Yes, it has been a while since my last posting. I’m expecting to be very busy with wine tours this coming summer. Good TripAdvisor reviews have been very helpful. Also, I know that I will get a mention in the very classy Lodestars Anthology ‘New Zealand’ issue, due for release mid-August 2017.
Now 2017 has also been a very good year for the Nelson Wine Club.I’m delighted with the tastings we’ve enjoyed thus far. We kicked off the year with Clearview from the Hawke’s Bay, presented by the ever entertaining Tim Turvey. Tim was also very generous in allowing us to taste and purchase (with a good discount) the outstanding ‘Basket Press’.
In May, the legendary Kevin Judd presented some of his highly-regarded Greywacke wines. Kevin was Cloudy Bay’s winemaker for their first 25 vintages. We were given the opportunity to taste both the 2011 and 2014 vintages of the Wild Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. We loved the complexity given to these wines by Kevin’s use of wild yeast in the fermentation process.
Our June tasting featured 3 Waipara (North Canterbury) labels: Tongue in Groove, Greystone and Muddy Water. Our hosts were Angela Clifford and Nick Gill, who are partners with 4 others in the newish Tongue in Groove. Nick is also the viticulturist for the jointly-owned Greystone and Muddy Water. Top wines included both chardonnay and pinot noir from Muddy Water, a wonderfully ripe Syrah from Greystone. I loved the fabulously feral Tongue in Groove 2014 Pinot Noir, as well as their 2014 Riesling. Their ‘orange’ wine, the 2015 Little Stomper, being a blend of gewurztraminer and pinot gris, was a challenging style for orange novices. I’m looking forward to trying mine with appropriate food.
Also in June we had our annual Wine Club dinner, again held at the Rata Room. This year we had the Level 5 students ie the top guns, looking after us. Note the very impressive ‘Nelson Kaimoana Cannelloni’ here on the right. Also you can see from the other photo here, that all the wines were Kiwi. Next year we’ll be celebrating our 30th consecutive dinner with exclusively French wines.
Our most recent tasting was held only 9 days ago. This featured the Hawke’s Bay wines of the not-so-well-known De La Terre. Although their delightful cellar door and cafe (with it’s wood-fired pizza oven) is 14 kms up the Napier – Taihape Road, their vineyards are in the ‘Te Mata Special Character Zone’. The wines were presented by co-owner and winemaker Tony Pritchard, who has over 30 years winemaking experience. Tony’s favoured whites are chardonnay and viognier (we tasted 2 made in totally different styles). I loved the syrah, but the tannat, montepulciano and barbera weren’t far behind.
The remaining tastings for 2017 that I have arranged, feature the wines of Jackson Estate, Mahi, Te Awa and Esk Valley. I’m looking forward to them all.