Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Jun 29, 2016
Vino Fino

From The Tastings.. Valli with Jen Parr

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Valli Wines with Jen Parr

Valli wines was established by Grant Taylor in 1998 with the first vintage released in 2003. Grant's name has long been synonymous with Central Otago having been involved with many of the early establishing wineries (including Gibbston Valley) as winemaker. With his own label Grant has focused on sub-regional expressions. In 2014 Jen Parr moved as winemaker from Terra Sancta to Valli adding an extra dimension to the Valli team. Grant seems to have an ability to attract extraordinary people around him and Jen's experience, passion and skill  will no doubt enhance what is already a remarkable winery. Valli's fruit is sourced from Grant's own Gibbston vineyard as well as established "friends' who share the passion and vision for producing sub-regional expressions of Otago's finest wines.
Tonight was a rare opportunity (even for Jen) to taste through the 5 sub-regional Pinot Noirs. They were all quite different and certainly highlighted the terroir differences.  A vote for preference of the Pinot Noirs showed a similiar diversity with an almost even spread across the wines. These are world class Pinot Noirs, all of them garnering 5 Star+ ratings from NZ wine reviewers (Michael Cooper, Bob Campbell, Raymond Chan, Sam Kim, Douglas Cameron).   

Valli Wines with Jen Parr

Valli wines was established by Grant Taylor in 1998 with the first vintage released in 2003. Grant's name has long been synonymous with Central Otago having been involved with many of the early establishing wineries (including Gibbston Valley) as winemaker. With his own label Grant has focused on sub-regional expressions. In 2014 Jen Parr moved as winemaker from Terra Sancta to Valli adding an extra dimension to the Valli team. Grant seems to have an ability to attract extraordinary people around him and Jen's experience, passion and skill  will no doubt enhance what is already a remarkable winery. Valli's fruit is sourced from Grant's own Gibbston vineyard as well as established "friends' who share the passion and vision for producing sub-regional expressions of Otago's finest wines.
Tonight was a rare opportunity (even for Jen) to taste through the 5 sub-regional Pinot Noirs. They were all quite different and certainly highlighted the terroir differences.  A vote for preference of the Pinot Noirs showed a similiar diversity with an almost even spread across the wines. These are world class Pinot Noirs, all of them garnering 5 Star+ ratings from NZ wine reviewers (Michael Cooper, Bob Campbell, Raymond Chan, Sam Kim, Douglas Cameron).   


Vino Fino

Valli Gibbston Pinot Gris 2015          
A dry style, 90% fermented in stainless, with 10% in older oak. This has a purity of flavour – quite restrained and almost Riesling-like with lemon and pear flavours. This has a long clean finish without the ‘grippiness’ of many Pinot Gris.
Retail $32.99   Special $28.99
 
Valli Gibbston Pinot Noir 2014          
From Grant’s own vineyard, basically not far from where it all started for him in Central Otago. Gibbston is obviously a lot cooler than the rest of Central Otago and some years can be a challenge, but when it is good, Gibbston fruit comes into a class of its own. The longer, cooler ripening allows more floral, red fruit, potpouri flavours to emerge, along with elegance and finesse. There is also plenty of the black cherry flavour, stewed plums with a detailed and pure palate and fine tannins on the finish. An excellent Pinot Noir  
Retail $64.99 Special $61.99
 
Valli Bannockburn Pinot Noir 2014   
From Steve Davies’ Doctors Flat vineyard, situated just over the rise from the Bannockburn hotel heading toward the Nevis. This wine brings the classic Bannockburn big dark, plummy fruit, almost fruit-cake flavours along with the thyme/herb characters soft juiciness and firm tannins.
Retail $64.99 Special $61.99
 
Valli Burn Cottage Lowburn Pinot Noir 2014
This is a new addition to the sub-regional Pinot Noirs. It arose from the friendship between Burn Cottage owner Ted Lemon and winemaker Claire Mulholland and Grant Taylor. It was decided that they share grapes from each vineyard – Burn Cottage would make a Gibbston Pinot Noir and Valli a Burn Cottage vineyard. The impression here is of beautifully perfumed, sweet aromatic red fruits – red liquorice, ‘smokers’ lollies followed. Complex and complete.
Retail $64.99   Special $61.99
 
Valli Bendigo Pinot Noir 2014
This is from the higher, southern slopes of the Chinaman’s terrace overlooking the Bendigo triangle. The biggest and meatiest of the Pinot Noirs. In the glass it is inky dark – this is a dense, ripe, almost granite-like then the palate shows the dark brooding side of Pinot Noir. This has the highest portion of whole bunch included in the ferment at 40%. This gives the wine even more structure and spice, but the fruit can handle it.  
Retail $64.99   Special $61.99
 
Valli Waitaki Pinot Noir 2014 
Being born and breed in Kurow, Grant has always had an affinity with the Waitaki Valley. Like Gibbston, the vintage conditions have a big impact on the wines – late frosts are also a big influence. But when the conditions allow, the wines have a class all of their own. The aromatics here are stunning – a mix of florals and fragrant red fruits along with tamarillo. The colour is pale, almost brick. On the palate the wine shows the acidity focusing right into the middle of the palate before a classic peacock tail explosion on the finish. There is a real sense of the ‘active limestone soils’ on the palate. Whilst the Kiwi palate tends to prefer the denser darker Pinot  Noirs, the International critics rate this the highest. It has a tremendous ethereal quality. I love it!  
Retail $64.99 Special $61.99
 
Valli Waitaki Riesling 2013    
The Valli Riesling style from the Waitaki are a reflection of the vintage. This is medium sweet with 33gms rs and 10% alc. but actually tastes much drier with the acidity balancing the sweetness. On the nose there is a little of the aged Riesling character beginning to emerge. Stonefruits and citrus pith flavours beautifully concentrate on the palate.
Retail $32.99   Special $28.99
 
Valli Late Harvest Waitaki Riesling 2015      
Mid harvest rain during the 2014 vintage in the Waitaki saw botrytis affect the Riesling so this is a different style again. Golden in colour and taste. Classic Botrytis characters add marmalade and honey flavours to the citrus, floral fruit flavours. Luscious at 123gms  and 9.1%, but also well balanced by the acidity. This would be a perfect winter aperitif wine. Grab some flavoursome creamy blue cheese and enjoy life.
Retail $47.99 Special $43.99


Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Jun 22, 2016
Vino Fino

From the tastings: South Africa with Jeannine McCullum

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We had a minor panic on the Monday when Martin Cahnbley who was scheduled to host our South African tasting called to say he was in hospital in Auckland and wouldn't be able to make it down to present the wines. Luckily he was able to call on his Wellington agent, Jeannine McCullum who was a more than worthy replacement. Unbelievably, this was the first time in over 20 years of hosting tastings that this has happened. 

The wines of South Africa remain a mystery to most of us, with only a small number of producers seen in NZ. However, thanks to the efforts of Martin (South African by birth) who has been importing South African wines into NZ since the early 2000's, we are now seeing some of the interesting, new innovative wines alongside the more traditional. It is quite evident that there is a bit of a winemaking revolution happening in South Africa where young, innovative winemakers have been going into some of the less fashionable areas in the Cape region and reclaiming old, bush grown vines and producing some head-turning wines. Names such as Reyneke and Sadie have been getting huge raps in the world press and it was our first opportunity to see these producers. Tonight we tasted through a very interesting range of styles - Chenin Blancs for the whites and a big variation in red wine styles. South Africa is now proving to be a very worthy source of note worthy wines.
   
I have also included some background information on the wineries with the taste notes.

