Noir Workshop" with Matt Dicey

Mt Difficulty emerged from the partnership of five Bannockburn  vineyards planted in the early 1990's. Today it is now operated as a company with six vineyards totaling around 40 hectares on the slopes of Bannockburn. Those original vineyards are now some of the oldest in the Bannockburn sub-region of Central Otago with its unique micro-climate and soils. The single vineyard wines are only produced in the best vintages and the best sites. Tonight winemaker Matt Dicey took us through a comparative tasting of three 2009 and three 2013 vintages - Long Gully, Target Gully and Pipeclay Terrace. Interesting to taste and compare how the wines are aging and the similarities and differences between the sites. We also tasted the relatively rare Inspiration Olympic Assemblage Pinot Noir.  The single vineyard wines are benchmark wines for Central Otago and obviously very cellar worthy. 

Vino Fino

Mt Difficulty Bannockburn Pinot Gris 2013       
Pure and clean with sweetness up-front. Flavours of ripe pear, spice and some white peach. Nice 'slippery' texture that flows through the palate.  
rrp $28.99   Our Price $22.99

Mt Difficulty Bannockburn Pinot Noir 2014
A blend of the six Mt Difficulty vineyard sites through the Bannockburn, this is a reflection on the terroir of Bannockburn. Classic style that the region is so renown - bright cherry plum fruits with some savoury brown spice notes and good tannins. 2014 was a good warm vintage with nicely ripe fruit. 
rrp $49.99   Our Price $39.99

Mt Difficulty Long Gully Pinot Noir 2013
The first of the Single Vineyard series wines of the tasting. Long Gully is an organically farmed vineyard with 18-21 year old vines at around 220m. A big dense, concentrated 'plush' wine that Matt aptly described as having "baronial spice notes".    
rrp $117.00        Our Price $105.00

Mt Difficulty Long Gully Pinot Noir 2009 
2009 was a warm, dry vintage and in this wine gave quite big structure. This shows the development of forest floor eathiness, savoury note and a drying finish. Matt felt the wine needed fining before bottling and it was something he no longer does. He is obviously aware of the effect it had on the wine as he pointed out that the wine has shaved an edge off the palate of the wine. Something that is only noticeable when it is pointed out. The wine has depth, character.        


Mt Difficulty Target Gully Pinot Noir 2013 

The Target Gully vineyard is a bit higher and more gentle slope than the Long Gully vineyard on similiar soils with 17-18 year old vines. The vineyard is just across the fence from Felton Road. There is quite a floral aspect to the wine with an aniseed spice thing going on. Savoury with finer tannins and quite a plump texture .     
rrp $117.00  Our Price $105.009

Mt Difficulty Target Gully  Pinot Noir 2009 

Here the colour shows some development - hints of mahogany. The baking spice characters come through again on this. The palate is very finessed, fine elegant - 'pretty' 

Mt Difficulty Pipe Clay Terrace Pinot Noir 2013 

The Pipe Clay Terrace vineyard is quite steep at an elevation of 250 -280 metres. This has more black fruits with quite a perfumed, floral violet lift with less spice than the other two SV wines.  
rrp $117.00
    Our Price $105.00

Mt Difficulty Pipe Clay Terrace Pinot Noir 2009 

Darker than the other 2009s and still quite youthful and developing nicely. Very low yielding in 2009 and the fruit intensity shows. 

Mt Difficulty Inspiration Cuvee Olympic Pinot Noir 2013
Mt Difficulty were sponsors of the NZ Olympic team and each of the Gold medal winners were presented a six pack of this wine. This is a very special edition blend of the Single Vineyard wines. It is a case where the sum is more than equal to the parts. Unique, special wine. 
     
Please enquire for availablity

Special Offer - All purchases of any of these Mt Difficulty Pinot Noirs before 20th October go into the draw for a Magnum of Mt Difficulty Bannockburn Pinot Noir 2014