Thursday, May 12, 2011


Dave Glover is one of those characters that add soul to the wine industry. As the rest of New Zealand has moved to screwcap closures Dave is sticking with corks because they affect the way the wine ages and he likes old wines. This is one of the reasons his current release pinot noir is from the 2004 vintage, he says it has the characters he likes in a pinot and it is ready to drink so he is prepared to sell it.
This philosophy of making wine he likes to drink and releasing it when he says it is ok for drinking (he cellars it for you) is also reflected in other aspects of his wine making. He says there are plenty of good wines on the market but many of them are a bit ‘cookie cutter’ and he wants to make something a little different and being a small boutique winery that means he gets to play a wee bit.
Take the current release Glover Vineyards Rosé Fiamma (flame in Italian and $20) as an example, surprisingly it is from the 2009 vintage – young by Glover standards but it is ready to drink. The wine is made in a method called maceration carbonique where whole bunches of grapes are dumped into large vats filled with carbon dioxide, the bottom grapes are crushed by the weight of the grapes above them, and fermentation starts naturally. This develops more carbon dioxide gas, which envelops the upper layers of uncrushed grapes and blocks air exposure that normally would occur. When fermentation begins in the whole grapes they begin to ooze more juice.
The result with the rosé is a wine that is rich with lovely depth of flavour but is not sweet.
While I love Dave’s attitude of trying to produce something just a little different there are a couple of downsides; firstly whenever I visit him we spend most of our time sampling trial wines from barrels that are made in small quantities just to see what happens and all that sampling means I need a sober driver whenever I go to see him. The second thing is that I get to taste some great wines from barrels (like the 2010 pinot – outstanding!) but can’t buy them yet.
The third downside is that with the way we are consuming wine now we tend to go to the supermarket and purchase by price first, variety second and name third. In such a commodity driven market wines like those Dave Glover produces in small quantities don’t make it to the supermarket shelf and I think that is a pity. Dave will say ‘stuff the supermarkets, if people want my wines they can buy it from me’ and there is something in me that likes that attitude.
He can be a stubborn bugger but he does add colour and soul to a wine industry that many people see as losing some of its soul, particularly in the case of corporate producers.
By the way, his current release wines are worth the visit to Gardener’s Valley, they are outstanding value, they are not cookie cutter wines and you are likely to be treated to a couple of samples of yet to be released gems while you are there.

I have been drinking

Monmousseau Cuvee Brut J.M. Rosé – about $25 at Casa del Vino
A sparkling rosé from the Touraine region in France this is not only an elegant dry style wine it is packed with flavour. It has a delicate salmon pink colour, fine mousse and bursting with strawberry and raspberry characters. Better than many rosé champagnes at a fraction of the price.

Seifried Nelson 2010 Pinot Gris – $18 at the cellar door
Seifrieds produce some outstanding aromatic style wines and with a gold medal tucked in the drawer for this one it is easy to see why they are also very popular. This wine has classic pear and soft spicy aromas with rich stonefruit and spiced quince flavours. A luscious texture and balanced acidity make it a delightful anytime wine. Perfect late on a Sunday afternoon.

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