We had a minor panic on the Monday when Martin Cahnbley who was scheduled to host our South African tasting called to say he was in hospital in Auckland and wouldn't be able to make it down to present the wines. Luckily he was able to call on his Wellington agent, Jeannine McCullum who was a more than worthy replacement. Unbelievably, this was the first time in over 20 years of hosting tastings that this has happened. 

The wines of South Africa remain a mystery to most of us, with only a small number of producers seen in NZ. However, thanks to the efforts of Martin (South African by birth) who has been importing South African wines into NZ since the early 2000's, we are now seeing some of the interesting, new innovative wines alongside the more traditional. It is quite evident that there is a bit of a winemaking revolution happening in South Africa where young, innovative winemakers have been going into some of the less fashionable areas in the Cape region and reclaiming old, bush grown vines and producing some head-turning wines. Names such as Reyneke and Sadie have been getting huge raps in the world press and it was our first opportunity to see these producers. Tonight we tasted through a very interesting range of styles - Chenin Blancs for the whites and a big variation in red wine styles. South Africa is now proving to be a very worthy source of note worthy wines.
   
I have also included some background information on the wineries with the taste notes.


Vino Fino

Wolftrap White Blend 2014     
Viognier 48 %, Chenin Blanc 41%, Grenache Blanc 11%
The Wolf Trap label is the ‘entry level’ label of Boekenhoutskloof. The home vineyard was first established in 1776 at the edge of the valley in Franschhoek, Western Cape. Restored and its vineyards re-planted in 1993, it is one of the leading names of South African wine.
The Viognier comes through on the palate first, showing some richness and hints of apricot with the Chenin Blanc adding citrus/apple notes and a honey tone. Medium weighted with a hint of oak. Fruity and juicy.
Retail $21.99   Special $18.99
 
Mullineux Kloof Street Chenin Blanc 2015      
Mullineux Family Wines was established in 2007. The grapes come from vineyard parcels of around 40 year old vines on a variety of soils in different parts of the Swartland. The wine is part tank and part barrel fermented.
This is classic Chenin Blanc – A great combination of crisp and dry freshness, with lanolin, waxy, mushroom notes.  There is plenty of drive through the palate with a nice mineral finish.
Retail $29.99   Special $25.99
 
Reyneke Organic Chenin Blanc 2014 
Reyneke are one of the new stars of South Africa with people like Jancis Robinson, Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator raving about them. The first South African winery to be certified Bio-dynamic, the Chenin Blanc is harvested from a single vineyard on the Reyneke farm, located in the Polkadraai Hills to the west of Stellenbosch. The vineyards are the oldest on the farm, being in excess of 44 years old and are located on a combination of decomposed granitic loam on a clay sub-soil. The grapes were whole-bunch pressed by foot before light settling and then fermented in a combination of 300l second-fill French oak barrels and a 2500l foudre. The wine was then aged on its lees for 13 months before three further months ageing in stainless steel tank before bottling. Made as naturally as possible.
This is quite a textural wine with plenty of minerality, hints of corruption, chalkiness along with toasty vanillin oak and apple, lime, white flower flavours. Should cellar well.
Retail $41.99   Special $36.99
 
The Sadie Family Skurfberg Chenin Blanc 2014 (Swartland)  
“Some say he has changed the face of South African wine. Others describe him as a reluctant guru, and his wines as the holy grails for wine aficionados. But everyone agrees Eben Sadie is one of the great visionaries in the new generation of South African winemakers. His approach is to be as natural as possible .. 'Nothing should ever be added. No ego, nor any other element. All you need is the fruit you pick, and this fruit should be from sound, healthy and natural vineyards. The perfect grape is enough for wine.' 
This wine blends Chenin Blanc from old bushvine parcels on three farms on the slopes of the Skurfberg (“rugged mountains”) between Clanwilliam and Lamberts Bay in the Olifants River Region. They are immaculately farmed properties, which have not been subjected to herbicide or chemical fertilisers by the current farmers. Most of the soils in the area are of decomposed sandstone, and very sandy. Rainfall is low – these vines have had to be tough to survive without irrigation. Together the three low-yielding parcels represent the possibilities of the area, each offering something unique to the complexity of the whole. The one site has huge and aromatic fruit concentration; the second offers an earthy character and minerality, and the third (the highest, and closest to the Atlantic) retains amazing acidity and freshness. The three parcels of fruit were vinified separately. They were basket-pressed and then transferred directly to old casks where natural fermentation took place. We blended them after 12 months, and then left them to age another six months before bottling them directly from the old casks. Unfined and unfiltered – decanting recommended”.

