Brancott Estate 2010 Chosen Rows Sauvignon Blanc debut

Feb 15, 13 Brancott Estate 2010 Chosen Rows Sauvignon Blanc debut

Posted by in New Zealand wine

Brancott Estate winemaker Patrick Materman was in town this week and unveiled their newest sauvignon blanc, the Brancott Estate Chosen Rows 2010. What makes this particular sauvignon blanc stand out from your run of the mill NZ s.blancs is that it is made with ageability in mind. Patrick and Brancott have produced what they hope will be a wine that shows that NZ s. blanc has aging potential, something that it has been accused of lacking in the past. The Chosen Rows experiment began in 2008 with the selection of 14 different plots around Marlborough. Patrick said that although primary fruit has been important for NZ s. blanc, he wanted to find a way to take it up a notch. So they “threw out the rule book” and started from scratch. They introduced many changes and experimented with things like indigenous fermentation, the use of oak, large formant barrels, foudres, and extended time on the lees, all in an effort to produce a s. blanc that would not only have ageability but also have concentrated texture and mouthfeel. They harvested 280 tonnes in 2009 but produced only 12 cases. After a few more tweaks, in 2010 they produced 3,500 cases of the 2010. Patrick had brought along the 2009 as well as the 2010, 2011 (which was a Fume Blanc style) and the still-in-barrel 2012. They haven’t decided on the final blend for the 2012 just  yet. I tasted the 2009 and found it to be a vibrant wine with a subtle fruit nose and rather austere, not as fleshy as I thought it would be, I had to bear in mind that this wine was the prototype for what was to come.  The 2010 definitely showed a lot more complexity and intensity – with an aromatic nose, textured but fresh with a good balance of fruit and acidity. The 2010 had been aged in large oak barrels and the oak was finely integrated into the wine. It was certainly not your everyday NZ...

read more

What’s for dessert? Forrest Estate Botrytised Riesling 2006

What’s for dessert? No matter how many courses there may be for a meal, whether it be 2 or 8, I always look forward to the dessert or pudding (as they call it here in England) course. An amusing story regarding the word”pudding”. Years ago when I first came to London from California, fresh out of university, I got a job as a waitress in the West End. One night an English customer asked me if we had any puddings. I replied, unwittingly, I should add, “I’m sorry sir, but we don’t have any pudding. We do however have some very nice desserts.” Needless to say, he gave me a very strange look. At the time I didn’t realize that “pudding” was the English version of what we call “dessert” in the States. Pudding in America denotes something like a tapioca pudding, not as creamy as a mousse but similar. “Two countries divided by a common language,” indeed! After a rather delicious lunch of tapas at The Providores not long ago, Vintage Macaroon (pictured) and I were debating what to have for dessert. Rather then sharing a dessert we ended up with two desserts and two wines! Yes, we are greedy and insatiable. We’d had a bottle of riesling with lunch so we carried on with a racy New Zealand botrytised riesling from Forrest Estate and a Noble semillon from Pegasus Bay. I enjoyed the semillon but the real stand out for me was the riesling. Forrest Estate has an interesting story. It’s a winery that was founded by two Drs., John and Brigid Forrest, one a molecular biologist and the other a medical doctor, who chucked it all in to try their hand at winemaking. As they say on their site, they did it because they wanted “…a mixture of the wine ‘passion’ and a desire to achieve and be recognised and rewarded for ones efforts. In hindsight we struck upon a career which suits our personalities – a perfect blend of art...

read more

Jackson Estate Pinot Noir at the Stolen supper club

Somehow, I have become a foodie. How did this happen? One minute I’m just bebopping along, doing my wine thing, next thing I know, I’m reviewing Michelin starred restaurants and supper clubs. I suppose it shouldn’t be a surprise as food and wine are meant to go together and like so  many of my wineblogging breathren, I do think that wine should be drunk with food close at hand. I have to say though that the wine always takes centre stage, although I do make an effort to think about the food too. Supper Clubs, great idea but a bitch to find! Luiz and I must have spent 10 minutes looking for the Stolen Supper Club in Notting Hill. Can you blame us, here is the door, sans door number: Our charming hostess, Mia (aka Bonnie) greeted us at the door and led us into a currently being renovated flat, cue lots of exposed ceilings and plasterwork. The only thing fully in place was the brand new kitchen where her accomplice Leandro (Clyde) was busy preparing our dinner. It was looking good as she led us past the oven and into a lovely garden where the other guests were chatting and drinking. The Stolen Supper Club’s USP so to speak is that they ‘steal’ famous chef’s  recipes to re-create their dining experience in their supper club at home. This week they were replicating Mark Hix’s menu and due to the fact that Mia had spent 10 years in the London restaurant scene, Mark is a friend and kindly donated Hix napkins for the evening as well as plenty of info on his restaurants and the aperitif for the evening. The menu was from Hix Oyster and Chop House and we duly started with oysters on the half shell fresh from Billingsgate Market that morning, served with a bloody mary granita on top and naked for the purists. I liked the bloody mary granita but I like my oysters unadorned  by anything but a splash...

