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.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Matching Wine with Ice-cream

On a recent trip to Europe - I had the pleasure to sample and enjoy a wide array of sorbets, gelatos and a range of homemade and commercial quality ice-creams. Several restaurants made their own, or had a local supplier in the near-by village making them fresh and delivering as they needed. Plus I visited several top establishments that specialised in these fresh, fruity and creamy treats.
During each occasion came the inevitable question - Gavin what can we pair with our gelato, what wine do you suggest or can you find to match and compliment the personality in both.
So here are a few of the matches we made, along with a few of my favourite wine and sorbet, gelato and ice-cream pairings.
You must take into account the resulting high sugar content in some of these wines can tend to be thick, sweet, and very rich; some people find for example Botrytis dessert wines slightly cloying because of the sweetness, while others can't get enough.
Be careful when trying to pair sweet wines with ice-cream and even desserts - as the two don't always match each other's intensity - but when matched well they are a perfect end to any lunch or evening meal - plus either can be at their best and enjoyed on their own.
The following are only suggestions, guidelines and starting points - enjoy the journey.







Sunday, August 25, 2013

Taylors 'Jaraman' Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

Grape Variety: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Growing Regions: 68% Clare Valley, 32% Coonawarra, Australia

Head Winemaker: Adam Eggins

The 2010 growing season in the Clare Valley and Coonawarra regions were extremely varied, with the vines experiencing all weather conditions. While temperatures were a little higher than average during late January and February, the evenings and mornings were cool and mild, contributing to favourable sugar and flavour ripening conditions for the Cabernet bunches. Careful crop management and bunch thinning was implemented to ensure optimum fruit development, with their Cabernet Sauvignon exhibiting the benefits of slow maturation; ripe tannins and flavours with vibrant varietal distinction.
After harvesting, the grapes were de-stemmed and transferred to potter fermenters where the juice was fermented using specific yeast. Post fermentation, a small percentage of the fruit was left ‘on skins’ and soaked for around 4 weeks to achieve better integration of tannins. The wine was then gently pressed-off to tight grained French oak hogshead barrels (10% new, 90% 1-3 years old) there the wine went through malolactic fermentation. After approximately 18 months in oak, the wine was then fined, filtered and bottled in February 2012.
In the glass the wine has a dark red colour with a vibrant purple hue. There are lifted aromas of blackcurrant, cassis and subtle herbal and complex spice characters with a hint of tobacco notes from the oak. This wine is rich and full-bodied and is well-balanced across the palate with fine, elegant tannins - the hallmark of great Cabernet Sauvignon. Ripe flavours of blackcurrant and cassis delight with subtle savoury French oak characters of cedar and spice, giving the wine a long and persistent finish. Decant for 45-60 minutes and serve at 18°C.

Drinking perfectly well this coming season; and will age gracefully for another 5-7 years.
Perfect wine match with aged or well seasoned cuts of red meat, wild game and hard cheeses, enjoy.

A Cabernet with structure and character.


Wine in Brief:



Sunday, August 18, 2013

Marques de Caceres 'Reserva' 2005

Grape Variety: 85% Tempranillo, 15% Garnacha Tinta & Graciano
Growing Region: Rioja, Spain
Consultant Winemaker: Michel Rolland
Just like the 'Gran Reserva' wines crafted by Marques de Caceres, this 'Reserva' wine is only produced from vintages classed as excellent or very good. This 2005 Reserva was matured for 22 months in French oak barrels and for another 18 months or more in bottle, depending on the date of release.
The 2005 growing season was extremely varied in Rioja - but as with the rest of Europe turned for the better due to the intensive heat. Resulting in more than ideal conditions in the final few months to produce complex flavours in the harvested bunches, with the 2005 vintage was being officially rated as excellent. The grapes were selected from vineyards that are well exposed to the seasonal sun, with a considerable proportion of fruit coming from older vines that produce lower yields, resulting in greater flavour concentration.
In the glass you have a deep red colour. On the nose you will find an intense and complex bouquet combining fruits of the forest and a hint of spice, with a slight touch of floral notes. The palate is dense and delicious in the mouth where exquisite tannins reveal refined toasted notes acquired from the selected oak. The palate has a balanced complexity and the rich flavours provide good length and ensure a pleasant tasting experience. The wines unctuous structure comes through elegantly, producing an excellent character and personality in the wine. The wine has well-integrated tannins crafting a refined and luscious finish. Decant for 45-60 minutes and serve at 16-18°C.
Drinking perfectly well this coming season; and through to the end of 2018.
Perfect wine match with rich paella - quality Iberico ham, roast or grilled meats, foie gras, duck and mature cheese, enjoy.
A rustic wine, with a touch of elegance.


Wine in Brief:



Sunday, August 11, 2013

Brookfields 'Sun-Dried' Malbec 2012

Grape Variety: 100% Malbec
Growing Region: Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand
Owner / Chief Winemaker: Peter Robertson
The grapes for this 2012 ‘Sun-Dried’ Malbec were selectively harvested from Ohiti Estate and the Tuki Tuki Valley vineyard sites in Hawke’s Bay. The Malbec vines that Peter and his team tend too readily achieve ripeness each vintage, with each parcel normally being harvested at 23 Brix or more. The technique of sun-drying of bunches enhanced the sugar concentration inside each berry, as well as the flavours and colour.
The Malbec grapes were carefully handpicked, and then ‘sun-dried’ in trays for three to four weeks before being made into wine. Open fermentation tanks were used, so the grapes could be hand plunged. Due to the loss of moisture with the sun-drying, the cap is quite thick and demands more effort and attention than normal when plunged. After pressing and malolactic fermentation had occurred, and then the Malbec went into French oak barriques for a further 6 months of development.
In the glass you have a deep dark red colour wine. This wine is both bold in colour and intense fruit, this is typical of Peter’s ‘Sun-Dried’ Malbec, but from the 2012 vintage. Sun-Drying also enhances the bouquet, and the palate is energized. Rich, dark berry flavours come to the fore, and the integrated oak and tannins gives this wine a full and lengthy finish. Decant for 35-45 minutes and serve at 17-18°C.
Drinking well this coming season; and will appreciate another 5-7 years.
Perfect wine match with prime cuts of meat, with wild mushrooms and a slowly reduced wine jus, enjoy.
Packed with Personality.


Wine in Brief:



Sunday, August 4, 2013

Paul Jaboulet 'La Petite' Chapelle 2005

Grape Variety: 100% Syrah
Growing Region: Rhône Valley, France
Chief Winemaker: Caroline Frey - *(since 2006)
I have had the pleasure to stand amongst the vines from which this wine is sourced. Contrary to popular belief 'La Petite Chapelle' is not sourced from a single parcel of Hermitage. Rather a masterful blend of the diverse terroirs of Les Bessards, Les Greffeux, Le Méal and Les Rocoules. The richness of these diverse parcels combine to create a wine of incredible complexity and longevity. Each parcel is vinified separately, right until the final blending, which takes place one year after the harvest. The first vintage of ‘La Petite Chapelle’ was back in 2001.
Many of you may remember the extreme weather experienced across Europe in 2005 - marked by drought for most of the growing season. Selective small parcels were harvest over a 3 week period - each bunch having very small, firm berries, with very thick skins, resulting in a red wine much darker in colour than usual, along with the excellent representation of our terroir.
Grapes are hand-picked and brought to the base of the hill in small sleds. The selected grapes undergo a strict sorting prior to vinification. Each parcel is vinified separately and aged for 15 to 18 months or more in the cellars. Once the final blend is chosen, the wine receives additional time in barrel and is then aged in bottle prior to release.
In the glass you are greeted by a deep, black cherry colour, shining and bright, the wine has an intense aroma of fresh spices, red currants, floral notes and ripe, wild cherries. On the complex palate, the wine has a powerful and harmonious attack on the senses, all wrapped in subtle oak and noble tannins giving the wine a very long and elegant finish. Decant for 60-90 minutes and serve at 16 -18°C.
Approachable this winter season; through would appreciate another 10-12 years.
Perfect wine match with Quail stuffed with foie gras, Duck breast, roast Pork or Lamb shank, enjoy.
A real treat at any occasion.


Wine in Brief: