About Me

Gavin Hubble - (BSc & Post Grad. Business Marketing) - I started working in the wine industry over 23 years ago in New Zealand. Working in; wine retail, sales, wine production, label & packaging design, marketing, wine buying, consulting and wine education. I am responsible for the Brand Health of 60+ wine brands distributed here in New Zealand. Wine Brands from New Zealand, Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Chile and Argentina. I work closely with the Trade Industry - (Retail Stores & Restaurants) introducing, educating and positioning exciting and unique brands to wine enthusiasts all over the world.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tupari 'Awatere Valley' Dry Riesling 2010

Grape Variety: 100% Riesling

Growing Region: Awatere Valley, New Zealand

Winemaker: Glenn Thomas

Gold - Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2010.

Tupari takes its name from the dramatic cliffs forming the Upper Awatere Valley where the Turnbull family and pioneering Marlborough winemaker Glenn Thomas have collaborated to create wines of distinction. The Tupari Riesling block is situated on a thin terrace stretching along the top of the cliff face with magnificent valley views.
This unique 'terroir' gives this wine its distinguishing mineral character and rich flavours. Following harvest in the cool of the night, the fruit was then gently pressed juice and carefully fermented to a point with only a few grams of sugar remaining.
In the glass you has a pale straw colour with green tints. Then wine has bright citrus aromas of sweet limes and a touch of spice and elderflower. The palate shows distinct varietal characters of ripe limes and grapefruit. The wine displays mineral notes, and good fruit weight following through with complementary well-balanced acidity and a fresh, lively finish. Serve at 8C.

Drinking perfectly well this coming summer; and over the next 2-3 years.

Perfect wine match with shellfish, tempura or grilled fish, sushi and fresh salads, enjoy.



Oenology is the science and study of all aspects of wine and winemaking, except vine-growing and grape-harvesting, which is a field called viticulture. 'Viticulture & Oenology' is a common designation for wine education programs that includes both the outdoor and indoor aspects of wine production. An expert in the field of oenology is known as an oenologist (winemaker). The word oenology is derived from the Greek: 'oinos', 'wine', and 'logos', 'word or speech'.
Traditionally: The men, women, and families of vision, passion, resources, and often of fortuitous heritage, the owners of vineyards and wineries, whom carried out all tasks.


It is an oversimplification to say that only viticulturists are experts in the growing of grapes and other events that occur in the vineyard, an oenologist is also an expert in turning these grapes into great wine. In fact, there are many who wear both hats with confidence (and is still quite common).
A degree in Oenology is becoming increasingly more important when pursuing a career in the wine world. With the advancement of organic, sulphate free, and biodynamic wine making - understanding the 'science of wine' is highly valued. Oenologists across the world are quickly acknowledging the benefits of better farming practices - benefiting the environment, the health of their farms, the flavour and quality of their wines.
It is also possible to learn the craft in the old fashioned way, by being an apprentice to a winemaker. Many oenologists with degrees also take an apprentice position so that they can learn specific winemaking techniques and preserve traditional heritage. One can also decide to train with several different vineyards to study varied winemaking techniques.
Because wineries usually have several vintages laid down at once, the oenologist must be capable of monitoring numerous wines and years simultaneously, and of tracking changes over time, plus being interested in wine maturation, packaging, how wine travels, and related subjects.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Dolcetto is a black wine grape variety widely grown in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. The Italian word 'Dolcetto' translates to "little sweet one", it is not certain if the name originally carried any reference to the grape's sugar levels: it is possible that it derives from the name of the surrounding hills where the vine is grown, in any case the wines produced are generally always made in a dry style. They can be tannic and fruity with moderate, or decidedly low, levels of acidity and are typically meant to be consumed one to two years after release.


The top estates produce Dolcetto on less favoured sites as an 'early to market wine' to generate some income for the winery while the Nebbiolo and Barbera are being matured in the winery. It is particularly associated with the towns of Dogliani and Diano d'Alba in the province of Cuneo, although the greatest volumes come from around the town of Alba. All but one of the 100% Dolcetto DOC's have two levels, the 'standard' version typically requiring a minimum 11.5% alc/vol, and the 'Superiore' 12.5%.
Dolcetto di Dogliani and Dolcetto di Dogliani Superiore are Italian red wines produced in the Langhe using only the Dolcetto grape variety, recognized as DOC since 1974. In 2005 the original DOC for Dolcetto di Dogliani Superiore was replaced by DOCG; this wine, which can also be sold under the name Dogliano, is made within a more limited zone than the DOC and the yield of grapes is restricted to 7 tonnes per hectare, also to qualify for the DOCG status the wines must be aged for at least one year.
Dolcetto wines are known for black cherry and liquorice flavours and a characteristically bitter finish reminiscent of almonds. While the name implies sweetness, the wines are normally dry. The dark purple skin of Dolcetto grapes have high amounts of anthocyanins in them which require only a short maceration time with the skin to produce a dark coloured wine. Dolcetto is generally not made to age, but rather intended for more immediate drinking.

Hewitson 'Miss Harry' G/S/M 2009

Grape Variety: 50% Grenache, 40% Shiraz, 5% Mourvedre & (5% Cinsault & Carignan)

Growing Region: Barossa, Australia

Chief Winemaker: Dean Hewitson

This wine is named after Dean's daughter Harriet - a.k.a 'Harry' her nickname. The 2009 vintage is sourced from traditionally dry grown vineyards dating back to the late 1800s in the heart of the Barossa Valley.
The three varieties Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvedre were picked at optimum maturity, fermented separately on their skins before finishing both fermentation and malolactic fermentation in old French barriques, then matured in the same barrels for 12 months without racking. This is the attention to detail that Dean gives to his wine, traditional methods that intensify the flavour and complexity.
The colour is bright red with a purple hue. The aromas are of ripe strawberry, intense red forest berries and rhubarb with layers of creamy complexity offered by the extended barrel maturation on lees. The palate is wonderfully full, showing ripe strawberries and red plums, and has a concentrated core of fruit essence with a racy acidity that gives the wine incredible vivacity. The finish is exceptionally long. Decant for 30mins, serve at 17-18C

Dynamic now, but with time exceptional drinking over the next 4-5 years.

Perfect wine match with pasta dishes, BBQ meats, tapas and hard cheeses enjoy.
A wine experience not to be missed.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Tokaji (Hungarian: Tokaj) is the name of the wines from the region of Tokaj-Hegyalja in Hungary. The name Tokaji (Protected Designation of Origin) is used for labeling wines from this wine district. This region is noted for its sweet wines made from grapes affected by noble rot, a style of wine which has a long history.
Only six grape varieties are officially approved for Tokaji wine: Furmint, Harslevelu, Yellow Muscat, Zeta, Koverszolo and Kabar. Furmint accounts for 60% and is by far the most important grape in the production of Aszu wines. Nevertheless, an impressive range of different types and styles of wines are produced, ranging from dry whites to the Eszencia, the world's sweetest wine.


The Tokaji wine area is a small plateau, 457m above sea level, near the Carpathian Mountains. The soil is of volcanic origin, the region has a unique climate, beneficial to this particular viniculture. The grapes are left on the vine long enough to develop 'noble rot' (Botrytis cinerea). Grapes are hand harvested, sometimes as late as December (the case of true Eszencia, occasionally into Jan).
Eszencia: described as one of the most exclusive wines in the world, although technically it can't be called a wine because its enormous concentration of sugar means its alcohol never rises above 5-6 degrees. The sugar concentration of Eszencia is typically 500g - 700g/L; the 2000 vintage produced Eszencia exceeding 900g/L, and unlike virtually all other wines, it maintains its quality and drinkability for 200+ years.
Tokaji wine became the world's first appellation control, established decades before Port wine, and over 120 years before the classification of Bordeaux. It began in 1730 with vineyards being classified into 3 categories; a royal decree in 1757 established a closed production district in Tokaj. The classification system was completed by national censuses of 1765 & 1772. Ideal with foie gras, aged Gouda and fruit based desserts.
"A wine that would make angels sing out loud in praise" - Hugh Johnson.

