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.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

WINEGUY.CO.NZ

The only constant in the universe is change. Today is the first day of summer in the southern hemisphere. Today the television signal of New Zealand has officially gone digital. 4G mobile networks are more common place, super broad-band internet is being rolled out across the country and the world. Computers, Laptops, Tablets and Smart-phones are changing, updating and upgrading as you read this.
So what better day to release my ‘new’ website. All of the wine reviews - wine articles plus much more that you have enjoyed here on this ‘blog-site’ have moved, upgraded to a brand new website called - yes you guessed it: wineguy.co.nz.
Many of the wine articles have been updated, plus there are several new features, information and wine resources added - happy reading. [Simply click on the icon]

http://www.wineguy.co.nz/


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Matawhero 'Church House' Chenin Blanc 2013

Grape Variety: 100% Chenin Blanc
 
Growing Region: Gisborne, New Zealand
 
Owners: Kirsten & Richard Searle
 
TASTING NOTE:
Chenin Blanc is one of the classic grape varieties of the world - slightly lost in translation here in New Zealand for a number of years - but with a confident and relevant approach, this expression is something to please the taste buds and pair with varied summer cuisine. The grapes for this wine were sourced Pete Briant’s vineyard in the Patutahi region just across the river from Matawhero.
After regular deliberations between the viticulturist and winemaker the Chenin Blanc was harvested when the grapes were flavour ready. Harvesting took place in the cool of the morning; with the fruit reaching superb ripeness after one of the best summers on record in Gisborne.
Once in the winery - the grapes were swiftly crushed and pressed ensuring that the brightest, most delicate flavours and aromas were protected during fermentation. Careful temperature management during fermentation has helped protect and develop this wines full expression. Once the perfect balance had been achieved the Chenin Blanc was separated from the fermentation solids to maximise the expression of this crisp variety’s wonderful floral and citrus characters.
In the glass you have a pale straw colour with golden highlights. On the nose this Chenin Blanc is showing citrus blossom, floral and orange zest notes. The well balanced palate has an abundance of lime, white peach and honeysuckle characters with fresh acidity - giving the wine a lively finish. Chill and serve at 8ºC.
 
CELLARING POTENTIAL:
Drinking perfectly well this summer season; and through until the end of 2014.
 
SUGGESTED FOOD MATCHES:
Perfect wine match with seafood, Asian cuisine, and fresh flavoured summer salads, enjoy.
 
An old refreshing classic, ready for summer.
 
    
 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Jules Taylor 'Marlborough' Sauvignon Blanc 2013

Grape Variety: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
 
Growing Region: Marlborough, New Zealand
 
Owner / Winemaker: Jules Taylor
 
TASTING NOTE:
Most of the country has now started to enjoy long sunny, summer days - encouraging each of us to think about and serve fresh seafood cuisine, including shellfish, white fish and seasonal salads. So to pair with these fresh flavours you need a bright, lively and crisp white wine - so on que enters this dynamic Sauvignon Blanc. The fruit for this quality, layered Sauvignon Blanc was grown in the Hawkesbury, Lower Wairau & Awatere Valley sub regions of Marlborough.
Each carefully harvested parcel of fruit was chosen for its specific contribution to the aroma, flavour and structure of the final wine blend. In order to respect and reflect the flavours of each individual vineyard parcel to come through in the final blend, Jules kept the winemaking deliberately uncomplicated. As the parcels of fruit came into the winery, they were pressed and cold settled over a period of 48 hours. After racking the juice off its lees, a cool fermentation with selected yeast strains took place over a good length of time. Post fermentation, the individual components were then tasted and blended, stabilised and bottled capturing the grape varietal freshness.
In the glass the wine has a pale lime colour, with a lemon hue. On the nose this Sauvignon Blanc shows aromas of fruit salad, passion-fruit and white peach, pineapple skin notes with underlying green peppers and tomato vine leaves. On the palate the wine is wrapped in a juicy acidity and those tropical flavours of passion-fruit, pineapple and subtle lychee notes shine through with restrained herbaceous notes rounding out the lively, crisp dry finish. Chill and serve at 8ºC.
 
CELLARING POTENTIAL:
Drinking perfectly well this summer season; and through until the middle of 2014.
 
SUGGESTED FOOD MATCHES:
Perfect wine match with simple served shellfish, steamed or grilled white fish and a freshly tossed summer salad, enjoy.
 
An iconic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
 
    
 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Brookfields 'Back Block' Syrah 2013

Grape Variety: 100% Syrah
 
Growing Region: Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand
 
Owner / Chief Winemaker: Peter Robertson
 
TASTING NOTE:
As the name states - the fruit for this wine is sourced from the ‘Back Block’ vineyard located on the Ohiti Estate in Hawke’s Bay. The grapes ripen here extremely well every season due to the vines being surrounded by hills and growing on a shingle free draining base, with the vines facing northerly in direction, thus ideal for achieving physiological ripeness.
The flavour packed fruit was harvested on the 19th of April, where it was fermented in tank to retain varietal integrity. The grape cap was pumping over on a regular basis to extract balanced colour, aroma and palate characters. The time on the skins was approximately three weeks. It was then pressed and immediately went back into tank, for malolactic fermentation, it was then transferred to age and develop further layers for a limited time in oak barrels. 
In the glass this 2013 ‘Back Block’ Syrah is rich in colour with a magenta edge, accompanied by a most inviting palate. Made in an extractive manner due to the ripeness, the ‘Back Block’ Syrah has intensely dark berry flavours, with a moreish palate. Typical notes of white pepper, with subtle spices are evident, wrapped in ripe black Doris plum. With this 2013 vintage - ripeness is the key to this wines early appeal. The barrel mix is French and American, some of which were coopered in Portugal. Time in oak barrel was limited, hence the early approachability of this Syrah.  Decant for 30-45 minutes and serve at 16-18ºC.
 
CELLARING POTENTIAL:
Drinking perfectly well this summer season; and over the next 2-3 years.
 
SUGGESTED FOOD MATCHES:
Perfect wine match with roast meats, slow cooked Duck dishes, freshly made sessoned pasta and hard cheeses, enjoy.
 
Well balanced, early drinking style Syrah.
 
    
 

Wine in Brief:





    

    

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Lake Chalice 'Marlborough' Sauvignon Blanc 2013

Grape Variety: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
 
Growing Region: Talon Vineyard, Grovetown, Marlborough, New Zealand
 
Head Winemaker: Matt Thomson
 
TASTING NOTE:
With summer just around the corner - what better wine to pair with fresh fish and a summer salad than a Sauvignon Blanc. Lake Chalice have a long and respected history of crafting fruit forward, early drinking style Sauvignon Blanc wines - and this 2013 is made to impress any summer occasion. Talking with the guys behind Lake Chalice, they are very pleased with their new Talon Vineyard in the Dillons Point area, east of Blenheim the source of the fruit for this wine.
The block is one of the last in the area to be planted under vines. Matt and Phil identified this area as ideal Sauvignon Blanc country some time ago and spent 18 months searching before being able to secure this block in 2007, with the first crop harvested in 2009.
This site now ensure that they can source Sauvignon Blanc from all the main sub-regions of Marlborough (Awatere Valley, Rapaura, Lower Waihopai, Renwick and now Dillons Point Road) and will able them to maintain a consistent style and quality for this estate label expression. The Talon Vineyard provided 67% of this blend with the balance coming from two other vineyards in the same area of Marlborough’s Wairau Plain.
The harvested fruit was promptly delivered to the winery and pressed without delay to enable minimal skin contact. Cool fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks using selected yeasts.
In the glass you will have a pale straw coloured wine with green hues. On the nose you will find lifted aromas of passion-fruit and blackcurrant leaves. The palate is dry and crisp, a medium bodied wine with a refreshing and lively palate. The mouth-watering acidity is balanced by a subtle mineral note giving this wine a lingering finish. Chill and serve at 8ºC.
 
CELLARING POTENTIAL:
Drinking perfectly well this summer season; and through to the middle of 2014.
 
SUGGESTED FOOD MATCHES:
Perfect wine match with freshly caught shellfish, grilled white fish with a freshly tossed summer salad, enjoy.
 
Crisp, lively, early drinking Sauvignon Blanc.

    
 

Wine in Brief:




    

    

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Tupari ‘Awatere Valley’ Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Grape Variety: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
 
Growing Region: Awatere Valley, New Zealand
 
Owner / Winemaker: Glenn Thomas
 
TASTING NOTE:
I recently caught up with Glenn in Blenheim - where we sampled several wines including the new vintage (still in tank and barrel) along with this outstanding 2012 Sauvignon Blanc.
Tupari Wines is a small artisan vineyard located in the 'Awatere Valley' of Marlborough in the South Island of New Zealand. The vineyard takes its name from the dramatic cliffs forming the Upper Awatere Valley where the Turnbull family and pioneering winemaker Glenn Thomas have collaborated to create wines of distinction.
The vineyard is situated on north-facing river flats overlooking the braided Awatere River. As in previous years Glenn has crafted a sophisticated, elegant wine displaying striking flavour intensity with good structure and balance. This single-vineyard wine comes from two distinct sites - the minerality from the 'Boulder' block and the lively fruit characters from 'Campers Flat' block are combined in a wine with balanced complexity.
The grapes for this wine were harvested as two separate parcels before being gently pressed. Glenn selected two specific yeast strains to add layers of flavour, and 10% of the wine was placed in well seasoned oak barrels to create textual complexity. The wine was then left on the lees for 6 months, stirred weekly to enhance the texture of the mid palate.
In the glass you will find a pale straw colour with green hints.  On the nose the wine shows white peach and subtle passion-fruit notes and a distinct mineral quality which is the hallmarks of this wine. The portion of oak combined with extended time on lees has created a palate that is plentiful and showing mineral and citrus flavours on the finish. Chill and serve at 9-10ºC.
 
CELLARING POTENTIAL:
Drinking perfectly well this summer season; and over the next 12 months.
 
SUGGESTED FOOD MATCHES:
Perfect wine match with shellfish, river trout, grilled snapper and a fresh summer salad, enjoy.
 
A distinct mineral quality.

    
 

Wine in Brief:




   

    

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Grower’s Mark 'Marlborough' Sauvignon Blanc 2013

Grape Variety: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
 
Growing Region: Marlborough, New Zealand
 
Winemaker: Kim Crawford
 
TASTING NOTE:
You have heard that every great wine is made in the vineyard and the Grower's Mark wines champion this philosophy and their grape growers. Every farmer has a 'reserve block' or a few select rows which show something special each vintage. They also chose the rose as their Growers Mark as it has long been utilised in grape growing as an early warning system for disease. All the wines are sustainably grown, ensuring the vineyards remain for our future generations along with producing a range of exciting varietal-expressive wines.
Renowned viticulturist Jeremy Hyland selected three vineyards to supply grapes for this wine. One in the lower Awatere to give minerality to the wine, one in the lower Waihoepai to give tropical notes and one in the Wairau to give the herbaceous punch. Once in the winery the grapes were crushed and gently pressed, cold settled for 36 hours and then juice was inoculated and fermented towards dryness.
In the glass the wine is a pale straw colour, with a subtle green hue. On the nose the wine has lifted sweet passion-fruit notes along with beach grass, underscored with typical herbaceous characters associated with good Sauvignon Blanc.  On the palate the wine is quintessentially a Marlborough Sauvignon. A burst of ripe fruit, passion-fruit and gooseberry backed with subtle herbaceous and delicate white pepper notes. The palate also has firm acidity which is balanced with good fruit weight, giving the wine great persistence of flavour on the finish.  Chill and serve at 8ºC.
 
CELLARING POTENTIAL:
Drinking perfectly well this summer season; and through to the middle of 2014.
 
SUGGESTED FOOD MATCHES:
Perfect wine match with shellfish, freshly caught white fish with a summer salad, and light style Asian cuisine - enjoy.
 
A dynamic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.

    
 

Wine in Brief:




    

    

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Cecchi Chianti Classico DOCG 2011

Grape Variety: 90% Sangiovese, 10% Colorino
 
Growing Region: Chianti Classico region, Tuscany, Italy
 
Chief Winemaker: Andrea Cecchi
 
TASTING NOTE:
I have had the pleasure to be a guest of the Cecchi family on a number of occasions over the years. Each time I visit their vineyards across Tuscany - it is clear to see the Cecchi family has a deep connection with their carefully crafted wines and their unique terroir. When you taste their wines made from indigenous grape varieties - they have a character, style and quality which only a hands on history and extensive experience can create.
Cecchi family estates, conservation for the land is a key focus, because each estate’s particular environmental characteristics are responsible for the quality and personality of the wines. The fruit for this wine was sourced from their own vineyards located in Castellina in Chianti, the area of Chianti Classico. The vines are planted some 305m above sea level, where the soil is poor, stony and calcareous.
After carefully harvesting the fruit, the grapes underwent a traditional fermentation on the skins for 18 days. The wine was then aged in small oak barrels and barriques for 9-12 months. The wine has a lively ruby-red colour, turning toward garnet on the edge. On the nose your will find emphasized violet aromas, with rich cherry notes. On the palate the rich cherry flavours and sutble spice notes come through, balanced with soft tannins and integrated oak. The wine is well balanced and dry with a lingering fruit driven finish. Decant for 30 minutes and serve at 16-18ºC.
 
