A tour of Italy – Part 2

Glengarry’s Sunday ramblings of all things vinous, grain and glorious. A tour of Italy – Part 2 comes from The Sunday Sediment Issue 6.

Sicilia

The largest island in the Mediterranean, Sicily boasts the greatest number of wineries of any Italian region. Leading light on the island is the fortified DOC wine, Marsala; so brilliant for cooking and superb when served with a hard cheese like Pecorino. While there are some impressive DOC wines here, there is also great value being offered by top quality producers making very good IGT wines from native varieties.

The South

Dino Illuminati

Generally, the south of Italy is all about value and generous, forward wine styles. Abruzzo is located on the coast north and east of Rome, the region home to Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. Historically significant as the place the vine first arrived in Italy from Greece, Apulia (or Puglia) is located in the middle of the heel of Italy’s boot. Known as a large volume producer, there are now top-rated DOCG, an impressive 25 DOC zones and a chariot-full of great Italian foods.

 

Italian Sparkling

Italian SparklingProduced largely in the north, Prosecco is the current high-flier of Italy’s respected sparkling wine industry. In 2009 it was awarded DOCG status, that important ‘G’ on the end adding a rock-solid guarantee to the quality of the wine. Franciacorta is both a highly-rated DOCG area and a sparkling wine with a huge reputation, produced a la champagne, but with even more stringent aging requirements than its French cousins.

Grappa

The Italians have been perfecting their heady spirit known as Grappa since the Middle Ages. A unique concoction produced from grape pomace (the skins, pulp, seeds and stems left over after the juice has been extracted for winemaking), Grappa began life as a coarse, home-made drink enjoyed by farmers after a hard day’s work. From these humble beginnings it has evolved into a highly refined spirit. By EU law, Grappa must be produced in Italy, without any added water, from fermented and distilled pomace. To produce it, the pomace is heated in a bain-marie (also known as a water bath or double boiler) to create steam, which is forced through a distillation column. The resulting colourless, filtered distillation can be enjoyed immediately, but the finest Grappas are aged in glass or wood, which changes the colour and adds complexity. Flavours, too, can vary considerably depending on the origin of the grape pomace, the blending and the aging process. Great post-prandial, or added to espresso.

Read more in the Glengarry Wineletter – #232 August 2017.

Related news

Science says wine and cheese make you fit and smart

If you needed another excuse to have some cheese with your wine tonight, we are hooking you up!

Because it turns out that cheese may not be so bad for you after all…

A recent study by the Global Dairy Platform, Dairy Research Institute and Dairy Australia has found that consuming cheese doesn’t increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

“There’s quite as widespread but mistaken belief among the public that dairy products in general can be bad for you, but that’s a misconception,” Ian Givens, a nutrition professor at Reading University told The Guardian. “While it is a widely held belief, our research shows that that’s wrong.”

And red wine, in moderation, can help your heart and your brain, according to a recent study published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition.

The study showed that when wine residue passed through the gut it has the ability to prevent cells from dying, and therefore delay potential neurodegenerative diseases.

Good to know!

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July is Mid-Winter Dinner Month!

The Committee was looking to arrange the always-popular Cuba Street Bistro once again. But as the saying goes, the best laid plans of best-laid men oft gang awry. The building’s owner decided the chosen date would be a good time to undertake earthquake strengthening so the evening had to be scrapped.

However do not despair! Bistro 52 has been selected as the replacement. This is located in Lower Cuba Street and the Club has been there previously – and it very good it was too. The venue has been booked for Wednesday 19 July, with a 6.00pm start for a 6.30pm ordering of your meal. You will be welcomed with a glass of bubbles! Attached to this Newsletter is a Payment Advice for June 2017 (for both the dinner and your subscriptions). Price for the dinner is $52 per person including corkage – it’s BYO of course.

Note the date – this is a week later than the Club’s usual meeting evening. It’s the first week of the students’ new semester and they are still finalising the menu, but they have never let us down before!

