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Te Motu, Bordeaux Blend, 2000, Waiheke Island

Producer: Te Motu

Variety: Cabernets, Merlot

Vintage: 2000

Region: Waiheke Island, New Zealand

RRP: $395 Magnum

ABV: 13%

 

APPEARANCE

  • Clarity: Clear
  • Intensity: Medium
  • Colour: Garnet
  • Other observations: Pale orange rim

NOSE

  • Condition: Clean
  • Intensity: Medium 
  • Aroma characteristics:

Savoury with berry fruits.  Redcurrants, red-cherry, leather, tobacco, baking spice, cigar box, smoky, black tea leaves.

Development: Developing

PALATE

  • Sweetness: Dry
  • Acidity: Medium
  • Tannin: Medium (well integrated, ripe tannins)
  • Alcohol: Medium
  • Body: Medium (+)
  • Flavour intensity: Medium
  • Flavour characteristics:

Red cherry, redcurrant, sour cherry, red plums, cedar, leather, baking spices, herbal - garrigues. 

Other observations:  A rare opportunity to taste a standout 16-year-old Bordeaux blend from Waiheke, showing the tremendous aging potential of this region and the bordeaux grapes.  This wine still has years to go and is still delivering plenty of ripe red-fruits, is concentrated, with elegant tannin structure and well integrated oak. 

  • Finish: Medium (+)

CONCLUSIONS

  • Quality level: Outstanding
  • Level of readiness: Drink now, potential to age further in right conditions (up to 10 years) 
  • n.b. This wine was cellared in a Magnum bottle, slowing the aging process.

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White wines from red grapes

Sounds wrong doesn't it? But some of the worlds most famous wines are white wines made from red grapes.....Champagne! In the Champagne region the three varieties used are Chardonnay (white), Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier (both red). Generally Champagne will be made from a blend of all 3 but sometimes you will see on the label, Blanc de Noir, which means it's a white wine made solely from the red varieties.

So, how do we do it? If you've ever peeled a grape you'll have seen that all the colour in red grapes is found in the skin, the pulp where the juice is found is clear in both white and red grapes. When we are making a red wine we ferment the juice and the skins together to extract colour, tannins and flavour out of the skin. If we get rid of the skins straight away the juice that comes out when pressed is almost clear, but we do need to be very gentle! 

In Champagne they whole bunch pick and then very gently press the whole bunches to prevent the skins being pressed too hard. The grape varieties can make a difference too. Both Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier are thin skinned grapes, which means they are lighter in colour than some other red grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon.

You don't often see white wines made from red grapes outside of Champagne, but there are a few interesting still wines made this way for you to try.

Here in New Zealand, Wooing Tree Vineyard in Central Otago makes the Blondie, a white made from 100% Pinot Noir. They use the same method of gentle whole bunch press used in Champagne and the resulting wine is light, crisp and refreshing, with beautiful citrus, white peach and pear flavours. Perfect for matching up with seafood, I love it with lightly seared scallops, delicious!

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Pinot Palooza!

Stop looking for a rocking Pinot Noir experience, we’ve found it for you. See you at @pinotpalooza?

Tickets: http://bit.ly/pp16prs

 

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New course dates announced

WSET Level 2 Course

  • Location: Waiheke Island

  • Date: 7th October - 9th October (Friday to Sunday)

  • Cost: $895

 

PROGRAMME OUTLINE 

  • How wine is made and other factors influencing the style of wine
  • Key white grape varieties
  • Key black grape varieties
  • Wine-producing regions of the world
  • Sparkling wines
  • Sweet wines and fortified wines
  • Spirits and liqueurs
  • Label terminology
  • Food and wine pairing
  • The WSET Level 2 systematic approach to tasting wine
  • To gain the qualification students need to pass a multiple-choice paper of 50 questions

 

WHO SHOULD ATTEND? 

This qualification is popular with wine and spirit employees and will give students excellent all-round product knowledge. The course is also suitable for the interested consumer.

 

HOW WILL YOU BENEFIT? 

The aim of the course is to focus on the key grape varieties and regions of the world, and principle varieties of spirits. 

(Successful students will receive a certificate and WSET Level 2 Award in Wines and Spirits lapel pin)

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Level 2 course a great success

Thrilled to have completed our first Level 2 WSET course run here on Waiheke Island.

What a fantastic group of students and some great potential for the future of the NZ wine industry! Results should be back in a few days time and we have high hopes for this group.

Well done everybody!

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The Level 2 wines have arrived!

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Always an exciting moment as the wines arrive for a new wine course.

The Level 2 course takes us through a fantastic array of wines from all over the world.

Classed growths from Bordeaux, Barolo from Italy, Carmenere from Chile, Zinfandel from California, Chardonnay from everywhere and of course the ubiquitous New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

The course lasts 3 days, we taste over 40 wines, plus spirits and learn how to understand and de-code the sometimes puzzling world of wine labeling.

This course is full, but keep an eye out for upcoming dates, we would love to see you there!

Cheers!

Tom and Ngarita

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Rod McDonald, Pinot Noir, One-Off Series, Martinborough, 2014,

Producer: Rod McDonald

Variety: Pinot Noir

Vintage: 2014

Region: Martinborough, New Zealand

RRP: $29.99

ABV: 13.8%

 

APPEARANCE

  • Clarity: Clear
  • Intensity: Light
  • Colour: Ruby
  • Other observations: Pale pink rim

NOSE

  • Condition: Clean
  • Intensity: Medium (-) 
  • Aroma characteristics:

Savoury, with berry fruits, strawberry, cherry, raspberry.  Floral - violets, lavender. Sweet spice, baking spices,  subtle oak.  Slightly creamy aromas.

Development: Youthful

PALATE

  • Sweetness: Dry
  • Acidity: Medium
  • Tannin: Medium (-)
  • Alcohol: Medium
  • Body: Medium (-)
  • Flavour intensity: Medium
  • Flavour characteristics:

Sour cherry, cranberry juice, subtle savoury (mushroomy, earthy) underneath.  Floral, perfumed.

Other observations: An elegant, restrained style.  Delicate floral notes, offset richer fruit character.  Subtle use of oak adds complexity.  Relatively high acidity indicates the wine may age short term and gives the wine some bite. Would be good with quite rich gamey foods, such as wild duck with plum sauce.

  • Finish: Medium (+)

CONCLUSIONS

  • Quality level: Very good
  • Level of readiness: Drink now, will age well for up to 5 years.  

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Te Mata, Gamay Noir, Hawke's Bay, 2015

Producer: Te Mata

Variety: Gamay Noir

Vintage: 2015

Region: Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

RRP: $19

ABV: 13%

 

APPEARANCE

  • Clarity: Clear
  • Intensity: Light
  • Colour: Ruby
  • Other observations: Purple rim

NOSE

  • Condition: Clean
  • Intensity: Medium (+) 
  • Aroma characteristics:

Vibrant, sweet, confectionery, bubble gum, blueberry, ripe red cherries, baking spices, creamy

Development: Youthful

PALATE

  • Sweetness: Dry
  • Acidity: Medium
  • Tannin: Low
  • Alcohol: Medium
  • Body: Medium (-)
  • Flavour intensity: Medium (+)
  • Flavour characteristics:

Blueberry, sweet baking spices, bubble gum. Very delicate oak integration.

Other observations: Very well balanced, obvious carbonic maceration is the perfect match for this varietal making a wine that is a fantastic example of its type.

  • Finish: Medium (+)

CONCLUSIONS

  • Quality level: Very good
  • Level of readiness: Drink now, this style is not designed to age.  The only thing holding this wine back from a 'outstanding' rating is the fact that a light, clean Gamay can never deliver the age-worthiness or complexity deserving of a higher rating.  You couldn't get a better example of this type of wine, a truly great example.

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The Wine Academy is going to be at the Waiheke Wine and Food Festival 2016!

We are thrilled to announce that we are going to have a stand at the upcoming Food and Wine festival on Waiheke Island.

The one-day event is a celebration of all things Waiheke, with 15 of the islands vineyards represented, along with local food trucks and live music.  It is going to be a fantastic occasion.

We will be there offering introductory courses teaching people how to taste wine like a professional and the basics of food and wine matching.

