Hi to all our valued cellar and selected premium wine customers,
The 2010 Tri-Nations Wine Challenge has recently taken place, the results have just been released and our premium NZ wines did us proud by winning 6 trophies followed by Australia with 5 and South Africa winning 2.
This is a unique competition where entry is via invitation only. Wines are selected by a top judge from each country who seeks out the best wines from their homeland for an elite blind tasting. Bob Campbell MW (NZ), Huon Hook (AUS) and Michael Fridjhorn (SA) are the highly acclaimed panel each with national pride on the line. They put forward only the finest from their respective countries to secure a much coveted trophy in this fiercely competitive challenge.
We have three exciting big name winners on offer including the Mt Difficulty Target Gully Riesling 2009 which is dripping in accolades. We are also giving away the chance to win a trip for two with Mt Difficulty to Queenstown – full details below.
If a Sunday long lunch at one of Waihekeâs greatest wineries sounds tempting, then join Jeff, Virginia and the team at an exclusive 4 course long lunch at Te Whau on Sunday the 31st of October 2010. For full details and menu, click here. Thereâs only 40 seats available and 18 have sold since I released it last week â donât miss out on this brilliant experience.
Enjoy this weeks Cellar Journal and remember, the only things that makes wine taste better is great food and great company.
Cuvee Remy 2007 Vintage
Gold MedalÂ – Tri Nations Wine Challenge 2010
A very special Methode Traditionnelle crafted by master bubbles maker, Daniel Le Brun to mark the 21st birthday of his son, Remy. A tradition for the Le Brun family, it is a wine made with passion, love and steeped in the tradition of Daniels Champagne heritage. Bob Campbell knew it was something special, thatâs why he hand-selected it to compete at the Tri-nations Wine Challenge where it won Gold.
Itâs had many great reviews including one from John Hawkesby who commented; â…Exquisite bubbles designed to add flair to any occasionâ.
Crafted by the legendary Daniel Le Brun, using the same techniques of his 12th generation Champagne making family in France, Remy is a special 1200 bottle only release. With only the best handpicked premium fruit, Remy is a blend of 80% Pinot Noir, giving structure and power and 20% Chardonnay which contributes richness and finesse and 2 years on yeast lees prior to disgorgement which gives a Champagne like quality.
âExtremely rich and complex, this is a NZ bubbles experience like no other; in a blind tasting its origins would surely be named Champagne! Truly impressive, I will definitely be putting a case in my cellarâÂ
Â Jeff Poole
Cuvee Remy 2007 is now one of the most significant, limited and prestigious New Zealand Methode Traditionnelles available. We knew how amazing this wine was on release early this year, so we secured everything we could, knowing any of our customers who enjoy fine Champagne, or indeed fine NZ Methode Traditionnelle, would want to have this memorable experience.
Mt Difficulty Target Gully Riesling 2009
2x Gold Medals
5 Stars Winestate Magazine
5 Stars Bob Campbell
4.5 Stars Cuisine Magazine
A star of the Tri-Nations Wine Challenge, taking out the coveted âChampion Rieslingâ trophy (not to mention already having received 5 stars from Winestate & Bob Campbell).
This was definitely no easy feat, up against some amazing 2009 Australian Rieslings, a vintage attracting some massive high 90 point scores from international wine critics of note.
Several weeks ago, Jeff and our senior wine buyer Chris spent a day reacquainting themselves at Mt Difficulty and sampled the current 2009 releases as well as the 2010 from tank/barrel. They were both seriously excited, so much so they categorised every wine between very good to outstanding with more than 50% falling into the outstanding category.
Itâs little wonder Mt Difficulty was recently included in Decanter Magazines âTop 20 NZ Wineriesâ (the most respected UK wine publication and among the worldâs âTop 3â most authoritative wine guides).Â Â
The Target Gully is a historic site that was once used as a shooting range back in the old gold mining days. The vineyard is comprised of coarse lochar soils formed from the sluicing operations during the early gold mining activities and is perfect for Riesling.
If you love good Riesling, this is a very special experience worthy of all the incredible reviews it is receiving. A wine and an NZ winery to be very proud of. We also have an exclusive opportunity for our Fine Wine Delivery Company customers for a spectacular trip to Mt Difficulty….
WIN a weekend for 2 to Queenstown with Mt Difficulty
EXCLUSIVE to Fine Wine Delivery Company Customers
*Includes flights, 1 nights accommodation, personal winery visit, lunch and transfers.
(Every 12 bottle case gives you an entry in to the draw, to be drawn 18 October)
Vidal Estate Reserve Syrah 2007
Trophy Syrah & Gold – Tri-Nations Wine Awards 2010.
Trophy Champion Syrah – Romeo Bragato Wine Awards 2010
Sustainability Trophy – Romeo Bragato Wine Awards 2010
Trophy & Reserve Champion Wine – Romeo Bragato Wine Awards 2010
Gold – Hawkes Bay A&P Mercedes Benz Awards 2009
92 Points – Bob Campbell
The 2007 Vidal Estate Reserve Syrah picks up exactly where the 2006 vintage left off (6x Gold Medals) and outclassed some of the big names at the 2010 Tri-Nations Wine Challenge.
The Vidal story really begins in 1976 when, after experiencing unstable times, it was purchased by the Fistonich family who restored the Vidal reputation as a the high quality wine producer they are today. Winning awards left, right and centre this would easily be one of the best Syrah weâve had put before our tasting team.
With winemaker Hugh Crichton at the helm, we can definitely expect more of these great wines to come our way – Hughâs pedigree is solid with numerous Bordeaux and Italian vintages under his belt as well as honing his skills at some big name NZ wineries. Hugh has been inspirational in environmentally conscious and biodynamic wine making techniques and is completely focused on quality. There is no 2008 vintage Reserve Syrah produced as the very high quality Hugh demands for this icon Syrah were not met.
Only the premium fruit was handpicked from the world famous Gimblett Gravels in Hawkes Bay and this blockbuster 2007 vintage is crammed with all those rich, classic flavours that unfold layer after layer in the glass. This is an incredibly deep wine with plenty of charm but the best is yet to come in the next 3-5 years and longer, if well cellared.
We have secured just 20 dozen of this elite Syrah. The vintage is superb, the accolades remarkable and the wine…magnificent. A compulsory purchase in my wine buying this year.
Yering Station Shiraz Viognier 2007
94/100 James Halliday
90/100 Robert Parker
1st Equal with $100+ Trinity Hill Homage â Gourmet Wine Traveller
In the last edition of Australian Gourmet Traveller WINE, this stunning Shiraz Viognier scored 18/20 to be named 1st Equal in their Bledisloe tasting. The joint winner was the hugely acclaimed and stunning Trinity Hill Hommage Syrah that sells for $100+. A great achievement for this excellent wine selling sub $30 to shine amongst such high class wines.
Itâs no surprise to see any wine from Yering Station achieve great accolades. Their award winning history goes back further than most, in 1861 they won the Argus Gold Cup for the best Victorian vineyard and in 1889, Yering Station won a Grand Prix at the Universal Exhibition in Paris. Only fourteen such awards were ever granted internationally and Yering Station received the only award for a wine produced in the southern hemisphere. They were Victoriaâs first vineyard planted in 1838 by the Scottish-born Ryrie brothers, needless to say what was planted back then wasnât to be the future of this cool climate region. Steeped in a rich and pioneering history, today they are owned by the Rathbone family and are regularly recognised for their world class wines and commitment to excellence.
The cooler climate of the Yarra Valley and Heathcote regions this wine is from, does lend itself to a much more elegant style of Shiraz, still packed with intensity but it just has that finesse that many criticise Aussie Shiraz for being without.Â They co-ferment the Viognier skins and Shiraz berries to extract the aromatics, rich colour and the pure, fine fruit characters. The use of 225 litre French oak barrels (both new and old) to mature the wine for 11 months adds complexity and is beautifully integrated with the vibrant fruits.
This is a wine of precision, with dark fruits, spices, fine-grained tannins and a silky smooth texture all working in harmony. I can see why it was rated so highly alongside the $100+ Trinity Hill Hommage. The value this Shiraz Viognier offers makes it an extraordinary cellar bargain. One of those wines youâll enjoy in your cellar over the next 7-10 years and be enamoured with the price you paid and the experience youâve gained. Enjoy!
Craggy Range Block 14 2007 Magnums
94/100 Robert Parkerâs Wine Advocate
5 Stars Cuisine Magazine
This is your last chance to secure Craggyâs amazing 94 Point winning Syrah and the last ever of the âBlock 14â and your only opportunity in magnum format.
Craggy Range Block 14 has carved out a reputation for varietal excellence and escalating quality, this 2007 vintage is a blockbuster and their greatest to date….How great, letâs put it into perspective:
2007 was a blockbuster vintage for both Hawkes Bay and the Rhone in France (the ancestral home of Syrah) and home to some of the stellar names in the wine business: Chapoutier, Chave, Guigal.Â Block 14 achieved a Parker Wine Advocate rating higher than or equal to many of the single vineyard wines from these great estates and to bring perspective you can purchase a magnum of the amazing Craggy Range Block 14 Syrah for circa 1/5th of the price of one standard bottle of these legendary Rhone Reds.
2007 Craggy Range Block 14 Syrah 94 - (NZ$84 for a magnum 1.5l)
2007 Chapoutier Ermitage l’Ermite 92 -94 - (price circa NZ$400-500 bottle)
2007 Chapoutier Ermitage le Pavillon 92 â 94 – (price circa NZ$400-500 bottle)
2007 Chave Hermitage 93 â 95 – (price circa NZ$400-500 bottle)
2007 Guigal Cote Rotie la Turque 94 -98 - (price circa NZ$500-600 bottle)
2007 Guigal Cote Rotie la Landonne 93 â 95 - (price circa NZ$500-600 bottle)
2007 Guigal Cote Rotie la Mouline 93 â 95 - (price circa NZ$500-600 bottle)
2007 Guigal Hermitage Ex Voto 92 â 94 - (price circa NZ$450-550 bottle)
Each magnum is elegantly wax sealed making these the perfect collectors piece or the ultimate Christmas gift this year â whatever the reason, this is a magnificent Syrah purchase!
Senori de San Vicente Rioja 2003
92/100 Robert Parkerâs Wine Advocate
Over the last two years, there has been a resurgence in the demand for premium Spanish Rioja, particularly from the US & UK markets who are moving away from the highly priced Burgundy and Bordeaux and the reason why…
Premium Riojaâs are being compared to French 1st and 2nd Growth Bordeaux and fine red Burgundy but are a Âź of the price.
Donât hear me wrong, Bordeaux certainly has its place but with the overseas demand and consequently high pricing, particularly of the 2009 En Primuer, it would be remiss of me not to let you into this Spanish Rioja secret.
Stunningly rich and expressing some great similarities to good Pommerol from Bordeaux, we have a small cellar aged release of the 2003 San Vicente which is in pristine condition, having been kept under proper temperature/humidity cellar conditions for the past 4 years.
First founded in 1991, the San Vicente vineyard is a rugged, tiny organic site at the foothills of Sierra Cantabria, Rioja, Spain. 100% Tempranillo Peludo which is a nearly extinct, native variety of the area – renowned for extremely small clusters, berry sized and the tiniest of yields but it is here in these particular grapes that the most super concentrated flavours can be found.
San Vicente gets Petrus like treatment, only the best individual berries are painstakingly sourced from the vineyard then spread out on large sorting tables where only the premium of these berries are then hand selected. Aged in only the best available new French oak and a very small amount of American oak for 20 months.
Interestingly, approximately 95% of Spanish made wine is consumed in Spain. A small production wine with a tiny international allocation, NZâs share is miniscule.
San Vicente is now hitting a stunning drinking window and with ideal cellaring conditions, will continue to evolve for another 12-15 years and possibly longer.
Cellar Tasting Notes
Remy Cuvee 2007 Vintage
Crafted by the undisputed master of Methode, Daniel Le Brun to mark the 21st birthday of his son Remy, such is their family tradition. Luckily, thereâs a little bit extra of this elegant, rich 2 years lees aged Pinot Noir Chardonnay blend (80/20) for us to enjoy.Â Aromas of sweet pastry, lightly toasted hazelnuts, Mayer lemon and crĂ¨me brulee fill the air around the flute ala vintage Champagne. Inside thousands of microscopic bubbles are inspired by tastes of lemon meringue pie, fresh apple and red fruits encased in delicate mousse like texture. Mouth-watering, meditation Methode that would easily outclass many big name Champagne sub $100, Enjoy! FWDC tasting review.
$57.99 â FWDC Bottle Price
Mt Difficulty Target Gully Riesling 2009
This single vineyard Riesling is known to serious aficionados of the variety but may remain a secret to you; if so, donât let it be so forever, as this is such an elegant and totally enjoyable wine. A 5 star, Trophy winning wine its glory is there to behold in the elegant smells of floral, mandarin, lemon and wet stone aromas. Awash with elegant tastes of mandarin, Meyer lemon, baked apples and hints of stone fruit its richness is gorgeously contrasted by cleansing sweetness, flinty notes and a crisp burst of peach tea like minerality; savour with fresh lightly spiced fare and snap up a few bottles to enjoy through 2012-15. FWDC tasting review.
$25.99 â Single bottles
$24.99 â 6 bottles or more
Craggy Range Block 14 Magnums
âYou can smell the density of this wine as the lavish black fruit, spice, pepper aromas erupt from the glass. This is Block 14 on a new plane and that will be immediately evident to you as its opulent black plum/berry fruits spread themselves across your palate like a creamy wall of flavour. An array of spice, pepper, liquorice, mocha notes emerge from underneath the blanket of fruit adding momentum and fascination, the grainy compact tannin and hints of olive and tar further build this fabulous Syrah experience. It has concentration and power wrapped in a velvety texture and soft juicy acidity that will make it a challenge to put your glass down, once tried you may find yourself addicted, savour through 2020 with ease.â FWDC tasting review.
$84.99 â FWDC Magnum Price
Vidal EstateÂ Reserve Syrah 2007
Trophy & Reserve Champion Wine – Romeo Bragato Wine Awards 2010.Â Trophy Syrah – Tri-nations Wine Awards 2010. Hand harvested from our prestigious Gimblett Gravels vineyards. Easily one of the best wines to pass before our tasting team this year, it has seriously engaging aromatics of blackcurrant, pepper spice and violets. Once it hits the palate countless layers of rich black fruit, mocha and nutmeg flavours unfold, supported by firm but silky tannins.Â It has a beautifully long finish with a second wave of fresh blueberry and mocha and spice.Â Itâs an incredibly deep wine with truck loads of charm and finesse that will definitely reward a few more years in the cellar. FWDC tasting review.
$49.99 â Single bottles
$46.99 â 6 bottles or more
Yering Station Shiraz Viognier 2007
Elegance meets power in this world beating blend. 80% is sourced in the Yarra Valley which gives a wonderful perfume of florals and spices while the balance from the exciting new Heathcote region adds dark fruits, richness and minerality. Judged 1st equal in Gourmet Wine Traveller with the $100+ Trinity Hill Hommage – grab a case and find out why! Cheers. FWDC tasting review.
$28.90 â Single bottles
$27.50 â 6 bottles or more
Senori de San Vicente 2003
Although it is surprisingly approachable with its fresh and lively aromas of sweet dark currants and cherry notes, the palate suggests that this wine will be drinking well in to the next couple of decades.Â A flurry of juicy black fruits and spicy mocha converse with supple savoury notes aiding in its complexity and the overall appeal of this defined and well structured wine.Â At half the price of some 2nd Growth Bordeaux but delivering similar value, maybe you should be stocking up on this wine instead. FWDC tasting review.
$99.99 â FWDC bottle priceÂ
If you missed last week’s email…
d’Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz
Our tasting note: Due to drought conditions not seen for decades, there is extremely restricted availability of this famous Shiraz from 2007, but a powerful concentration of flavour and great tannin structure mean this has the potential to be a classic vintage for the Dead Arm.Â On the nose it is tight, but already exhibiting aromas of black olive, cassis, black pepper, spice box along with some nice mineral and ârockyâ characters.Â The palate deep and wonderfully intenseÂ with red licorice, crĂ¨me de menthe, anise and subtle floral flavours.Â In its youth it has dusty, cocoa powder style tannins – there is no question that this will be a very long lived Shiraz and a fine addition to any serious cellar.
$67.99 âÂ FWDC Bottle Price
Cape Mentelle Chardonnay 2008
Our tasting note: This Iconic Margaret River Chardonnay is internationally regarded for its similarity to fine Burgundy and ability to age. The 2008 ranks among the finest yet and after smelling its haunting aromas of Anzac biscuit, nougat, white peach and fine citrus youâll be completely spellbound. The palate exhibits remarkable purity and textural finesse; tastes of fresh stone fruit lie at the core whilst hints of Meyer lemon add further complexity around the edges. A refreshing vein of minerality delivers the flavours deep into the back and leaves you salivating and satisfied. Drink now through to 2016/18, Enjoy!
$29.99 â FWDC Bottle Price
Gewurztraminer Grand Cru KitterlĂŠ 2005
Winery note: âThe nose is marked, pleasant, moderately distinguished and gives out delicate scents dominated by exotic fruits, litchi, mango and spices. A slight floral hint of rose can be detected. Airing intensifies the nose where rose dominates but gives way to the exotic range, grapefruit, litchi, mango, passion fruit as well as spices, ginger. The nose is splendid, intense, complex and is highly enjoyable. The onset in the mouth is ample and marrowy. The alcoholic base is full-bodied. One evolves on a medium of marked vivacity with a sparkling note. The range of flavours, spicy, ginger, exotic fruit, litchi, passion fruit and floral, is splendid… The range of flavours is perfect.â Winery Note
$69.99 â FWDC Bottle Price
Tyrrellâs Vat 1 Semillon 2002
âPale straw-green; a very fresh and tingling wine, with exceptional thrust to the juicy lemony palate and finish; good cork can do a good jobâ. James Halliday
âWhile consumers are waiting for the 2009 Vat 1 to be released (not to mention approachable), the 2002 Vat 1 (their last vintage under cork) is beginning to come into its drinking window now: Intense, complex nose with notes of beeswax, earth, chalk, lime cordial, lemon curd, peach juice with a tropical / soursop juice edge and a compelling whiff of aromatics. Crisp, great concentration with a light bodied palate. Very minerally, very long in the finish. Drink now to 2020â. Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parkers Wine Advocate
$58.50 â FWDC Bottle Price
Quartz Reef Bendigo Pinot Noir 2007
96/100 â Sam Kim, Wine Orbit
95/100 – Bob Campbell, MW
5 Stars – Michael Cooper
This is a top flight Pinot Noir showing concentration that’s impressive from a vintage that produced many lighter than usual wines. it reinforces my belief that Bendigo is a great Central Otago sub-region that’s destined to succeed in vintages where others are less successful. It has a rich, silken texture with dense plum, black cherry and spice flavours. It’s easy to appreciate now but shows good cellaring potential. Bob Campbell MW
$69.99 â FWDC Bottle Price
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