Quite a special wine – golden fruits, earth and old wax that lasts and lasts on the palate.
Retail $67.99   Special $59.99
 
The Sadie Family Soldaat Grenache Noir 2014          
Neal Martin in Parker’s Wine Advocate described Eben Sadie’s wines as “Cerebral wines, built to last.” This wine really typifies that statement. This old, unirrigated vineyard was planted at around 708 metres of altitude in decomposed granite soil with a slight easterly slope on the Piekenierskloof Pass – quite a unique site.
A very pale, translucent slightly hazy garnet colour shows that this is on the elegant and refined side of Grenache with a nod more to Burgundy than something big and ripe from Spain or South Australia. A wine that challenges perceptions with its power not being in brute, but personality and intrigue. It certainly divided the room but its character and floral aroma and strawberry, chocolate, earthy spice flavours are memorable.  
Retail $78.99   Special $69.99

Mullineux Kloof Street Rouge 2014     
This is a Mediterranean style red blend based on Syrah (86%) with other varieties including Grenache and even a bit of Tinta Barroca (Port variety). This has a touch of the old world and new world. Darkly coloured, with primary purple fruits, a touch of spice and a juicy finish.  
Retail $29.99   Special $25.99
 
Reyneke Biodynamic Syrah 2013  
The Syrah undergoes a traditional style fermentation in concrete Nomblot tanks, incorporating 35% whole bunches which are foot crushed. Spontaneous, natural fermentation occurs with minimal punch down and pump over’s. The wine spends 12 to 14 days on the skins before being racked into a combination of a 2500L Foudre and older French oak barrels for 13 months maturation.
Jancis Robinson in her Wines of the Week...." I was especially enthusiastic about Reyneke Biodynamic Syrah 2013 Stellenbosch for its interest, charm and obvious integrity. I found it especially winning and attractive but also wonderfully wholesome. 
I gave it the massive (for me) score of 17 out of 20."

A dark dense wine that is quite a contrast to the bright freshness of the Kloof Street. This is a dense, brooding, masculine wine with a mineral/saline streak. Dutch liquorice, bacon fat, hint of earth/barnyard (in a good way) finishing a fine long length.  
Retail $37.99   Special $33.99
 
Thelema Shiraz 2012 (Stellenbosch)  
Recognised as one of the Stars of the Stellenbosch. Established in 1983 on the slopes of the Simonsberg in Stellenbosch by Gyles Webb, it is still a family run operation.
This is much more in the “Australian Shiraz” style with vanilla, ripe blue/black fruits with hints of jam. Plenty of weight and density.
Retail  $41.99  Special $36.99
 
Kaapzicht Cabernet Sauvignon 2010  
The family run Kaapzicht (Cape View) Wine Estate covers 174 hectares in the Bottelary Ward in the Stellenbosch district.  This is quite a big wine and as such the winery bottle age the wine for a couple of years before release. Aged in French oak (50% new) for 24 months. A dark colour with blackcurrant, tobacco leaf, black olive flavours bound by ripe tannins and a balanced, full bodied palate. Will continue to age well.
The most popular wine of the evening.  
Retail  $36.99  Special $32.99
 
Kanonkop Pinotage 2013        
Kanonkop is a fourth generation family estate, situated on the lower slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain in the Stellenbosch Region of the Cape. Pinotage is the red variety that South Africa is traditionally known. Kanonkop make only red wines and are renown for their traditional styles – fermentation is all in small open top concrete vats and the fruit comes from old 50-60 yo, unirrigated bush vines, from 8 different plots. Aged for 16mths in 75% new French oak.
Deep and brooding – tar, coffee, cedary oak. A big wine that has the Pinotage ‘tang’ but has complexity and is also velvety rich. Will cellar 10 -20 years.
Retail  $68.99  Special $61.99

 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Jun 15, 2016
Vino Fino

From the tastings: Kumeu River

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Utilizing the resources close to the original home vineyard, Kumeu River remain an intensely family oriented winery. Michael Brajkovich heads the wine making and is the 'face' of Kumeu River. Seemingly an anomaly, Kumeu River remains one of only a few wineries in West Auckland and now is almost in the midst of the fast growing Auckland City. Here the clay rich soils give some of New Zealand's best Chardonnays and we hope the day doesn't come when vineyards such as Mates and Coddington have been swallowed up by suburbia.
In the late 1980s Michael began using what were regarded as ground breaking techniques in Chardonnay winemaking in New Zealand but have become quite the norm these days - all the Kumeu Chardonnays are hand picked, natural/wild yeast fermented, whole bunch pressed with 100% malolactic fermentation. He also uses micro-oxygenation into the lees to reduce reductive elements and overt "buttery" characters allowing extended lees exposure. Never one to sit back, Michael and the family are also looking to the future not only with winemaking techniques, but also with styles - a bubbly maybe? And to the day when they can no longer fully sustain growth out of the Kumeu vineyards and may look to vineyards further afield.   

Tonight we looked at the current release wines. 2014 and 2015 were both very small vintages and demand has to be allocated very carefully. These are special wines.  


Vino Fino

Kumeu River Village Pinot Gris 2014
A dry style (around 5gms rs). Michael likes to have a touch of phenolic bitterness and tannins in Pinot Gris to add textural elements. For this price point this shows good flavour concentration with fresh pear, a light ginger spice and quite a lush, silky mouthfeel. Great value.
Retail $19.99 Special $14.99
 
Kumeu River Estate Pinot Gris 2015
A richer and riper style with around 10 gms rs. A spring frost reduced the yields in 2013 adding to the final fruit concentration. Some fermentation took place in older barrels. This is more in the Alastian mold with richness, oiliness and a hint of honeyed sweetness.
Retail $28.99 Special $24.99
 
Kumeu River Village Chardonnay 2015
2015 was another very small vintage at Kumeu River and this year 20% of the fruit was sourced from Hawkes Bay (a sign of things to come?). As always this has a nod to the Chablis style with a fresh wash of acidity – minerally and citrusy balanced by creaminess from the malolactic and textural lees elements.
Retail $20.99 Special $16.99
 
Kumeu River Estate Chardonnay 2014
The Kumeu “house style” that Michael has been fine tuning and crafting for 30 years. Hand harvested, Whole-bunch pressed, Indigenous yeast fermentation, 100% barrel fermentation, 100% malo-lactic fermentation followed by 11 months maturation in mainly older barrels. These things may seem familiar today, but were quite revolutionary 20+ years ago. Michael is still refining techniques that involve time on lees; the oxygenation of lees reducing the effects of the “flinty/struck match” characters.
Sourced from 6 vineyards, the Kumeu Chardonnay style is about finesse, with a flintiness that has been described like “oyster-shell”. This has plenty of mealy, savoury notes complimented by vibrant fresh citrus and stonefruit and cashew nut flavours. There is a beautiful flow through the palate that hits all the right spots. Is there a better similarly priced Chardonnay of the market? Probably not.
Retail $35.99 Special $29.99
 
Kumeu River Coddington Chardonnay 2014
The Coddington family vineyard has been the source of fruit for Kumeu for a number of years, with it being made as a single vineyard wine from 2006. All UCD15 (Californian) clone, this is always a more open, yellow fruited, peaches and cream style. The 2014 has just a hint of the struck match with an apricot jam on toast quality
Sold out
 
Kumeu River Hunting Hill Chardonnay 2014
The Hunting Hill vineyard was first planted in 1982 and then fully replanted in 2000 with UCD15. Here this has more citrus vibrancy than the Coddington – A classic “Puligny Montrachet” style with impressive drive and a textural delight. The journey through the palate is engaging and exciting. Exceptional wine
Retail $56.99 Special $52.99
 
Kumeu River Matés Chardonnay 2014
On the site of the original family vineyard, this was re-planted by Maté Brajkovich in 1990 in Mendoza Chardonnay. Mate passed away in 1992 before the first wine from here was released in 1994, 50 years after the arrival of the Brajkovich family at Kumeu. The vineyard and wine always has a special place for its style and history. The Mendoza clone’s richness comes through, albeit quite restrained at the moment, showing subtle underlying power. At this stage the Hunting Hill shows better, but time will reward those who wait while this opens and develops over the next 10 years.        
Retail $70.99 Special $63.99
 
Kumeu River Village Pinot Noir 2015
Probably one of the best value Pinot Noirs around! Light and fresh with plenty of fruity, strawberry flavours with a touch of spice and a hint of smokiness.
Retail $21.99 Special $14.99
 
Kumeu River Hunting Hill Pinot Noir 2014
Definitely a more serious style of Pinot Noir, and reflecting the quality of the vintage this is only the second ever single vineyard release from the Hunting Hill vineyard. Ripe, plum and spice with a soft generous mid-palate.
Retail $52.99 Special $43.99

Wednesday, June 08, 2016
Jun 08, 2016
Vino Fino

From the Tastings: Felton Road with Blair Walter

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The name of Felton Road is not only synonymous with Central Otago, but as one of New Zealand's top wine producers. Their wines are sought after by collectors around the world, and their small production means the wines are strictly allocated.
Blair Walter has been winemaker at Felton Road from the first release (1997) and has been largely responsible for the stewardship of Felton Road and nurturing the continually growing reputation globally, under the ownership of firstly Stewart Elms and since 2000 Nigel Greening. The vineyards are managed bio-dynamically and the wines made as naturally as possible to try and reflect the unique terrior of Bannockburn. 
Tonight we had the opportunity to taste through the current Winter release wines along with some treats from Felton Road's cellars. We used the Riedel Central Otago Pinot Noir glasses for the tasting which undoubtedly enhanced the tasting experience.
  
We do have our allocation of the new release wines due to arrive in store on Friday June 10th - the Block wines are very limited so it may pay to check with us directly if you are interested in purchasing. 

The name of Felton Road is not only synonymous with Central Otago, but as one of New Zealand's top wine producers. Their wines are sought after by collectors around the world, and their small production means the wines are strictly allocated.
Blair Walter has been winemaker at Felton Road from the first release (1997) and has been largely responsible for the stewardship of Felton Road and nurturing the continually growing reputation globally, under the ownership of firstly Stewart Elms and since 2000 Nigel Greening. The vineyards are managed bio-dynamically and the wines made as naturally as possible to try and reflect the unique terrior of Bannockburn. 
Tonight we had the opportunity to taste through the current Winter release wines along with some treats from Felton Road's cellars. We used the Riedel Central Otago Pinot Noir glasses for the tasting which undoubtedly enhanced the tasting experience.
  
We do have our allocation of the new release wines due to arrive in store on Friday June 10th - the Block wines are very limited so it may pay to check with us directly if you are interested in purchasing. 


