Tasting review – Gladstone Vineyard

Being the first vineyard in Gladstone in 1986, Christine and David Kernohan took over the vineyard in 1996. Only 20km from Martinborough, GV soils exhibit similar properties probably due to its proximity to the old terrace riverbed of the Ruamahanga River.

With ideal soil conditions, free draining stony silt loam for growing vines, production has steadily stepped up over the past 20 years. Christine mentioned the wine growing area in Gladstone is in the process of identifying its own sub-region characteristics.

The wines from first impressions seemed to be a little flat. First impressions can be deceiving as they were in this case. The bouquet for most wines were on the light side but still clean and fresh.

The 2014 Viognier gave a hint on lemon peel and spice with a dry, ripe apricot finish. The GC Sauv. Blanc hinted at young pineapple and again a dry, crisp lingering (for more) finish. The Pinot Gris offered up fresh melons with off-dry ripe stonefruit to finish and the Rosé, made from Bordeaux-style grapes. strawberries and cream, beautiful and elegant.

20150812_210734
Click image to view the gallery

Into the reds. The tasting notes were not wrong. What they don’t mention is their elegant subtle perfume and rich long finish. 12.000 Pinot Noir offered hints of blackberry and liquorice with a savoury finish.

Despite a wet few months before picking, the 2011 GV Pinot Noir displayed a warmth from the extra time on the vine allowing the tannins to build. This would go perfectly with lamb or pork infused with Asian-inspired flavours; star anise, dark soy, sugar and salt.

The club appreciates Christine’s time and wonderfully crafted wines. Now looking forward to how 2014 Pinot’s stack up.

Cheers, Steve

Event details

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

Cost: Members $12, Guests $16

Presenter: Christine Kernohan – Chef winemaker, Gladstone Vineyard

gladstone_vineyardBackground:

Christine is the chief winemaker at Gladstone, involved in all stages of winemaking and manages the business. One of only three Scottish women winemakers in the world (not being a common career aspiration where or when she grew up). Christine ‘fell’ into the wine industry after a happenstance visit to Gladstone Vineyard with David one spring weekend in 1995.

She previously worked in the computer industry in business analysis and project management and was also involved in social research and agriculture industry research. She has an MBA from Massey University and farming experience from involvement in a goat, sheep and beef farm at Hunterville.

Gladstone Vineyard was the opportunity to run her own business, bring together the rural life with business, and apply her scientific bent from way back.

David Kernohan is owner/taster, architect and former Associate Professor at the School of Architecture at Wellington’s Victoria University. He has been operating his own research and building heritage consultancy, Architecture Diagnostics, from the vineyard for the past eight years.

He is the author of five books on architecture including Wairarapa Buildings published in 2003. David is a Deputy Environment Commissioner, was co-author of the Hunn Report on the weather tightness of buildings that precipitated the Building Act 2004, and is a former Director of Wellington Waterfront Limited.

  • ‘Quaffing wine’ – 12,000 Miles Sauvignon Blanc 2014
    Move over Marlborough… try the ‘more grown up’, easy drinking summer Wairarapa SB. The wine shows excellent fruit purity and finishes long and attractive. At its best: now to 2017.” 4.5 Stars, Wine Orbit, Jan 2015
  • Gladstone Vineyard Viognier 2014
    White peach and mandarin on the nose, echoed by orange blossom and subtle clove spice. An elegant, cool climate Viognier. 5 Stars 93/100. Wine Orbit; 4 Stars” Cameron Douglas MS
  • Gladstone Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2013
    More serious, wonderful food wine. Careful batch selection and winemaking produce this textural elegant Sauvignon Blanc. Silver Medals, San Francisco and Canada, 91/100 Sam Kim.
  • 12,000 Miles Pinot Gris 2014
    A lovely bouquet of yellow peach, loquat and nectarine opens up to a musky floral and cinnamon spice nose. The palate is rich and rounded with a soft, mealy character from the extended lees contact. Silver Medal NZ International Wine Show 2014
  • Gladstone Vineyard Rose 2014
    THINK PINK! A perfect ‘all year round’ rose. The nose is all summery desserts with strawberry, raspberry and pannacotta with hints of spice. Creamy and generous entry with a juicy fruit core and a clean finish. Made from Cabernet Franc and Merlot grapes.
  • 12,000 Miles Pinot Noir 2013
    New release, dark berry flavours are balanced with subtle spice, chocolate, earth and savoury characteristics that enhance and lengthen the palate. Pure Gold Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2014, Gold Melbourne International Wine Competition 2014
  • Gladstone Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011
    “Light ruby-red with purple hues, fresh and fragrant with lifted red cherry and berry fruit aromas and a little savoury interest. Attractively elegant”. Silver Medal International Wine Challenge 2013, & Decanter World Wine Awards 2013, International Wine Challenge 2013

Note: Every case purchased goes into the draw to win a magnum of Gladstone Vineyard Reserve Pinot Noir 09.

Gladstone Vineyard – August 2015 – Looking Forward

gladstone-cellar

gladstone_vineyardGladstone Vineyard is a family business with an international reputation for distinctive, high-quality wines of finesse and complexity. Established on the old riverbed of the Ruamahanga River at Gladstone, their focus is simply to craft beautiful wine that expresses the exceptional characteristics of the soil, the climate and the region.

At Gladstone Vineyard, they are committed to growing vines and producing wine in a thoughtful and environmentally responsible manner. They like to call this “intelligent winegrowing”. It means making smart, considered decisions about everything they do, with the interests of the land, the vines and the wine top of mind.

Their principal varieties are the internationally acclaimed Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris. They also make a Viognier, a Rosé, a dry Riesling, and the “Auld Alliance” their premier Bordeaux-style wine. Christine Kernohan is Owner/Winemaker and I assume she will do the presentation. More about the tasting and the wines next month.

Related news

Looking Back – February 2015 – Ash Ridge

ashridge-logoThe evening was excellent and the presenter was superb. Simon Bell’s style of presenting a tasting was the right balance showing that he knew about wine and was enthusiastic about what they were doing at Ash Ridge. We were rapt with the turnout and the response to orders. In addition a number of members joined up to the Ash Ridge Wine Club. A great evening, and a bonus at such short notice.

Simon presented Ash Ridge’s Sauvignon Blanc 2014, Chardonnay 2013, Viognier 2013, Vintners Reserve Chardonnay 2013, Rose 2014, Syrah 2013 and the Vintners Reserve “The Blend” 2013 (a bottle of which landed on the floor when one of the tables collapsed. Fortunately no-one went without.)

Related news

Ash Ridge Wines – Feb 2015

Date: Wednesday 11 February, 2015

Time: 7:45 – 9:45 pm

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

Cost: Members or guests $10, member with a guest $14.

Presenter: Simon Bell, Sales Manager. An EIT graduate, Simon spends his time ensuring that the public has access to Ash Ridge wines whether through the cellar door or charming the wine trade to ensure that you can enjoy our wines in restaurants and shops around the country.

Wines offered at the tasting are likely to include:

  • 2014 Ash Ridge Sauvignon Blanc
  • 2013 Ash Ridge Chardonnay
  • 2013 Ash Ridge Viognier
  • 2013 Ash Ridge Vintners Reserve Chardonnay
  • 2014 Ash Ridge Rosé
  • 2013 Ash Ridge Syrah
  • 2013 Ash Ridge Vintners Reserve “The Blend”

Background

In January 2014, in their biggest step to date, Ash Ridge opened a brand new Winery on their home site in Maraekakaho. The 100 tonne winery was designed to offer all modern winemaking facilities in a boutique size, allowing them to be truly hands on in their winemaking. The small winemaking team can nurture the process from vineyard to bottle.

Ash Ridge wines are all hand-crafted, single estate wines which reflect the unique vineyard location, the passion for winemaking and the premium quality that they make. Ash Ridge produce premium Hawkes Bay Syrah, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

In order to create a range of Bridge Pa Triangle wines they have partnered with the Peet Vineyard. The vineyard is based on an ash pumice ridge of soil, and is planted in sauvignon blanc, merlot, cabernet sauvignon. In more recent years they have also partnered with neighbour Shawn Hill, of Raptor Rise Vineyard, to source Malbec and Viognier grapes. With the vineyard being over the fence and on the same soil they are truly staying local.

Tasting review

Anne opened the evening with a thud and spilt wine. One of the tables with Ash Ridge wines broke sending bottles all over the place. What an introduction for Simon to the Cellar Club. Anne went on to thank Simon and Ash Ridge Wines for their effort in replacing Man O’ War at short notice. We’ll have Man O’ War presenting in October.

A gifted and passionate speaker, Simon spoke in some detail about the Bridge Pa Triangle convincing even the most steadfast Gimblett Gravels supporter that wines from Bridge Pa are worth more than a passing sip. In fact it’s those differences that gives Ash Ridge wines that expression of the terroir in which the grapes are grown. This was expressed exquisitely across the range of wines tasted.

Read Yvonne Lorkin's review of Ash Ridge Wines
Read Yvonne Lorkin’s review of Ash Ridge Wines

Simon had obviously presented Ash Ridge Wines a few times before because his knowledge of the winery, the wines being produced and allround wine knowledge was outstanding.

After a brief history lesson of Ash Ridge Wines, it wasn’t that bad in fact it made you realise just how much effort has gone into developing the vineyard since 2000, Simon got into his stride with the tasting. Simon’s wine knowledge allowed members to understand nuances between Ash Ridge and other regions in New Zealand and around the world. This made interesting listening and even taught us a thing or two.

The wines selected for the night showcased all Ash Ridge wine styles. The 2014 Sauvignon Blanc was definitely Hawkes Bay, tropical rather than grassy. The Chardonnays were very fruit driven with the Estate making an exceptional replacement for non-savvy drinkers with its acidity just right for seafood and salads but would go just as well with most meats. The Viognier was elegant and true to its style.

The Syrah was well rounded needing several years, I’d suggest five to seven, to reach its potential so well worth stocking up on.

The showstopper of the night for most members was the first release of five varietals that make-up “The Blend”. Well balanced with great mouth feel now just wait ten to fifteen years for it to develop further. We were privileged to be the first outside Ash Ridge’s own cellar club to taste this wine.

A great evening with wines representative of the terror from a winery voted Winery of the Year 2014 at the Hawkes Bay Bayleys A&P. The only truly boutique winery to do so.

Tip: Start collecting “The Blend” as I’m sure overtime it will get as great a following as similar wine styles like Quintology, Sophia, Talisman and others.

When next visiting Ash Ridge Wines, ask about joining the Cellar Club.

Cheers Steve

Related news

RM (Rod MacDonald) Wines – Sept 2014


Date: Wednesday 10 September 2014

Time: 7:45 – 9:45 pm

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

Cost: Members $10 Guests $14

Presenter: Jason (Jase) Pearce (Central and Lower North Island Sales and Marketing for RM Wines and a Master Sommelier level 1)

Details: We have secured a future star for this tasting – guess which one?

Quaffer: Quarter Acre Sauvignon Blanc

A bit about Jase

Jase comes from over 15 years in the Wellington Hospitality industry, where he built and managed bars and restaurants, including St Johns Bar and The Occidental.

While living and working in in Wellington Jase gained a passion for wine and achieved the distinction of Master Sommelier level 1.

On moving to Hawkes Bay, with a view to expanding his wine knowledge and a change of lifestyle, Jase contacted Rod McDonald who offered him a job in the prestigious position of cellar rat in the winery.

Jase worked through the fantastic 2013 vintage and continues to lend a hand in the winery when he’s not working in his usual role in sales and marketing for Rod McDonald wines covering the Central and Lower North Island.

Jason (Jase) Pearce presenting RM Wines
Jason (Jase) Pearce presenting RM Wines

Tasting review

Jase started the night with an apology from Rod. Rod was in China with a delegation promoting the virtues of Hawkes Bay’s fine vintners, vigneron’s and négociants. Johnsonville – China; I know what I’d choose too.

After being introduced by our President Anne, Jase launched into the RM Wines philosophy of making wines that promise to deliver great drinking from release right through to giving it time to develop.

Extremely passionate about the RM wines, Jase talked about his own experiences in the winery where he still spends a day a week keeping his hand in the production side. I think this makes for a marketer that knows the wines instinctively, and that instinctiveness comes across.

Jase highlighted just how well respected and in demand Rod is. From winemaker at Vidals where Rod became New Zealand Winemaker of the year in 2006 to making not only his own wines but wines for more than 10 other labels, Rod has developed a cult following.

Jase was right on the money with the wines for the night. The wines selected are a tribute to the winemaker and his team. There was the strong RM distinction of flavour and character in each varietal when you compared it with similar type wines from other winemakers.

Some wines you may not associate right away (Sauv. Blanc and Viognier) but at least you’d know it was better than just a good drop; they were exceptional. Each left you feeling a sample was never going to be enough; hence Jase left enough order forms for each person on your table.

20140910_211017
A comparative tasting of three Rod MacDonald’s Syrahs – 2012 Blanket Hills Syrah, 2011 Te Awanga Syrah, 2011 Rod McDonald Trademark Syrah

It was hard to pick just one white or red as each wine was distinctive. The highlights for me were the Viognier and Trademark Syrah. The Viognier baked apricot on the nose, rich tropical flavour of pineapple and mango with a long warm spicy finish. The Trademark was simply elegant; reminds me of a lightly spiced plum cake on the nose with a rich mouth feel of dark ripe plums and baked cherry pie with plain yoghurt. The finish was a little tight and sharp so I know I’ll enjoy it in another 10 – 15 years.

Tip: If you can get it, the 2012 Blanket Hills Syrah is the best value Syrah around. Stock up on it before it all goes.

 

Cheers Jase … and Rod and the team.

 

Related news

Moana Park – June 2014

moanapark1Date: Wednesday 11 June, 2014

Time: 7.45 for 8.00 pm start

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

Cost: Members: $14, Guests: $18

Presenter: Dan Barker, Winemaker/Owner

Details: Moana Park produces three unique sets of wines – the Estate Series, Single Vineyard Reserve Series and the Harmony Series. All the tiers are clearly distinct from one another, and reflect the unique characters of the micro climates and vineyards they originate from. Each is aimed at a specific sector of the wine drinking market.

Wines on show included:

  • 2013 “Crush Pad” Riesling
  • 2012 Viognier
  • 2013 Chardonnay
  • 2013 Gimblett Syrah from their “Estate” series
  • 2012 “Reserve” Chardonnay
  • 2013 Gimblett Syrah
  • 2011 Botrytis Chardonnay

 

Related news

Moana Park in June

moanapark1Date: Wednesday 11 June, 2014

Time: 7.45 for 8.00 pm start

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

Cost: Members: $14, Guests: $18

Presenter: Dan Barker, Winemaker/Owner

Dan is a passionate winemaker with experience from some of the top performing wineries in Hawke’s Bay, and has been involved in the New Zealand wine industry from both a sales and a manufacturing aspect for
18 years. Dan graduated from EIT Hawke’s Bay with a degree in Wine Science in 2003. While being runner up for Young Winemaker of the Year in 2002, he was successful and won the title in 2003. Not long after that, Dan started crafting wines for boutique producer Moana Park Winery, set in a picturesque Puketapu valley in the western hills.

When Dan and wife Kaylea later bought the winery in 2008, in the middle of a recession and in the same year they were getting married, everyone thought they were mad. Six years later and the winery has expanded exponentially and won numerous international awards, while still remaining hands-on and keenly focused on producing top quality wines underpinned by Dan’s natural, low allergen winemaking philosophy.

Wines on show this evening include:

  • 2013 “Crush Pad” Riesling
  • 2012 Viognier
  • 2013 Chardonnay
  • 2013 Gimblett Syrah from their “Estate” series
  • 2012 “Reserve” Chardonnay
  • 2013 Gimblett Syrah
  • 2011 Botrytis Chardonnay.

I’ve tasted at Moana Park, well worth the effort.

 

Related news

Glancing Back – May 2014

2015-06-28-558fb3065720bGlancing Back – Dan Blaydock, Treasury Wine Estates

Dan presented this Penfolds tasting and it was another great evening.

Part of the tasting was a vertical tasting of some of the Penfolds Bin wines from our own cellar and wine from Penfolds. The committee felt that this was an excellent meeting and there was a great turnout. Murray reports are that Dan enjoyed presenting to the meeting. It was suggested we do a similar tasting in about 4 years.

Naturally a red evening however the Club did provide a Trinity Hill Chardonnay/Viognier 2008 as a quaffer to start.

The quaffer was followed by a Bin 9 Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, then 2000 and 2012 Bin 128 Coonawarra Shiraz, 2003 and 2012 Bin 138 Barossa GMS, and rounded off with 2002 and 2011 Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz.

Dan was very complimentary about the way we have cellared our wines (thanks to Derek of course) with the 2002 Bin 389 having kept exceptionally well, and still developing.

Penfolds Bin release: April 2014

Date: Wednesday 9 April, 2014

Time: 7.45 for 8 pm start

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

Cost: Members: $14, Guests: $18

Presenter: Dan Baldock, TWE Global

Details: 

Treasury Wine Estates are distributors for Penfolds. They are a unique global wine company with a leading international portfolio of new world wines. From the establishment of Australia’s Penfolds in the mid 1840s to the 1876 founding of Beringer Vineyards, a winemaking legacy has been created. Our five foundation brands form the base of our passion for wine and are some of the most recognised and awarded wines in the world: Beringer Vineyards, Lindeman’s, Penfolds, Rosemount Estate and Wolf Blass.

Dan works with Treasury and presented to the Club the last time we had a Penfolds tasting. Your Club has had the forethought to cellar some of the Penfolds Bin Range and this allows us to have a comparative tasting with current wines and some that have been cellared for at least 10 years. The wines included:

  • Quaffer – Trinity Hill Chardonnay/Viognier 2008
  • Bin 9 Cabernet Sauvignon (2012)
  • Bin 128 Coonawarra Shiraz (2000 and 2012)
  • Bin 138 Barossa GMS (2003 and 2012)
  • Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz (2002 and 2011)

May be a different year for the current range but sit back and enjoy, this will be a great evening but we concede it is primarily for those who enjoy good reds. Looking forward to a good turnout.

About Penfolds Bin release

In the wineries 170th year, Penfolds is proud to release the 2014 Bin Series. Featuring 12 expressions, the Bin Series displays the benefits of the multi-regional blending and stylised winemaking philosophy, which Penfolds has upheld since 1844. Released annually, this year’s collection celebrates the anniversary releases for two coveted Bins, together with the debut of an inaugural release – 2012 Bin 9 Cabernet Sauvignon, which displays ripe, bold flavours and highlights the art of multi-regional blending.

“The continued evolution of our Bin Series wines are a credit to the craftsmanship of the winemaking and viticulture teams,” says Chief Winemaker, Peter Gago.

“The climatic conditions prevailing across the three vintages of this release, 2011/2012/2013 couldn’t be any more different, and yet the Penfolds approach has delivered this offer of traditional Bins that are true to both style and expectation.”

Penfolds

Glancing back – Alpha Domus Winery

Paul Ham presented on what was a great night with lots of new members and guests. Paul was grateful for the opportunity to present and was happy at the level of orders.

The wine was great with the Barnstormer judged as being superb. Paul was an enthusiastic and informative who adapted a style that suited the evening.

The wines included the Aviatrix (a blend of whites), Viognier, Chardonnay Merlot, Cab Sav and Syrah, rounded off with their Noble Selection. A selection of very nice wines.

Looking Forward: Feb 2014

March 2014 – Alpha Domus

Alpha Domus winery was established by two generations of the Ham family. The vision began in 1990 with the purchase of bare land and planting began in 1991. Their commitment is to produce premium quality wines that are true to varietal character and are a reflection of their unique terrior.

The vineyard lies in the renowned Bridge Pa Triangle Wine District of Hawkes Bay. From these soils, Alpha Domus winery produces world-class wines from a wide range of varietals including Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Chardonnay, Viognier and Syrah.

Alpha Domus wines are single vineyard, estate grown, and vinted at the on site winery.

The name Alpha Domus was inspired by the first initial of each of the family’s first names from the father through to the youngest brother; Anthonius, Leonarda, Paulus, Henrikus and Anthonius (ALPHA); Domus is Latin for house. Some really good wines, we look forward to what is offered.

Next Event: Lansdowne & Bijou Estates

Wednesday 13 March 2013, 7.45 for 8 pm start.

Johnsonville Community Centre Hall, 3 Frankmoore Avenue, Johnsonville

Members: $12, Guests: $16

Presenters: Derek Hagar, Lansdowne Estate & Alex Johnston, Bijou Estate

2015-06-17-5580e255d9586

I outlined something of the history of Lansdowne last month. Hopefully Derek will expand on this and his philosophy for the area during the evening. Whilst this was the original site for the first Wairarapa commercial winery, these are not the original vines. Derek and Margaret have spent some years establishing strong stock on the site and are looking to produce quality wines in the future.

Derek will be combining with Alex from Bijou for the evening’s presentation, and together they will present wines from around the northern region of Masterton. Interestingly, this area has not been known as an acknowledged Wairarapa wine region with the southern part of the region enjoying greater popularity in recent times. Lansdowne and Bijou are trying to re-establish a link to the qualities that were recognised by the wine pioneers of the Wairarapa. We would appreciate a good turn out to support some up and coming wine producers with a point of difference.

Lansdowne will concentrate on two of their wines, a 2009 Pinot Gris and a Pinot Noir from the same year. Bijou has a more extensive range which will include Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier as well as the pinots. We may get an opportunity to compare the Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc from different vintages as a taste comparison.