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, June 28, 2011

Taylors 'Jaraman' Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

Grape Variety: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Growing Region: Clare Valley 64%, Coonawarra 36%, Australia

Chief Winemaker: Adam Eggins

Silver Medal - Int. Wine Challenge 2009

2008 was another year of challenges in the Clare Valley and Coonawarra; yields were slightly below average for Cabernet Sauvignon - but with careful site selection and patience before harvest the wine is showing excellent colour, good varietal distinction and ripeness.
In the winery delicate handling and a lighter than usual oak regime was employed to compliment the intensity of the fruit characters. The grapes were de-stemmed and transferred to potter fermenters where the juice was fermented using a Cabernet-specific yeast. After precise fermentation, the wine was then gently pressed and transferred to French oak hogshead barrels (20% new, 60% 1 year old and 20% 2-3 year old) for malo-lactic fermentation. After just over 12 months in oak, the wine was fined, filtered and bottled in June 2009.
In the glass you have a deep vibrant red, with a crimson edge. On the nose the wine has lifted, aromas of violets, blackcurrant, cassis and liquorice along with complex, earthy aromas of cigar box and subtle note of after-eight dinner mint. On the palate the wine is full-bodied with good balance between fruit and tannins. Ripe flavours of black current and cassis abound, followed by subtle secondary French oak characters of cedar and spice. The tannins are fine and elegant and the finish is long and persistent. Decant for 30-40mins, serve at 18C.

Drinking well this winter season; and over the next 4-6 years.

Perfect wine match with game, meaty dishes with wine jus and hard aged cheese, enjoy.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pasqua Grappa - Di Vinaccia Di Amarone NV

Grape Variety: Corvina, Rondinella - 45% Alc.

Growing Region: Veneto, Italy

Owner: Carlo Pasqua

Grappa is a uniquely Italian drink. Traditionally, made from pomace, the discarded grape seeds, stalks, and stems that are a by-product of the winemaking process, Grappa has been around since the middle ages. For generations, Italians have sipped this 'firewater' after meals and even added a little to their morning espresso and in the evening to make a 'Cafe Corretto', a popular after-dinner concoction.
This grappa was produced by a double distillation of grape lees and marc from the carefully managed grape skins from the dried Corvina and Rondinella grapes used in the production of their Amarone wine.
In the glass this Grappa is crystal clear and transparent in colour. This traditional high quality Grappa with its rich, generous and distinctive aromatic tones of dry, intense and profound style, hints of raisins and herbs. Concentrated and dry on the palate, with a fiery finish.
Grappa is served chilled in small glasses and served after the meal, as the Italians believe that it aids digestion. It's a fiery, but tasty beverage, just the thing for a cold winter's night.

Drinking perfectly well at any time.

Perfect wine match with chocolate, ice-cream and as an ideal digestive and conclusion to a wonderful meal - enjoy.

A classic Italian end to a good evening.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hewitson 'Ned & Henry's' Shiraz 2009

Grape Variety: Shiraz - (nearly 100%)*

Growing Region: Barossa Valley, Australia

Owner/ Winemaker: Dean Hewitson

This wine is named after 'Miss Harry' - Harriet's older brothers Ned & Henry, two real characters and the wine likewise.
After traditional fermentation the wine was pressed and went into selected French barriques, where the wine finished fermentation and also underwent malolactic fermentation. The wine matured in these barrels for a total of about fifteen months before racking.
While the base for this wine has always been Shiraz, each year Dean has blended in a small portion of Mourvedre with the Shiraz, which accentuates the fruit and delivers greater complexity. In the glass you have a very deep red with a purple hue to the edge. The wine has a bright aroma that is distinctively Barossa Valley: ripe black fruits and berries with a solid, concentrated core. On the palate the wine has a seamless class of perfectly ripe fruit and the French oak currently plays a strong role. The fruit flavours are full and concentrated yet soft and supple. The tannins are gentle yet persistent and completely mould into the wine.
Ned and Henry's is most definitely full-bodied: chocolate, blackberry and dark-earth characters. Yet the wine has great balance and poise and carries that signature called 'drinkability'. This is perhaps the best vintage I have tried to date, very reminiscent of the fabulous 2006. Decant for 30-40mins, serve at 18C.

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

Perfect wine match with game, rich meat dishes, wine reductions jus and rich cheeses, enjoy.

A classic old dry grown bush vine Shiraz.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Arrogant Frog 'Croak Baronne' Shiraz 2009

Grape Variety: 100% Syrah

Growing Region: Languedoc, France

Owner/ Winemaker: Jean-Claude Mas

A wine proud of its Mediterranean origins - a lively blend of Syrah from three different 'Terroir': Domaine de Nicole, the Montagne Noire foothills and the Haute Vallee de l'Aude, Jean-Claude has created a model for Languedoc Shiraz. Each parcel was fermented separately - before careful blending to express the best from the vintage and region.
The fruit was machine harvested at night to retain bright fruit notes. After harvest the grapes were cooled down to 12C for 4-days cold pre-fermentation maceration. Fermentation then took place at 28C on the first day and then at 25C for the next 4 days. After fermentation, maceration lasted for 6 days with daily pumping over. Only the soft first pressings and free run juice were used in this particular blend. Before malolactic fermentation 45% of the wine is put in traditional oak barrels. 30% of the final blend is aged in oak barrels, where they use 70% new American and 30% new French oak barrels. The wine is aged for 5 months in barrels with 'racking'. The other 70% of the blend is aged in stainless steel.
In the glass you have an intense deep purple colour with garnet red tints. On the nose you initially find spices and balsamic then a second layer develops of blackcurrant, violets and finishing with toasted oak notes. The palate is full bodied but mellow with velvety tannins. Ripe and floral flavours on the middle palate, liquorice and spicy flavours on the lingering finish. Decant for 20-30mins, and serve at 17C.

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

Perfect wine match with meat pies, game, beef stews and hard cheeses; enjoy.

A bright and honest wine, made to be enjoyed young.