Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My Little Sommelier

was born in the end on the 9th of June 2009.

After 48 hours of 'not' being in labour; by C section. Being mum sommelier is not what I expected and the Bollinger is still in the box.

Whilst we get the hang of the breast-feeding wine is still off the menu pretty much and, in any case, looking after my wee prince takes up more time and energy than I could have believed possible.

He's 2 weeks old today and cute as a button. I'm very proud.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

6th of June and dreams of an alternative white

Today 'should' be the day we celebrate the arrival of the littlest sommelier but unfortunately they don't supply babies with calanders in utero.

So the Bollinger Grand Annee 1999 stays on ice and I stay enormous...

I haven't gotten much further with my list of first wines and the concept of trying to pick a first Pinot Noir seems daunting especially with most of my grey matter given over to birthing, feeding, changing and bathing.

Rich has promised to cook me the traditional meal of 'late' mothers everywhere tomorrow night...

A curry. Quite hot.

Accordingly perhaps I should turn my attention to the first Gewurztraminer.

It's an easy call, marred only by the fact that I probably couldn't get my hands on a bottle even for silly money. The Pyramid Valley Orton Vineyard Hawke's Bay Gewurztraminer 2007 is a special wine and marked my birthday last year with it's generous, powerful, unusual presence (the picture at the top of the blog is of that very bottle). I'd have that again in a heartbeat but given the small quantities and the fact that it was the one and only vintage that will ever be made I'm unlikely to repeat the pleasure.

I feel so emotionally attached to that wine that it seems churlish to pick another first Gewurztraminer simply because the Orton isn't available. However, there is another Gewurztraminer that has been making regular appearances of late (not in my glass obviously) and has captured my attention. The Montana Terroir Series Riverpoint Gewurztraminer 2007 comes from the block once owned by Matawhero Wines, which was responsible for some memorable Gewurztraminer as far back as the 1970's. A little like the Orton in that respect. In this instance, however, one of our biggest players (Montana) has come in and saved the old vines and through their Terroir Series are making the flavours of these unique sub-regional sites available to enthusiasts. It's an ethos worth applauding and the wine itself is worth applauding also.

Soft straw gold and quite savoury on the nose the wine makes a charmingly viscous mixture of cardamon, rose petals and pineapple. That is to say the palate is oily but without apparent sweetness despite the off-dry residual sugars and the phenolics (so often a bitter pill to swallow in Nu Zillund Gewurztraminer) are low. The usual spiciness of this varietal is quite restrained to taste with the freshness of lemon oil lingering on the finish. Overall there is a singular balance evident in the wine. A fine continuation to the tradition of Gisborne Gewurztraminer. a 5 glass wine (that is to say Rich will happily polish off the bottle seeing as I don't really help these days...)