Allan Scott 'Blanc de Blancs' NV

Grape Variety: 100% Chardonnay

Growing Region: Marlborough, New Zealand

Chief Winemaker: Josh Scott

5 Stars - Cuisine Magazine.

This Allan Scott 'Methode Traditionnelle' has built itself a highly deserved reputation since the first wine was made back in 1996. Allan Scott Wines has nominated one particular vineyard to nurture the grapes for this famous style of wine. Although the vineyard techniques are very similar to other varieties at Allan Scott Wines, the timing of picking must be very precise.
Crafted entirely from Chardonnay grapes, the 'Blanc de Blancs' base wine is made in a similar fashion to still wines. Using only free run juice it is fermented to dryness, then filtered and prepared for secondary fermentation in the bottle. After ageing up to two years on its lees, under cool dark conditions, the wine is disgorged and is ready to drink. Oak Treatment 3%, with no Malolactic Fermentation.
In the flute you have a white gold colour. This elegant wine has a fine mousse with aromas of distinctive lemon flavours and a light touch of tropical fruit, developing delightful honeycomb autolysis characteristics. The palate is seductive; the seamless integration between the fruit concentration and the acidity makes for a mouth watering finish with a good length. Serve at 8C.

Drinking perfectly well this coming summer season and over the next 2-3 years.

Perfect wine match as an aperitif, with shellfish and dessert with fresh fruits, enjoy.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Jules Taylor 'The Wrekin' Pinot Noir 2009

Grape Variety: 100% Pinot Noir

Growing Region: Marlborough, New Zealand

Winemaker: Jules Taylor

Jules has a wonderful ability to express bright flavours in every variety that she works with, and this Pinot Noir is packed with a smile in every glass. The grapes were hand harvested in 4 tranches from late March into April 2009 as each clone of Pinot Noir reached optimum ripeness. At the winery the fruit was destemmed then cold soaked for a period of ten days, following which the 'must' was warmed. Jules allowed an indigenous (wild) ferment to take place, again with the intention of keeping as much of the original vineyard character intact as possible. Post ferment the wine was pressed and transferred to French oak barrels, 1/3 of which were new. The wine has spent 12 months maturing in oak before its bottling in March 2010.
In the glass this wine has vibrant purple hues. On the nose this Pinot Noir is showing aromas of sweet black berries, red cherries and subtle hints of spicy oak. On the palate, the wine is warm and inviting, as the wild fermentation along with extended lees maturation in barrel have added complexity and texture to the palate. This has resulted in a supple wine with good weight and fruit intensity and a good finish. Decant for approx 20mins, and serve at 16C.

Drinking perfectly well this summer; and over the next 24 months

Perfect wine match with seared Tuna, mushroom pasta, tapas and ripe Brie, enjoy.



Tempranillo is a black grape variety widely grown to make full-flavoured red wines in its native Spain. It is the main grape used in Rioja, and is often referred to as Spain's "noble grape". Its name is from the Spanish 'temprano' (early), a reference to the fact that it ripens several weeks earlier than most Spanish red grapes. It originated in Northern Spain and introduced to other countries in the last 100 years, being planted in Mexico, South America, USA, South Africa, Australia, Canada and recently here in New Zealand. Tempranillo is native to northern Spain and widely cultivated as far south as La Mancha. The two major regions that grow Tempranillo are Rioja in North Central Spain and Ribera del Duero, and also in the Penedes, Navarra and Valdepenas regions. The grape plays a role in the wines in two regions of Portugal, central Alentejo and Douro. In Alentejo Central it is known as Aragonez and used in red table wine blends, while in the Douro it is known as Tinta Roriz and mainly used in blends to make Port wine.


Tempranillo is occasionally bottled as a variety on its own but it also makes up about 90% of other blends of wine. It is blended with Garnacha Tinta, Mazuelo and Graciano and is aged in oak barrels. It is also a component of the more expensive Cabernet Sauvignon from the La Rioja region but Spanish law does not permit it to be listed on the label.
Typical Tempranillo wines will taste of ripe cherries with hints of cocoa and spices. The fact that it is aged in oak barrels adds to its taste and aroma and gives it a soft tannic quality. When it is consumed at an early age, the wine is very fruity and reminiscent of a fine Grenache. However as it ages, it starts to lose the fruity flavour and becomes more complex.
The berries are low in sugar and acid which leads to lower alcohol levels. Tannins levels are high, although the typical soft tannins are not especially intrusive. Tempranillo wines can be consumed young, but the most expensive ones are aged for several years in oak.