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, December 21, 2010

Akarua 'Central Otago' Pinot Gris 2009

Grape Variety: 100% Pinot Gris

Growing Region: Bannockburn, Central Otago, New Zealand

Winemaker: Matt Connell

Silver Medal - Air NZ Wine Awards 2010.

Yes - central Otago produces more than just Pinot Noir. Among the other varieties, it also makes Pinot Gris - and does so very well, in a style that the world has another good reason to enjoy wines from this part of the world. Situated on the lower terrace of the vineyard and one of the cooler blocks. Planted on young alluvial, schist based sandy/silt and very sandy free draining loams, with the vine age ranging from 4 - 12 years.
This 2009 wine is well structured with richness and poise that now typifies the Akarua Pinot Gris style. Fermented in stainless steel tank and 15% of the juice in old neutral oak barriques. After fermentation the wine had lees contact and was stirred once a week for 6 months.
In the glass - the wine is bright and clear with a pale golden hue. The nose has lifted aromas of orange blossom and pear. In the mouth a lush layered palate with white peach and citrus flavours. The wine finishes with a zesty punch of fresh ginger and orange peel tang. Serve at 8-10C.

Drinking perfectly well this summer; and over the next 18 months.

Perfect wine match with steamed fish, Asian & Malaysian infused cuisine and vegetarian dishes, enjoy.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Domaine Laroche Chablis 2008

Grape Variety: 100% Chardonnay

Growing Region: Chablis, France

Chief Winemaker: Denis de la Bourdonnaye

A classic style of Chablis.

The 2008 vintage was marked by an early budburst followed by a cool growing season, but regular sun during the key stages in the development of flavours. These fresh climatic conditions have allowed a slow and regular maturation with an excellent aromatic combination.
The harvested fruit was whole bunch pressed in a pneumatic press, then settled for 12 hours at 12 - 15C. Then carefully selected yeast was used and fermentation took some 15 days at 16C in stainless steel tanks, with 100% malolactic fermentation. The fermented wine was then left to mature for 4 to 6 months on lees in stainless steel tank. Before bottling the wine had minimal filtration to preserve the maximum natural character of the wine, then bottling under low pressure on a bottling line designed to protect quality.
In the glass is a brilliant yellow colour. The nose is crisp, fresh and with subtle underling mineral notes. The palate is refreshing, smooth and harmonious with vibrant notes of apple and pear and a bright and refreshing lingering finish. The wines are expressive, refined and fruity on the nose, with a beautiful acidity, combining strength roundness and harmony. The 2008 vintage is very enjoyable. Serve at 8-10C.

Drinking perfectly well this summer season; and well into 2011.

Perfect wine match with oysters, shell-fish, grilled herb fish, salads and fresh, young cheese, enjoy.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Fairhall Downs Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009

Grape Variety: 100% Sauvignon Blanc

Growing Region: Marlborough, New Zealand

Owner / Viticulturist: Stuart Smith

In the heat of summer, as soon as you start to offer a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc to a friend, they do one of two things *(well at my house anyway). (a): they lick their lips, their senses perk up and they look forward to all that is bright and alive that is Savvy from Marlborough. Or (b): they ask if the one that I have has had any time in oak and food friendly as they may want to drink it with their meal. This wine is of the latter, plus also ticks the first box - the Small & Smith family as with everything that they do, have left nothing to chance and have handpicked a portion of the fruit for this wine from one single vineyard.
As with nearly all of the wines that come from Fairhall Downs - this wine was picked over a range of times based on grape ripeness and flavours with some hand harvested and a carefully selected portion being fermented in French barriques - for a little bit more depth to the palate. In the glass the wine has a bright appearance. The nose is a refreshing blend of citrus and tropical notes, then the small portion of barrique wine gives a rich mid palate with great texture and length to the finish. Serve at 8C.

Drinking perfectly well this summer; and over the next 6-9 months.

Perfect wine match with any firm white fish, steamed vegetables and with a goat cheese salad, enjoy.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Chakana Estate Malbec 2009

Grape Variety: 100% Malbec

Growing Region: Agrelo (Lujan de Cuyo), Mendoza, Argentina

Consultant Winemaker: Alberto Antonini

90 points - Wine Advocate 2010

Chakana wines make me smile even before I open the bottle, the packaging, the people behind the wine and the culture that influences these wines - put my taste buds at the ready - for what I know will be a fruit driven, early drinking wine with a little bit of the x-factor in each glass. This entire 'estate' range offers a wide variety of young wines with a short period of ageing in oak. These wines are specially designed to be enjoyed within a few years of being released.
100% Malbec, the fruit was handpicked and sourced from 35 year old vines grown in Mendoza. Picked at perfect ripeness, this wine went through 4 days of maceration to extract the natural soft tannins, then 10 days of fermentation at relatively mild temperatures for red wine production to extract the deep purple colours that fill the glass. Post fermentation 10% of the wine had 3 months development in American oak.
On the nose, the wine reveals ripe plums, sweet strawberries, fine spices and dried flowers that meld beautifully together. All these notes follow through onto the palate; where the rich fruit characters give an excellent mouth feel and finishes with velvety tannins. Decant for 15-20mins. Serve at 17-18C.

Drinking perfectly well this season; and over the next 3-4 years.

Perfect wine match with Tapas, BBQ'd meats and homemade pizza - enjoy.