Thursday, May 12, 2011

Kahurangi Estate

The vineyards of Kahurangi Estate at Upper Moutere are the home of the modern winemaking era in Nelson and contain some of the oldest vines in the region.
To thrive in any industry owners need to keep changing their business and this applies to the wine industry in a significant way, whether it be growing new markets, planting new desirable varieties, expanding plantings, or even reducing the size of vineyards, change is vital.
The Seifried family recognised their need to change when they built their current facility and moved from Upper Moutere while the current owners of this important site know they need to do more than grow grapes. For Greg and Amanda Day Kahurangi Estate is much more than a producer of fine Nelson wines, it is the public face of a business with many arms.
Sure they grow grapes and make very good wine but they also bottle wine for others using their mobile bottling plants, they store and distribute wine for a number of wineries and finally they import and distribute a wide range of premium international wines, after all if you have a sales team on the road selling wine you may as well give them plenty of things to sell.
Included in the range of premium products the Days are the New Zealand distributors for are Tyrells Wines, Godet Cognac, Krohn Ports and premium Bordeaux wines from the Mahler Besse stable that includes Chateau Palmer, one of the most highly regarded and sought after producers in Bordeaux.
I must admit to having a few bottles of Krohn vintage port in the cellar and am a fan of the Godet Pearadise (sweet pear cognac with a kick!). I recently tried a couple of wines from the Bordeaux selection and will be adding some of these to our cellar as well.
The 2007 Chateau Picard Saint Estephe Cru Bourgeois ($36.90 from the cellar door) deep berry red in colour with lovely soft smoky highlights in the aromas. Blackberry flavours with hints of boysenberry sweetness sit on a tannin foundation that is firm but not too aggressive. Drink it now but get the best out of it in about 5 years time.
The other wine to really impress was Chateau La Couronne Saint Emilion Grand Cru 2007 ($39.60). We decanted this before we drank it to help the flavours open up. This is a very serious wine with a more elegant tannin structure than the Chateau Picard. The aromas have smoky vanilla oak characters while full bodied flavours of red berries and blackcurrant are just starting to shine. Drink now or cellar for about 10 years.
Admittedly you can’t call these wines cheap by supermarket standards but they offer exceptional value for money if you want to start exploring the delights Bordeaux wines have to offer. If you are feeling a little more expansive you can also buy a limited range of Mahler Besse wines in magnums or you can always dip into the savings for a bottle or two of 2006 Chateau Palmer ($396). You can cellar this until about 2030 so maybe it’s something to buy now for a special anniversary in 20 years time.
Check out for more about these special wines.

I have been drinking

Saint Clair Family Estate Pioneer Block 15 Strip Block 2009 Pinot Noir – RRP $33.50
Wow, the name is a mouthful and the wine lives up to it. Made from a small parcel of outstanding quality fruit this wine packs a very elegant punch. The pale colour belies the intensity of red cherry and toasty oak flavours. Powdery tannins and a twist of acidity add to the delightful liquorice and spice flavours in the finish.

Sacred Hill Marlborough Pinot Noir 2010 – RP $21.99
Ripe, sweet red and black cherry fruit dominate the initial impressions but the dense smoky oak soon holds up its hand. Sweet juicy fruit characters linger in the very long finish. Another very good wine from a great vintage.

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