read more

Craggy Range 2008 Te Muna Road riesling

A short note today on a riesling from New Zealand. Riesling has many guises from the deliciously slatey, fruity Germans of the Mosel, bone dry yet aromatic Alsatians to the limey Australian rieslings that come from the Clare and Eden Valley. There is a riesling for everyone, no matter what your preference. And now, New Zealand has joined the club of premium riesling producers. Riesling does very well in the cool climate and and stoney soils of  Martinborough and Marlborough, New Zealand. Craggy Range has produced a real cracker of  a Riesling from their Single Estate Te Muna Road vineyards in the Martinborough region. The grapes come from 2 small terraces that are part of the famous Martinborough Terrace which has exceptional, old stony soils.   The grapes are handpicked, whole bunch pressed and go through cool fermentation before being left on the lees for 4 months. This gives the wine a complexity and body that is a hallmark of Craggy Range. I find that New Zealand rieslings seem to combine the aromatic quality of Alsace with the fruitiness of a german riesling while still retaining it’s dry character. There can be some residual sugar but I find that there is no where near as much as can be found in many German rieslings, especially those that have a few  years of age. I often find that New World rieslings go very well with Indian cuisine. I was at Mint Leaf Lounge for a dinner and  The Craggy Range Te Muna Road riesling was served with a curry, potato and mullet dish with a mustard sauce. The riesling had a vibrant, floral citrus nose, a well balanced wine with lovely passionfruit and citrus notes, it had a depth and elegance that made it a true pleasure to drink. I enjoyed  it on its own as well a with the fish, the wine neither being overpowered or overpowering the fish. Craggy Range’s riesling is a fine example of what New Zealand is doing with this...

read more

Cloudy Bay, video winetasting at the Bluebird

Cloudy Bay=Sauvignon blanc=New Zealand’s iconic wine. The one that put it on the map.This was all I knew about NZ sauvignon blanc until I moved to London and had opportunity to try it. Cloudy Bay has been so iconic that consumers might not even know how it tastes but buy it on the name alone.  Is it all it’s cracked up to be? Until recently, it was fabulous but their main wine maker, the one who put them on the map left, after being taking over by LVMH (Louis Vuitton Möet Hennessy) So, how is it now? Well, Wine90 (Sarah Newton) and I were at the the Wine Cellar at the Bluebird the other night to try the latest releases which included some surprisin other varietals as well as the usual  sauvignon blanc on show. See what we thought… Tasting notes: Cloudy Bay 2008 Sauvignon Blanc – nettly nose with notes of ripe pineapple and other tropical fruits. Good acidity but quite a rounded mouthful with a long lime finish. I liked it but think it’s a bit overpriced at £21.99 Cloudy Bay 2008 Gewurztraminer  – We both loved this one! Honeysuckle, rose water, and apparently Turkish delight on the nose, a lovely palate of more honeysuckle and orange blossoms. I thought it was an excellent example, lush and well balanced with just enough acidity to stop it from becoming louche and flabby. £26.00 Cloudy Bay Te Koko 2006, released 2009 –  this is their boutique wine, made from a wines that have been fermented using indigenous yeasts. A few barrels were put aside and they let nature run it’s course. The result was this rich, complex, creamy wine with layers of fruit, smoke, butter, and gingery spices, a fabulous wine. £37.00 Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir 2006 – New Zealand is certainly carving out a niche for themselves in the pinot noir stakes. I’ve had a fair amount of NZ PN and Cloudy Bay’s offering is typical New world – loads of smoky bacon and black plums, wood spices lurking in the background. On the palate, lush tannins, but a...

read more
%d bloggers like this: