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, May 31, 2011

Cecchi Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2006

Grape Variety: 90% Prugnolo Gentile (Sangiovese), 10% other red grapes

Growing Region: Montepulciano, Italy

Chief Winemaker: Andrea Cecchi

The premium quality fruit harvested for this wine was grown in calcareous soil, located at 350 meters above sea level. Harvested during the first ten days of October, the fruit was transported to the winery where traditional vinification took place in temperature-controlled small and medium sized stainless steel tanks on it skins for approximately 21 days at 28C.
The wine was then transferred to oak barriques where it matured for approximately 24 months in the Cecchi cellars. The wine was then blended, lightly fined and rested in tank for 4 months before bottling, where it rested again for a minimum of 3 months before labelling and release.
It has been my pleasure to visit Italy, and in particularly Tuscany on many an occasion over the past few years and this wine in my opinion is one of the great wines of Tuscany. A predominantly Sangiovese based wine, expressing all the complexity that this grape has to offer. In the glass the wine has a rich red colour tending to garnet now with age.
On the nose the wine shows an intense aroma of purple violets and dried herbs. In the mouth this Vino Nobile has a well balanced tannin and oak structure, complimented by harmonious dark fruit characters and a long and persistent finish. Decant for 30-40 minutes and serve at 18C.

Drinking well this winter season; and over the next 5-7 years.

Perfect wine match with hearty, rich meat dishes, roasts and hard cheeses, enjoy.

A classic wine, one not to be missed.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Geoff Merrill 'McLaren Vale' Shiraz 2006

Grape Variety: 100% Shiraz

Growing Region: McLaren Vale, Australia

Winemaker: Geoff Merrill

91 pts, Campbell Mattinson, ‘The Wine Front’ 2010.

The 2006 vintage overall was quite good for McLaren Vale. It was set up well early on with good winter and spring rains. The weather dried up at the right time, and warmed up considerably before harvest, bringing many varieties to ripeness almost simultaneously resulting in a very hectic few weeks. Geoff is well known for developing his wines to perfection in the winery before release - and this wine has spent an amazing 28 months in French oak - but the wine does not taste necessarily oak driven.
In the glass you are greeted by a dark red with good clarity and depth. The aroma shows a complex blend of fresh red berry fruits, liquorice, leather, oak, earth and spice. The palate is seamless, harmonious, warm and seductive. It begins with ample ripe fruit and subtle well integrated oak which gradually fills the mouth.
Velvet tannins hold everything together nicely and the finish is long, reflective and satisfying. Decant this wine for 20-30 minutes and serve at 17-18C. *(Limited).

Drinking perfectly well this winter season; and over the next 3-5 years.

Perfect wine match with seasoned red meats, rich pasta dishes, pizza and tapas, enjoy.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Rimu Grove 'Nelson' Chardonnay 2009

Grape Variety: 100% Chardonnay

Growing Region: Nelson - Moutere, New Zealand

Owner / Winemaker: Patrick Stowe

Nelson still seems to get forgotten by many a wine buyer - be it in their favourite wine store on perusing a wine-list. So please do whatever it takes to jog your memory next time it comes to enjoying a glass of wine and keep Nelson as an option. This Nelson Chardonnay has its own unique personality that will not only please you and your guests, but may even make you start to question which is your favourite style of this dynamic grape.
This particular wine was 100% barrel fermented in French oak. The grapes were picked by hand and carefully whole bunch pressed, followed by cool fermentation in traditional oak barriques, with the lees being routinely stirred by Patrick for 11 months.
In the glass you have a bright golden yellow colour. On the nose you are greeted by lively citrus and toasted caramel notes that excite the senses and alert the palate for things to come. In the mouth the wine is fresh and vibrant; smooth, round and generous. A nicely layered wine with elegant sweet nut and toasted oak notes shining through with mineral notes that echo on the long and impressive finish.
Serve at 10-14C.

Drinking perfectly well this season; and will age gracefully for another 3-4 years.

Perfect wine match with poultry, pork, rabbit, fish and pasta which features cream or butter, enjoy.

A Chardonnay that should be on the lips of more wine enthusiasts.


Friday, May 13, 2011

Allan Scott 'The Hounds' Pinot Noir 2009

Grape Variety: 100% Pinot Noir

Growing Region: Marlborough, New Zealand

Owner / Viticulturist: Allan Scott

Gold Medal - Air NZ Wine Awards 2010.

The grapes were picked from 'The Hounds' single vineyard in the cool of the morning to retain fresh characters in the fruit. After which they were promptly destemmed, and cold macerated in tank for up to 7 days. Fermentation occurred naturally, with a rigorous routine of pumping over and lively plunging of the cap, until the fermentation died down.
The wine was then left to macerate on its skins for a further 10 days before being transferred into mainly new French oak, followed by natural malolactic fermentation. The wine developed for 12 months in 50% new French Oak.
On the nose you will find dark berry fruits combining with a savoury spiciness and chocolate tones which are supported by the French oak. The palate displays a well balanced range of characteristic Pinot fruit flavours with dark cherry & plum, natural acidity, integrated mouth-filling tannins and oak, with chocolate complexities - that give the wine a lingering finish. Decant for 15-20 minutes and serve at 17-18C.

Drinking well this winter season; and over the next 2-3 years.

Perfect wine match with Lamb, Pork, mushroom linguini and mature cheese, enjoy.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Lake Chalice 'Marlborough' Pinot Gris 2010

Grape Variety: 100% Pinot Gris

Growing Region: Marlborough, New Zealand

Owner/Winemaker: Chris Gambitsis

Gold Medal - Royal Easter Wine Show 2011

I find myself reviewing a second Pinot Gris in nearly as many weeks; someone asked me if Pinot Gris had hit its peak in popularity. I stated - as I have for the past few years, we have all enjoyed some 'young vine' Pinot Gris with an array of cuisine and occasions here in NZ. With more vine age and with more vintage experience and confidence, we have an exciting future ahead with this variety here in NZ.
The grapes for this wine are predominantly from the Eyrie Vineyard in the Waihopai Valley, complemented with fruit from Falcon Vineyard, and the Barnett vineyard in the Wairau Valley. The fruit was crushed and pressed immediately after harvest. Carefully temperature controlled fermentation retained the wine's lifted aromas and palate. An extended period on gross lees enhances the yeast/biscuit base aromas.
In the glass you are greeted by a bright, straw colour. On the nose you will find aromas of ripe pears and almonds. The palate is soft and round, enhanced by having a small portion of the blend fermented in oak barrels, which adds a touch of spice to the full, rich finish. Serve at 8-10C.

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

Perfect wine match with seafood, Asian cuisine, young brie cheese, enjoy.