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, July 30, 2012

Brookfields 'Hillside' Syrah 2010

Grape Variety: 100% Syrah

Growing Region: Hillside Vineyard, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

Owner/ Chief Winemaker: Peter Robertson

I have been visiting Brookfields for nearly 25 years, and in that time I have seen Brookfields develop and mature into a world class wine brand. Peter has been quietly crafting his wines with a clear approach to making wines that are approachable in their youth and the ability age. This unique expression of Syrah is a perfect example of this confidence in his vineyard, and the quality wine that Hawke's Bay can produce. This special site is a north facing slope, the Hillside vineyard is located in the heart of Hawke's Bay, enjoying optimum sun exposure and just enough rain to ensure grape development. It has been noted by those in the know - as a 'Perfect spot, 'terroir' for Syrah'.
The harvested fruit with its intense flavours was destemmed, crushed and fermented in open fermenters at warm temperatures to achieve desired colour and tannin extraction. Following pressing, the wine underwent malolactic fermentation and was then racked into new French oak, where it matured for nearly 13 months - then bottled at the winery.
In the glass you a greeted by a dark red, almost black colour. The wine has an opulent bouquet, full of dark plums, freshly ground pepper, spice and toasty oak. The palate amplifies the aromas and is packed with rich dark fruits, spice, pepper, and integrated oak notes. There is weight and intensity in this robust Syrah thus resulting in a well balanced wine and giving good palate length to the finish. Decant for 45 minutes and serve at 17C.

Drinking well this winter season; and will age gracefully for another 8-10 years.

Perfect wine match with venison served medium rare and roasted vegetables, enjoy.

One of the world's most generous of wines.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Winemaker Series:

Welcome to another in the series of winemaker interviews.

Matt Thomson studied science at the University of Otago in the late 1980’s with the intention of becoming a Winemaker, graduating with a Master’s degree in Biochemistry and has been working in the Marlborough wine industry since late 1992.  


Matt was appointed consultant winemaker at Lake Chalice Wines back in 1997, Matt was so impressed with the quality and future potential of the wines he became a company shareholder and director in 1998. Matt also runs an extremely successful winemaking consultancy business - Kiwi Oeno. Wine is clearly not his only passion as Matt was a former national rep in cycling and still competes regularly at international level in endurance kayaking.
Matt is a very well respected winemaker and consultant with notable successes both locally and internationally over a variety of wine styles with particular strengths in Marlborough’s iconic Sauvignon Blanc. He has worked as a ‘flying winemaker’ consultant, in Italy and France since 1994, travelling to Europe three or more times a year to be involved with vintage and blending. Matt and his family have vineyard interests in Marlborough and in Italy completing the full picture of the wine industry from the vine to the table.
Matt spends a large portion of his time monitoring the changing flavour profile of the grapes in each vineyard; ensuring they are picked at their optimum - resulting in Lake Chalice being recognised for the outstanding quality of their wines. Matt is uncompromising on quality, with relatively little emphasis being placed on technological gadgets. This natural, hands-on approach helps craft wines with distinctive characters, which are clearly appreciated by increasingly sophisticated wine enthusiasts in an increasing number of world markets.

I have known Matt since he joined Lake Chalice, meeting during one of the Marlborough wine festivals - and in these years I have seen Matt and the team at Lake Chalice build a range of wines and a brand that is focused on quality and being true to each varietal expression.

What first attracted you to the wine industry and as a winemaker?
Wine (he says with a smile); I developed an interest at about 11 and was reading everything I could get my hands on and collecting by the time I was 16. I was an unusual kid I guess!

Where and when did you study winemaking?
I decided I wanted to become a part of the industry at 19 and tailored my degree to be used as a base for it. I did a BSc in Biochem/Chem and then went on to do an MSc in Biochem working with yeast.


What is your favourite grape variety(s) to work with and why?
I can’t really answer this with any conviction. I like working with Pinot Noir, Nebbiolo, Chardonnay, Garganega, Syrah, Sauvignon, Gruner, Riesling and the list could go on…!

Which grape variety would you most like to work with in the future and why?
I’d like to have a go with Garganega in New Zealand. I think as long as the yields are on the low-side, it might be quite exciting. I work with it a lot in Italy and understand just how good it can be in the hills of Soave.

With each new vintage what do you most look forward to?
The excitement and challenge of something different that each new harvest brings. Lately things have been so dynamic that it has been very exciting anticipating changes early.

To date what has been you most interesting/challenging vintage and why?
2008 in Marlborough was challenging because of the speed of the harvest and that everybody found there was more than anticipated. 1995 was without doubt a lot harder though!

Which person has influenced you the most as a winemaker and why?
This is a hard one too. Kim Crawford, who I worked with for a number of years is certainly one, as is Martin Shaw. Glenn Thomas and I go way back too and we work together now.

Which person ‘current’ or ‘past’ would you most like to have met or meet and why?
Elio Altare (Piedmont, Italy). He makes some wonderful wines. With luck I’ll be visiting his winery in early October. Of course there are many others.


If you were stranded on a desert island and you could take one bottle of wine with you - what would it be and why?
Probably a Barolo from one of the more traditional producers, from a good year and about 10 years old. They have a magical sweet floral perfume. I find people who like Pinot also like Nebbiolo and cool climate Syrah. It’s about the floral perfume and earthy characters that combine in to a magical experience.

If you could make wine anywhere else in the world - where would it be and why?
I like making wine in Italy and I do. In fact I have done for 20 years now!

What advice would you give a young person starting out as a winemaker?
Taste as much as you can with people who know more than you.
Think about the consumers; they’re drinking the wine, not just tasting it like we do as winemakers all too often.

If you weren’t a winemaker - what would you like to be and why?
God knows?! I’m surrounded by lawyers so maybe I would have gone down that path. I did develop a passion for science early though. I think I’m bloody lucky to have found winemaking so early!

In the future, what exciting changes can you see, or would like to see for your wines, wine styles, vineyard or winery?
Vine age. I also want to experiment more with Gruner and Chablis-like styles of Chardonnay. Cool climate Syrah. We can also do very high ultra-premium styles given the chance. We need to be able to invest in the styles more. To do that we need more capital and unfortunately NZ is short of that in the industry!

It will get interesting in the next five years as there is so little vineyard land left to plant in Marlborough and our markets are continuing to grow.

I’ve got some blend ideas too, but that’s another story...


Lake Chalice Wines are available in New Zealand and around the world from quality wine retailers and restaurants. Or visit their website: Lake Chalice Wines

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Kilikanoon Wines named James Halliday Winery of the Year!

Kilikanoon Wines has recently been named - James Halliday Winery of the Year in the newly released 2013 edition of his ‘Australian Wine Companion’.

I have been working with Kilikanoon for a number of years, enjoying the depth of character, ripe, early approachable nature of their wines - and have reviewed on my wine-blog, Kevin’s - Killerman’s Run Shiraz over several vintages, for these very reasons.


As soon as I heard the news - I opened a bottle of Kevin’s - Kilikanoon 'Block’s Road' Cabernet 2009 and raised a glass - for a well deserved acknowledgment for everyone’s hard work and attention to detail with all aspects of their business.
The winery was established back in 1997 by Kevin Mitchell, with grapes sourced from the two vineyards owned by Kevin and his father Mort, with a focus on crafting wines with a strong regional and varietal honesty and definition.
James Halliday, author of the ‘Wine Companion’ and one of Australia’s most respected wine judges said  “Kilikanoon has travelled in the fast lane since its establishment in 1997, gaining 5-star status in the 2004 Wine Companion, five red stars in the 2008, moving to the ultimate red star/red name in 2012. This placed it among the best 100 wineries in Australia, yet this year (2013) it surpassed its prior history with 12 of its wines receiving 94 points or above”.

“This is fantastic news for our brand after many years of hard work and very humbling as a winemaker.’ said Winemaker Kevin Mitchell. “It has always been our intention to showcase the unique regional terroir that we all live and work with especially those from our single vineyard sites that form much of our portfolio.   We are extremely fortunate to have access to some superb vineyards and it is these resources that make the crafting of high-end wines easier.  We are thrilled.  This announcement is not only an achievement for Kilikanoon but testament to what is possible in the Clare Valley with eleven Clare wines - Shiraz, Riesling, Cabernet, Grenache and Semillon - rated 92 points or above”.

“I couldn’t help myself from venturing south to make Shiraz from both the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale. That move has been vindicated with Barossa ‘R’ Reserve rated 96 points and McLaren ‘M’ Reserve rated 95 points. Kilikanoon has become a world recognised Shiraz specialist”. Said Kevin Mitchell.


In its relatively short history Kilikanoon has won a large number of Australian and International awards and received high praise from the world’s most respected wine writers. The 2002 Clare Valley Wine Show really put Kilikanoon on the map, when they took home six of the seven trophies.  Since that time the winery has gone from strength to strength taking home a number of awards including the San Francisco International Wine Competitions, Best of Nation Trophy (2010), and receiving comments such as “This is one of the most brilliantly run wineries in Australia” from Robert Parker Jnr’s Wine Advocate.

Kilikanoon this year has 17 wines scoring above 92 points in the ‘Wine Companion’.

96 Points - Kilikanoon 'Attunga 1865' Shiraz  2009
96 Points - Kilikanoon ‘R’ Shiraz 2009
95 Points - Kilikanoon Mort’s Reserve Riesling 2011
95 Points - Kilikanoon ‘M’ Shiraz 2009
95 Points - Kilikanoon 'Oracle' Shiraz 2009
94 Points - Kilikanoon Mort’s Block Riesling 2011
94 Points - Kilikanoon 'Parable' Shiraz 2009
94 Points - Kilikanoon 'Greens Vineyard' Shiraz 2009
94 Points - Kilikanoon 'Greens Vineyard' Shiraz 2008
94 Points - Kilikanoon 'Oracle' Shiraz 2008
94 Points - Kilikanoon 'The Duke' Grenache 2009
94 Points - Kilikanoon Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
93 Points - Kilikanoon Barrel Fermented Semillon 2011
93 Points - Kilikanoon Killerman’s Run Shiraz 2010
93 Points - Kilikanoon Block’s Road Cabernet 2009
92 Points - Kilikanoon 'Covenant' Shiraz 2009
92 Points - Kilikanoon 'Prodigal' Grenache 2009
*(Wines and vintages are subject to availability)

If you would like to read or re-visit the interview with Kevin Mitchell from the 8th of June this year:

Kilikanoon Wines are available in New Zealand and around the world from quality wine retailers and restaurants. Or visit their website: Kilikanoon Wines

Monday, July 23, 2012

Stonyridge 'Larose' 2009

Grape Variety: 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Malbec, 15% Petit Verdot, 10% Merlot,
5% Cabernet-Franc

Growing Region: Waiheke Island, New Zealand

Chief Winemaker: Steve White

Stonyridge Larose is undoubtedly one of the world's finest red wines, it has been a real pleasure to have been so close behind the scenes over a number of years to see the attention to detail and subtle nuances each vintage brings and how the team at Stonyridge expresses each new wine. The grapes are all hand-picked and immediately taken to the winery, where they are crushed, de-stemmed, and pumped into stainless-steel fermentation tanks. A warm fermentation is followed by two week maceration before being basket-pressed, with malolactic fermentation completed in barrel. The wine is 100% oak-aged in French and American barriques for over a year, racked regularly, rarely fined, and never filtered.
The 2009 is packed with character and personality, already developing rich aromatics of spice, oak and dark fruits. The purity of dark fruits, the firm structure of the wine offer an insight to the way this wine will age. Rich textures fill the middle of the palate complimented by quality ripe fruit. The tannins and not shy but not offensive at all and when decanted became smooth. The wine is balanced even in its very youthful state, and an elegance that you would expect from a much more developed wine. The fruit is beautifully layered, a bounty of flavours - cassis, black plum, spice, dark chocolate and coffee with black truffle and the finish has great length and finesse. Decant for 2 hours and serve in a substantial wine glass at 18°C.

Drinking well this season; and will age for another 12-15 years.

Perfect wine match with venison, ostrich, prime cuts of beef with wine jus, enjoy.

One of the world's finest red wines.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Florio Marsala Targa Riserva 1840

Grape Variety: 100% Grillo - Fortified Wine

Growing Region: Petrosino, Marsala, Sicily

Group Winemaker: Carlo Casavecchia

Florio's history dates back to 1833 when Vincenzo Florio started in the production of Marsala and became the market leader worldwide. After my recent visit to the winery, cellars and matching several Marsala's with local cuisine and desserts - you see how dynamic and interesting Marsala wine can be with so many every day dishes and occasions.
The Grillo grapes are grown on typical bush vines located not far from the coast at some 50 meters above sea level. After hand harvesting - they carry out a careful pressing of the grapes which have a high sugar content - with the aim to pass the precious substances found in the skins to the must. Fermentation at a controlled temperature and liquoring with the addition of 'Mistella', 'Mosto Cotto' and grape spirit to the wine. Aged for at least 5 years in oak barrels with a capacity of 1,800 litres and then refined for more than a year in ancient 300-litre barrels. Maturing at least 6 months in bottle before release. The finished wine has an alcohol of 19% and a residual sugar of 70g/l which gives the wine both mouth feel and presence.
In the glass you will be greeted by a bright amber colour with topaz highlights. On the nose bright scents of dates, apricots and dried figs. The palate is intense with full, warm flavours, with a smooth and velvety mouth feel and a lingering finish of dried fruits. Serve at 10° - 12°C.

Drinking perfectly well this season; and will age for another 7-9 years.

A lively dessert wine, plus an excellent sipping wine. Matches well with desserts, dried fruit and nuts, fine pastries, enjoy.

A traditional wine, that is designed to be shared.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Château Routas in Provence, France

I have spent the past few days; enjoying the generous hospitality of Sir David Murray at his property and winery; Château Routas in Provence, France. Where I sampled and reviewed a selection of quality wines with guests and friends that included; Sir Sean Connery and Grahame Haggart (aka Haggie). The Routas winery was founded back in 1992 and was purchased by Sir David Murray in 2005. The 260 hectare property includes approximately 54ha of deliberately planted parcels of vine, scattered throughout the rocky, heavily-wooded property in this unspoiled, elevated area of Provence.


The Château Routas reputation for quality Provençal wines (AOC Coteaux Varois en Provence) continues to grow under the Murray family stewardship - with David’s son Keith Murray managing the business. Jean-Louis Bavay (chief winemaker) produces an excellent range of honest and early drinking style red and white wines.
The location and setting of Routas is simply spectacular; right in the heart of Provence, halfway from the French Riviera on the Mediterranean coast and the foothills of the Alps.
The many Château Routas vineyards sites, planted with a several varietals have a rich soil diversity which is the key to their vine and grape development - resulting in small vineyards that are often unusual in shape, hugging the angular terrain. The estate encompasses dense woods, vineyards, olive trees, and oak trees hiding black truffles. Bright red poppies grow alongside brilliant yellow sunflowers, and the surrounding forests hide a substantial number of wild boars - which are unfortunately a little too fond of the Routas grapes come harvest time. The landscape includes a stunning geological feature, the 885m deep ‘Infernet’ Hole (the Devil's Hole), a canyon thought to have been created by a meteor collision - something to definitely look out for while driving around the property.
Some vineyard sites have soils that are red as crushed brick, while others consist of crumbly grey limestone mixed with pockets of iron-rich, red clay, and stones that reflect the hot summer sun. At 400m above sea level, the elevation is  among the appellation's highest, providing cool nights that slow the ripening of the grapes, contributing fresh notes, good colour and complexity, plus dictating harvest dates that are up to a month later than other estates.


Currently Routas produces approximately 22,000 cases of southern-French-style, estate-grown and bottled wines that have received very positive comments from recognised wine critics like; Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson. The Routas wines are so diverse, that a broad-stroke comment would state the red wines can display a robust, Rhone-like richness, and the whites showing elegance and vitality.
During my stay - I had the opportunity to sample several wines, and during one evening meal we opened the Routas Cyrano 2003 alongside the 2007 vintage, consisting of 100% Syrah. The grapes are sourced from 47 year old vines that are carefully hand harvested, sorted and destemmed, without crushing. The wine is fermented in open-topped fermenters and hand plunged twice a day and pumped over once a day. The wine is then aged for 15 months in Francois Frères oak barrels, 25% are new, the rest 2-4 years of age, and then bottled without filtration. The 2003 coming from an extremely intense growing season, showed real power, complexity and length that coped with ease the flame grilled red meats we enjoyed from the BBQ that evening. 


Other wines enjoyed during my stay included:

Routas 'Cuvee Petit' Rose 2011
A bright pink blush coloured wine. On the nose - wild strawberries with a hint of candy floss. The palate is light and fresh with young strawberries flavours, bright acidity and a clean finish. If you want to feel 10 years younger, share a glass of this wine with friends at your next BBQ.

Routas 'Rouviere' Rose 2011
In the glass a rosé blush colour with a bright shine and crisp edge. Made from 45% Cinsault, 35% Grenache and 20% Syrah. On the nose freshly cut watermelon, ripe peach aromas and early morning floral notes. The palate is a live with ripe peach flavours, wild strawberries with hints of mineral notes all balanced with crisp acidity giving a lively finish to the wine. If you could bottle the Provençal sunshine in a bottle, this would be it - your smile will last all day.

Wild Boar White 2011
Pale straw colour, with a light green hue. On the nose lime sherbet, citrus notes, ripe pear and a hint of gooseberry. A 60% Viognier and 40% Chardonnay blend. On the palate tropical fruit notes fill the mouth, rounded off with clean, fresh acidity, making for a very easy drinking style wine. After a long day venturing around the Provençal region, or simply sitting under a tree, shading from the midday sun - this wine will refresh the most tired of taste buds.

Routas 'Coquelicot' Viognier 2010
Straw, gold in colour. The wine has a floral nose, hints of lilies and white rose petals. An elegant 80% Viognier and 20% Chardonnay blend. The palate has white peach, nashi pear and herbs. The palate is full of bright fruits, mineral notes, crisp natural acidity giving the wine a lively lingering finish. Found some French cheese in the fridge and some fresh fruits, this wine will pair well and get you ready for the main course.

Routas 'Coquelicot' Viognier 2011
Pale straw in colour. The nose has subtle floral notes, apple leaves, with crushed green herbs. An exquisite 80% Viognier and 20% Chardonnay blend. The palate is packed with ripe pear, citrus fruits, and honeysuckle and lime characters. The wine is well balanced with a subtle mineral notes and a pronounced lengthy finish. Perfect with Asian dishes, grilled vegetables, seafood, poultry or as an aperitif. Packed with personality, if you like aromatic wines and clean fresh fruit characters to match with a wide array of light cuisine, this wine is for you and your friends.


It was hard to pack the bags and make my way to my next destination – as the people, the setting and the wines are simply so approachable, friendly and engaging. A stunning location and unique terroir; with so much potential - it has been a pleasure to have visited Routas before and to now see over several years the carefully implemented changes in the vineyard and winery and the results are clear to see in honest well made, early drinking wines - crafted for any occasion to be shared with good friends and fresh cuisine.
As with all projects and business ventures that Sir David Murray is involved with - he is determined to explore all options to achieve the best results. The Routas wines being crafted by his passionate, empowered and talented team - are now showing great personality (receiving top scores and reviews) and building a solid foundation for an exciting future for all their wines.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Quinta De La Rosa 'Vintage' Port 2007

Grape Variety: Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Barroca & Tinta Roriz

Growing Region: Douro Valley, Portugal

Chief Winemaker: Jorge Moreira

Quinta de la Rosa's reputation for excellent port comes from a great location situated in the heart of the Alto Douro on the banks of the River Douro near Pinhao. 2007 was an exceptional year for both port and wine in the Douro valley. Near perfect growing conditions allowed optimal maturation of the grapes giving intense, concentrated and well balanced wines with rounded and mature tannins. The grapes ripened relatively slowly during a cool but bright summer, sourced from the older dry stone terraced vineyards at La Rosa. A hot start to September allowed the sugar levels to rise quite dramatically allowing the grapes to be picked in mid September. The premium grapes were trodden by foot in their granite Lagares for three to four days managing the temperature at all times. During this process a small portion of the free run juice was run off - (to make a Rosé) giving extra concentration to the final port.
The more complex parcels of juice were kept for 18 months in wooden oak 25 pipe tonels before final assemblage; with this port being bottled in June 2009. A rich an inviting colour and aromas greet you with warmth and energy. The port has aromas of blackberries, blackcurrants and with a hint of mint-chocolate notes. On the palate, the port is very full bodied, with enveloping mature, ripe tannins and grip giving the port presence on the palate and developing a persistent finish. Decant for 60mins and serve at 18C in winter (15C in summer).

Approachable this winter; will age gracefully for another 15-20 years. (Limited availability)

Perfect match with chocolate desserts, cheese selections and on its own, enjoy.

91 points, Wine Spectator 2009.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Cecchi - At the Heart of Tuscany

I recently had a most memorable week - basing myself, at the stunning property of Montauto owned by the Cecchi family, situated across from the town of San Gimignano in Tuscany, Italy.


I have had the pleasure to visit with the Cecchi family on several occasions over the years. Since 2004 brothers Cesare and Andrea Cecchi have run the winery with their mother, Anita; and have clearly inherited their father Luigi’s spirit, determination, attention to detail, enthusiasm and passion. The family’s head-office, winery and original estate vineyards have been in grape production for almost 1,000 years, situated in the borough of Castellina in Chianti, an area which has traditionally produced Chianti Classico. In their substantial, modern cellars and winery; equipped with the latest winemaking equipment, the crafting of their varied range of quality wine is carried out. The fermentation process is carried out at their four modern vineyards distributed in renowned DOC(G) zones in Tuscany and Umbria: Villa Cerna in the Chianti Classico region, Castello di Montauto at San Gimignano, Val delle Rose near Grosseto, and Tenuta Alzatura at Montefalco in Umbria.


Cecchi is a very dynamic family winery, who has not lost touch with their history, ‘terroir’, and are always looking to push themselves to do better each vintage and with each new wine and project. They are constantly being true and honest to their philosophies and to their locations, grapes - which is no easy task with local and international pressures on their every decision.
It must be made clear to new wine enthusiasts - ‘Traditional wines, doesn't mean old wines’, also as Andrea says: “The future should not be a repetition of the past, but an improvement on it." This was clearly evident in the wines we sampled together.
In the past few decades, Tuscany have researched and learnt to grow better Sangiovese. For example planting vines closer together, resulting in fewer but more flavourful grapes per vine, and endeavouring to harvest them much riper. Allowing them to be able to stop using the many blending grapes, and today many Chianti’s are 90 or even 100% Sangiovese - and all the better for it.


The Cecchi family have been at the heart of Tuscany’s most important of innovations and wine styles; while being strong not to adopt all concepts that don’t fit their philosophy. Currently they are not making ‘Super Tuscan’ wines, where French varietals dominate the blend of the red wine, but their wines (e.g. Coevo) are no less complex or intense with strong personality and character.
Their wines focus on approachability with definite elegance, and a long finish. The Cecchi family are also working with an ancient; traditional grape variety that almost become extinct in Italy - Sagrantino, from the Umbria region south of Tuscany. Intense in colour, firm tannins that benefit from several years in oak aging to develop mouth feel and balance, with rich fruit notes, and spice flavours - it has been stated before; that a bottle of Cecchi wine has its own defined history.
On the Thursday we made our way to the stunning location, plus exciting project which is the new winery development and cellars of ‘Val delle Rose’ located in Maremma, in Southern Tuscany. This exciting wine region with its rolling hills, located near the coast is fast developing a reputation for producing wines of pedigree and character. Val delle Rose was established in 1996 - after several years of in-depth research the family purchased the Val delle Rose estate and have invested a significant amount of time and money into replanting vines and building one of the world’s most advanced wineries. Recently being awarded the highest accolade in the land for building a bespoke water recycling, phyto-treatment plant for the regeneration of waste water on the site.


This sun drenched strip of land on the Tuscan coastline, which includes the areas of Bolgheri (famous for several Super Tuscans) and Morellino di Scansano, a classic area for Sangiovese. Morellino being the local name for Sangiovese; and Scansano being one of the towns within the ‘Protected Designation of Origin’ area. Val delle Rose’s vineyards planted on the hillside in great aspects are at approximately 150 metres above sea level, providing perfect exposure to the sun, which is moderated by the cooling sea breezes some 10kms away.
When you spend time with Cesare and Andrea, or with any of the talented team here at Cecchi, you develop an understanding that the 4 diverse vineyard/winery sites have a common denominator - that being a vocation for the vine, which is also the starting point of the Cecchi philosophy. Cecchi is well positioned to tackle the climatic and market challenges the future will present. I am confident the Cecchi brand and diverse range of wines will not only excite 'new' wine enthusiasts - but for those select few in the know, will be singing its praises for all to hear - that wines from Cecchi are not only great expressions from Tuscany, but are some of the best wines in the world.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Torbreck 'RunRig' Shiraz 2007

Grape Variety: 98% Shiraz & 2% Viognier

Growing Region: Marananga, Greenock, Moppa, Gomersal, Kalimna & Ebenezer; Barossa Valley, Australia

Chief Winemaker: David Powell

The ‘RunRig’ often draws comparison with the beautifully fragrant & firm structured wines produced from the steep slopes of the Northern Rhône Valley’s Appellation of Côte Rôtie in France.
The name of this wine is drawn from: The Highland clans used a ‘RunRig’ system to distribute land amongst their clansmen in a series of widely dispersed holdings. The emphasis not on any one farm, but rather the communal element of the whole. Shiraz from old dry grown vineyards is blended with Viognier, complementing the strengths and complexities of these individual parcels of fruit, whilst giving the resulting wine an added dimension.
The eight unique parcels of fruit were gently de-stemmed and put into both wooden & concrete open top fermenters where they were carefully plunged by hand for 6-7 days. After basket pressing the wine was run directly into new and old French barriques where it spent 30 months with only one racking. During the final ‘assemblage’ a small addition of estate grown Viognier was added and the wine was later bottled without filtration or fining.
The nose of this wine has delightful aromatics that leap from the glass, showing layers of raspberries, plums and crème de cassis combined with subtle hints of black olives. A concentrated palate flows from black fruits into bold anise and dark chocolate held together by firm, textured tannins. This wine possesses a multitude of different facets and nuances that will constantly change and evolve with time. Although extremely intense, the wines power is integrated within its balance and concentration, with a finish that seems destined never to end. Decant for 60+ minutes and serve at 17C.

Approachable this winter season; and will age well for another 12-15 years.

Perfect wine match with game, or prime cuts of meat with a rich jus, enjoy with someone special.

98 points, Wine Advocate, 2010.