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, May 26, 2013

Hewitson 'Ned & Henry's' Shiraz 2011

Grape Variety: 90% Shiraz, 10% Mourvèdre
Growing Region: Barossa Valley, Australia
Head Winemaker: Dean Hewitson
Dean has crafted another full-flavoured Barossa Valley Shiraz that can be enjoyed in its youth at either a BBQ lunch or with slow cooked piece of prime meat at dinner. Dean’s wine making philosophies can be seen throughout this wine, with the use of French oak, fine grained tannins, balance and bright fruit expression.
Named after Dean’s two boys Ned & Henry - the fruit for this wine was sourced from several sites grown on classic terra rossa vineyards. The vineyards are traditionally grown, low cropped and produce the essential flavours and tannins. After careful fermentation the wine was pressed into quality French oak barrels, where the wine finished fermentation and underwent malolactic fermentation. The wine matured in barrel for a total of about fifteen months before racking and bottling. The base wine has always been Shiraz, though each year Dean blends in a small proportion of Mourvèdre, which accentuates the fruit and develops greater complexity.
The 2011 vintage for grape ripening and harvesting was exceptionally cool for the valley. The vineyard team made good decisions and each site were harvested before the later rains and once again were able to deliver a rounded, ripe wine at a balanced 14%.
The colour of the wine is a very deep red with a purple hue. The aroma is distinctively Barossa Valley, with black, ripe fruits and a dried herb spice influence from the Mourvèdre. The fruit flavours of berries and earthy characters are full and concentrated yet soft and supple. The tannins are integrated and persistent, giving the wine great balance and poise and carries Dean’s signature - 'drinkability'. Decant for 30-45 minutes and serve at 16-18°C.
Drinking well this coming season; and over the next 4-5 years.
Perfect wine match with bbq red meats, lamb shank, roast meats, a homemade meat pie and with a spicy pizza, enjoy.
A fruit driven wine with real personality.

Wine in Brief:



Saturday, May 25, 2013

Matching Wine with Meat Cuisine:

When matching food and wine - simply think of matching the strength of flavours and weight of the dish with the wine. Wine and food are meant for each other; each enhances and strengthens the experience of the whole, they bring out the best in each other.
Consider whether a dish is ‘light’ or 'heavy' in nature - in general, look to pair a light-bodied wine to go with a light dish, a medium-bodied wine to match a fuller dish, and a full-bodied wine to go with a heavy dish. For the following examples - try to focus on the flavours in each different meat dish, the same way you think about the flavours in wine - as families of flavours. The following wine and meat suggestions - are just that, suggestions and starting points - as there are so many different wines in the world - there are so many varied ways to cut, cure, season, cook and serve meat cuisine.

Other Pages of Interest: (click on link to view)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Chapel Hill 'Parson's Nose' Shiraz 2011

Grape Variety: 100% Shiraz
Growing Region: McLaren Vale, Australia
Chief Winemaker: Michael Fragos
Michael and the team at Chapel Hill located in McLaren Vale are crafting wines that are deservedly being recognized as some of the world’s leading expressions. This can be attributed to the vitality of the region, the intense attention to detail in the vineyard and ultimately the best winemaking decisions in the winery to express these characters in their wines. The Parson’s Nose Shiraz is dedicated to showcasing these varietal characteristics and the vintage growing season.
The 2011 growing season was notable for its more moderate extremes conducive to structured and full flavoured wines. To achieve the resulting style, the grapes were selectively harvested to avoid any overripe, unbalanced flavours. The fermentation was handled carefully and allowed to remain on skins for up to 8 days to ensure optimum extraction of flavour and tannin. To complement the varietal complexity well seasoned tight grained French oak was used during maturation. During which the wine was regularly racked to encourage the integration and development of the subtle tannins.
Michael’s aim of this wine is too express these unique characters within a rich mouth feel and a wine with personality. Appropriate use of French oak plays a supporting role and is utilised delicately so as to not dominate the primary varietal characters.
The 2011 Parson’s Nose Shiraz shows confident aromas of dark berries and freshly cracked pepper with dried spices. The delicious palate is overflowing with black Doris plum flavours that seamlessly integrate with the gently textured oak and the firm persistent tannins - creating a broad and lingering finish. Decant for 30-45 minutes and serve at 16-18°C.
Drinking perfectly well this coming season; and will age well for another 5-7 years.
Perfect wine match with slowly cooked lamb shank, roast beef with seasoned vegetables and with aged hard cheeses, enjoy.
A refreshing approached to a full flavoured Shiraz.

Wine in Brief:



Sunday, May 12, 2013

Paul Jaboulet ‘Côtes du Rhône’ Parallele 45 - 2010

Grape Variety: 60% Grenache, 40% Syrah
Growing Region: Côtes du Rhône, France
Head Winemaker: Caroline Frey
The Jaboulet Parallèle 45 is the Côtes du Rhône wine that has virtually built the reputation of the Rhône as the region producing the greatest value in quality French wine. Year after year this wine has justified its reputation as France’s best value red wine. The Jaboulet family named their Côtes du Rhône in the early 1950’s - taking its name from the 45th Northern parallel which runs two kilometers from their cellars, in the village of Pont de l’Isère, a monument symbolizes this line with an inscription; ‘The South begins here’.
Under the Frey family ownership, all wines are now reaching new quality levels. In 2007, Jaboulet’s vineyards passed qualification for ‘reasoned agriculture’, encompassing: vineyard management, fertilization and vine treatments - indicating Jaboulet’s commitment to sustainable vineyard practices.
Jaboulet Côtes du Rhône Parallele 45 is a blend of Grenache and Syrah from vines averaging 25-30 years of age. Sourced from vineyards throughout the Rhône Valley that combine to produce a pure, clean expression of this region.
The grapes arrive at the winery and are sorted and vinified in stainless steel tank for about 3 - 4 weeks to extract colour, flavour and body, followed by 3-6 months ageing in tank prior to bottling. The aim is to retain berry freshness and balance while producing a full, food friendly wine. The southern Rhône Valley was blessed with ideal weather in 2010. The spring was normal and summer was nicely warm and dry, which allowed the grapes to mature in the most optimal conditions.
The wine is rich and persistent; the palate is fresh with subtle grains of natural tannins giving an air of distinction. A vintage which has combined a wealth of sunshine, with elegance and balance. This Parallele 45 Côtes du Rhône is a fresh, medium bodied red driven by notes of dark summer fruits and exotic dried spices with a rounded and delicate mouth-feel and a smooth finish. Decant for 20 minutes and serve at 16-18°C.
Drinking perfectly well this coming season; and over the next 2-3 years.
Perfect wine match with grilled and roasted meats, lamb-shank, homemade pizza and with hard, aged cheeses, enjoy.
One of France’s best value red wines.

Wine in Brief:



Sunday, May 5, 2013

Brookfields 'Back Block' Syrah 2012

Grape Variety: 100% Syrah
Growing Region: Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand
Owner / Head Winemaker: Peter Robertson
I still remember the day that we named the ‘Back Block’ Syrah, when Peter called me standing amongst the vines located at the back of Ohiti Estate - it all just made sense. For those of you who have lived your lives in a city - a ‘back block’ is a generic term - country, farming folk live in the back blocks (isolated hill country), and every farm has a back block. The Syrah vines at Ohiti, which are deep in the heart of Hawke’s Bay, are literally at the back, surrounded by hills on a shingle, free draining base, facing north, thus ideal for ripening good red fruit.
The fruit was harvested on the 16th of April, and after arriving in the winery the juice and tank fermented, the cap being carefully management by pumping over the juice to extract colour, aroma and layers of flavour. It was pressed and immediately went back into tank, where it underwent malolactic fermentation. It was then carefully transferred into new and used French oak barrels to develop and mature for approximately seven months, before bottling. 
In the glass you have a rich magenta colour.  On the nose you have subtle notes of black pepper, dried herbs, oak and dark fruits are integrated by balanced low alcohol of just 13%. The wine is vibrant and approachable, with the dark berry flavours filling out the palate and giving the wine a pleasing lingering finish. The grapes might come from the back block, but the flavours are all up front, ready to be enjoyed. Decant for 30-40 minutes and serve at 16-18°C.
Drinking well this winter season; and will develop nicely over the next 3-4 years.
Perfect wine match with slow roasted lamb, duck, beef & gnocchi pasta and hard cheeses, enjoy.
A Syrah that will surprise you.

Wine in Brief: