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.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Grower's Mark Gisborne Malbec 2010

Grape Variety: 100% Malbec

Growing Region: Gisborne - Tietjen Block, New Zealand

Consultant: Kim Crawford

I have always enjoyed the early approachable nature of Malbec and its suitability to so many Kiwi palates and cuisine. Yes - we generally need a site with a warm, long summer and this Gisborne vineyard and the 2010 vintage was just that.
After harvesting prime fruit, the grapes had a cold soak for colour extraction for three days, then warmed up and fermented dry. Early in the fermentation the wine was vigorously pumped over to extract the rich colour and flavours without extracting too much tannin. Once fermented dry, the wine was pressed off and underwent malolactic fermentation before filtering and bottling.
In the glass you will see a deep crimson, almost black colour. Sneaking out of the glass you have an elegant, lifted floral nose with hints of violets and black Doris plums, balanced nicely with hints of toasty oak and cassis. On the blind - you might even think you have in your glass a young full bodied red of Bordeaux qualities. On the palate hints of liquorice, black Doris plum and blackberry jam fill the mouth. The wine has good tannins, and the finish has lingering sweet fruit and clean acidity.

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

Perfect wine match with a bbq'd steak sandwich, tapas, or cheese board, enjoy.

An early drinking New Zealand red wine.


Wines in Brief:

Monday, October 24, 2011

Nga Waka 'Martinborough' Pinot Noir 2010

Grape Variety: 100% Pinot Noir

Growing Region: Martinborough (Parkinson & Old Cemetery Blocks), New Zealand

Owner/ Winemaker: Roger Parkinson

This is one of my crystal ball moments, as I am not encouraging you to find the best in this Martinborough Pinot Noir in the next year or so. That would be totally miss representing this wine, the honesty, integrity and quality of Pinot Noir that Roger has crafted here with his 2010 vintage. But it would be remiss of me not to give you a heads-up on buying this wine now before it's all gone and find a prime place in your cellar.
The theme song for the 2010 vintage, as Roger states with apologies to the band 'Dragon' must be "April Sun in Martinborough". Looking at the season, it is the 2-month periods at both the start (2 of the coolest months on record) and end (seemingly endless fine, warm weather) of the growing season that has given this wine its unique personality. Harvested two weeks later than normal, in mid-April at 24.6 Brix.
After respectful winemaking and attention to detail we have come to expect from Nga Waka. In the glass I was greeted by a rich, luscious and powerful Martinborough Pinot Noir showing dark summer fruit flavours and subtle spice notes. The mouth feel has balanced tannins and subtle, refined oak from barrel maturation in French oak. The finish is persistent and will develop into a very more-ish wine. If you can't wait, decant for 45-60 mins and serve at 16C.


Drinking perfectly well from 2013 through to 2020.


Perfect wine match with herb crusted lamb rack, duck, foie gras and creamy cheeses, enjoy.

One of New Zealand's most complex style of Pinot Noir.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Geoff Merrill 'Fleurieu' Cabernet / Shiraz 2008

Grape Variety: 57% Cabernet & 43% Shiraz

Growing Region: McLaren Vale & Langhorne Creek, Australia

Chief Winemaker: Geoff Merrill


The 2008 vintage was not easy for anyone in the region. One of the many challenges faced during the vintage was the incredible heat wave that affected South Australia and the flow-on affect associated with it.
The growing season began well, with many in the McLaren Vale announcing it would be one of the greatest vintages in recent memory - however once the heat wave struck, conditions rapidly changed, with the early ripening varieties and those well cared for vineyards producing some exciting flavours. After careful management and selective harvesting Geoff and his team have been able to craft another flavour packed wine.
In the glass you have a vibrant, deep red colour with a youthful purple hue. The aroma shows both the grape varieties well, with ripe berry fruits, spice, hints of capsicum, liquorice and black pepper all supported nicely by subtle oak. The palate has a very inviting and well balanced mouth feel with good depth of rich fruit, a well structured mid palate with firm clean tannins and a flavour filled finish. Decant for 30mins and serve at 18C.


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


Perfect wine match with tapas, pizza, pasta and the great kiwi summer BBQ, enjoy.

A fruit forward wine, ready to please.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sacred Hill 'HALO' Hawke's Bay Chardonnay 2010

Grape Variety: 100% Chardonnay

Growing Region: Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

Chief Winemaker: Tony Bish


I am the first person to remind people when tasting a wine which they know the producer - not to use previous experiences to pre-judge the wine. But with this wine I found it hard - when nearly every Chardonnay that Tony has ever made, is such a great expression of both the variety and the site from which he sources the fruit. Not to give too much away - I wasn't disappointed.
The Hawke's Bay summer ensured the vines ripened well with good varietal flavours and maturity well advanced by late February and into early March. Sacred Hill's vineyards got off to a good start, with an excellent spring and early summer period ensuring the fruit developed on strong and healthy canopies.
In the glass you are greeted by a pale gold colour. With a few swirls of the wine in your glass the wine opens to reveal a complex Chardonnay, packed with ripe peach, toasted almonds and cashew nuts round out the aroma.
On the palate the wine has a soft texture with those same peach and nougat notes along with a nutty complexity giving a good mouth feel. The fruit is ripe, rich and seductive, followed by a silky texture that dominates the mid-palate, leading to a long and lingering finish with subtle citrus notes - searching to be enjoyed with an array of cuisine matches. Serve at 10-12C.

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

Perfect wine match with rich seafood & white meat pastas, bbq chicken, pork and ripe cheeses, enjoy.

Classic Hawke's Bay Chardonnay.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ti Point 'Matriarch' Syrah 2010

Grape Variety: 100% Syrah

Growing Region: Matakana, New Zealand

Owner/ Winemaker: Tracy Haslam

Gold Medal - New Zealand International Wine Show 2011.

Ti Point Estate enjoyed a relaxed and enjoyable vintage - as 2010 turned out to be a sensational vintage for the Matakana Region. The near drought like conditions that the vines experienced, produced amazing fruit which was harvested at its optimum condition.
The grapes were able to reach their full potential, and the clean bunches were then handpicked, chilled and destemmed. Fermentation took place for 9 days and then underwent 2 weeks post ferment maceration. A basket pressed was used to gently press the fruit and then aged for 10 months in new, one and two year old oak barrels. The wine was then minimally fined with egg whites and filtered through a rock-stopper to avoid any finer filtration.
In the glass the wine displays a rich ruby red colour. The exceptional Syrah fruit has produced a wine that is rich in both aromas and flavours. On the nose savoury, earthy aromas are enhanced with hints of exotic dried herbs. The palate has a rich, velvety texture that is completed by a peppery, spicy finish. The soft tannins that are integrated with a good acid structure, give the wine a wonderful length and persistence to the finish. A Syrah that will only continue to improve with age - if you can hold yourself back. Decant for 30mins and serve at 16-17C.

Drinking well this coming summer; and over the next 5-7 years.

Perfect wine match with roast chicken, rabbit, lamb and rich cheeses, enjoy.