Wemyss Tasting

By Jak Jakicevich
10 April 2015, 12:15 am

Yesterday, Jim from Wemyss hosted a Whisky tasting at our Victoria Park Whisky Corner. Jim, the Chief Financial Officer at Wemyss, is in New Zealand on holiday his mother and his wife, who’s a Kiwi. He flew up from Napier for the afternoon just to visit us, dressed in his best tartan.


As an independent bottler of whisky, Wemyss (pronounced ‘weems’) is a family owned business based in Scotland and has a long association with whisky dating back to the turn of the 19th Century when John Haig built his first distillery on Wemyss land. Wemyss approach to whisky aims to select only the very highest quality of malt whiskies and in doing so make them more accessible and understandable by using the tasting and aromas of individual whiskies to identify each bottling. With that in mind, we tried blended whiskies named ‘The Hive’, ‘The Spice King’ and single malt named ‘Eastern Promise’ from Speyside. Later in the evening, we opened ‘Lemon Zest’.

The tasting wasn’t all whisky; we also tasted Darnley’s View Gin. Wemyss’ sister brand gin is named after the first meeting of Mary Queen of Scots and her future husband Lord Darnley at Wemyss Castle in the 1565, 204 years before Captain Cook discovered New Zealand. The Original Darnley’s View Gin is made with six different botanicals; with juniper, lemon peel and elderflower make this gin unique. The principle botanicals in the Darnley’s View Spiced Gin recipe are juniper, cinnamon and nutmeg. The spiced gin was enjoyed with ginger ale and a slice of orange; a refreshing twist.

We later tried Lord Elcho, Wemyss’ range of blended Scotch whisky, named after another slice of Wemyss family history.  Lord Elcho, Earl of Wemyss, is a distant relative of William Wemyss. Lord Elcho was an influential figure in Scottish history, famous for his role in the Battle of Culloden in 1745.

Jim also pointed out that Wemyss had a cocktail section on their website. While Whisky traditionalists prefer to enjoy their whiskies neat, Wemyss has a fantastic range of cocktail recipes, put together by leading mixologist Jason Scott from Bramble Bar in Edinburgh.

The Wemyss Whisky Brand was officially launched at our Glengarry Victoria Park site at our May Malt Club last year. This is a relatively new brand for Glengarry and is exclusive to the group. Can’t wait for another Wemyss night.


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Tasmanian Whisky

By Jak Jakicevich
19 March 2013, 8:55 pm

I visited our close island neighbour in 2013 to see what the Tassie boys are brewing. Landing in Hobart I hooked up with Bill Lark at Lark distillery to have a look at what he and many others are doing over there on our West Island.
Bill’s Whisky store and visitors centre is based in the centre of town while his and the other distillers are based further out in the country. So it was off on a motorcycle tour with Bill and his fellow distiller Mark to see a few distilleries.
Whisky production in Tasmania is cranking with yet another small producer setting up shop. The new Redlands distillery has been setup just out of Hobart. Joining the ranks of Larks, Nant, Sullivan Cove, Overeen, Helleyer and others distilling on the island.
Redlands is built on the historic 1840, farm with the original buildings surrounding it.

With the guidance of Tasmanian Whisky legend Bill Lark a state of the art micro distillery has been constructed in the old stables building. With barley grown on site this is a truly end to end production , complete with a malting drum, and malt floor and the 900 litre still, production is underway.
Small 100 litre casks will start to be filled and stored in the old brick buildings

The visitors shop has already been setup with local Whisky and beer with platters and refreshments to enjoy after a tour of the beautiful grounds and distillery.I look forward to returning to sample the fruits of there labour. James Reid the distiller is busy establishing this site which has huge potential.


Our ride took us across country to Nant. A restored water wheel Mill is now grinding grist for Whisky making. The distillery has accommodation and a fine restaurant. We tried some exceptional whiskies here which are all for sale on site.