Vino Fino

Felton Road Riesling Bannockburn 2015
A lusciously juicy, low alcohol style. Flavours of lemon cued, with spicy tones to add interest. At 74gms rs and 8.4% alc. this is perfect as an aperitif, with Pacific Rim food, or after dinner.   
Retail $36.99   Special $32.99
 
Felton Road Chardonnay Bannockburn 2015
Felton Road have been producing Chardonnay in Central Otago from their early days and have really come to understand how to balance the naturally bright fruit with judicious use of oak. This has only 6% new oak, with the balance older oak. There are stonefruit, fresh fig flavours, a hint of butterscotch mingling with light gunflint, lightly anise minerality. This sits quite lightly on the palate, then the flavour length carries it through for a long finish  
Retail $43.99   Special $39.99
 
Felton Road Chardonnay Block 2 2014
From the original block of 100% Mendoza clone. Again oak flavour plays a minimal part, but there is a richness of both flavour and texture. No new oak is used, but the wine spends 17 months in the older oak.  Almond meal, brioche, anzac biscuit flavours from wild fermentation with grapefruit pith and yellow fruits. Watch out for the 2015 vintage release later this year.
  
Felton Road Pinot Noir Bannockburn 2015
Pinot Noir is always going to be the torch bearer variety for Felton Road. This is from the three vineyards of Cornish Point, Calvert and Elms. Traditionally fermented in 30% new oak with around 25% whole cluster. There is quite an element of finesse about this, with a harmonious balance  of Bannockburn's naturally vibrant sweet fruit alongside a hint of savouriness. Flavours burst forth - classic cherry, thyme with the savouriness of smokey spice. "Precision, detail and honesty" - Blair  
Retail $61.99   Special $53.99
 
Felton Road Pinot Noir Cornish Point 2015
The Cornish Point vineyard sits directly on the opposite side of the Clutha river to Old Town Cromwell. As Blair said, he likes to be able to take the boat down to check out the fruit before vintage and then waterski home. It is a slightly warmer site at night than the rest of Bannockburn and results in bigger, sweeter fruit flavours. This sits more in the black fruits, tending plum flavours and quite plush and dense on the mid palate.   
Retail $73.99   Special $65.99 - Very Limited Stock
 
Felton Road Pinot Noir Block 3 2015
Block 3 Pinot Noir has a special place in many Pinot Noir lovers hearts. It has a sense of place that is quite evident - power, finesse, elegance with subtle layers of flavour. Hints of red fruits, black fruits, spice box. I described it as having "loads of everything". Like all great wine this is enjoyable now, but if you want the wine to fully reveal itself, cellar for at least 4/5 years and it will last for many more than that. 
Retail $105.99 Special $95.99 - Very Limited Stock
 
Felton Road Pinot Noir Block 3 2013
More of a vintage than an age comparison, as this too is still very youthful. More savoury than the 15, this has quite a soft, seamless, luxurious palate from the warmer vintage with less drive and verve through the palate and a slightly rusticity.   
 
Felton Road Pinot Noir Cornish Point 2012
The character of the vineyard is evident here too with the plush red fruits focused on the palate with clarity and precision. Spiced plum, sun-dried tomato revealing freshness. 

Felton Road Pinot Noir Cornish Point 2008
This as an 8 year old wine is showing some development with lovely integration of tannins and fruit. Velvety tannins, sweet compost, autumn berries.. maybe a hint of caramel. Makes you realise the benefits of cellaring.  


 

Wednesday, June 01, 2016
Jun 01, 2016
Vino Fino

From The Tastings - Te Kairanga

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with John Kavanagh

Established over 30 years ago Te Kairanga was one founding wineries in Martinborough but after early successes seemed to become quite inconsistent and lack focus during the late 1990s and into the 2000's. The purchase in 2011 by American Bill Foley and the appointment of winemaker John Kavanagh from Neudorf has seen a big turn around in the quality and focus. All the wines are now sourced only from their own estate vineyards in Martinborough​ and there has been a quantum leap in quality. Tonight we had a look at the current releases with a couple of previous vintage wines to compare.  

with John Kavanagh

Established over 30 years ago Te Kairanga was one founding wineries in Martinborough but after early successes seemed to become quite inconsistent and lack focus during the late 1990s and into the 2000's. The purchase in 2011 by American Bill Foley and the appointment of winemaker John Kavanagh from Neudorf has seen a big turn around in the quality and focus. All the wines are now sourced only from their own estate vineyards in Martinborough​ and there has been a quantum leap in quality. Tonight we had a look at the current releases with a couple of previous vintage wines to compare.  


