Stokes Fine Wine tasting

The Groucho Club is probably better known as the place to see media movers and shakers but last week one upstairs room was taken over for the Stokes Fine Wine Spring Portfolio tasting. It was a small affair but as we know, bigger is not always better. The standouts, for me, of the tasting were some amazing New Zealand wines. Auntsfield Winery is the site of the first colonial vineyard and winery established in Marlboro back in 1873. They produced quality wines for 50 years before falling into disuse during the Great Depression. They’ve now been revived by the Cowley family who are busy making some fabulous wines! I sampled the ’05 Auntsfield Cob Cottage Chardonnay– creamy, fresh fruit, full bodied, nicely balanced. Their pinot noirs were also excellent Marlboro offerings. The ’06 Hawk Hill  had this lovely savouriness, great minerality with plenty of red berries in the undertow and a bit of spiciness, smooooth…. The ’05 Heritage even better, it had been infused with 100  year old wine that had been found on the estate from the original vineyard. Upfront fruit, ripe raspberries and black cherries and again that lovely hint of wet rocks swirling around. Rabbit Ranch was another stellar performer. A collective of vineyards in the Central Otago region, they are getting together and making some delicious red and white vinous delights. The ’08 Pinot gris – ripe mandarins, full bodied, citrus aromas and flavours, definitely worth seeking out. Their pinot’s – fabulous!  ’08 Rabbit Ranch Central Otago P.N. plenty of ripe red fruits, lovely smokiness and silky – a winner. The ’07 Sliding  Hill from Marlboro another fabulous offering, showcasing the best of  Marlboro,smokey, perfumed red fruits, a whiff of autumnal scents on the nose, light bodied but plenty of red fruits. I could have taken them home with me then and there. There were some other lovelies there as well but I was really bowled over by these NZ wines. Really worth seeking out. These NZ boutique wineries are proving that sauvignon blanc is not the only wine those Kiwis...

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