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, June 30, 2013

Geoff Merrill ‘McLaren Vale' Shiraz 2008

Grape Variety: 100% Shiraz

Growing Region: McLaren Vale, Australia

Owner / Chief Winemaker: Geoff Merrill

The 2008 vintage was a testing growing season for the whole region - and will be remembered for the incredible heat wave that affected South Australia and the challenges related with it. The season began well, but once the heat wave struck, extra attention was required in the vineyard by all the team. Early ripening varieties were actually in excellent condition and Geoff and his team have produced many exciting wines from this vintage.
A few vineyard sites selected for this wine were affected by the heat wave - and ripened much fast than expected, with some parcels being picked and processed with jammy and extremely ripe fruit flavours. Fortunately with all the effort in the vineyards these exciting, ripe parcels developed layers of intense flavour - enabling the team to craft an exciting wine from this season. With carefully selected harvesting decisions, each parcel of fruit underwent appropriate fermentation extracting good colour, ideal fruit flavours and spice characters - then the wine was transferred to American & French oak for 20 months of further development.
In the glass you have a deep red colour with a soft purple hue. On the nose the wine has typical McLaren Vale aromas showing dried spice, ripe berry fruits and savoury, smoky notes. The palate is tightly held together with solid tannins and acid structure with ripe dark fruit characters reflective of this vintage. The wine shows good balance, complexity, well integrated subtle oak and has a lingering, lively finish. Decant for 30-40 minutes and serve at 16-18°C.
Drinking perfectly well this coming season; and over the next 3-4 years.
Perfect wine match with seasoned red meats, spicy pizza and freshly made pasta dishes, enjoy.
Classic McLaren Vale spice.


Wine in Brief:



Sunday, June 23, 2013

Taylors 'St Andrews' Shiraz 2009

Grape Variety: 100% Shiraz
Growing Region: Clare Valley, Australia
Chief Winemaker: Mitchell Taylor
For Taylors, the St Andrews range of wines is a testament to their winemaking philosophy and a showcase for their hand-crafted approach to winemaking. The first Taylors St. Andrews wines were released in 1999 and have developed a reputation as benchmark examples of great Clare Valley wine - only released in the finest vintages.
The growing season in 2009 was near perfect in the Clare Valley. The Shiraz fruit from their selected sites was exceptionally well balanced; showing rich, varietal fleshy fruit flavours, with the St Andrews vineyards yielded no more than 2.2 tonnes per acre.
Once harvested, the grapes for this wine were taken a short distance to the winery where they were gently de-stemmed to protect the vibrant fruit characters and minimise any extraction of harsh tannins. The fruit was then transferred to open barrels and inoculated with a special yeast strain for fermentation. The must was then hand-plunged twice daily to aid gentle extraction before being pressed and transferred back to the same oak barrels to undergo its secondary malolactic fermentation. After completing this stage the wine was racked off lees prior to final blending. The blended wine was then transferred to a mixture of fine-grained French and American oak barrels and matured for 12 months prior to filtering and bottling in March 2011.
In the glass you have a dark red colour with a deep crimson hue. The wine has earthy, complex and enticing aromas of chocolate-mocha intertwined with spice and rich, dark berry fruits. The palate is full and mouth filling, packed with rich fruit flavours and the oak characters are in absolute balance bringing structure and grace to the palate from start to finish. This is a generous yet elegant wine that showcases Clare Valley Shiraz at its best. Decant for 45-60 minutes and serve at 17-18°C.
Drinking perfectly well this winter season; and will age well for another 7-8 years.
Perfect wine match with wild game, seasoned, roast meats and spicy tapas, enjoy.
Clare Valley Shiraz in perfect balance.

Wine in Brief:



Sunday, June 16, 2013

Torbreck 'Woodcutter's' Shiraz 2011

Grape Variety: 100% Shiraz
Growing Region: Barossa Valley, Australia
Chief Winemaker: David Powell
As Torbreck enthusiasts will be aware - ‘Woodcutter’s’ the name of this Shiraz comes from David Powell’s time spent working in the Scottish Highlands as a lumberjack in the Torbreck forest. This wine as with previous expressions gives you an insight into the younger Shiraz vineyards of the Barossa that Dave has natured back to life. Also it is slightly more approachable in its youth - than some of the more hardened old vines which make up the core of his other cuvee’s. Although this wine is constantly praised for being succulent and rich - perhaps the best feature of this wine is its complexity and texture which are rarely found at this price.
The fruit for this wine is sourced across the north-western region of Barossa Valley from dry grown, bush vines, from hand harvested and hand tended unique sites that include - Marananga, Greenock, Ebenezer, Gomersal, Moppa, Lyndoch and Kalimna.
The fruit was fermented in a combination of their cement, wooden and stainless steel vats for 6-7 days and then basket pressed into well seasoned hogsheads and French oak foudres for 12 months. Then it was bottled without the use of either fining or filtration.
In the glass you are greeted by a dense, rich and opulent dark red wine. On the nose this wine shows ripe dark berries, spice and earthy notes. The combination of great fruit purity mixed with texture, complexity and finesse gives the palate real presence. All of these elements create a wine that is elegant, structured and powerful and is a fantastic introduction to the Torbreck interpretation of old bush vine Shiraz. The finish is rich, full and lingers with a balanced persistence. Whilst offering immense pleasure in its youth the 2011 Woodcutter’s Shiraz if opened in the near future would appreciate being decanted for approx 45-60 minutes, then serve at 16-18°C.
Drinking well this season; and will age gracefully for another 5-7 years.
Perfect wine match with grilled and well seasoned red meats, spicy pizza, tapas and aged hard cheeses, enjoy.
One of the world’s best value Shiraz wines.


