Vino

Top drops under $20 (and over) and wine news from Joelle Thomson

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It’s all about Chardonnay tonight

Chardonnay may play second fiddle to Sauvignon Blanc in Marlborough but the brand spanking new 2016 Fromm La Strada Chardonnay proves this region has more than one string to its wine bow. 

Come and join us in store tonight for a free tasting of a great white made from Chardonnay, which also happens to be a brand new release…

The 2016 Fromm La Strada Chardonnay is usually $35.99 and is on special tonight for $32.99.

Join us for our free mid week tasting…

The time is 5.30pm to 7pm, the place is Regional Wines & Spirits and the theme is Wine Wednesday, which is back tonight with this big, bold Chardonnay from Marlborough.

Bookings are not necessary, just turn up any time between 5.30pm and 7pm to taste this great southern white.

Craggy’s new top shelf reds launch…

It was frosty, clear, cold and intense start to the week at Craggy Range in Hawke’s Bay, but in the upstairs wine lab at Craggy Range, the following trio of reds shined a warmer light on the third strong New Zealand vintage in a row – 2015. Like all top shelf reds, this trio have been mellowing in barrel prior to their official release onto shop shelves and into our glasses this week.

Craggy’s top trio of 2015 reds

Craggy Range’s new Prestige Collection reds launched in June this year and represents the third consecutive strong vintage in a row, says winemaker Matt Stafford, who says yields were down 50% for 2015 Craggy Range Aroha Te Muna Pinot Noir and also, to a lesser extent, for 2015 Craggy Range Le Sol Syrah, due to a cool start to vintage but a warm dry summer resulted in these beauties.

New Craggy Sophia

 2015 Craggy Range Sophia $115

Three grapes vie for attention in this top new red – made from 73% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon and 13% Cabernet Franc, all contributing body and fruit weight. The soft richness comes from the hefty Merlot component while the two Cabernets provide dark fruity notes.

The 2015 Craggy Range Sophia was aged for 19 months in French oak (45% new).

It drinks… well right now but will further age for 9 to 10 years; possibly longer.

 

New Le Sol Syrah

2015 Craggy Range Le Sol $135

A cool spring provided plenty of nervous anticipation to the Craggy Range wine team but a warm dry spell in mid to late January saw temperatures rise over 30 degrees Celcius and the result is this lovely wine that’s intense in every way from its deep purple colour to its full body, high but balanced tannins and acidity and its long, smooth finish.

The 2015 Le Sol was aged for 17 months in French oak (30% new oak).

It drinks… well right now and has strong aging potential for 9 to 10 years +.

 

New Pinot

2015 Craggy Range Aroha Pinot Noir $135

First made in 2006 and produced every year since, with the exception of 2010, this Martinborough Pinot Noir is made 100% from grapes grown in the Te Muna area; 9 kilometres west of the township. A higher proportion of whole bunches are used than in the past – now 50%, which add what Stafford describes as a spicy note. And there has also been a significant reduction in the use of new oak (now at 30%).

The 2015 Aroha was aged for 9 months in French oak (30% new).

It drinks… well now with smooth full body, and can age for 9-10 years.

 

These wines are in store now at Regional Wines & Spirits in Wellington where I spend a portion of my week working on tastings and all manner of other fascinating, tasty wine related things.

Wellington tastings diary

Spring has sprung, the rain has cleared,  the wine is ready to be poured at our World of Riesling tasting at Regional Wines & Spirits in Ellice Street (by the Basin Reserve), Wellington.

Here’s what’s in store or in our upstairs tasting room, to be precise:

Thursday 13 October, 6pm to 8pm: The World of Riesling
Thursday 17 November, 6pm to 8pm: Cellar busters: How to start a wine cellar for under $100
A tasting with cellar starter packs on sale afterwards
More details to follow on each of these accessible tastings.
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