The next stop was to sample a rare 100% rye whisky made on a farm by Peter Bignell and known as the Bellgrove Distillery. This one is to watch out for but a very small production.

We toured the Lark and Sullivans Cove distilleries the next day. They are a short drive from Hobart. The Lark operation was well setup with brewing and distilling all together and small half size barrels being stored away safely some meters away in a warehouse.




I was impressed with the Sullivans Cove product here they have a converted Brandy still producing fine Single Malt from Beer brought in from the local brewery. They age in full size casks a mixture of American and French oak. This one is available in store while the others will require a bit of negotiation to bring into New Zealand. Hopefully this year.


The Tasmanian countryside is not too different to back home here with the addition of the Gum trees. The wines were excellent as well and we enjoyed some great seafood meals.




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MacKinlay’s Shackleton Story

By Jak Jakicevich
23 February 2013, 9:12 pm

It has arrived the stunning re-creation of the original malt shipped to Antarctica in 1907 by Shackleton to fortify his “Nimrod” expedition.


Adandoned to the Antarctic winter in early 1909, three wooden cases of this fine MacKinlay’s malt, originally distilled at Glen Mhor Distillery in Inverness, were buried in the ice beneath Ernest Shackleton’s hut. Unearthed a century later by the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust, in 2010 a single crate was flown to Canterbury museum in Christchurch, for conservation. From here 2 bottles were loaned (since returned) to Whyte and McKay the owners of MacKinlay’s to analyse and re-create.

The task was performed by no other than the legendary Richard Paterson of Dalmore.

The first sampling in New Zealand will be Thursday 28th February at Glengarry Victoria Park were we will explore the components including another Rare whisky from Glen Mhor before the unveiling of this replica MacKinlay’s.


Come join us to sample a whisky heralded as a gift from heaven for whisky lovers.


For the full story  Click Here


Stock will be in store next week, a real collectable Whisky.



Replica Packaging



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Pinot 2013

By Jak Jakicevich
29 January 2013, 7:23 pm

Welcome to About Wine
Glengarry are well represented at the Pinot 2013 in Wellington this year follow us here. Retailing fine wines requires keeping up with the latest producers and all the new releases. As well as trending in styles and consumer tastes. So here we are amongst it.

I have just received a copy of Keith Stewart’s book “chances and visionaries” the stuff the wine industry in New Zealand is made of.
Day one we were introduced to the event with much enthusiasm by the guest speakers including Sam Neil who was so Kiwi and down to earth.
Monday morning session for our group was Central Otago and as I cheery picked through the 2010′s on offer I was totally blown away with the quality, my team were diligently taking notes while I caught up with old friends
Then a spectacular lunch and back to taste other vintages, excellent as now some older vintages surfaced. So many great wines and a relaxed format making it so easy to get around

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Video Tasting Notes

By Jak Jakicevich
17 January 2013, 9:49 am

Hi, As you have probably seen I have been making some little video tasting notes to share on YouTube. It was fun doing them and the first three are loaded up on there and also linked directly from our website. These are the first ones which are also displayed to the side of this Blog as well but being the first I have put them here if you would like to view them latter.
 Adnams Beer                   Woodford Reserve         Nga Waka
My team also did a few and they also enjoyed the experience. Their videos will be launched shortly and we will be doing them as often as we can to bring our stories to you.

Our first Whisky Club night is Scheduled for Feb 28th and we will be show casing the 2nd release of the Shackletons replica whisky. This will be great night so put it your diary. I also hope to do a Burns night at Devonport Dida’s on the 25th Jan if all goes to plan so watch this space.

Old Still

We hope you enjoy them and I would appreciate your feedback, or perhaps an Oscar nomination..

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How relevant are Wine Awards?

By Liz Wheadon
27 October 2016, 6:38 pm

An interesting question. Given everyone’s tastes are different, how relevant is it, when purchasing a wine, whether it has a Gold Medal or not? I judged at the recent Air NZ Wine Awards and was delighted to see, throughout the process, so many different expressions of the various varieties recognised. The Air NZ Wine Awards are New Zealand’s pre-eminent wine competition, owned and run by NZ Wine Growers; this year celebrates 30 years of Air New Zealand’s involvement with the competition. I believe the calibre and diversity of the team of judges is one of the instrumental keys to the success of this show. It is all too easy in the process of judging a large number of wines, for wines that have lots of oak, lots of fruit, in fact, lots of anything, to stand out in the crowd – it’s not bad judging, it’s just natural. Not so at the Air NZ Wine Awards; the award winning wines include those that clearly have great fruit, excellent oak use (where applicable) and all in perfect balance, together with those wines that are on the restrained, refined side of things and equally brilliant. Furthermore, when I look now at the results, there are a variety of styles, price points and regions represented; further impressive given the large number of entries and wines reviewed over the three days. The process itself is rigorous, with numerous stages for the wines to pass through before they end up on the Gold Medal winning list.

So back to the question at hand, are they relevant? What you can be well assured of, with any of the Air NZ Award winning wines, is that these are wines of very good quality. Particularly the Gold Medal wines; to achieve a Gold, the wine has to be very smart indeed. Within the Gold Medal wines, there’s diversity of style and character that you’ll then need to match to your palate, whether that’s through purchasing a selection, coming along to one of our tastings, or talking to the team in store. You will find on the Glengarry Website a selection of the award winning wines, and today an exceptional deal on a super smart sub $15 Pinot Noir that won Gold – well worth celebrating we believe.

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The State of NZ Wines

By About Wine Glengarry Glengarry
1 September 2016, 12:54 pm


Of all the wine shows out there, there are just two that are owned by NZ Winegrowers: the Air NZ
Wine Awards and the lesser known little brother, the Bragato Wine Awards. Historically lost a little
behind the Air NZ Wine Awards might (likely due to the exposure opportunities the $ of the
sponsorship brings), the Bragato Wine Awards play an important role. Named after Romeo Bragato,
the New Zealand Government Viticulturist from 1902 – 1909, the Bragato Wine Awards champion
Domain wines – where grapes are coming from owned vineyards and single vineyard sites. In
addition, the lower minimum quantity requirement (than the Air NZ Awards) results in many smaller
producers being able to enter. As the first show after new vintage releases start hitting the shelves,
it’s also a good gauge of how the vintage is looking.


I had the opportunity to join the judging again this year, which took place in mid August. Great to be able to see such a wide variety of wines and judge with such a talented team. The results will be out

by the time this is published and the award winning wines are well worth hunting out. The individual
results are not what I wanted to share here, but more some observations I walked away with from
the judging and the colourful discussion.

An absolute highlight was the Cabernet dominant class. We were blessed with the vintages on the table this year ‐ 2013, 2014 and 2015. It’s been widely reported that 13 and 14 are exceptionalvintages for Hawke’s Bay and Waiheke, being the two regions that Cabernet dominant wines love.

The 2015 vintage though showed exceptionally well and is right up there with the preceding
vintages; something very rare indeed, three excellent vintages in a row. I am guilty of not having
tasted a lot of NZ Cabernet of late, with my recent travels taking me to Bordeaux to taste new
vintages there. I was super impressed with the overall quality, the results when out will highlight this
further; do hunt out the award winners in store, they are well worth taking a look at.
The Pinot Noir category as you can imagine was large and diverse, the quality unmistakable; there’s
a reason the rest of the world are standing up and taking notice. The very best of the Syrah flights
were super and would leave many a Rhône producer speechless.

Within the White categories, Sauvignon Blanc (whilst not everyone’s favourite to judge, particularly
at 8am) showed why NZ Sauvignon is such a distinctive and unique style. Pinot Gris was so much
more consistent than I’ve seen it in the past, a clearer sense of a NZ Pinot Gris style emerging.
Chardonnay, as you would expect, created the most conversation amongst the judges, the differing
faces of Chardonnay pushing boundaries, which I believe is a good thing.
All in all, two days of intense judging and it’s clear that the NZ Wine industry is in good shape. Do
taste for yourself though; this month at Glengarry we take a regional road trip around NZ and
explore this great country of ours.

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International Wine Challenge 2016 – what an experience

By Liz Wheadon
17 May 2016, 10:57 am

Last month I had a wonderful experience judging at the International Wine Challenge in London. Over two very intense days I tasted a large variety of wines from all around the world. Met fantastic people, caught up with old friends, made new ones and had many a laugh.

Liz with her IWC Team of Judges – London

One of those experiences that you walk away from thinking, this is why I work in this industry, the wine and the people. The calibre of the judges at the International Wine Challenge is quite something, The Chairmen for the competition – Tim Atkin MW, Oz Clarke, Sam Harrop MW, Peter McCombie MW, and Charles Metcalfe, whose morning pep talks are reason enough to want to judge at this competition.

I made the wise decision (not really a choice, it was just how my timing worked) to judge in the second week, what is called Round Two. This meant that we were looking at wines that had already been reviewed and the ones remaining were in contention for medals. The process of judging involves a team of generally 4 people, made up of a Panel Chair, a senior judge and two others. You taste the wines as they are presented to you, all blind and organised into types. So you’ll get a set of New Zealand Chardonnay for example, or in a whole flight of Vinho Verde, the variety is extraordinary; it is the International Wine Challenge after all. All the judges taste independently and then read out their scores which are collated and the discussion begins. After the panel decides the medals (or not) to award to the line up in front of them, the wines are re-tasted by the esteemed Chairmen noted above to verify the results. As you taste, the room is filled with the vibe of Tim Atkin’s music choice and the ever increasing volume of chatter from around 80 judges a day tasting through the vast number of entries this competition attracts.

IWC Room of Judges - London

IWC Room of Judges – London

The process, as you can see from this brief account, is rigorous and thorough. To then see out of this come the extensive collection of New Zealand wines being awarded medals is a real testament to where we stand on the world stage with our wines and the overall quality. In total there were over 400 medals awarded to NZ wines this year.
So at the end of all of this judging I certainly did not feel at all like another glass of wine. I decided it a far better idea to taste my way through a series of London Gins, which went down very well indeed.

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En Primeur 2015 – Over to the Right Bank

By About Wine Glengarry Glengarry
8 April 2016, 9:39 am

After two days of extensive tastings on the Left Bank, it was time to see what all the noise on the Right Bank was about. All very much warranted I must say. The overriding impression of the Right Bank wines is one of completeness. If you think back to the 2005 vintage – it was all about structure; the 2009 vintage – the wines were all about the impressive up front, ripe fruit; 2010 was about the freshness, drive and acidity. With the 2015 vintage, it’s not about identifying one thing; everything is there you see, in its correct place, the right amount and in the perfect way. It’s a vintage about balance, precise balance. What the challenge appeared to be in 2015 was to take the excellent fruit provided in the vintage and not make a mistake in the winery; fortunately very few have.
After a visit to the UGC tasting for Pomerol, the first stop of the day was Petrus. 100% Merlot and fortunately a normal size crop – 2013 was half the normal and 2014 was two thirds. The alcohol is high at 14.5%, though you certainly don’t notice it at all. A wonderful comment from the team at Petrus – ‘we make it to please the consumer, not to impress’. It’s not about power at all here, so exceptionally well balanced.
From there, a short distance, we visited at Château Lafleur; what a treat. All the wines brilliant, Lafleur itself stunning, There’s a clear story through this wine; first the fruit, then a ripe and creamy middle, fine tannins, velvety smooth finish that is so long it comes in the car with you to your next appointment.
And next up was Château Cheval Blanc. The tasting this year in their super modern new winery. Interestingly this year, there’s no Petit Cheval. Of the parcels that usually go into Petit Cheval, some did not make the quality of Petit Cheval and some were so good, they made Cheval Blanc, increasing the overall production of Cheval this year. We also had the opportunity here to taste Château d’Yquem. Another super sweet wine from the 2015 vintage.
The JP Moueix properties were next on the tasting line up. What a line up they were; not a good wine in there, all excellent, many exceptional. Château La Serre stands out this year, gorgeous and very appealing. A relatively new wine to the JPM stable, Clos Saint Martin was a super surprise. Located near Château Angelus and surrounded by top properties, each taste of this left me wanting more. A tiny production unfortunately, a mere 250 cases in total. Château Latour a Pomerol, Certan de May, Lafleur Pétrus and Trotanoy are all exceptional this year, top wines from these very good Chateau. For me, Lafleur Pétrus my standout today.
Two more tastings to complete the day: the UGC for Saint-Émilion, where Clos Fourtet and Pavie- Macquin were excellent; then a charming visit to Château Beau Séjour Bécot where we were hosted by Julien Berthe.
Three very full days of Bordeaux tastings completed and, yes, it’ll be Bordeaux for dinner tonight. Trotanoy 1999 to be exact. A notebook full of tasting notes from a great vintage and plenty of good memories; this vintage was a delight to taste.

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En Primeur 2015 – Another day meandering up and down the Médoc

By About Wine Glengarry Glengarry
7 April 2016, 9:36 am

Our second day of tasting took us back to the Left Bank and first up the UGC tasting at Gruaud Larose. Another strong set of wines, though St Julien, more than any of the other appellations, showed the most diversity in style. All the wines very valid, wonderful expressions, just different. Highlights were Château Gloria, a generous, fine and precise wine; Leoville Barton a firmer, stronger structured bold wine with perfect balance; Gruaud Larose with amazing length, balance and polish; Branaire Ducru opulent, exotic and structured.
Next up was the UGC tasting at Château Citran and the Haut-Médoc, Listrac-Médoc and Moulis-en-Médoc. Overall the vintage was of excellent quality; there are plenty of wines from these areas that will represent very good value and make wonderful options for midterm cellaring; Château Fonréaud, Château Fourcas Dupré, Château Poujeaux and Château Cantermerle stood out, Château Tour Du By not far behind them.
Then it was on to Margaux; spoilt for choice here, so many great wines. I particularly enjoyed Château Giscours, Château Malescot St-Exupéry and Château Lascombes.
Château Margaux was a visit of mixed emotion. Paul Pontallier sadly passed away recently, the Margaux team putting on a very brave face. Château Margaux 2015 is exceptional, so much to say about this great wine; as is always the case with Margaux, it’s not about the power. The sensational quality of this wine creeps up on you; it is expansive and, just when you thought you’d experienced it all, the acidity is like the accelerator is pushed to the ground, driving the exceptionally long finish. The tannins can’t go without mention; so ripe at first you barely notice them, then you note that the concentration of the fruit is held together with something.
Onto the glorious Château Pichon Baron, where we were treated to all of their properties: Château Pibran, Château Petit Village, Château Pichon Baron of course and Suduiraut. All very good, Tourelles de Longueville is excellent this year and this, now the third tasting of Suduiraut for us, confirmed yet again that it has to be one of, if not, the sweet wine of the vintage.
Last Château for the day was at the top of the Médoc in St-Estèphe, Cos d’Estournel. The weather conditions during 2015, particularly the heat in July, was a little too much for some of the vineyard sites at Cos; this resulted in severe selection and a reduction in the production this year. Les Pagodes de Cos benefited from this, receiving this year some of the Merlot that did not make it into Cos. Cos itself is very good; a different style of Cos, less forward and structured than in previous years, it’s a good change.
The final act for the day was the Ban du Millésime – the celebration of the vintage. A super dinner in the centre of Bordeaux; a great opportunity and excuse to drink older Bordeaux, including for us a 1983 Lafite, a nice way to finish the day. Liz Wheadon | Bordeaux, France.

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Babich Irongate Vertical Tasting | Glengarry Hutt Road

By About Wine Glengarry Glengarry
26 July 2016, 4:16 pm

If there was ever a living icon in the wine industry, the title would surely have to go to Joe Babich. Joe joined the family business in 1958 and has achieved much over his career – he was awarded Winemaker of the Year in1994 and in 2014 both Peter and Joe were awarded the Sir George Fistonich Medal in recognition for services to the New Zealand wine industry. Babich is still a family-run company and are currently celebrating their 100th year anniversary. To celebrate this achievement Babich have been running a number of tastings with us, including the Irongate vertical tasting we had here at Hutt Road with Joe.

Irongate Chardonnay has been produced from the Gimblett Gravels since 1985 and for this tasting Joe decided to treat us to four vintages of this fabulous wine. It was extremely interesting to see the development of this wine over several vintages. The 2002, although still an elegant wine, was starting to show signs of attenuation; the 2008 was my favourite – this was pungent and rich and had a fabulous silken texture; the 2011 was more restrained but had beautiful balance and incredible length. The current vintage, 2014, was also elegant but a little more closed and tight; this is a wine to put away for a short time (3-5 years) and will reward handsomely.

Following on from the Chardonnay we did four Irongate Reds. These wines are composed of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc – the Cabernet content stays pretty much the same but the Merlot and Franc varies slightly depending on vintage. For this tasting we went from the youngest wine to the oldest wine. The first off the starting block was the 2014 and what a little charmer this wine was – lifted florals and mulberry on the nose, the palate was voluptuous and rich, it had a lovely sweetness, and deserved some time to rest before consuming. Following the 2014 we had the 2013; another stunning vintage from the region. This was every bit as good as the 2014 but surprisingly different in character – it had deep rich black fruits and was a little more closed at this stage in its life. The 2008 was drinking well right now! It was dark and showed dried fruits and spices, and finely integrated tannins. The 1990 was a treat and was older than three of our staff members that attended the tasting! It had a very old nose and was the a bricky colour, but remarkably the wine was holding incredibly well and had excellent length. It was more on the savoury side now as most of the obvious fruit had fallen away but it still retained a freshness and its life was by no means over.

The tasting was an absolute treat and it was an honour to meet Joe Babich, a man that has contributed so much to the New Zealand wine industry. Here’s to the next 100 years!

Posted by Meredith Parkin | Fine Wine Account Manager, Glengarry Hutt Road, Wellington.

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Trinity Hill | Homage 2014 – with John Hancock

By About Wine Glengarry Glengarry
8 July 2016, 3:07 pm

Trinity Hill is an iconic New Zealand winery, the idea for which was formed in London in 1987. John Hancock was meeting in the restaurant Bleeding Heart, owned by Robert and Robyn Wilson. Over a bottle of John’s Morton Estate Chardonnay, the Wilson’s expressed their desire to produce their own world-class wines in the Hawkes Bay. John had already recognised the outstanding potential of the Gimblett Gravels district, and they began planting in 1993 on the barren former bed of the Ngaruroro River. Since those early days, this sub-region has become one of the most expensive and important wine growing areas in the country. We were lucky to have John himself here this week to talk us through that history, and taste their Black Label Gimblett Gravels wines from the 2014 vintage.

 The highlight of the evening was the two vintages of their flagship wine ‘Homage’. The 2014 has only just been bottled and will not be released until the end of the year. This was a real treat to be able to taste these two outstanding years side by side now. Homage was first produced in 2002, and is named as a tribute to the late Gerard Jaboulet of Domaine Paul Jaboulet Aine in France’s Rhone Valley. They produced one of the world’s greatest Syrah in the form of the famous ‘La Chapelle’ Hermitage. Gerard was also a great friend of Robert and Robyn Wilson and had hosted many legendary dinners at the Bleeding Heart. John Hancock also worked alongside Gerard at Jaboulet’s cellars during the 1996 harvest, and when he left was presented with cuttings of Syrah from the La Chapelle vineyard, and Viognier from Les Jumelles in Cote Rotie. It was these cuttings that formed the basis of the plantings that now make up Homage.

2013 and 2014 are arguably the finest back to back vintages Hawkes Bay has ever seen. I haven’t tried the 2013 since last year and it is now looking much more integrated, while the 2014 is still trying to find its feet. If you prefer rich opulence, then the 2014 is the wine for you; the 2013 is a little darker and harder in character, but both are outstanding wines. Unlike some of the other ‘super premium’ Hawkes Bay Syrah, I find Homage less polished and refined on release, it just takes a lot more time to settle down into itself. This is a wine that demands at least 10 years of cellaring to really show what’s it’s made of. It’s more brutish, edgier and has tons of character. A few years back John and I also hosted a tasting where we compared 4 vintages of ‘Homage’ directly with ‘La Chapelle’ and La Petite Chapelle and they really do have a very similar character. Time and vine age will only serve to improve what Trinity Hill is producing down there. I’ve got a number of bottles in my own cellar, and so should you.

The wines tasted were:

Gimblett Gravels Marsanne / Viognier 2014, Gimblett Gravels Chardonnay 2014, Gimblett Gravels Tempranillo 2014, Gimblett Gravels ‘The Gimblett’ 2014 (Cab Sauv, Merlot, Cab Franc), Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2014, Homage 2014 (Pre Release), Homage 2013.

Posted by Regan McCaffery | Fine Wine Account Manager, Glengarry Wines Victoria Park, Auckland

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Grant Burge of Barossa Valley – Glengarry Tasting Review by Regan McCaffery

By Team 
24 May 2016, 3:56 pm

Grant Burge is one of the Barossa Valley’s most respected producers. The Burge family’s winemaking history in the region can be traced back to 1855, when tailor John Burge, immigrated from England to the Barossa. John worked as a winemaker at Hillside Vineyards and his love of viticulture was passed onto his son Meshach, who continued the tradition making his first wine in 1865. This week we were privileged to have chief winemaker Craig Stansborough here with some of their premium range. He has just completed his 23rd vintage with the company, after Grant Burge himself offered him the job of cellar manager in 1993.

Grant Burge Cellar Door – Barossa Valley, South Australia

It’s been many years since Grant Burge had hosted an event in New Zealand, and it was extremely pleasing to see such high quality displayed across the entire range. These are also some of the best value wines I’ve tried in some time. Extremely affordable but with the capacity for good medium to long term cellaring. I was especially impressed with the pure expression of Cabernet displayed in the Cameron Vale 2013 for around $20. If you wanted something a little more mature then it was well worth stepping up to the 2010 Corryton Park, one of the highest and coolest sites in the entire Barossa. The Cabernets suit French Oak whereas the Filsell Old Vine Shiraz has a combination of French and American Oak. This wine is where Grant Burge originally made their mark in this country, and the 2013 vintage would make another great addition to a budding wine cellar. Craig commented that over time they have gradually been reducing the % of American Oak across the entire range, if you remember the wines from a decade or more ago.. these are very different.

Craig also hosted an event down at our Hutt Road store in Wellington and Meredith summed up the wines nicely.  “Looking back at my tasting notes, the words elegant and refined kept cropping up. They were also not overtly ‘Australian’ in the old sense which was very refreshing. The overwhelming impression in each of them was clearly one of great balance, and that’s what we are looking for in all of the great wines of the world. It’s a sense of harmony, where all the elements of fruit, tannin and acidity come together.”

The finest wine of the night was their icon Meschach Shiraz 2009, a great demonstrating of beautiful balanced power. Most of the fruit for this comes from small parcels around 100 years old that bring great intensity, but Craig explained that when they are tasting the lots, it is balance not concentration that is their primary concern. We double decanted this about 5 hours prior to the tasting and it really is showing well right now with beautiful complexity and great length. 2 days later it hasn’t skipped a beat, which match Craig assertion that it easily has 20 years ahead of it. For a wine that is acknowledged as one of Australia’s greatest Shiraz, it’s also great value at under $150.

The wines tasted in the night were: PinotNoir/Chardonnay Methode NV, Filsell Shiraz 2013, Distinction Balthasar Shiraz 2013, Cameron Cale Cabernet 2013 Distinction Corryton Cabernet 2013, Holy Trinity GSM 2012, Meshach Shiraz 2009, 10yr Tawny, 20yr tawny.


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Vincent Girardin White Wines 2010

By Meredith Parkin
1 March 2013, 12:58 am

I’m so excited I can barely contain myself! I am finally able to start tasting some of the 2010 Burgundy’s that have arrived. As we are still basking in sunshine I am going to kick off this round of tastings with Vincent Girardin white wines on Wednesday March 13th – details on the Glengarry web site

I did a tasting of Vincent Girardin white wines just over a year ago and they were stunning every sip was a delight. Vincent’s origins date back 11 generations so his roots are buried deep in the hallowed soils of Burgundy and he knows every vine and parcel of land. The white wines that Vincent produces find their essence in their finesse and extreme purity. He manages to find the perfect balance between acidity and richness and while the wines are a delight to drink early they will benefit enormously from some time just laying about in a cellar.

I am going to open nine wines in total starting with a generic Meursault and finishing on a high with a Corton Charlemagne and his Quintessence Corton Charlemagne.

 Watch this space for the summary of these wines I am certain that they will not disappoint!

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Anne Gros

By Meredith Parkin
7 December 2012, 4:10 am

To say that Anne Gros makes good wine is like saying Valerie Adams can throw things.

Domaine Anne Gros

Every time I have the very great privilege of tasting Anne’s wine I am surprised and delighted all over again. One of the great things of course about the last tasting that I did was that all of the wines were from the great 2009 vintage. This vintage has proved itself again and again and while Anne Gros has established herself in the challenging vintages the rewards in a stunning vintage are undeniable.
We went through and tasted all of the 2009 Anne Gros wines that we have in stock here and they were all spectacular from bottom to top and even though they were approachable now the group thought that most would benefit further from a bit of age.

We started with the Bourgogne Chardonnay as a little palate cleanser it showed some lovely white floral notes and hint of toasty oak. We followed with the Bourgogne and Bourgogne Hautes Cote de Nuit both showed well and offered extremely good value although most thought that the Hautes Cote de Nuit could do with another year or so bottle age the Bourgogne was on the whole pleasurable now. We then moved in to the Chambolle Musigny La Combe D’Orveaux and Vosne Romanee Les Barreaux and both of these are a step up from most village wines and her skill in getting the most out of her grapes shines here. Anne gets a wonderful depth of flavour in her wines but without massive extraction just sublime.

Domaine Anne Gros CellarBut wait there’s more! (This by the way is the part of my job that doesn’t feel like working at all!) We did the Clos Vougeot, Echezeaux and Richebourg. Just for fun one of the group suggested that we did them blind this was great as it took away any preconceptions that we may have had. I am happy to say that I did guess them correctly when it came to the reveal –phew reputation intact! They were as expected all remarkable and a delight to taste the Richebourg stood out from just the sheer power of the wine, this is a massive wine and would be a worthy addition to the cellar of a serious Burgundy collector. With that said the star of the night was without a doubt the Clos Vougeot it was elegance personified and enjoyed by all.  The Echezeaux was a star in its own right it had lovely spice notes and fantastic structure it was another five star wine but just slightly overshadowed on the night by the Clos Vougeot

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