Wine in Brief:



Sunday, June 9, 2013

Stonyridge ‘Larose’ 2010

Grape Varieties: 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Petit Verdot, 17% Malbec, 8% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Carmenère
Growing Region: Waiheke Island, New Zealand
Owner / Chief Winemaker: Stephen White
Since the first vines were planted at Stonyridge Vineyard back in 1982 - every decision made has been with the sole intention of crafting a world-class wine from the famous Bordeaux red grapes. This classic Cabernet-dominant blend is named ‘Larose’ as a tribute to the rose, which can be found at the end of several rows near the winery.
The vineyard aspect has a gentle north-facing slope, with the vines being sheltered from cold southwesterly winds by the ridge which gives the vineyard its name. Combined with these ideal conditions and excellent ‘organic’ viticulture, the grapes have achieved perfect ripeness.
Yields at Stonyridge can be as low as 2 tonnes per acre, with the grapes being hand-picked and immediately taken a short distance to the winery. Fermentation was followed by a 2 week maceration period before being basket-pressed, with malolactic fermentation being completed in barrel. The wine was aged 12 months in 100% French barrels, 60% new oak and the rest 1 year old, racked regularly, rarely fined and never filtered.
Larose is blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Petit Verdot, 17% Malbec, 8% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Carmenère. A deep garnet-purple colour fills the glass; the nose displays pronounced notes of warm black forest berries, black cherry jam, cassis, spice, cedar, mocha and cigar box.
Though full bodied, currently it is still tightly knit in the mouth; it has a solid structure and firm, fine-grained tannins supporting the intense fruit. The secondary spice characters of clove and thyme are layered with leather and a hint of freshly roasted dark coffee. The oak is integrated, balanced and supports the fruit skillfully. The persistence on the palate is impressive and goes on forever. The 'Larose' 2010 is an absolute powerhouse, which while impressive at this early stage, will only get better over the coming years. Decant carefully for 2 hours, and serve at 18°C.
Drinking well this season with decanting; though it would appreciate another 10 years.
Perfect wine match with aged sirloin, venison, ostrich with simple seasoning or a wine jus, enjoy.
One of the world’s iconic red wines.

Wine in Brief:



Sunday, June 2, 2013

Cecchi ‘Riserva di Famiglia’ Chianti Classico DOCG 2009

Grape Variety: 90% Sangiovese, 10% Colorino
Growing Region: Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy
Chief Winemaker: Andrea Cecchi
I have mentioned before - that a bottle of wine is like a time machine, able to take you back to that time and place where you first experienced a wonderful memory - and this wine reminds me so vividly of my visits to Tuscany, enjoying authentic - richly flavoured cuisine in small, hill top towns.
The 'Riserva di Famiglia' (Family Reserve) is certainly Cecchi’s most terroir expressive wine and one not to be missed. The Riserva di Famiglia reflects the Cecchi family’s deep connection and knowledge of the historic Chianti Classico area and represents a special cuvee that is produced in only the best years. The vines are situated in the heart of Chianti in the Castellina area in Chianti Classico, some 250 meters above sea level, creating the perfect environment for the rich, ripe fruit to develop and then carefully harvested at the optimum condition.
After careful fermentation in stainless steel tanks for 21 days, the wine was aged in oak for a minimum of 2 years, 12 months of which was spent in small oak barriques, then with bottle aging for 3 months before labelling.
A brilliant and intense red fills the glass. The wine has a full and persistent bouquet, characterized by ripe fruits, spice and smoky oak notes. On the palate, the wine delivers concentrated black fruit flavours and has an elegant structure with supple tannins. The wine expresses a serious palate, complex layers of dark fruits and spices give way to hints of earthiness and tobacco all entwined creating a full bodied wine, with a long and persistent finish. Decant for 45-60 minutes and serve at 17-18°C.
Drinking well this winter season; and will age well for another 5-7 years.
Perfect wine match with roast meats, wild game, rich pasta dishes and with aged, hard cheeses, enjoy.
A confident wine with an elegant structure.

Wine in Brief: