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, August 27, 2012

Chakana 'Reserve' Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

Grape Variety: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Growing Region:  Agrelo, Lujan de Cuyo - Mendoza, Argentina
Consultant Winemaker:  Alberto Antonini
If you have been searching for an early drinking, fruit forward, flavoursome, well balanced, food friendly Cabernet Sauvignon -  look no further than this honest, expression from Chakana. It has to be repeated that every bottle I have tried since working with this brand for several years now, have excited the taste buds of my friends and matched many a cuisine moment. The fruit for this wine comes from grapes grown on Chakana’s 150 hectare estate in Agrelo, Lujan de Cuyo - Mendoza at 960 metres above sea level.
The grapes for this wine were carefully hand harvested and taken to the winery. The fruit underwent two days of cold maceration on skins in temperature controlled stainless steel vats. Fermentation took place for 12-14 days with selected yeasts at 26°-28°C combined with pigeage and delestage to enhance fruit extraction and soft tannins. The wine then underwent malolactic fermentation and was matured for 12 months in French oak barrels.
As you pour the wine into your glass, you will be greeted by a bright, rich red colour. On the nose, aromas of cherry and cassis with delicate notes of mint-chocolate. The palate is well structured and balanced oak with a persistent finish of red berries and bitter chocolate. Decant for 30-45 minutes and serve at 16°-18°C.
Drinking perfectly well this coming season; and over the next 4-5 years.
Perfect wine match with grilled red meats, flavoursome pasta dishes and hard cheeses, enjoy.
Layers of dark berries and soft tannins.

Wine in Brief:


Monday, August 20, 2012

Rimu Grove 'Nelson' Pinot Noir 2007

Grape Variety: 100% Pinot Noir

Growing Region: Moutere, Nelson, New Zealand

Owner / Chief Winemaker: Patrick Stowe

Patrick literally broke ground in Nelson, pulling out an orchard and planting a new vineyard called Rimu Grove back in 1995 on the point above the scenic Waimea Estuary. Patrick's search for the ultimate expression of 'terroir' is reflected in his wines: a synergy of Nelson sunshine, Moutere clay gravels, maritime microclimate and an incredible attention to detail.
A changeable cold and windy spring produced a variable set for the Pinot Noir resulting in 30-40% less crop. A warm and dry summer followed, allowing the fruit to be picked at optimal ripeness, with the Pinot Noir having great concentration.
The grapes were handpicked, 100% destemmed and allowed to soak on their skins prior to fermentation for 5-7 days. Fermented in small open-top fermentation vats, hand-plunged 3 times daily, then barrel aged in French oak for 10 months (24% being new oak). A blend of seven clones, all coming from the Rimu Grove Estate vineyards.
A rich garnet colour fills the glass. A beautifully ripe nose, showing complex dark cherry, dried spice, game and oak characters. The palate is concentrated and weighted beautifully with a velvety texture and well integrated acidity. The back palate in long and softly dry with plenty of fine-grained tannins that linger on the finish. Decant for 30-45 minutes and serve at 15-16°C.

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

Perfect wine match with duck, game birds, rabbit, beef salad, and semi-soft cheeses, enjoy.

Showing subtle Burgundian nuances, with bright Nelson fruit.


Weekly Wine Picks:

Monday, August 13, 2012

Katnook 'Founder's Block' Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

Grape Variety: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Growing Region: Coonawarra, Australia

Chief Winemaker: Wayne Stehbens

Katnook 'Founder's Block' wines are named in honour of the original land holding of John Riddoch, the founder of Coonawarra. I quiet often find myself enjoying a bottle of Founder's Block with a varied range of dishes at home with friends, as it is so approachable for everyday drinking, designed to showcase the ripe fruit characters of Coonawarra. This is an honest wine, fruit driven, harmonious and true to its 'terroir' and grape varietal. The 2010 Coonawarra vintage will be remembered as one of the earliest and also for being amongst the best for many a year, producing excellent fruit quality, including this Cabernet Sauvignon.
A deep rich red fills your glass. On the nose, blackcurrant and plum aromas with dried spice and a subtle mint/chocolate note. The oak maturation consisted of approximately 15% of the wine being matured in a combination of French and American barriques, 30% of the oak was new, adding subtle characters of toast and spice to the fruit aromas. The intense palate is layered with flavours of berry fruits and balanced oak. Blackberries, dark plums and hints of cassis characters are complemented by classic Coonawarra mint-chocolate and the fine grained tannins finish off the wine nicely. This is a great go to wine for all occasions. Decant for 30-45 minutes and serve at 18°C.

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

Perfect wine match with and eye fillet steak with mushrooms, or a flavoursome pizza, enjoy.

92 pts - James Halliday, Wine Companion 2013.


Weekly Wine Picks:

Monday, August 6, 2012

Hewitson 'Ned & Henry's' Shiraz 2010

Grape Variety: 90% Shiraz, 10% Mourvèdre

Growing Region: Barossa Valley, Australia

Chief Winemaker: Dean Hewitson

Dean has access to some outstanding grapes, from vineyards grown on red soil over limestone, the classic 'terra-rossa' vineyards; provide the quality fruit for this Ned & Henry's Shiraz/ Mourvèdre. Traditionally grown, low cropping vines produce the rich flavours and tannins found in this wine.
After careful fermentation the wine was pressed into selected French barriques, where the wine also went through malolactic fermentation. The wine then matured in these same barrels for a total of about fifteen months before racking. While the base wine has always been Shiraz, each year Dean blends in a small proportion of Mourvèdre, which accentuates the fruit and adds another subtle layer of complexity.
In the glass you have a very deep red with a purple hue. The aroma is distinctive, with dark, ripe fruits and a dried herb and spice note from the Mourvèdre. The perfectly balanced French oak is a real treat. The flavours of dark-fruits and rich earthy characters are full and concentrated yet approachable. The palate is definitely full bodied, with a generous mouth feel with velvet tannins, and a long persistent finish. Decanter for 45-60 minutes and serve at 17C. *(Limited availability)

Drinking perfectly well this winter season; and will mature for another 6-7 years.

Perfect wine match with bbq's meats, spicy pizza or pasta and a good rich cheese, enjoy.

94 points, James Halliday, Wine Companion 2103.