WanderCurtis Wine

Wine tastings, corporate events, reviews and recommendations


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Wines of Vidal, New Zealand with Hugh Crichton. Friday October 7th 7.30pm

Vidal wines, bottle and design details

Vidal Wines of Hawkes Bay was founded over 100 years ago .

They produce pure varietal wines which New Zealand is famed for.We tasted

Vidal Estate Chardonnay 2014

Reserve Chardonnay 2015

Legacy Chardonnay 2014

Estate Merlot / Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Reserve Syrah 2013

Legacy Syrah 2011

Menu
Wild mushroom risotto
Sirloin steak, Padron peppers, hand cut chips, peppercorn sauce
Selection of cheese from The Cheese Plate (with quince jelly)

Hugh Crichton , (Vidal’s head winemaker since 2006 who has previously worked at Chateau Soutard Grand Cru Classe in St Emillion and Donnafugata in Italy) had us all totally captivated , his passion clear for all to see . The quality of the wines shone through.

Wine of the night

Legacy Chardonnay 2014 -This is right up there with top Premier Cru Burgundy and has the awards to show for it.

Complex , toasty, smoky, beautiful crisp acidity with a long finish and lush mouthfeel .

 


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Nigel Greening of Felton Road in conversation

Ahead of our Felton Road tasting at Season Kitchen earlier this week owner and producer Nigel Greening shared his story and thoughts on past and current vintages.

Nigel recounts how he went from wine enthusiast to owner and producer of some of the worlds finest wines.

The million dollar question: the secret of Felton Road’s success:

Nigel’s thoughts on the 2014 vintage:

Built for the long haul some of Nigel’s favourite older vintages:


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Felton Road, Block 2 Chardonnay 2013, Cental Otago, New Zealand

RIMG0146 We were lucky enough to be served this last night by Nigel Greening himself at our

Wine dinner at Season Kitchen.

Matched brilliantly by Ben the chef from Hebden Bridge with a duo

of fresh Cornish Sardine and salted cod Brandade with sourdough.

A simply stunning wine , beautifully balanced long , crisp mineral with citrus and tangerine

Wish there was more of it !

If you’re lucky try Berry Bros


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Saint Clair Pioneer Block Pinot Noir 2012 Marlborough , New Zealand

 

St Clair PinotThis delightful Pinot is a no brainer for our wine of the month and a fitting celebration for May day.

Made from small parcels of outstanding fruit from the fittingly named Doctor’s Creek Vineyard , Block 14.

Medium Ruby, pronounced aromas of red summer fruits with much more complex notes of game, wet fur,earth,  toast and a wonderfully perfumed floral note with warm spices including nutmeg textured by a buttery nose and texture.

Develops more complexity after an hour or so with a savoury meatiness which would complement new season lamb but this is such a fine wine it would go with almost anything .

I’ll be popping down today to get a case .

 

Available £22 or £17 for 2 at http://www.majestic.co.uk


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New Zealand Wine Annual Tasting 2015

A tricky tasting with many wines appearing closed, a root day or are New Zealand’s maturing vines beginning to produce wines that behave just as capriciously in their youth as the best of the old world?

New Zealand undoubtedly produces some of the worlds premium wines and what makes this all the more extraordinary is that it does so from relatively young vines and in the context of a fair bit of climatic variation from year to year. At a tasting 18 months ago to celebrate 10 years of Craggy Range Te Muna pinot noir Steve Smith MW was confident that after a decade the vines were beginning to show their full character. So in theory the wines should just get better and better, no pressure then!

With 474 wines from 103 producers on show and only an hour and a half window I therefore thought the best thing to do was focus on a few old favourites to see how they were developing and what the current vintages are like.

Felton Road Central Otago

Felton Road Elms Chardonnay 2013.
Crisp citrus, ripe pear, lovely texture, this wine has substance but also great freshness & good length. Delicious & great value. (No oak but aged in old barrels to soften and round it out).

Felton Road Chardonnay Bannockburn 2013.
A captivating succession of citrus, lemon & lime, stoney mineral notes, a whiff of white flowers and just a hint of bakery and toast. Great complexity and length, at whole lot of wine for the price. (Again more Chablis than Cote d’Or with only 8% new wood).

Felton Road Block 2 Chardonnay 2013.
My notes read: ‘OMG this is fantastic!’ so it was pretty good. Again citrus, ripe green apples, a good lick of minerals, very intense at this stage with great balance and long lingering finish. Thrilling and with plenty of ageing potential. Grand Cru in terms of quality, Nigel Greening founder of Felton Road believes that whilst NZ pinots are already internationally recognised the Chardonnays are now ready to sit at the top table too.

Felton Road Pinot Noir Bannockburn 2013.
This wine strikes a great balance between forward tasty ripe fruit and a nice vegital backbone, finishing with lashings of spice and wood. Reliably delicious.

Felton Road Pinot Noir Cornish Point 2013.
True to this vineyard’s character this wine is spicy, seductive and forward. Ripe red fruits, cake spices and a lush mouth feel, nice long finish. I always wonder how this will age, having started out so delicious.

Felton Road Pinot Noir Calvert 2013.
Again the consistent character of this vineyard comes through, quite distinct from the Cornish Point, although the clones and vinification are exactly the same. More compact with great balance, clean fruit, perfume with a nice savoury core and great length. Fantastic. One to tuck away for a few years and great value when compared with premier cru Burgundy.

Felton Road Pinot Noir Block 3 2013.
A lovely delicate balance of confected strawberry, cinnamon spice, real depth and complexity & great freshness and length.

Felton Road Pinot Noir Block 5 2013.
This has an earthy, meaty nose with ripe black cherry, intense and primary, fuller bodied with a caressing mouth feel and just enough freshness to lift the very long finish. Amazing.

Craggy Range

Craggy Range Avery Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough. 2014
A great fresh gooseberry driven SB with a touch of elderflower and cracking acidity.

Craggy Range Te Muna Road Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, Martinborough.
2014.

This has more substance, stone fruit and a nice creaminess, but still all the crisp freshness that you would hope for, very satisfying.

Craggy Range Chardonnay Kidnappers Vineyard. Hawke’s Bay 2012.
Vibrant ripe citrus, touch of honey and a lovely saline whiff of the sea shore. Great balance and freshness, the tiny touch of oak very subtle.

Craggy Range Pinot Noir Te Muna Road vineyard, Martinborough. 2012.
This seemed a little closed down and I have noticed that although they start open and inviting MZ some PNs seem to close down and become more reticent after a couple of years. Red fruit and a vegital base, good balance and nice finish. This is normally a real crowd pleaser with pure fruit and a heady floral perfume as evidenced by our 10 year tasting finishing with the 2011 two years ago.

Craggy Range Pinot Noir Aroha Te Muna Road vineyard, Martinborough. 2011.
A selection from the finest parcels with some whole bunch fermentation. Quite primal with earthy, vegital with black cherries wood and smoke, you can almost taste the stalk tannin which may need a bit of time to fully integrate. Again quite closed but with plenty of substance.

Craggy Range Syrah Gimblett Gravels, Hawke’s Bay. 2011.
Black and white pepper, tight black fruit, quite austere at the moment , medium body with good balance, will hopefully fill out with time.

Craggy Range ‘ Le Sol’ Gimblett Gravels, Hawke’s Bay. 2011.
Again quite closed overall but clearly an intense wine with a deep core of black fruit, black pepper and toast. Great balance and long length.

Craggy Range ‘Sophia’ Gimblett Gravels, Hawke’s Bay. 2011.
Gorgeous polished nose, perfumed wood polish, ripe blackberries, medium body, fine tannins, silky mouth feel and good length. Delicious.

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Greywacke Wild Sauvignon 2012

greywackeI was lucky enough to try the whole Greywacke range last week at the New Zealand Trade tasting.

Somewhat unusually for me, being a dedicated Kiwiphile I found a lot of what was on offer

underwhelming. I consulted my recently downloaded ‘When Wine’ a biodynamic calendar for when wine drinks best

and found it to be a root day.

Now it may well be a load of nonsense but something was suppressed last week …

Until I was lucky enough to sample Greywacke . Kevin Judd is something of a genius . The expression and immaculate balance in his wines are secondary to none .

This Wild Sauvignon is special

Fermented entirely with naturally occurring yeast –

 A delicate combination  peach skin aromatics , citrus-blossom notes – a dash of lime cordial hints of fennel.

The finish is  long and crisp the balance perfection.The Chardonnay and other wines equally brilliant.

Available at Majestic Wine

 


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New Zealand annual tasting

New Zealand

This was another fantastic tasting at Lords. Highlights included Craggy Range, Felton Road, and Bell Hill.

A really marvellous Botrytis Gewurztraminer from Nobilo. Some delicious crisp rieslings, and a beautiful Cloudy Bay Te Koko.

Great to meet with my old Theatre Nurse colleague from the Blenheim days Barbara Lawson and try her lovely pinots.

Pleasantly surprised also by the Pinot Gris. Quite a few on the WanderCurtis February shopping list.