CELLARING POTENTIAL:
Drinking perfectly well this summer season; and will develop further over the next 4-5 years.
 
SUGGESTED FOOD MATCHES:
Perfect wine match with seasoned red meats, mushroom pasta and aged, hard cheeses, enjoy.
 
A classic Chianti, true to its terroir.
 
    
 

Wine in Brief:




   

    

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Akarua ‘Central Otago’ Pinot Noir 2012

Grape Variety: 100% Pinot Noir
 
Growing Region: Central Otago, New Zealand
 
Head Winemaker: Matt Connell
 
TASTING NOTE:
I have enjoyed watching the progress of Akarua Pinot Noir since they first planted their vines in 1996. Even though 2012 was a difficult vintage for Central Otago and the rest of the country - both vine age and team confidence on how to work with their vines and fruit has resulted in a well balanced wine. As with all well crafted Pinot Noirs, their personality is influenced greatly by their environment and it is clear to see this unique expression is all Central Otago. Under the careful guidance of the head winemaker Matt Connell, supported by the experienced skilled of viticulturist Gillian Wilson they bottled another honest expression of Pinot Noir.
The fruit for this wine was sourced from their Bannockburn vineyard - and the carefully harvested bunches underwent pre-ferment maceration for 5 days. A number of various yeast strains were chosen for fermentation that was carried out for 6 days. The wine was then transferred to French oak barriques for 10 months with 30% being new oak with a medium-plus toasting.
In the glass you are met by a deep red colour with a ruby edge. On the nose there are bright aromatics of bramble fruits and spice. On the palate the wine expresses intense black fruit flavours and layered complexity. This wine is finely balanced with red fruits and finely textured and integrated tannins. This Pinot Noir has poise and a pleasant lingering finish. Decant for 30-45 minutes and serve at 16-18ºC.
 
CELLARING POTENTIAL:
Drinking perfectly well this summer season; and will develop further over the next 3-4 years.
 
SUGGESTED FOOD MATCHES:
Perfect wine match with roast pork, duck confit, mushroom pasta and mature cheeses, enjoy.
 
A well balanced, elegant Pinot Noir.

    
 

Wine in Brief:




    

    

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Matawhero 'Church House' BF Chardonnay 2011

Grape Variety: 100% Chardonnay
 
Growing Region: Gisborne, New Zealand
 
Owners: Kirsten & Richard Searle
 
TASTING NOTE:
Matawhero Estate Wines that has been owned by Richard & Kirsten Searle since 2008, has been replanted, revitalized and introduced to a new generation of wine enthusiasts.
This well crafted Chardonnay continues the well deserved worldwide acclaim for the Gisborne wine region. The premium grapes for this wine were sourced from the highly recognised Briant vineyard, which is situated between Patutahi and Manutuke, across the Waipaoa River from the Matawhero winery. The silt deposits that overlay the clay base provide ideal growing conditions for Chardonnay. The dominant clone used is 548, a new clone imported from France which is suited to barrel fermentation. The clone is usually early ripening and produces full-bodied, balanced, rich wines with complex aromas.
All of the grapes were machine harvested and promptly brought to the winery where they used a selected yeast strain ideal for barrel fermentation, which was carried out in a mixture of old puncheons and oak barriques until fermented dry. The wine underwent full malolactic fermentation and stayed on its lees until February - it was then stabilised, filtered and bottled.
In the glass you have a light golden colour with a green hue. On the nose you will find ripe melon and fig notes with a hint of oak. The palate is confident, rich and full with stone fruits and peach flavours with integrated layers of toasty oak notes, resulting in a charming and approachable wine, with great length and persistence on the finish. Chill and serve at 8-10ºC.
 
CELLARING POTENTIAL:
Drinking perfectly well this summer season; and over the next 2-3 years.
 
SUGGESTED FOOD MATCHES:
Perfect wine match with roast chicken, pork, lamb cutlets and aged, creamy cheese, enjoy.
 
An approachable, barrel fermented Chardonnay.

    

Wine in Brief: