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EuroVintage Roadshow 2016

By October 12, 2016No Comments

Sophie Hern – EuroVintage

EuroVintage is one of this country’s most respected liquor distributors. The company has a wonderful portfolio of wines, beers and spirits the origins spanning the globe, that offers something for every liquor reseller. Many of the premium wine brands were part of the Eurowine collection, but the buy-out by Vintage Wines in Spirits in 2010 broadened the overall package immeasurably. EuroVintage conduct an annual expo-type roadshow for the wine and hospitality trade, and it is an opportunity to see and taste a huge range of products, and meet and talk to the principals or representatives behind them.

This year, EuroVintage took the roadshow to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown. I attended the Wellington roadshow, held at Mac’s function centre. As usual, there was a near mind-boggling number of exhibitors, around 40 present. Due to time pressures on my part, I visited the New Zealand exhibitors only, and employed my usual practice of taking a photo of the people behind the stand, and asking to taste only one wine, that being their choice. I should point out that not all the New Zealand brands were on display, and indeed, I missed visiting the Hunter’s stand. I offer my pictures and notes of the dozen that I did see. I list approximate retail prices, as based on calculations on the EuroVintage trade pricing. www.eurovintage.co.nz


Chris Reid – Ata Rangi

Ata Rangi Martinborough Pinot Noir 2014
Dark, deep ruby-red with purple hues. This is soft and refined on the nose with harmoniously layered aromas of dark-red and black berried fruits with black cherry and plum notes, unfolding violet and black-red florals and suggestions of herbal complexities and spice detail. The palate is rich and plush with succulence and sweetness, fully ripened, but with undeniable poise from lacy acidity. The tannins are very fine-grained, flowery, lending a seamless and velvety flow. The flavours are beautifully mouthfilling and very, very long. This is a gorgeous Pinot Noir, so breathtakingly refined and seamless. It still comes second to the 2013 for me, which has a little more sinew and an edginess from the acidity and extract. These attributes endow the 2013 with greater longevity and drive, but at this level of excellence, it’s probably a matter of style preference. I’d choose the 2013 which has a tad more classicism over the hedonism in the 2014. 19.5/20 Oct 2016 RRP $89.00


Antonia Romero & Sean Hutchinson – Babich Wines

Babich ‘The Patriarch’ Hawke’s Bay 2013
A blend of 49% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Malbec and 24% Merlot from the ‘Irongate’ vineyard. Very dark, deep, near saturated black-red colour, youthful in appearance. The bouquet is powerful, intense and very rich with ripe aromas of blackberries, black plums, notes of boysenberries and cassis liqueur, unfolding exotic, spicy oak. The Cabernet Sauvignon is a little more assertive on palate, with rich cassis flavours supported by the blackberry and plum fruit. This has sweetness an opulence and the fruit is supported by beautifully refined tannin structure providing great linearity. The concentrated flavours are very long. 19.0+/20 Oct 2016 RRP $68.00


James Cutfield & Chloe Somerset – Cable Bay

Cable Bay Waiheke Island Chardonnay 2015 
The first Waiheke Chardonnay made under winemaker Chloe Somerset’s sole charge. Fully barrel-fermented with wild yeasts, the wine spending 12 months in 33% new oak with 10% MLF. Bright lemon-straw colour, this has a fine and refreshing nose showing citrussy fruit and nutty oak detail, the aromatics tightly bound, and still with much to develop. Very fresh, near zesty on the palate, the acidity quite a feature, the palate tightly concentrated with citrus and nutty flavour, the oak growing in expression. This is very long on the finish. Chloe’s preference in style is for fine and fresh, elegant wines, rather than broader bottlings. She has achieved this with this Chardonnay. 18.0+/20 Oct 2016 RRP $40.00


Francis Hutt & Scott Yu – Carrick

Carrick ‘Billet-Doux’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015
A natural wine made with no sulphur or other additions. Abel clone fruit, three barrels made, 10 months in oak, all neutral. Certified organic. Ruby-red colour with slight purple hues. This has a ‘raw and textural’ nose, this being the best way I can describe it, with black fruits along with complexing dried herbs and earth. Sweetly ripe, but also with good acidity levels, the textures very fine and the wine has a smooth line. Good up-front character and flavour, the savouriness of real interest, the tannin structure emerging as the fruit recedes. This has energy, but it could be a little more fleshy? Winemaker Francis Hutt has an adventurous outlook, as can be seen here. Carrick comes under the same ownership as Kennedy Point on Waiheke Island, but Steve Green has been retained to manage it. 18.0-/20 Oct 2016 RRP $N/A


Christopher Keys – Gibbston Valley

Gibbston Valley ‘Le Maitre’ Gibbston Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015 
The only Gibbston release for the company in 2015, the ‘Glenlee’ site frosted. The fruit was picked early. No whole bunch as the site delivers enough complexity, the wine 11 months in 30% new oak. Dark, deep ruby-red colour with slight purple hues. This is classical Gibbston regional character with savoury red fruits, with complexing dark and dried herbs, earth and minerals, the aromatics showing excellent concentration. On palate the acidity shows a cooler spectrum, but the fruit is tight and black-red and sweet, with flavour ripeness. Complexing herbs, earth, mushroom even adding interest. The tannins are supple, and in actuality this is an elegant wine. 18.5+/20 Oct 2016 RRP $98.00


Edward & Belinda Donaldson – Main Divide

Main Divide Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2015 
Brilliant straw-yellow colour with some gold at the heart. This has a full and voluminous, up-front nose with Middle Eastern spices, root ginger and lychee aromas, then hints of rose-petal florals. Dryish to taste, this has power and some alcohol drive, the palate full, soft and weighty. The flavours are more root ginger and spices, showing the flavour ripeness, and lighter exotic floral elements begin to emerge. Classical varietal bitterness on the finish, all part and parcel of the style. Mat Donaldson seems to maintain the house style, no matter where the fruit comes from! 18.0-/20 Oct 2016 RRP $23.00


Ben Coles – Man O’ War

Man O’ War ‘Kulta’ Waiheke Island Syrah 2012 
The introduction of a super-premium wine, this being a limited single vineyard bottling. 100% Syrah from the ‘Asylum’ vineyard, 2 puncheons made, both barrels used being new. Dark, deep, purple-hued ruby-red colour. This is bold and full-on on bouquet, with rich, spicy black fruits and plenty of toasty, bacony oak. Very rich-fruited, quite decadent, and layered with waves of Asian spices ant toasty, bacon-like oak, on a very fine-textured, flower palate. Plenty of cut with lively acidity lending great energy. Very long on the finish. Although the oaking is OTT, I like this very much! 19.0-/20 Oct 2016 RRP $92.00


Sarah-Kate Dineen – Maude Wines

Maude Central Otago Methode Traditionnelle NV
A special wine for Sarah-Kate and Dan Dineen, several years in the making and expressing the style of sparkling they personally enjoy. Approx. equal parts Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, around 85% Wanaka fruit, from the 2004, 2005, 2009, 2011 and 2012 vintages, incorporating barrique and aldehyde complexities, the wine spending 3 years on lees and carrying a dosage of 9 g/L RS, disgorged just 3 months ago. Light golden yellow, the bouquet is Pinot Noir expressive with yellow stonefruits and a full and voluminous blossoming of bready and yeasty autolysis, and layers of complexing nutty notes, but with an underlying freshness. Dryish to taste, with lovely creamy effervescence and textures, the Pinot Noir stonefruit flavours are enriched by the yeast, bread and brioche autolysis complexities. This is bold and fulsome with very fine grip and soft acidity. The textures provide length. This is in the old Bollinger and Alfred Gratien style, but more modern, clean and fresh. 18.5/20 Oct 2016 RRP $N/A


Todd Stevens – Neudorf Vineyards

Neudorf Moutere Nelson Pinot Noir 2012 
Winemaker Todd Stevens has had Mike Saunders as the Neudorf viticulturist for a year now, Mike previously with Esk Valley. However, neither had a hand in this wine, being which was made by John Kavanagh. The 2012 was held back for release, the 2013 following the 2011, as it was deemed to need time to come together. Old clone fruit, fermented without whole clusters, the wine spending 11 month in 30% new oak. Deepish ruby-red colour, now with a little garnet. This has a deep and concentrated nose, solid in presentation, but beginning to round out, showing harmoniously integrated savoury secondary note and layers of complexing interest. Rich-fruited, this is still tightly held, the fruit underlined by lively acidity and fine-grained tannins. Though savoury, this has a purity of line with excellent drive. 18.5+/20 Oct 2016 RRP $65.00


Belinda Donaldson – Pegasus Bay

Pegasus Bay Waipara Valley Sauvignon/Semillon 2014 
Ed Donaldson explained that his brother Mat has been working on making this wine richer and fuller by using lower yields, increasing the lees aging from 10 months ro 12 months and upping the new oak a little. The wine still benefits from time in bottle and on this showing, 5 months down the track, it tasted even better than before. Still pale straw in colour, the freshness, intensity and concentration of the nose was striking, with gooseberry and stonefruit vitality. On palate racy, bright and tight, but with a lusciousness of green stonefruits to balance the acidity. Excellent detailing. Very long and sustained. 18.5/20 Oct 2016 RRP $34.50


John Kavanagh – Te Kairanga

Te Kairanga Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016
The stylistic expression of the Te Kairanga wines is now quite consistent with John Kavanagh’s overseeing vision. The whites are tight and minerally, but vintage still has a say. This is bright with very pale straw colour and slight green hues. On nose, tight and taut, with refreshing, mouthwatering passionfruit aromas. The palate is dry, crisp and racy, but with lovely pungent and aromatic passionfruit flavours and subtle herbal nuances. The ripeness is there, along with very fine textures. Lovely balance. 95% stainless-steel, and 5% spending 3 months in oak. 13.5% alc. and 1.75 g/L RS. 18.0+/20 Oct 2016 RRP $24.50


Toby Buck – Te Mata Estate

Te Mata ‘Bullnose’ Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2015 
Brand spanking new – just released! Dark, deep, purple-hued ruby-red, very youthful in appearance. The nose is elegant but intense and deeply concentrated with an array of perfumes. Dark-red berry fruits, with spicy layers and violet florals, then black earth and mineral detail at the core. Tightly structured and contained, but the sweet and rich black and red berry fruits come through with finesse and intensity. The structure is refined, the tannin extraction quite powdery, then the oak spices emerge and carry to the finish with dark florals. This is a concentrated, youthful, but text-book Bridge Pa Triangle expression at the top level. This has the track record as one of the country’s most consistent Syrahs. 19.0+/20 Oct 2016 RRP $54.00


Stu Marfell – Vavasour

Vavasour ‘Anna’s’ ‘Single Vineyard’ Marlborough Chardonnay 2015
Pale gold colour, this has a full and soft nose with aromas of citrus fruits and creamy barrel-ferment notes, unfolding harmonious layers of fruit, oak and MLF. The palate is rich and features citrussy fruit and spicy oak, revealing layers of interest, with nutty oak and creamy MLF. Beautifully fine mouthfeel, well-concentrated and very long, with fresh, crisp underlying acidity. Clone 95 and Mendoza fruit from vines planted in 1986, fully barrel-fermented by indigenous yeasts, the wine spending 11 months in 20% new oak with 80% MLF. 18.5+/20 Oct 2016 RRP $42.00

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