19 May

The Tasting of Tannins

Nights are getting longer, mornings and evenings colder, and every icy gust of wind is bringing with it a swathe of crunchy brown leaves. With winter fast approaching, what better way to armour ourselves against the cold than with eight full-bodied, structured wines from all around the world?

We started the evening with 2013 Atlas Peak Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley. A fantastic example of American Cabernet Sauvignon, it’s bold, rich and ripe, with red fruits and subtle spice notes, this wine’s flavour belies it’s pricing.

Next up was the 2013 St Hallett Old Block Shiraz, a blend of wines from the Barossa and Eden Valleys, showcasing a youthful Australian Shiraz with plenty of years left to age. An elegant wine, vibrant with fresh red berries and violet notes; the subtle acidity and freshness from the Eden Valley portion leads to a well balanced wine.

The solid standout for the evening was the 2008 Solar Viejo Reserva Rioja – a full and old school styled Rioja with notes of toasty oak, vanilla, black truffles, and cocoa. With a minimum of 3 years ageing (1 in oak) prior to release, this wine is ready to be drunk now and would benefit from a short stint in a decanter to allow the subtle spice flavours to shine through.

As our taste buds trip around the world we land next in South America with the 2015 Chakana Estate Selection Malbec, a highly extracted, youthful Malbec from the Uco Valley in Argentina.

The desert climate of Argentina can lead to bold, powerful wines, best paired with grilled red meats, and this wine is powerful with spice, fruit, tannin and earthy notes. Given some time in a decanter, or a few years cellared away, this wine is delightfully ready to drink.

With South African wines growing in popularity lately, we picked out a 2015 Kaapzicht Pinotage, a South African hybrid varietal of Pinot Noir and Cinsault, bred to with stand the extreme climates of the region. This particular South African is a  full bodied, smoky red with notes of cedar, vanilla, sour cherries and a savoury finish.

It is interesting to note that due to past political turbulence, the wine industry of South Africa suffered, with little wine being available outside of the country itself. With the shift in political climate within the country, South African wine has been globally more available.

From Bordeaux, we tasted the 2014 Echo de Lynch-Bages of Paulliac. This Left Bank wine is made up of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot, producing a full bodied and structured wine that is ready to be drunk now. Baby brother to the 5th growth Chateau Lynch-Bages, the Echo was created using the youngest vines on the estate, to echo the style of the first wine of the estate – as you will taste here, soft, round, and brightly fruited.

Our closing wines of the evening were from the regions Barolo and Barbaresco, two small regions producing Nebbiolo from close to the town of Alba.

Using Burgundy as a guide these single-variety small plot wines are elegant and savoury with mouthfilling tannins.

The 2007 Damilano Lecinquevigne Barolo from a blend of select sites within the small region, was elegant and fine, with soft acids, black truffle, dried violets, and sweet spice, it is safe to say this is a well balanced wine that has aged well.

The 2012 Ca Del Baio Pora Barbaresco, from a single historic site within Barbaresco that was vinified separately for the first time in 2004,is a fine example of Barbaresco – full and structured, with soft acids keeping the wine balanced and in check, echos of dark berries and hints of vanilla and roasted nuts. While this wine certainly drinks well now, this one in particular will, it would seem, almost live forever.

View our upcoming tastings here: https://www.glengarrywines.co.nz/tastings.jsp