Takatu wines from NZ


Takatu vineyard (from the website)

After the Austrian tasting, my tasting day was not yet over. A leisurely stop at Caffe Nero for a strong cup of joe, I caught the #11 bus to Chelsea for a New Zealand evening winetasting at the Bluebird. Penny had another boutique winery on tasting, this one from the Takatu peninsula from whence the winery gets its name.

takatu-nz-wine-0351Takatu translates as “well prepared”  and the owners have done everything to ensure that their winery is well prepared to produce amazing wines. According to the website, “the topsoil was removed prior to planting in 2000, leaving only iron rich soils adding depth and opulence to the fruit. The vines are densely planted ( 4000 vines per hectare), no irrigation and extreme pruning ensure very low yields and other sustainable viticultural practices all ensure only the best wine is produced.”  They also use wild yeasts when possible. The winery  really is boutique, producing only 3 distinct wines.

John Forsman, the owner and winemaker was on hand all the way from NZ to take us through the tasting. Luckily, he flies 747’s when he’s not making wine so coming to London just to do a tasting at the Bluebird was not too much of a stretch. We started with the ’07 Takatu pinot gris. The minerality of the soil really came jumped out of the glass. Stony fruits – apricots, pears, ripe pineapple on the nose. A takatu-nz-wine-031 full, creamy palate with loads of fresh pears and tropical fruit rolling around my mouth. A pleasure to imbibe.

The next two wines were reds. The ’06 Kawau Bay Merlot was a complex joy to drink. Loads of cherry, blackberries and spicy plums on the nose whilst the palate was nicely understated, all cigar box/cedar flavours against a backdrop of understated fruit, smooth and well structured. I could see having this with a nice hunk o’ meat.

The last wine was their cuvee, the ‘ 05 Takatu Merlot Franc Malbec. This takatu-nz-wine-029was one of the wines that was naturally fermented with wild yeasts.  An amazingly concentrated wine – heaps of black cherries, black fruits and dark chocolate. It was velvety smoooooth, quite complex on the palate with lovely red and black fruit. This was probably the favourite of the evening. People couldn’t get enough of this one.

I know that there is alot of mass produced Kiwi wines in the supermarkets but if you just take the time to seek out these gems, you’ll be well rewarded. Fabulous!

All wines available from Bluebird.

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