Thursday, November 3, 2011

RWC Part two – Published 02.09.11

The upcoming Rugby World Cup has been embraced by New Zealand’s wine industry, not necessarily for the rugby but for the promotional opportunities. The chance to show off their wares to an international audience on their home turf doesn’t come along very often and the wine industry is giving visitors and visiting media plenty of opportunities to experience the best the country has to offer.
The industry is also working with other sectors so they can provide a total experience, not just sipping samples. We know about the First XV competition in Nelson and the events around that, and you have probably heard about the Big Balls competition at Te Mania Wines and Richmond Plains. If not get out to McShane Road and check out the vine sculptures, vote for your favourite and get your hands on a bottle of the ripe, juicy and very drinkable Big Balls Syrah.
Our neighbours in Marlborough have a fantastic event lined up for the 30th September - Indulge Marlborough. It is a celebration of the new release Sauvignon Blanc's from eight well respected Marlborough wineries including Astrolabe, Dog Point, Forrest, Hunter’s, Tohu, Villa Maria, Wairau River and Whitehaven. Like others in the wine industry they are joining forces with the arts community but in this case it is the iconic New Zealand fashion labels Kate Sylvester (who, this year is forgoing NZ Fashion Week to exclusively show at Indulge), Kathryn Wilson and Stolen Girlfriends Club. The designers will be in Blenheim at the event to make sure their 2012 Winter Collection will be shown at its very best at the only public viewing in NZ.
So what happens after a fashion show and the launch of eight of New Zealand’s most respected sauvignon blanc wines? A party of course! There will be music and dancing into the wee hours of the night.
A fashion show, sauvignon blanc and a party all for $95 a person (plus drinks at the party). Check out for more details or get tickets from Ticketdirect.

Women’s fashion may not be my thing but wine certainly is and I have been lucky enough to sample the new release sauvignon blancs from these wineries including a low alcohol version from Forrest Estate that is bursting with freshly crushed grape flavours. The overall impression I have after tasting these new wines is that it must have been a great vintage in Marlborough, they are all bursting with ripe flavours, have easy acidity (nothing too harsh) and will make exceptional summer drinking. Check out my blog at for my tasting notes on each one.
And finally back to Nelson; don’t forget to get your tickets to the First XV dinner, the tutored tasting or the annual new release launch at the Boat House where you will be able to taste some fantastic gold medal winning aromatic style wines as well as one or two wines that have won trophies recently.
Then of course there is the Nelson Arts Festival that will also feature wines from a couple of our premium producers at the Festival café. So many things to choose from I don’t think I will have time to go to the rugby!

I have been drinking
Blackenbrook Vineyard 2011 Muscat - $23
I loved the 2010 version of this wine and I think this year’s is even better. It doesn’t seem quite as sweet as last year’s but has a lot more complexity. Ripe apples, musky roses, elegant spices and dangerously easy to drink. Another summer delight from a premium producer of aromatic style wines.

Kahurangi Estate 2010 Syrah - $22
Big, ripe and lush blackberry flavours with lashings of spicy pepper, balanced beautifully with refined oak tannin. This is classic cool climate syrah, not too sweet like many from hot climates and it picked up a Gold medal at the Spiegelau International Wine Show, Nelson Syrah at its very best.

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