Vino Fino

Te Kairanga Estate Riesling 2014
An elegant, citrusy style that is on the drier side at 6.5gms rs. Quite juicy and acidulous with a nice core of mandarin peel, apple, lemon flavours and long fresh finish. A very good Riesling.          
Retail $22.99   Special $18.99
 
Te Kairanga Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2015
A reasonably serious style with a 10% barrel ferment component. Whilst there are some tropical fruit notes there are plenty of the more herbaceous, blackcuurant leaf, gooseberry flavours. The wine-making components add richness to the palate.               
Retail  $20.99  Special $17.99
 
Te Kairanga Estate Pinot Gris 2015
 Also a dry style (2 gms rs) with 20% barrel. John describes it as a 'pretty' style with peach, pear fruit flavours. It also has a nice mineral drive to take it away from the 'flabbiness' of many Pinot Gris.          
Retail  $22.99  Special $18.99
 
Te Kairanga Estate Chardonnay 2014
Hand-picked, whole bunch pressed, barrel fermented - this a very classy Chardonnay. Fruit flavours are in the peach spectrum with winemaking adding nut, lightly toasty meal characters. This offers plenty at this price.  
Retail $24.99   Special $20.99
 
Te Kairanga John Martin Chardonnay 2013
A step up - in quality and price. From the original 25 year old Mendoza Home Block vines. This is a full bodied Chardonnay that is quite rich with a touch of creaminess. Quite traditional in style with big golden fruits; buttery and toasty. Excellent wine        
Retail  $40.99  Special $34.99
 
Te Kairanga Estate Pinot Noir 2014
It is probably with the Pinot Noirs that Te Kairanga have made the biggest improvements, and it is easy to see why the accolades are begining to stream in - it has just won a prestigious Gold at the International Wine Competition in the UK. Quite floral and aromatic with dark raspberry, cherry and spice box flavours. Elegant and yet quite powerful with fine tannins. Excellent value..               
Retail  $28.99  Special $23.99
 
Te Kairanga Runholder Pinot Noir 2013
The first of the two vintage comparisions. Both 2013 and 2014 were very good vintages in Martinborough with the 2014 a bit cooler and starting a bit earlier. The fruit comes from the Home and McLeod vineyards on the Martinborough terraces. This is quite a big silky, savoury Pinot with a nice touch of spiciness.             
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Te Kairanga Runholder Pinot Noir 2014
Reflecting the slightly cooler, earlier vintage, this has a bit more floral fragrance along with more intensity. Showing great 'pinosity' that has a beautiful flow through the palate. A bigger, stronger wine than the 2013.          
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Te Kairanga John Martin Pinot Noir 2013
Named after the founder of Martinborough town, this is mainly from the Home vineyard and mainly Abel clone (70+%). Concentrated and fleshy with impressive dark violet, spice aromas. Easy to see why it has been rated 5 Stars by all reviews - Bob Campbell, Michael Cooper, Raymond Chan, Sam Kim, Gourmet Traveller, Winestate, Decanter...           
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Te Kairanga John Martin Pinot Noir 2014
The 2014 fruit came mainly from the McLeod vineyard, also predominately Abel clone. Again lifted and floral. Although only 10% whole bunch pressed, there is a definite spiciness evident that John says is a hallmark of the region and clone. Very impressive wine!            
Retail  $50.99  Special $43.99