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, October 27, 2013

Tupari ‘Awatere Valley’ Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Grape Variety: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
Growing Region: Awatere Valley, New Zealand
Owner / Winemaker: Glenn Thomas
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.
Drinking perfectly well this summer season; and over the next 12 months.
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
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.
Drinking perfectly well this summer season; and through to the middle of 2014.
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
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.
Drinking perfectly well this summer season; and will develop further over the next 4-5 years.
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
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.
Drinking perfectly well this summer season; and will develop further over the next 3-4 years.
Perfect wine match with roast pork, duck confit, mushroom pasta and mature cheeses, enjoy.
A well balanced, elegant Pinot Noir.


Wine in Brief: