Thursday, October 14, 2010

Gort Vintners

In the last couple of weeks we have seen the incredible New Zealand ability to support those affected by the earthquake disaster in Canterbury but a few months ago, on a much smaller scale, winemakers in Marlborough showed the same generosity in helping one of their own.

Gordon (Gort) Forshaw from Gort Vintners in Marlborough lost about $40,000 through the theft of stock and damage caused by partying thieves who smashed bottles, glued bottles to walls threw paint bombs and scrawled graffiti on walls in his Blenheim warehouse before making off with 86 cases of wine along with a five hundred litre tank and several barrels of wine.

However there is a silver lining for this battler from Blenheim. The local industry, co-ordinated by Mike Just from Clayridge Wines, donated wine to help Gort get back on his feet and the wine has been released under the Gort Vintners label as the Wine Thief range.

Being able to have a bit of fun has helped Gort move on from the wonton vandalism he suffered and part of that fun has been putting together a case of wine called The Court Case Jury’s Decision which includes gems like Magistrates Merlot (Hawke’s Bay fruit), Ripped Off Riesling (Waipara), Guilty Gewurztraminer (Marlborough), Stolen Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough) and Pilfered Pinot Gris (Marlborough).

There are 250 cases of The Court Case Jury’s Decision available and while there will be a mix of wines in each case with the exact mix depending on wines left. Receiving your case will be a bit like waiting for the jury’s decision! A few days ago I sat down with Gort and tasted the range of wines and I can tell you they are all very well made, flavoursome wines that will not disappoint and at $140 delivered to your door are exceptional value.

You can order a case by contacting Gort (, 03-579-5506 or from Clayridge Wines.

On the Nelson scene if you would like to taste a wide range of new release wines from Nelson then get your ticket to the annual Nelson WineArt tasting at the Boathouse on the 5th October. More than 20 wineries will be there showing off their latest release wines and maybe a few older wines as well.

Tickets are $35 and include a glass to take home, delightful nibbles and tastings of dozens of wines. This event is growing in popularity and tickets are selling out earlier each year so get yours quickly at or by calling the organiser, Gisela, on 021-1010-3566. See you there!

I have been drinking

Mt Difficulty Dry Riesling 2009
We are seeing plenty of ripe fruit-driven styles of riesling on the shelves these days but well made, balanced dry wines like this are still one of my favourite styles and Mt Difficulty are geniuses at producing it year-after-year. Fermented to absolute dry and with a little late harvest riesling added to the final blend this treads the delicate dry acid/fruit sweetness balance line with precision. With aromatic citrus blossom, touches of apple and firm lemon/lime flavours this is fantastic. It is only available from the cellar door for about $25 so contact them and make up a mixed case of Central Otago delights. Maybe include the sweeter Target Gully riesling and a few bottles of affordable premium Pinot Noir.

Gort Vintners Magistrates Merlot 2008 - $28
This is now only available as part of the Court Case Jury’s Verdict pack (two bottles in each pack) and is a cracker. Made from Hawke’s Bay fruit from a single vineyard this unfiltered, unfined wine is packed with big punchy berryfruit, plum and toast flavours with talcum powder fine tannins and a touch of acidity to make your taste buds want ‘just another glass please’.

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