Courses will be running every 30 minutes from 11.30am until 3pm.  Tickets will cost $20 on the day.

 

DATE: April 2nd 2016

VENUE: 'The airstrip', Te Motu Vineyard

ADDRESS: 78 Onetangi Road, Waiheke Island

TIMES: 11.00am to 5.30pm

TICKETS: http://festival.waihekewine.co.nz/buy-tickets-3/

 

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The art of blending - why Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are meant to be together

I am often asked why we blend Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and other Bordeaux varieties here on Waiheke when so many wine regions in the new world stick to single varietals. My answer always brings in an old world region to explain why.

When you travel to France, Spain and some regions of Italy many of the top wines are blend of multiple varieties, the thinking is to use each variety to bring its own special characteristics to the blend so the sum of all parts is greater than the individual.

Here on Waiheke we grow the Bordeaux varieties - Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot and even some Carmenere and like Bordeaux we blend them together. The main two players are Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Cabernet Sauvignon as a varietal produces wines that is structured, tannic and full of black currant and dried herb aromas. It produces wines that will cellar well, but it often lacks mid-palate weight and can be one dimensional. Merlot is softer, fruitier and fills out the mid-palate, but on its own Merlot can produce wines that are fruity and easy drinking but not complex enough for ageing.

Put the two together and you get a wine that is structured, has dark fruits from the Cab Sav, soft red fruits from the Merlot, a good mid-palate weight from the Merlot and tannins for ageing from the Cab Sav.

Many of the great wines of Bordeaux, Napa Valley and Tuscany are made in this way, as are many of the great wines of the Hawkes Bay and Waiheke Island.

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Air New Zealand 'Best of Waiheke' tasting is a huge success

Our 'Best of Waiheke' package proved very popular today with a corporate group from Air New Zealand. We talked through the history of wine making on Waiheke Island, then tasted four of the classic styles produced there from four of the islands most prestigious wineries.

  1. Dunleavy, Rose, 2015, Te Motu, Waiheke Island - www.temotu.co.nz
  2. Goldie, Reserve Chardonnay, 2014, Waiheke Island - www.goldiewines.co.nz
  3. Mudbrick, Reserve Syrah, 2015, Waiheke Island - www.mudbrick.co.nz
  4. Obsidian, 'The Obsidian', Red Blend, 2010, Waiheke Island - www.obsidian.co.nz

As the wine-maker for the Te Motu Rose, I was able to offer the group a unique insight into the way Rose wine is produced. The rose proved particularly popular on this hot humid Waiheke evening.

We went on to discuss how malolactic fermentation changes the flavour of Chardonnay and how Chardonnay production differs from that of other famous NZ whites.

The comparison of the 2015 Syrah and the 2010 Bordeaux-blend demonstrated how flavour profiles change with time.

The feedback from the group was incredibly positive and all said they now know much more about wine than they ever knew before.

Huge thanks to Destination Waiheke who arranged the tasting for us: http://www.destinationwaiheke.co.nz/


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Niepoort, Touriga Nacional, Jaen & Alfrocheiro, Dao, 2013

Producer: Niepoort

Variety: Touriga Nacional, Jaen, Alfrocheiro 

Vintage: 2013

Region: Dao, Portugal

RRP: $25

ABV: 12.5%

 

APPEARANCE

  • Clarity: Clear
  • Intensity: Medium
  • Colour: Ruby
  • Other observations: Pale rim

NOSE

  • Condition: Clean
  • Intensity: Medium 
  • Aroma characteristics:

Juicy fresh fruit, floral - violets, dried herbs, blackberry, blueberry, boysenberry.

Development: This wine is developing

PALATE

  • Sweetness: Dry
  • Acidity: Medium
  • Tannin: Medium 
  • Alcohol: Medium
  • Body: Medium
  • Flavour intensity: Medium
  • Flavour characteristics:

Similar to the nose, blackberry, blueberry, violets, dark cherry.

Other observations: Very well balanced, easy drinking.  No obvious oak influence.  This wine has been fermented in stainless and aged in cement tanks.

  • Finish: Medium

CONCLUSIONS

  • Quality level: Good
  • Level of readiness: Drink now.  Suitable for short term aging (3 years) but probably won't improve too much with age.

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