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.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Deen De Bortoli 'Vat 9' Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

Grape Variety: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Growing Region: Limestone Coast region, Australia

Chief Winemaker: Steve Webber

91 pts - Nick Stock & Tyson Stelzer - Wine 100, July 2010

Deen De Bortoli created his Vat Series with the idea of developing a range of delicious; full-flavoured wines that over delivered for the price. Deen personally selected the blends and chalked the numbers on the vats to identify them - hence the name.
The Cabernet Sauvignon fruit for this wine was selected by the winemaking team and picked when both flavour and Baume levels were at their optimum. The fruit was cold soaked and fermented at 25C - 32C for an average of 7 days. The wine also underwent malolactic fermentation, and then matured in French and American oak barriques for 12 months.
The glass is filled with a deep purple with crimson hues. The nose has fragrant cassis, ripe plum with hints of mint and subtle cedar oak aromas. On the palate you find rich black fruits and sweet plum with fine grain tannins and well integrated oak makes this a soft generous wine with a good finish. Decant for 15mins. Serve at 18C.

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

Perfect wine match with duck or rabbit, rich pasta dishes and hard cheeses, enjoy.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Chateau Sarget De Gruaud Larose 2005

Grape Variety: 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot

Growing Region: Saint Julian, Bordeaux

Consultant Winemaker: Georges Pauli

88 pts - Wine Spectator, 2006

Chateau Gruaud-Larose is situated in Saint Julien - which is squeezed between Pauillac to the north and Margaux to the south in the Haut-Medoc district of Bordeaux.
Sarget de Gruaud-Larose, the 'second wine', is a stunning effort and fantastic value. Made from the youngest vines, it reveals a very fragrant nose, a rich balanced mid-palate and a seamless finish. I have tasted it quite a few times - first at the Chateau 4 years ago and in different tastings since and each time seduced by its harmonious and earthy yet smooth texture and it certainly doesn't lack any depth or intensity.
Chateau Gruaud Larose is consistently one of the best Saint-Julien wines from one vintage to the next, and its young son has shown a similar evenness since its introduction in 1979.
The nose is exotic, floral and aromatic, with cassis and hints of preserved plums and herbs. The high Merlot proportion (33%), which was so rich this vintage, gives the wine an extra roundness in 2005, while the finish is very pure, velvety and a long fruit and toasted oak finish. Remaining true to its St Julien terroir this is a very good wine indeed. Decant for 20mins, Serve at 18C.

Drinking perfectly well this season; and over the next 5-7 years. *(Limited Availablity)

Perfect wine match with richly flavoured meats, truffle or wine jus and roasted vegetables, enjoy.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sacred Hill 'Deer Stalkers' Syrah 2007

Grape Variety: 100% Syrah

Growing Region: Gimblett Gravels, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

Chief Winemaker: Tony Bish

Gold Medal, Bragato Wine Awards 2009

This handmade wine is only produced in outstanding vintages, using premium Hawke's Bay grapes from selected sites where growing and ripening conditions have come as close to perfection as nature will allow.
This particular vintage, Hawke's Bay enjoyed a good summer with plenty of hot weather at the right time and relatively low levels of rainfall. This meant that the fruit quality at harvest time was at a maximum.
The fruit was handpicked, gently de-stemmed without crushing the berries and fermented in small open top vats with hand plunging on a regular basis. Then after vinification, the wine was aged for 18 months in French oak barriques.
In the glass a deep, rich black plum red colour. On the nose you are greeted with floral spicy notes, lifted with sweet fruits that lead onto dark fruits, earthy hints with truffle nuances. The palate is rich, complex, layered and with supple integrated tannin and oak. The palate flows beautifully from front to back with seamless texture and a ripe flavoursome profile that lingers.
Decant for approx 30-45mins, serve at 18C.

Drinking well this season; and will age for another 5-7 years.

Perfect wine match with game, roasted dishes with a wine/herb jus and rich cheeses, enjoy.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Carbonic Maceration

Carbonic maceration is a winemaking technique, associated with the French wine region of Beaujolais, in which whole grapes are fermented in a carbon dioxide rich environment prior to crushing. Conventional fermentation involves crushing the grapes to free the juice and pulp from the skin with yeasts used to convert sugar into alcohol. Carbonic maceration ferments most of the juice while it is still inside the grape, although grapes at the bottom of the tank are crushed by gravity and undergo conventional fermentation. The resulting wine is fruity with very low tannins. It is ready to drink quickly but lacks the structure for long-term aging. In extreme cases, such as with Beaujolais Nouveau, the period between picking and bottling can be less than six weeks.


During carbonic maceration, carbon dioxide is pumped into a sealed container filled with whole grapes. The carbon dioxide gas permeates through the grape skins and begins to stimulate fermentation. The entire process takes place inside each single, intact berry. The resulting wine is generally fruitier, bright in colour and less tannins than conventionally produced wines.
The Gamay grape lends itself well to the production of simple, fruity wines and Beaujolais winemakers have been able to create a unique identity based on this style of wine. Producers in other parts of France and in the New World have frequently utilized carbonic maceration with other grape varieties.
The process is almost always used in conjunction with red wine production since some of the flavours compounds produced by volatile phenols tend to form undesirable flavours with white wine grapes.
Semi-carbonic maceration is the technique where grapes are put through a short period of carbonic maceration, followed by conventional yeast fermentations. This is the process used in the production of Beaujolais Nouveau wines.
An alternative name for carbonic maceration is 'whole grape fermentation' which is distinct from the process known as 'whole bunch fermentation'.

Geoff Merrill Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

Grape Variety: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Growing Region: McLaren Vale & Coonawarra, Australia

Chief Winemaker: Geoff Merrill

94 pts - Campbell Mattinson, 2010

The 2006 vintage in McLaren Vale & Coonawarra overall was quite good. It was set up well early in the growing season with good winter and early spring rains. This provided good vine canopies ideal for quality ripening. The weather then dried up at the right time, and warmed up considerably bringing ripeness almost simultaneously resulting in a very hectic few weeks for the team.
This wine is a multi-regional blend - 65% McLaren Vale with 35% Coonawarra fruit. It spends 28 months in both French and American oak - though it shows very little sign of either.
In the glass you have a very deep red with youthful purple hues. The aroma shows intense varietal characters of menthol, blackcurrant, mint and capsicum with subtle complex oak in the background. The palate is wonderfully supple and fleshy with fine firm tannins providing excellent structure. Packed with flavour, good length and well balanced acid complete this outstanding wine which will evolve and develop further with bottle maturation.
Decant for 30-40mins, serve at 18C.

Drinking well this season; and will age for another 5-7 years.

Perfect wine match with aged lamb shanks, game pie, rich pasta dishes and ripe cheeses enjoy.