This looks even now as though it will be a definite winner!

Payment Advice for June 2017

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2017, Upcoming events

2017

As always we commenced our festivities for this new year with the BBQ at Derek Thompson’s house. On the agenda for the year we have Ata Rangi, and after the success of the last quiz evening, we have decided to try it again.

Upcoming events

Your committee is working on options for the latter part of the year, but these will include the AGM in May, the mid-year dinner in July and the second dinner in December. As a definite, we have Seifried’s from Nelson booked in for August and other projects. We have found that a downside of arranging tastings too far in advance is that situations can change. These have resulted in late withdrawals necessitating urgent substitutes. We are trying not to work too far in advance. As always, we are happy for input from members on future events and tastings.

Cheers
Robin Semmens, Editor

Cangrande, Festive Wines – November 2016

cangrandeCangrande proudly presents the widest and highest quality range of Italian wines in New Zealand.

They have chosen to focus on excellence in order to ensure the exceptional standard reached in the last few years by Italian winemakers is fully represented in their catalogue. They currently offer several product lines, based on value, which can meet and satisfy the demands of mass retailers, restaurateurs, caterers, wine shops and any kind of wine traders in New Zealand. However, for all of these ranges, the price/quality ratio remains outstanding. For those interested in Italian wines, Cangrande is opening a shop in Petone, keep your eye out.

Cangrande stepped in late in August 2014 to give us a delightful taste of the wines of Italy and we are sure that they will produce a great range of wines to fit the festive theme. Work on this tasting is progressing but we have not quite finalised details as yet. Suffice it to say that it will be a great experience with a clear Italian theme.

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Wine industry recognises shining examples at 2016 Romeo Bragato Wine Awards

wine-industry-recognises-shining-examples-at-2016-romeo-bragato-wine-awards57c78fee4e31d25 August 2016 | bragato.org.nz

An Auckland Chardonnay and a Hawke’s Bay Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot both shone at this year’s Romeo Bragato Wine Awards.

Grown by Brett Donaldson, the Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ihumatao Chardonnay 2014 won the coveted Bragato Champion Wine of the Show Trophy – Champion Single Vineyard and the Bill Irwin Trophy for Champion Chardonnay.

“This Chardonnay demonstrated exceptional respect to the variety and is a shining example of what hard graft in the vineyard and soft touch in the winery can achieve. It shows wonderful expression and captures the essence of the Ihumatao vineyard. Simply stunning!,” said Chairman of Judges Ben Glover.

The Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2014, made from grapes grown on the Vidal vineyard by Phil Holden, won the Richard Smart Trophy – Champion Domaine Wine.

“High quality, perfectly ripened fruit was allowed to shine through in this expertly crafted wine. It had superb balance and respect for the fruit, providing seamless delicacy, acidity and palate weight,” said Mr Glover.

The Bragato Wine Awards are held each year as part of the New Zealand Winegrowers Romeo Bragato National Conference, and recognise the grower for viticultural excellence. The competition acknowledges that growing excellent grapes is the foundation of making wines of true quality. The Trophies were presented at the Bragato Dinner in Marlborough last night.

-ENDS-

Editor’s notes:

To be awarded the Bragato Champion Wine of the Show Trophy – Champion Single Vineyard Wine, a minimum of 95% of the grape juice content must come from a single vineyard.

To be awarded the Richard Smart Trophy – Champion Domaine Wine, a minimum of 85% of the grape juice content must come from a single vineyard.

For further information, please contact:

Ben Glover
Chair of Judges
Bragato Wine Awards
029 520 8288
ben.glover@accolade-wines.co.nz

Bragato Wine Awards 2016 Trophy Results

Bragato Champion Wine of the Show Trophy and Champion Single Vineyard Wine

Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ihumatao Chardonnay 2014
Ihumatao Vineyard, Auckland
Brett Donaldson

Richard Smart Trophy and Champion Domaine Wine

Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2014
Vidal Vineyard, Hawke’s Bay
Phil Holden

Friedrich Wohnsiedler Trophy Winner and Champion Riesling

Maude, Mt Maude Vineyard East Block Riesling Central Otago 2016
Mt Maude Vineyard, Central Otago
Dawn and Terry Wilson

Brother Cyprian Trophy Winner and Champion Pinot Gris

Aronui Pinot Gris Single Vineyard Nelson 2016
Whenua Matua Vineyard, Nelson
Jonny Hiscox

Champion Gewürztraminer

Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ihumatao Gewürztraminer 2014
Ihumatao Vineyard, Auckland
Brett Donaldson

Champion Other Red Wine

Coopers Creek SV Hawke’s Bay Malbec ‘Saint John’ 2013
Saint John Vineyard, Hawke’s Bay
Wayne Morrow

Champion Sweet Wine

Villa Maria Reserve Marlborough Noble Riesling Botrytis Selection 2015
Rocenvin Vineyard, Marlborough
Chris Fletcher

New Zealand Wine Cellars Spence Brothers Trophy Winner and Champion Sauvignon Blanc

Tohu Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016
Tohu Awatere Vineyard, Marlborough
Mondo Kopua

Bill Irwin Trophy Winner and Champion Chardonnay

Brett Donaldson
Ihumatao Vineyard, Auckland
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ihumatao Chardonnay 2014

Champion Rosé

Wooing Tree Rosé Central Otago 2016
Wooing Tree Vineyard, Central Otago
Geoff Bews

Mike Wolter Memorial Trophy Winner and Champion Pinot Noir

Black Quail Estate Pinot Noir Central Otago 2013
Keillor Vineyard, Central Otago
Rod and Mirani Kellior

Tom McDonald Memorial Trophy Winner and Champion Classical Red Wine

Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2014
Vidal Vineyard, Hawke’s Bay
Phil Holden

Alan Limmer Trophy Winner and Champion Syrah

Falcon Ridge Estate Syrah Nelson 2015
Falcon Ridge Estate, Nelson
Alan J Eggers

Judges gearing up for Bragato Wine Awards 2016

(9 August 2016)

wine-industry-recognises-shining-examples-at-2016-romeo-bragato-wine-awards57c78dccd5e83
International Judge Andrea Frost

A 13 strong judging team, including international judges Andrea Frost and Nick Ryan, is gearing up to judge over 600 entries for this year’s Bragato Wine Awards in Auckland on 16 and 17 August.

Andrea Frost is an award-winning wine writer, columnist and author based in Melbourne, Australia. In 2013, Andrea was named Wine Communicator of the Year and her first book, ‘Through a Sparkling Glass, an A-Z of the Wonderland of Wine’, was awarded Best Wine Publication. In 2012 and 2013, Andrea was named Wine Business Monthly’s ‘50 Stars’ of the year.

Fellow countryman Nick Ryan is a wine writer, judge and educator based in Adelaide. Nick used the knowledge he had gained from raiding his father’s wine cellar to land a job with one of Sydney’s leading wine merchants. Realising that writing about it was easier than lifting it has led him to where he is now. Nick is a regular contributor to Men’s Style Australia and Gourmet Traveller Wine and has judged in many Australian and international wine shows.

wine-industry-recognises-shining-examples-at-2016-romeo-bragato-wine-awards57c78dcdde01f
Iinternational judge Nick Ryan

Leading the Bragato Wine Awards team is Chair of Judges Ben Glover, Group Winemaker for Accolade Wines New Zealand.

“This is always a wonderful opportunity and privilege to view, assess and reward our industry peers’ wines”, said Mr Glover. “The Bragato Wine Awards is a unique forum on the wine industry calendar that champions the grape grower, recognises the vineyard and awards viticultural excellence.”

The Bragato Wine Awards, held each year as part of the New Zealand Winegrowers Romeo Bragato National Conference, recognises that exceptional grape growing is the foundation of making wines that express true quality of place. Judging takes place on 16 and 17 August at AUT in Auckland City. The trophy winning wines will be revealed at the Bragato Dinner at the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre in Marlborough on 25 August.

-ENDS-

Judging Team:
Chair of Judges – Ben Glover
Judges – Rod Easthope, Helen Masters, James Millton, Helen Morrison, Simon Nunns, Barry Riwai, John Saker
International Judges – Andrea Frost (Australia), Nick Ryan (Australia)
Associate Judges – Lauren Swift, Liz Wheadon, Stephen Wong MW

For further information contact:
Ben Glover
Chair of Judges
Bragato Wine Awards
029 520 8288
ben.glover@accolade-wines.co.nz

Angela Willis
Manager – Global Events
New Zealand Winegrowers
021 552 071
angela@nzwine.com

Second half of the year – Editor

Lineup

2016-04-27-57212e0c27865We are coming into a great second half of the year for club members. With the line-up over the next few months including Foxes Island, dinner at Logan Brown, and then Peter Lehmann, Squawking Magpie and Jane Hunter. Phew.

Dinner & subs

There are a couple of attachments to this newsletter. There is a payment advice which includes the June meeting, the July dinner and, it’s that time of year again, subscriptions. Please print off the form and bring it to next week’s tasting. Alternatively, you can arrange payment direct to the Club bank account as set out on the form.

Dinner menu

Also attached is the menu for the July dinner. No point trying to resist it, just come along.

Cheers
Robin Semmens, Editor

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Notice of Annual General Meeting 2016

agmVenue: Johnsonville Community Centre Hall, 30 Moorefield Rd, Johnsonville, Wellington 6037 – Directions

Cost: None

Details:

Notice of Annual General Meeting to be held at The Johnsonville Community Centre, Directions

Wednesday, 11 May 2016, commencing at 8pm

Agenda

  1. Apologies
  2. Confirmation of the Minutes of the Annual General Meeting for the year 2014/15 held on Wednesday, 13th May 2015
  3. Matters Arising
  4. Financial Report for the Year 2015/16
  5. Membership Report for the Year 2015/16
  6. President’s Report for the Year 2015/16
  7. Notices of Motion
  8. Election of Officers and Committee for the year 2016/17:
    • President
    • Vice President
    • Secretary
    • Treasurer
    • Committee
  9. Subscriptions
  10. General Business

 

****************************************

At the conclusion of the AGM, supper will be served, accompanied by wines from the Club’s cellar

***************************************

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Tasting review – Wines of Argentina

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Click on image to view gallery

Josefina Telleria from South2South introduced herself and the wines of her homeland Argentina with that endearing Argentinian accent and a great personality to match.

Josefina spoke with such passion and enthusiasm for the home of Malbec where half is exported to the US with the remaining wines scattered predominately throughout the UK, China, and a small amount to New Zealand.

Josefina spoke with such passion of the home of Malbec where half is exported to the US with the remaining wines scattered predominately throughout the UK, China, and a small amount to New Zealand.

Noted for the vineyards high altitude, crisp clean air and microclimates, extremely hot 50 degrees days, pure melted water from the Andes, the wines represent these elements outstandingly. The wines came from as far north as Famatina and Mendoza in the south.

The two Torrontes wines, only grown in Argentina, represent a cross between Sauv. Blanc, Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer but then nothing like any of them. They are distinctive to Argentina. Both have a clear crisp colour, slightly floral bouquet and an almost creamy texture on the front of the mouth with a long slightly acidic finish making it a refreshing and vibrant drink. 15/20.

If you’re into chardonnay like me, then this chardonnay was very different. After being in new American barrels for six months, the wine is purposefully produced with high acidity and woody oak notes. This was very dry but not mouth-puckering, with a rich acidic finish. 17/20.

20160309_205252Onto the Malbec’s. I’ve sampled Malbec’s from around the world and I now see why Argentina produces standout Malbec. The La Celia and Montechez are both deeply intense purple in colour with intense flavour and soft tannins that do not overpower the subtleness of the fruit.

The La Celia has a sweet & slight liquorice nose, very dry, and a much smoother finish than the Montechez. 18/20. The Montechez give an almost mushroom/ forest floor nose at first, grape sweetness with young plum fruit, and an extremely rich smooth finish. 17/20.

Finally, the Cabernet Franc for which Argentina is noted for completed the tasting. Given the terroir, this is a big bold complex wine developing a headier spicy nose, cedar and medium tannin to tempt the taste buds and a very rich finish. 19/20.

As a comparison, Argentina has more than 220,000 hectares under vine with New Zealand a meagre 36,000. Wanting to know more about Wines of Argentina?

Tasting – Wines of Argentina

Wed. 09 MAR, 2016 – 7:45 – 9:45 pm

Venue: Johnsonville Community Centre Hall, 30 Moorefield Rd, Johnsonville, Wellington 6037 –Directions.

Cost: Members $12, Guests $16

Presenter: Josefina Telleria

“From humble beginnings and a passion for everything the Argentine wine and food culture has to offer, South2South has now become a company with a clear mission to provide Kiwis with an opportunity to enjoy the unique flavours and memorable experiences Argentine wines bring to the palate. Our vision is to become New Zealand’s premier Argentine fine wine importer.”

Chris Emmett and Josefina Telleria form South2South. Chris is a kiwi who has been converted to wine through his association with the wines of Argentina. Josefina was born and raised in Argentina and is the Argentine connection. She has a strong family connection to vines and wines in and around Mendoza. They are keen to introduce us to their passion for wines from the region.

Let’s enjoy. The wines on the night will be:

  • Introductory – La Consulta Reserva Torrontes or La Consulta Reserva Malbec
  • 2013 Montechez Reserva Chardonnay
  • 2013 Alta Vista Premium Torrontes
  • 2014 Serbal Malbec Rose
  • 2013 La Celia Pioneer Malbec
  • 2012 Montechez Reserva Malbec
  • 2012 Montechez Limited Edition Cabernet Franc

Don’t miss this one, it will be fun.

Related news

Oldest wine opened in NZ still ‘amazing’ after 113 years in a Wairarapa cellar

Caleb Harris/Fairfax NZ | Last updated February 10, 2016.

After 113 years in a farmhouse cellar, a bottle of wine believed to be the oldest ever opened in New Zealand has astonished critics by still tasting great.

“It’s superb. Amazing, really … It’s still hanging on, shaking its fist at you out of the glass,” was how wine writer John Saker summed up the 1903 Landsdowne Claret opened in Wairarapa on Wednesday.

Early Wairarapa settler William Beetham made the wine on land the family owned in Masterton, after his homesick French wife Hermance planted vines.

The 1903 blend of pinot noir, pinot meunier and syrah is poured at Brancepeth Station in Wairarapa.

The vineyard stopped producing around 1908, but some bottles have been cellared ever since in the Edwardian homestead at Brancepeth Station, east of Masterton, which Beetham’s descendants still own.

On Wednesday, Saker convened a panel of 12 other local and international wine writers at Brancepeth to sample the valuable vintage, a bottle of which once sold for $14,000.

The 1903 blend of pinot noir, pinot meunier and syrah is poured at Brancepeth Station in Wairarapa.

Beetham’s Masterton vineyard was revived under new owner Derek Hagar in 2009 and won an international pinot noir award, so the tasters compared Beetham’s 1903 wine with a contemporary bottle produced by Hagar on the same land.

Brancepeth’s current custodian, Edward Beetham, said seeing his forebear’s pioneering role in Wairarapa winemaking acknowledged was “a great occasion”. “We’ve always sort of dreamt of doing this.”

Although called a claret, the wine is actually a blend of pinot noir, pinot meunier and syrah.

Breaths were bated as the crumbling cork was pulled, but once the venerable wine was swished, sniffed and sipped, the consensus was that age had not wearied it.

“This wine is like … a 100-year-old human which is still not ready to die,” German sommelier Markus Berlinghof said.

“There was this sort of dried citrus-peel acidity that just made it feel alive, still, and that completely shocked me,” American wine writer Sara Schneider said.

American wine writer Sara Schneider at the tasting.
American wine writer Sara Schneider at the tasting.

Saker found the wine not only surprisingly fault-free for its age, but also redolent of an “Edwardian summer” at the dawn of New Zealand’s wine industry. “That’s what makes it wonderful.”

BETTER WITH AGE?

1. John Saker, Wine editor Cuisine magazine

Tasting notes: “Slight faded rose, a hint of reduction … that lovely elegant passage across the palate, just a suggestion of sweetness. This is a Wairarapa pinot to be proud of.”

What about compared with the 2009 Landsdowne wine? “I thought there was a family resemblance … both have a finer, lighter, red fruit notes and a steely acidity.”

Rating (1903): 5 out of 5

2. German sommelier Markus Berlinghof

German sommelier Markus Berlinghof and American wine writer Sara Schneider get to work on their tasting notes.

Tasting notes: “A lot of dried fruit character, dried orange zest. Elegant, a very feminine mouth feel. The colour is still in very good condition, a deep garnet, very fresh.”

What about compared with the 2009 Landsdowne wine? “I wasn’t a friend of drinking the other wine afterward, I don’t want to compare them.”

Rating: Doesn’t believe in ratings, but in a word: “Superb”.

3. American wine writer Sara Schneider

Tasting notes: “That first red fruit is really gone by now, but has sort of turned into a dried fig character, kind of an earthy tang, with the tannin texture … dried rose petals … a terrific wine.”

What about compared with the 2009 Landsdowne wine? “There’s a wet loam, forest floor, mushroomy, savoury character in both wines.”

Rating: High 19 out of 20 (1903); low 19 out of 20 (2009).

 – Stuff

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Pinot Noir NZ 2017 – Registrations now open

Pinot Noir NZ 2017 Registrations Now Open

iRegistrations open today for the biggest event of its kind on the planet! Click here to secure your spot now.

Pinot Noir NZ 2017 will be “the place” for Pinot Noir lovers, like your fine self, wanting to discover why New Zealand is at the forefront of New World Pinot Noir.  It’s where you’ll get an unparalleled insight into New Zealand’s explosive Pinot Noir scene.

Talk of the Pinot Noir NZ 2017 celebration is already creating a huge buzz and gaining worldwide exposure. We’re hearing from media, trade, wine enthusiasts and pinotphiles from all corners of the globe that want to come and be part of it.

As you’ve heard, we’ve already announced three big divergent personalities that will be leading our guest speaker list. The world’s most influential wine commentator Jancis Robinson, OBE, MW; Japan’s most eminent wine and sake expert Ken Ohashi, MW and Grammy Award-winning Tool frontman and winemaker Maynard James Keenan (MJK), from Arizona US are confirmed for the all-star line up.

At Pinot 2017 you’ll mix, mingle and rub shoulders with the greatest wine minds in the world, improve your knowledge about NZ Pinot Noir and meet the winemakers behind the brands, all in the one place. You’ll also be served some fantastic cuisine, and have insanely good kiwi entertainment thrown in for good measure.

If you’ve been part of Pinot Noir NZ before, you’ll know that it will be, without question, the place to be in the wine world. Together there will be 120 producers from New Zealand’s diverse Pinot producing regions, showcasing over 300 wines, over 3 days on the Wellington Waterfront. There will be intellectual discussion, world-class keynotes, and plenty of tasting sessions to stimulate all your senses.

Registrations for Pinot Noir NZ 2017 are now open. Spaces are limited. Visit www.pinotnz.co.nz

Follow us and join the conversation:
Twitter: @PinotNoirNZ
Facebook: PinotNoirNZ
Instagram: PinotNoirNZ

For further enquiries contact rachael@pinotnz.co.nz
Phone +64 (0) 272 612 998

Kind regards,

Ben Glover
Chair, Pinot Noir NZ 2017

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